When it comes to furnishing your home, side chairs can make all the difference in pulling a room together or leaving it feeling incomplete. From formal dining spaces to cozy living rooms, the right side chairs provide both visual appeal and a comfortable place to sit. With so many side chair styles to choose from, it can be tricky to narrow down your options.
I’ll be delving into some of the most popular types of side chairs and discussing what aesthetic they best suit and how to beautifully incorporate them into your home décor.
Whether you prefer the classic wingback silhouette, clean-lined mid-century styling, or something more modern and unique, your side chairs speak volumes about the overall feel of the room. Keep reading for tips on how to play with scale, fabric, color, and shape using an array of side chair designs to craft a space that’s highly functional yet undeniably stylish using these statement-making seating pieces.
Side chairs come in various styles, each with their own unique characteristics and design elements. Here are some popular styles of side chairs:
Traditional Style Side Chairs
Traditional side chairs feature ornate details, rich woodwork, and elegant upholstery. They often have curved lines, intricate carvings, and can be adorned with decorative accents like tufting or nailhead trim. Traditional side chairs are associated with formal and classic aesthetics.
Modern/Contemporary Side Chairs
Modern or contemporary side chairs have clean lines, sleek shapes, and a minimalist design. They prioritize simplicity and functionality while incorporating modern materials like metal, plastic, or glass. These chairs often feature smooth surfaces, and geometric shapes, and may include bold colors or unconventional forms.
Coastal Style Side Chairs
With their airy, beachy vibe, coastal side chairs are a breezy addition to any room. Typically made of woven wicker, wood, or rattan, these casual seats pair perfectly with a distressed white side table for an effortlessly chic look. For ultimate seaside appeal, look for side chairs with ocean-inspired accents like shells, starfish, anchors, or distressing that call to mind weathered driftwood.
Mid-Century Modern Side Chairs
Inspired by the design trends of the mid-20th century, mid-century modern side chairs are characterized by organic shapes, natural materials, and a mix of simplicity and sophistication. They often have tapered legs, curved forms, and can feature materials like molded plywood, molded plastic, or upholstered seats.
Rustic/Farmhouse Side Chairs
Rustic or farmhouse-style side chairs embrace a cozy and informal aesthetic. They often feature distressed wood, natural textures, and earthy tones. These chairs may have a rugged or weathered appearance, with elements like cross-back designs, woven seats, or reclaimed wood.
English Country Style Side Chairs
Classic English country decor relies on timeworn charm, as evidenced by the prevalent use of well-loved side chairs in cozy spaces. These seats come in warm wood tones like oak or mahogany, often featuring delicate carved details, comfortably padded seats upholstered in floral prints, and sometimes a distressed painted finish. English country side chairs beg to be gathered around the farmhouse table or nestled fireside in the parlor with a cup of tea and Victorian novel in hand.
French Style Side Chairs
Echoing the refined elegance of Versailles, French side chairs bring a touch of Parisian style to any space. Often featuring curved wooden frames, intricately carved legs and backs, and padded seats in chic fabrics like toile de Jouy, velvet, or brocade, these petite chairs combine comfort and polish. Add some Louis XIV chairs to your dining room or sitting area or pair a set of ornate, gilded French side chairs around an antique table for a très chic arrangement.
Scandinavian Side Chairs
Scandinavian-style side chairs emphasize simplicity, functionality, and natural materials. They feature clean lines, light-colored woods like beech or birch, and often have a light and airy appearance. Scandinavian chairs prioritize comfort and typically have ergonomic designs.
Industrial Style Side Chairs
Inspired by factory or warehouse aesthetics, industrial-style side chairs showcase a blend of raw materials and rugged finishes. They often incorporate metal frames, distressed or reclaimed wood, and may have exposed hardware or visible welds. These chairs evoke a utilitarian and urban vibe.
Bohemian Side Chairs
Bohemian-style side chairs embrace a free-spirited and eclectic aesthetic. They often feature vibrant colors, mixed patterns, and a combination of different materials and textures. Boho side chairs can incorporate elements like rattan, wicker, or upholstered fabrics with intricate designs.