Choosing stools and dining chairs are already two of the most important decisions when designing a home, but what if your kitchen and dining space are connected?
There are countless articles out there on how to measure and pick both stools and dining chairs, and recently, we posted our guide to choosing barstools and counter stools. As we scrolled through the comments getting ready to work on the dining chair version, something caught our eye from Adriana F., here's what she said:
"Curious what your advice is when you have the kitchen and dining room next to each other in an open space. How do you go about picking the stools and dining chairs since they will be so close to each other?" - Adriana F.
It got us thinking, how do we go about picking stools and dining chairs in open concept living spaces?
Before mainstream architecture and design started leaning towards open concept homes, the stool and the dining chair were often separated by rooms. Today, more and more people are opening up their homes, knocking down their walls, and designing to create a welcoming and social space, and we're all about it. But what does it mean for stools and dining chairs?
Like so much of our work, the process of choosing kitchen and dining furniture is largely intuitive, but we wanted to share some of our go-to tips with you, so we sat down to dissect our process. Here's what we came up with:
TIPS FOR MIXING AND MATCHING STOOLS AND DINING CHARIS
If you have an open concept living space, you might be wondering if you should use a matching set of stools and dining chairs. We avoid using the same set of stools and dining chairs to create a more thoughtful, layered space. However, there are still a few things you should consider to make sure everything flows.
A BALANCING ACT
Finding the balance between mixing and matching is harder than it sounds, but when you get it right, it's like magic! In our opinion, it works best when you mix some elements and match others. Here are a few of our favorite mix and match combinations:
MIX TONE + MATCH MATERIAL
When doing two wood pieces, we stick with drastically different tones to avoid visual confusion. In the project below, we did this with white oak and black stained wood, but it could work just as well with a dark brown wood.
MIX COLOR + MATCH SHAPE & TEXTURE
It doesn’t always have to be one mix and one match. In this project, we matched textures and shapes for both the stool and chair but mixed up the colors. The larger chairs on the ends pull more of the color elements from the stool, but it’s still different enough to bring contrast.
MIX STYLE + MATCH COLOR
In the project pictured below, we mixed styles and matched colors. The stool is modern, and the dining chairs are traditional, but the black iron legs on the stool match the black finish of the chair, creating harmony.
MIX TEXTURE + MATCH STYLE
When doing a bold texture like leather on one set of seating, we typically avoid doing the same on the other. This combination works because the pairs both have modern style elements, but the textures bring enough contrast to keep things interesting.
What are your thoughts about mixing and matching dining chairs and stools in open-concept spaces? Do you have a favorite combination? Tell us what you think in the comments!