If your default dinner party style when you're entertaining a few more guests than usual is to grab your WFH desk chair, or repurpose a storage box, it is time that you upped your hosting game. Whether it's a birthday or if the festive season has rolled around, having a full set of stunning dining chairs on hand, so that you and your friends, roommates, or family can wine and dine together, in comfort and style is the ultimate goal.
There are a ton of cool dining chair options out there that offer up all the interior design edge you could want, without a hefty price tag. And actually, investing in a new set of dining chairs is a simple and affordable way to spruce up your space, without completely redecorating. There are chairs with arms for you to sit, back and relax, even after dinner is done, and those with high backs for more formal arrangements. Yes, there are plenty of seats to scroll through.
So pull up a chair, because we’ve done the research for you and found 9 of our favorite contemporary styles for you to shop. From plush velvet chairs with arms to worn leather or natural rattan finishes, these contemporary dining chairs will ensure that your entire household will be sitting happy at your dining table all season.
12 contemporary dining chairs: the Real Homes edit
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Whether you need to replace an old worn set or are getting organized ahead of Christmas and New Year, it's always a good time for an upgrade and, it doesn't have to blow your entire month's budget either.
These simple yet effective solid wood dining chairs are not only a sustainable option designed to last a lifetime, but they're ultra sleek for a timeless look you'll love all season. Choose from natural ash or beech wood in a black or beige finish and pair with just about any home scheme.
Combining a natural rattan backrest with chrome cantilever legs and a velvet cushions pad, these groovy chairs are the ultimate style upgrade – whether you choose to use them around your dining table, at the home office or even at the end of your bed.
These more classic style chairs will work with any interior scheme you have going on. To tie them in with whatever color your house has, simply add a seat cushion, be it patterned or plain. With a high back in a chic black wood, this chair pair brings a modern approach to minimalism.
On a budget but don't want to compromise on style? Super sleek and even more affordable, this cheap pair of metal chairs by no means lack in the looks department. They may be simple, but they'll look totally tidy tucked under a circular table in a small-medium sized dining room.
Rattan has been one of the biggest furniture trends this year, and good news, it's here to stay. This foldable one from UK John Lewis' budget-friendly range is made with renters and small households in mind. Buy as many as you'd like and store them away neatly when they're not in use.
For something a little more comfortable, these padded chairs from M&S are crafted with a chic fluted back and curved edges. In a classic grey colorway and black detailing they're a great way to inject some industrial style without losing out on soft and cozy furnishings.
A colorful, contemporary design can inject fun into a plain scheme, while a more neutral modern finish is great to refresh a tired-looking room. And we can't get enough of this bright mustard yellow chair that brings all the contemporary vibes home. Even better, it's fully upholstered in recycled velvet with a bold blue option too, so it nods to sustainability also.
Channel mid-century modern with these classic cane chairs. Tucked around a large wooden table, they'll give games night guests somewhere to sit for hours on end. Fit with a curved back and padded seat, cushioned in a choice of four colors, there's no surprise why they made our roundup.
If you're looking for seating that'll last a little longer, and can stretch to spend for it, then this dining chair offers premium quality in an on-trend style. The striking black legs contrast a traditional brown leather padding, perfect for an understated look that won't go out of fashion.
You might already have a bright color scheme going on, or perhaps a lot of pattern in your dining area. Either way, this transparent chair from Ikea will seamlessly blend into its surroundings. Ideal for those in open-plan kitchen diners too.
A fall home trend favorite, there's no better fabric to cozy-up your dining space, than boucle. Okay, so we know it may not be the most practical of furnishings, in white, but if you do take care, these ultra-sculptural seats are sure to elevate every dining experience.
Upholstered in a flatweave fabric available in a choice of teal, mustard or charcoal, these modern chairs are practical enough for busy households but stylish enough to make a statement. With a curved back for comfort, and scandi-legs for support, they'll tick all boxes as you eat or drink at the table.
How we selected these seats
These chairs have been chosen with an equal emphasis on practicality and style. Of course there's no use in a dining chair that isn't comfortable enough to sit at, nor should it have to lack contemporary design. With so many styles to sort through, I've made sure there's a seat at the table for everyone. There's a mix of subtly chic colorways, statement styles and even sculptural pieces to pick from. But of course, price comes first– trust me, if I can find contemporary furniture on a budget, you can too. These chairs are relatively affordable, with cheaper options and great value-for-money buys that are sure to last you a lifetime. Some are even available in packs of two.
A couple of these chairs I actually have at home. Four Dunelm Astrid dining chairs neatly tuck under my round dining table and IKEA's acrylic chair I use to sit at my desk with. What's great about all the options on this list are that are versatile too. As a renter, and small space owner, I know the need to have furniture that fits away neatly and doesn't take up too much space.
How to choose the best dining chairs for your space
With so much choice, it's easy to get carried away in a game of musical chairs as you struggle to decide which ones to go for. To help you park on a pair, or set that suits you there are a few factors to think about., including how many chairs your table will allow, what material will work with your needs and the color, pattern or print that'll go with your dining room scheme. Not forgetting, price. We've broken it down below but otherwise take a read of our helpful how to choose dining furniture:
Space and style: Do you want a slimline row of seats at either side of the table? Or how about a curved chair to circulate around the table? Do you already have a dining set and need a spare foldable seat you get out when guests arrive? Or do you need a space-saving solution for a smaller household? Either way, we'd recommend checking the dimensions of the seat before you buy to make sure that they'll work well in the space you have.
Color and fabric: Choosing the design of your chair isn't just about it being decorative mind. Forget picking the pink option to go with your color scheme, firstly make up your mind on material. Leather will typically last longer, and flatweave fabrics or polyester paddings are easier to clean, making them more durable. On the other hand, velvet is totally on-trend and boucle is a Pinterest-lovers dream. Just imagine spilling something on it... Then go ahead and decide on color. If contemporary isn't your thing either, they are more trad dining chairs out there too.
Budget: New dining chairs can do amazing things for your space and make a cheap edit with maximum ROI when it comes to design impact. That being said, make sure you define your budget beforehand for ultimate success.
How much should a good dining chair cost?
The best quality dining chairs can cost a lot as you tend to pay for craftsmanship, premium materials and manufacturing processes.
Single chairs of this quality may push above the £/$250 mark, but they could last you a lifetime and generally speaking, the higher the price, the more durable and long-lasting. That's not to say you can't find more affordable options of great value that will last a number of years.
UK retailers like Dunelm, M&S and Next now offer dining chairs for around £200 for a pack of two, with Habitat having sets for even under £100.
Then if you shop stores like Wayfair, West Elm and Overstock or The Home Depot you can find sets of two starting from around $250. For a little less you could even consider buying unfinished dining room chairs The Home Depot and then painting them in a color of your choice for a bespoke finish!