When purchasing dining room chairs, it is useful to remember certain aspects such as your particular requirements, the dimensions of the chairs, or whether you require armchairs or not. You should also pay attention to aspects such as the weight of the chair and whether it is high or low maintenance etc.
If you want to buy dining furniture that is both suitable and likable; i.e. the kind that you can live happily with for years to come, it pays to put some thought into what you buy. When you talk about dining room chairs, there are so many choices, that you need to give careful consideration to both your requirements as well as likings: whether you want armchairs or chairs without arms, upholstered, wood or leather finish, dimensions, design, weight, portability etc.
Dimensions: Make sure that the proportions of the dining room or area, are congruent with the size and dimensions of the dining table and consequently the dining chairs, so that the size of the room does not diminish the size of the dining room furniture or vice versa. The dining chairs should be sufficiently big to offer proper seating support (the chairs should ideally be a minimum width of 17 inches) and should be the correct height to match the height of the dining table. An often overlooked aspect of dining room chairs is their height: the optimum height of a dining chair is usually 18 or 19 inches. The generalrule is that there ought to be a minimum of 12 inches between the top of the seat and the top of the table (usually the height of a dining table is 29 to 30 inches)
Design: Consider whether you want armchairs or chairs without arms. In general, having armchairs at the dining table creates a more formal appearance. You can tone down the appearance of formality by having only two armchairs, at either end of the dining table leaving the rest of the chairs without arms. Also you need to consider how many chairs you need, which will depend largely upon the shape of the table (which in turn may depend on the shape of the room). If the dining table is rectangular, six chairs are usually required, whereas four may be the right number for a square table. Mixing and matching is also an option if you don't like a very uniform or matched look.
For instance you may pair a traditional table with contemporary chairs or a more contemporary table with old fashioned chairs.
Finish: Choose with care the kind of surface that you want your dining chairs to have: certain surfaces are low maintenance and easy care while some are not. If you like upholstered finishes to your chairs but think that they could be very high maintenance, consider slip covers that go over your dining chairs saving them from stains, dust and dirt and other wear and tear. Some dining chairs also give you the option of removable seat cushions so that the seat covers can either be laundered or replaced.
Weight: the weight of a dining chair should be enough so that it is steady and firm but also it should be light enough that it is not too difficult to pull to and from the table when being seated. A chair with a slatted back is easy to grip whereas a fully upholstered one is not as easy to get a grip of.
The author protects her dining room table with a table pad. Make sure you buy a dining set that is suitable for all seasons and is preferably a timeless piece.