'Don't sacrifice comfort for style' - how designers choose the comfiest dining chairs for cozier spaces

Don't sacrifice comfort for style - there are dining chairs out there that can look beautiful and ensure sitting at the table is pleasant, too

dining room with glass walls overlooking garden
(Image credit: Douglas Friedman. Design: Martyn Lawrence Bullard)

Looking for the perfect dining chair can take hours and hours of research. Dining chairs are a great opportunity to choose a design-led piece that makes a statement. You might want to make a feature of your dining space and get tempted by amazing-looking pieces that will be real conversation starters and the envy of all your visitors.

 But the reality remains that without fulfilling its basic function, to be sat on comfortably for a good period of time, a stunning design from the best home decor stores just becomes an object to look at, not use. 

In a recent interview, interior designer to A-list celebrities, Martyn Lawrence Bullard tells me he believes that modern living means comfort. ‘Comfort to me is modern luxury. Bygone are the days when we had these stiff and formal dining rooms. Today, it's much more about creating a flow and creating a space that is your own. That is inviting and becomes a place where your friends and family come and feel the most comfortable and most welcome,’ he explains. Without comfort, there’s not much point left. 

Bobby Berk, the Queer Eye host and design expert is also a great supporter of both function and comfort in a modern home. ‘Modern living is about function and being comfortable. I feel like maybe old school was more like we had the formal dining room, and rooms where you can just have a guest, you didn’t do this or that in certain rooms, so I think that modern living is all about comfort and functionality and a space working for you, not against you,’ Bobby tells me. 

Padding and textile are an important part in deciding how comfortable a dining chair is, and for that, you'll need to test them out. But there are certain shapes of chair that designers go-to if they have a comforting feeling in mind. 'A piece of cocooning furniture that comes up and around your shoulders, can provide a deep sense of comfort and reassurance, for example,' explains interior designer Franky Roussel, founder and CEO of international interior design studio Jolie. 

To echo the designers, a dining room has become a place to gather with friends and family in a relaxed way. Comfort is vital to achieving this. But comfortable chairs can often look old-fashioned, or heavy, and so I can totally relate to the struggle of finding the right one. 

That’s why I set out to do some proper research and find the best ones out there that mix the best of both worlds: comfort and style perfectly balanced. 

6 dining chairs that balance comfort and style 

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Raluca Racasan
News writer

Raluca is Digital News Writer for Livingetc.com and passionate about all things interior and living beautifully. Coming from a background writing and styling shoots for fashion magazines such as Marie Claire Raluca’s love for design started at a very young age when her family’s favourite weekend activity was moving the furniture around the house ‘for fun’. Always happiest in creative environments in her spare time she loves designing mindful spaces and doing colour consultations. She finds the best inspiration in art, nature, and the way we live, and thinks that a home should serve our mental and emotional wellbeing as well as our lifestyle.