Genius Things to Swap In for Dining Room Chairs

New year, new you. And a new dining room, too. You don't need to splurge on a brand new set or anything, but if you're looking for a way to freshen up your space, consider swapping out your typical dining chairs for one of these more unconventional options.

Our Favorite Dining Room Chair Alternatives

Ranked in order from more basic to completely bold, here are some dining chair alternatives we think are worth trying out.

Ottomans or Stools

If you have a dining table worth gawking at, cut the seat backs out of the picture and go with short stools or ottomans. I love these black wire cage stools spotted in a House Doctor catalog.

A Garden Bench

The bench thing has been done before, but here's a fresh outdoor-inspired take on it, from the home of Alexandros Washburn, Chief Urban Designer for the New York City Planning Department, in the New York Times.

Office Chairs

The only difference between an office chair and a dining chair is where you put it, really. But you can definitely see then vintage office styling in this assortment of lavender chairs from Godrich Interiors.

A Setee

Use a sofa or an upholstered setee in place of one or two chairs on one side of the table, like they did here in Darren & Preston's Castro Home With a View, to add instant cozy to a dining room.

Any Piece of Furniture...

As long as it's the right height for dining, steal pieces from all over the house. In Maggie & Howard's Modern-Meets-Farmhouse DIY-Filled Family Haven, you can grab a seat on assorted ceramics, garden stools and a few DIY record crates. They unified the look by topping them all off with the same IKEA rugs (cut in half).

...Or Any Thing at All

"Furniture" is a flexible term, yeah? If you're inspired by something unusual, like maybe these hay bale chairs from Erin's Layered Bohemian Oakland Loft, then go for it!

(Image credits: Ashley Poskin; House Doctor; Bruce Buck; Godrich Interiors; Esteban Cortez; Kim Lucian)