If you don’t want to overhaul your entire dining room or kitchen, consider a quick spruce via a new set of contemporary dining chairs. A colourful, contemporary design will refresh a battered dining table, and doesn’t have to cost the earth. From plush velvet to worn leather and natural rattan, these contemporary dining chairs will ensure you’ll be sitting pretty for years to come.
Find out how to choose dining furniture – and get it right in our practical guide.
1. Looking for luxe? Go for gold and velvet
These Half Circle dining chairs (opens in new tab) are available in grey, green, white or navy blue, all with an eye-catchingly luxe contrasting gold frame. Sure, they look superb with a coordinating table – but a chair this fancy will add a pleasingly ritzy touch to a plain old dining room, too. They cost £555 each, Out There Interiors.
2. Want an on-trend look? Choose a pastel upholstery
The Orb Upholstered dining chairs (opens in new tab) tick all the trend boxes. Not only are they pink – the colour of the moment – but they’re velvet too. The sleek rounded shape and angular, powder-coated legs save them from being too kitsch. Not to mention, they’re super comfy, perfect for accommodating your guests’ rear ends at lengthy dinner parties. They cost £249 each, West Elm.
3. Choose contemporary with a retro edge
Made from solid oak, these Oregan chairs (opens in new tab) feature natural cord seats. Combined with a subtly curved backrest, the Oregan is a definitely a friend of the spine, providing good support where needed. Available in natural oak and walnut, Habitat’s design would pair well with a rustic kitchen table, too. They cost £160, Habitat.
4. Pick versatile leather to please all schemes
The Hudson Living dining chair (opens in new tab) is actually faux leather, but you wouldn’t know it to look at it. With matt black metal legs, it’s a fairly foolproof option for most dining rooms, working just as well with a contemporary, industrial or more rustic table. Best of all, the Hudson won’t hurt your bank account, at just £369 for a pair. From Littlewoods.
5. Comfort + looks = a winning combination
The generously-sized Safia dining chair (opens in new tab) has a large, rounded backrest for next-level comfort and support. Another velvet treat, just imagine sinking into this irresistible seat after a hard day’s work. Also available in a (subtler) dark brown, the Safia features sturdy powder-coated iron legs, with an inviting price tag of £179 for a set of two. By Made.com.
6. Wipeable and good-looking? The ideal dining chair
Made from moulded polypropylene, the Whistler dining chair (opens in new tab) has been given an added layer of comfort thanks to an upholstered seat pad. Available in a range of sophisticated hues (burgundy, navy, khaki, mineral blue, dusty grey and white), it will make a simple wooden table look about a hundred times more interesting. The Whistler costs £89, John Lewis.
7. We rate rattan for a boho look
Got a taste for the bohemian? The Natural Rattan dining chair (opens in new tab) is spot on for those easy breezy summer dinner parties – the simple addition of a cosy sheepskin seat pad swiftly updates it for autumn/winter. It costs £200, Graham & Green.
8. Love contemporary style? Go Italian
The Duffy (opens in new tab) combines comfort with that all-Italian style Calligaris is known for. While the sled base is available in a range of different finishes (including matt white, blue, and aluminium), the seat is generously sized and upholstered. Because of the steel tube frame, the Duffy is also deceptively light – you won’t struggle to move this pew around. A duff this is not. It costs £251.50, Calligaris.
9. Add texture with a rattan weave
Want to up the textural interest in your dining room? You can’t go far wrong with a good rattan and teak combo, as the sleek Round rattan and teak dining chair (opens in new tab) demonstrates. With a high backrest as well as arms, we dare say that dining has never been so comfortable. Add a cushion or two and this would make a superb chair for a bedroom, too. Say farewell to those sofa-bound meals. It costs £175, Cox & Cox.
10. Yay for grey – the go-with-anything colour
Grey is the new modern classic colour for any room, including the dining room. Combine this endlessly versatile colour with a sleek modern shape, such as the beautifully curved Eames chair, and you've got yourself a winner.
Love the Eames chair, but not the price tag? The Cool Grey Eames Style Dining Armchair (opens in new tab) by Danetti is a very affordable £55, and it i every bit as chic.