Divert a Dining Room Disaster: Mastering the Art of Mismatched Chairs

published May 10, 2016
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(Image credit: Emma Fiala)

Mismatching in any discipline – from food to fashion – is an art, and not a science. So while I can’t exactly give you a formula for getting a mismatched dining room look right, I can give you nearly 20 different examples and tell you why they work so well.

Click through to each tour for more photos of each space. Then from here, all you’ve got to do is get your figurative paint brush and try it out at home.

Why it Works: The symmetry and the coordinated palette.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Why it Works: The matched accessory: A fuzzy throw on top.

(Image credit: Samara Vise)

Why it Works: The similar shapes.

(Image credit: Belathee Photography)

Why it Works: Similar shapes and a low-risk color palette of black and white.

(Image credit: Julia Brenner)

Liisa: Ad Agency Life in Chicago (via Barcelona & Puerto Rico)

Why it Works: Everything is the same color.

(Image credit: Katy Cartland)

Why it Works: Consistent materials and a very simple set.

(Image credit: Elissa Crowe)

Why it Works: The room is really eclectic to start with.

(Image credit: Submitted by Michelle)

Why it Works: Consistency; the wood tones and leg shapes are almost perfectly similar.

(Image credit: Cathy Pyle)

Why it Works: A perfectly coordinated pastel palette.

(Image credit: Nicole Crowder)

Why it Works: It’s a small and easily palatable deviation from the norm; just one chair was removed to fit this bench in.

(Image credit: Ellie Arciaga Lillstrom)

Why it Works: The same materials and colors are echoed throughout the “set.”

(Image credit: Lindsey Kay Averill)

Why it Works: It’s a really eclectic room and both the chairs have traditional elements.

(Image credit: Katy Cartland)

Why it Works: It’s a proven formula, adding different chairs to just the ends of a table. Plus, the chairs share traditionally ornate shapes.

(Image credit: Monica Wang)

Why it Works: Two words: color coordination.

(Image credit: Julia Brenner)

Benton, Kristin & Mason: Living and Working in a Chicago Loft

Why it Works: Such an eclectic space, you could get away with almost anything.

(Image credit: Bethany Nauert)

Why it Works: The chairs are the same material and color.

(Image credit: Jacqueline Marque)

Why it Works: Three different “pairs” of seating is oddly symmetrical and harmonious.

(Image credit: Sarah Gerber)

Why it Works: It’s the same chair just with different forms and different legs.

(Image credit: Emma Fiala)

Why it Works: The placement; pairs of chairs in opposite corners.