Most contemporary homes already have at least one or two side chairs without realizing it. Similar to dining chairs, they are upright, straight-backed armless chairs, often constructed from wood, or more modern materials, such as metal and plastic. Not completely upholstered, they frequently include a padded seat, and some models, a padded back, however the frame and craftsmanship is designed to be highly visible.
With their stylish good looks, side chairs, although supremely suited to a dining room layout, frequently end up in other rooms, and look amazing in a hallway near the main entrance. Often paired, they bring a sense of elegance when placed either side of a fireplace, or in a corner of a beautifully designed open-plan kitchen. Although a set of matching side chairs is the usual way to display them, it’s a lovely idea to mix things up, and a grouping around a dining table of different side chair styles lends a charming, artisan look to any interior, allowing your imagination to run free.
Often acquired from thrift shops, old side chairs lend themselves beautifully to home craftiness, whether you favor the on-trend shabby chic look, plan to try your hand at some stunningly creative découpage, or go wild with the paint pot.
One design of side chair you really wouldn’t want to put a brush to is the iconic Wiggle Chair. Created by Frank Gehry in the early 1970s, from layer upon layer of cardboard, this incredibly robust chair is a masterpiece of architectural vision and fluidity. Apparently, remarkably comfortable, Gehry originally designed the Wiggle Chair for NASA scientists, and followed it up with a range of super-stylish cardboard office furniture pieces, including a desk. They are still in production today, thankfully.
If you’re stuck for dining room design hacks, here are some great ideas: