Roundup: Modern and Vintage Dining Chairs

Happy New Year! It’s been quiet on my blog lately, but behind the scenes the dining room makeover has been in full swing. Today, I’m rounding up my favourite modern and vintage dining chairs, including the ones I’m considering for our space.

After what feels like months looking at chairs, I’ve hit design paralysis. The only thing I know for sure is that I want to mix both vintage and modern seating here. I fell in love with modernism and iconic chairs of the 50’s and 60’s back in university during a 20th century art and design history class. Chair design, in particular, fascinates me because it’s where I’ve seen the most creativity and innovation over the decades. It’s why I waited in line for hours at a warehouse sale to snatch up an iconic Hans Wegner Flag Halyard chair for my living room — the story behind it’s unique silhouette will never go out of style! I swear, my dream home is less of an apartment than it is a furniture museum / art gallery / library of design books, hah!

In reality, I live in a 750 sq. ft apartment, not a museum, so my space (and my wallet) doesn’t allow me to hoard every dining chair I’ve fallen in love with. For our dining room I’d like to mix 2-3 different styles to add soul to the space. Here are some of my favourites from my search:

LINKS: 1. Hans Wagner Wishbone Chair (Reproduction) // 2. Barnaby Lane Spensley Chair // 3. Cherner Norman Chair (Authentic) (Reproduction) // Panton S Chair (Authentic) (Reproduction) // 5. Industry West Resonate Chair // 6. Article Svelti Chair // 7. CB2 Nadia Cane Chair // 8. Jeanneret Chair (Reproduction) // 9. Knoll Bertoia Chairs (Vintage) (Replica) // 10. Barnaby Lane Jones Chair // 11. Katavolos T-Chair // 12. CB2 Gaff Chair

Currently we have four matching Article Svelti chairs (number 6 above) which are beautiful but not overly interesting. Right now 1, 4 and 9 are the frontrunners to add as a fifth chair. 8 and 11 I am obsessed with and would love to find second-hand versions on Craigslist and Facebook marketplace.

And of course, I’ve been pinning away tons of reference images for mixing dining room chairs. Scroll for more inspiration!

Design: Leanne Ford, Photo: Reid Rolls

Leanne Ford always nails the combination of weathered leather, crisp white, and wood. I’m digging the all-black metal Knoll Bertoi chair here.

Design and photo: Lena Terlutter

Every time Lena Terlutter share a photo of her dining room, she has a different combination of vintage and modern chairs. I love how you see the full silhouette of the Panton S chair at the head of the table. Swoon!

This photo got me interested in a Hans Wagner wishbone chair. I assumed a wood chair would clash with our dining table, but here the light ash colour compliments the weathered wood of the dining table.

Photo: am designs

Another shot of wishbone chairs in the perfect ash wood tone. Classic.

That Panton S Chair again, it has a history as fascinating as it is beautiful!

I’ve also decided to scrap the idea of adding a dining room rug, for a few reasons. In all of the inspiration photos I’ve pinned, the rooms are have all-white walls and concrete or light floors–a blank canvas that can handle mis-matched styles. In my apartment, the wood floors and textured walls could look too busy with a rug and mis-matched chairs. Plus, my searches for a 6×6 or 6×7 rugs brought up lacklustre results anyways. To keep warmth and texture sans rug, I’ve ordered 2 of these sheepskin chair covers and picked out some fluffy pampas grass. Yay!

Also exciting for me–we’re painting in two weeks! The entire apartment will be coated with Behr’s Polar Bear white, which will modernize the dining room and give it a cleaner, brighter look. Polar Bear (top right below) is bright and crisp with faint warm undertones. I’m hoping seeing the apartment with a fresh paint job will help me narrow down the chair choices.

Clock wise from top: Behr Ultra Bright White, Bear Polar Bear (our top choice!), and Behr. Whisper White

For more inspo, head to my Dining Room Inspiration board on Pinterest. Which of the chairs are your favourite? And what combinations are you drawn too? Let’s talk in the comments!


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January 30, 2020

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© 2023 carmen javier co. | photography by lauren miller, sammie chan, and ciara rose