reader katy asked me to help her find chairs for her farmhouse table. they needed to be "affordable, light, bright and substantial enough to hold up to a farmhouse table"
katy, i too have a farmhouse table and whenever people come to my house they inevitably sit around it. usually before, during and after dinner. but not before hanging out in my horrendously small and horrendously hideous kitchen. (what is it about a kitchen? even the cramped and ugly ones?! i mean you are literally hovering over a dish of wet cat food!) and i'm like...whyyyy don't you all go sit down on my very expensive-beautiful-comfortable purple block print sofa? because while my dining chairs are hella sexy they aren't the most comfortable seat to hang out in for hours.
i suppose there is something inviting about a farmhouse table. warm, welcoming and unpretentious it's a classic that goes just about anywhere and honestly with just about any chair. but if it's me....
a farmhouse table should be old, worn and built like a tank. i prefer a clean lined farmhouse table rather than one of those with the giant, chunky, turned legs. i feel like those are less adaptable to different styles. however if your farmhouse table is more on the country side i think pairing it with a chair that's clean lined and modern in feel is the key to keeping everything looking fresh. and vice versa. but i don't necessarily mean mid-century and chrome. i tend to prefer a utilitarian vibe. i am also a fan of the mix and match chairs so long as there is something similar about them i.e. all wood or all the same height. i also like a bench in that mix. a bench seats more which is great for gatherings. i also like upholstered wing chairs, ebonized windsor chairs (gloriously antique with a major sculptural and modern sensibility) and velvety french chairs (paired best with a beat up table in a moody, somber space. imo).
i guess when knitting together the room if you have a country looking table and chairs have a pragmatic, down to earth approach to the space? in other words..stay away from roosters and frills. but listen if you like roosters and frills i want you to have them. don't let me stop you.
and don't forget so much depends on your house! are you a beach house? a cottage in the foothills of a german forest? a city apartment? a suburban ranch? i mean...these things matter in my head. when all else fails throw some danish modern chairs around it and add a neoclassical console and modern chandelier. you'll look like you know what you're doing.
here are some viable options:
1. wengler dining chair - this rattan chair is laid back, friendly, sculptural and a bit quirky.
2. antique wooden folding chairs - utilitarian + vintage.
3. oak windsor chairs - very farmhouse friendly.
4. 19th century black windsor chairs - go with anything.
5. chateau fabric side chair in lavender - a classic chair pairs well with a classic table. go for it. you all know how i feel about lavender, but this chair comes in white, natural, french blue and navy as well.
6. neoclassical accent chair - a classic chair but a totally elegant feel with a farmhouse table.
7. thonet bentwood armchairs - i love these forever. a super airy quality that is a nice juxtaposition to a heavy farmhouse table.
8. classic cafe chair - i think these would work with any farmhouse table you put them with.
9. danish modern dining chairs - what i said up there.
10. & 11. the slipcovered parsons chair - when you need a little more cozy.
12. ikea ivar chair - the cheapest of the bunch and if you're really tight on budget or need a stand in while you wait for your dream chair to materialize i suggest you snatch this up and give it a white wash. see photo #7.
and always check your craigslist. search for bentwood, thonet, cane, louis, parsons, danish modern, century, windsor, folding chair, wooden side chair, farm chair etc...