Recently, I’ve spotted more mixing of chair color in dining rooms and kitchens. What’s surprising is the wide variety of styles used for this musical chair approach. Perhaps the mixed hues are an antidote to all-white interiors which are so universally appealing they have become as predictable as the moon – you know you will see them no matter what. Six years ago, when I chose this option for our country house, I did it to keep things casual. Today, modern furniture designs have adopted the idea for everything from DIY repurposed salvage chairs to a rainbow approach to Eames.
The logic behind mixing chair color goes in a couple of directions. You can pick the same chairs in different colors. Or, in the mix-and-match cottage tradition create the look by using different chairs within a limited color palette.
Modern chairs tend to have a low profile, which helps accentuate ceiling height. And the variety of colors from the Eames Molded Plastic Chairs with dowel-leg bases [top] brings life and focus to a classically proportioned dining room with neutral walls.
The same iconic chairs bodies but with a wire base, were chosen by Portuguese designer Ligia Casanova in slightly more muted colors. It’s interesting to see how they provide less contrast against a natural wood table than they do against a white one. Wire legs also seem more transparent, letting the colorful bodies hover over the floor.
Metal chairs are a practical choice and a color mix really pops in this super-white family kitchen (note the sweet red high chair). This mid-20th C industrial style, similar to Crate and Barrel’s Lyle chair, has an especially hip look (at least to me). Since this “table” is basically a wooden plank anchored to the wall on one side and the peninsula on the other (talk about a walk-around) there are no legs to compete with these arched chair gams.
Transparent color makes Lucite chairs look almost ethereal around a wood table. Some of the best of this style are made by Kartell, which offers a variety silhouettes and legs. These Mr. Impossible chairs have colored bodies and clear legs that blend well with the stainless steel table base.
Refurbishing a set of blah wood chairs is an everyday event in our wonderful world of milk and spray paint. This table has a definite DIY look that is also youthful and fun. I can practically smell blueberry pancakes cooking in the kitchen.
My dining room doubles as our sun porch. It has minimal pale green walls and 13 windows so, inevitably, it takes on the color of the season. Our six-year old periwinkle, green, yellow and white Village side chairs pop when there’s snow on the ground and blend when leaves are on the trees.
In a Scandinavian-flavor dining room, a bench can stand in for a pair of chairs. I also adore the way the high toddler boosters are worked into the color scheme.
Traditional chairs with Easter egg colors, upholstered seats and tufted backs easily could be redone thrifters or Grandma’s set from the ’50s. Setting them against the black-and-white striped wall and around the classic Saarinen pedestal base table gives it all a rather girly urban apartment vibe.
A cottage look, complete with painted checkerboard floor, plays out in chairs with both a style and a color mix, sparked by a orange pendants. It also suggests affordablilty and an easy transformation by way of the paint store.
(Sources: pinkwallpaper, ligiacasanova, house to home, clearmagazine, design sponge, darling things, ruthie sommers, brunch at saks)
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