Mixed Seating in the Dining Room

One of the most common requests my clients give me when designing their dining room is a mix of seating.  Benches, head chairs, a mix of firm of soft… gone are the days of the matching sets of table, chairs and sideboards.  People want flexibility and style to entertain in different ways.  We try to design dining rooms to be used as more than just the holiday dinner spot that sits empty most of the year.  Formal dining rooms can double as libraries, lounges, homework headquarters, or your favorite room to sip your morning coffee.


For our Chestnut Hill Project, we provided three types of seating in the dining room.  We wanted the flexibility to host large groups or intimate gatherings, formal adult events or children’s dinner parties.  The kids love to pull the bench up to the table and draw.  The head chairs, slipcovered in a linen are super cozy and provide a little drama in the room.  And the Louis XVI oval back chairs are surprisingly comfortable for a good price.  (Thanks Ballard Designs!)

Here is how we set up the room….

Layout Option 1: 6 chairs with 2 Head Chairs

5 chestnut hill dining room

Layout Option 2: 3 chairs, a bench and 2 Head Chairs

MIxed Seating in the dining room design manifest

When the bench isn’t needed, It sits against the window wall

dining room bench

How other people use mixed dining seating

mixed seating in the dining room christine dovey

Christine Dovey

seating with bench in dining room

Laura U

mixed seating in dining room tulip chairs with settee

Marie Olsson Nylander

mixed seating in dining room wing chairs with benches

Tracery Interiors


(Images of DM Dining Room by Courtney Apple)

Sources for the DM Dining Room can be found HERE

  1. Erica

    I love the idea of mixed seating, especially with the bench. Adds more dimension and fun to a dinning room.

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