Old & New: Pairing Antique Dining Tables with Contemporary Chairs

published Apr 26, 2012
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

We have all seen the eclectic look of rustic farmhouse tables with modern chairs. But what about a more polished and formal dining tables? How would such a table look with chairs from a different era?

Our dining room chairs, antique balloon back chairs we snagged at an auction, are on their last legs. They are unstable and not very comfortable for lingering around the table. I still love them but think I would rather scatter them through the house as occasional chairs. But I have no intention of getting rid of my table, which is a 200-year-old mahogany antique that extends with a hand crank! It’s one-of-a-kind. And I love that it is so old and so beautiful and so meticulously constructed. So, now it’s time to find modern or contemporary chairs. Or is it?

1 Houzz. Here, a formal and feminine dining table is paired with Bertoia chairs for a wonderfully eclectic and light look.
2 Houzz. This table looks almost identical to mine. The chairs do not look new; however, their lines are quite modern looking and they have been reupholstered in a very un-stodgy fabric. Perhaps it is best to stick with something like this?
3 House to Home. This stunning antique pedestal table is paired with a bright, colorful and eclectic bunch of chairs. The look is very lovely, though perhaps wouldn’t work quite so well with a rectangular table that needs to serve as a regular eating space?
4 Elle Decor. Wegner wishbone chairs are a nice match for this delicate and refined table.
5 Desire to Inspire. Here a rather ornate and old-fashioned dining room table is paired with chairs that look comfortable and sturdy but are also very streamlined and modern, providing a nice contrast with the intricate patterns of the table.

6 Visual Vamp. A traditional table (possibly antique and laquered or maybe a repro) looks cool with these funky tulip chairs.
7 Lonny via La Dolce Vita . The big contemporary and cozy armchairs are appealing, though probably too big for our space. The contrast is nice but I wonder if the big armchairs overwhelm the space?
8 Dwellers Without Decorators. This blogger chose to pair her formal pedestal table with your basic contemporary chairs, which do look comfortable and practical, though I think I would lean for more modern and less “contemporary.”
9 Visual Vamp. A traditional dining table looks terrific with these playful Panton chairs. A very fun combination.

(Images: As credited above.)