It’s always a good idea to have spare dining room chairs, whether it’s for unexpected guests or dinner party duties. Having at least six chairs to hand is ideal for easy hosting, and it’s more cost-effective to buy a set. The only problem is what to do with those chairs when not in use.
Extra chairs clutter up a small dining room, but not all of us have the space to stack them away. Ideally, spare chairs will be unobtrusive, but still close to hand for sudden guests. But where to put them?
This guide shows you a few ways to make a dining room chair multifunctional, and a part of daily living. Don’t just stack your chairs in a garage, make them into a design feature, or extra storage space. Below are a few easy ideas to make use of your dining room chairs in between parties.
Create a kitchen nook
A big dining room table is lovely for lavish meals, but not always necessary for day to day use. Create a kitchen nook using a small table and those spare dining room chairs. For extra space-saving, use a foldaway table that hinges down whenever it’s needed.
This little nook gives you a place to sit and eat in the mornings, and somewhere to plan out the next dinner party. It’s an intimate space for small dinners, or a relaxed area to grab a quick lunch.
By using the spare chairs here you save money on a set for the kitchen, and keep them in quick reach.
Even if all your furniture is carefully arranged, spare corners have a tendency to cause problems. These gaps are never quite big enough for shelving, but not small enough to be ignored. Tuck a spare chair into the corner and then it’s easily accessible and provides decoration.
People are unlikely to sit there, but it will add visual interest to an otherwise dull space. Especially if you purchase an attractive or unusual chair, which can be used as a head seat when visitors come round. Dress a basic chair up with a decorative pillow or throw blanket.
For many of us, entryways can become wasted space. However, with careful placement of a console table and some seating, it can be transformed into an attractive room. Or for an incredibly simple transformation, place two chairs side by side.
This can look formal or relaxed, depending on your arrangement. Besides adding interest to an otherwise boring area, it’s also a practical solution.
The chairs are a place to put bags or coats for easy access, and somewhere to sit when taking shoes on and off. Even a waiting place if you live with the perpetually late!
Similar to the entryway, a hallway can be a large amount of floor space that serves little purpose. Placing a pair of spare chairs and a small table against a wall can liven up a dull area and make it practical.
Look for possible areas in the house with good lighting and an empty wall, and use your spare seats to create a reading nook.
Living room seat
Dining room seating is generally smaller, so easier to fit into small spaces. A dining room chair can be squeezed into the living room to provide an extra seat without taking up the depth of space of a padded chair.
Try placing it next to a fireplace for a stately look, or tucking it into a corner. This looks best with plusher dining room chairs, as they won’t get lost in a larger room. Even stacked chairs can look good, especially when draped with a blanket or quilt.
By placing a spare dining room chair in a bedroom you’ve added a surprisingly useful item of furniture. This can hold an alarm clock or a pile of books, be a convenient location for storing blankets, or simply act as extra seating.
This looks particularly good in a guest room, where the eclectic feel won’t be hindered by the more limited uses. For a main bedroom, a dining room chair can be used to lay out the next day's outfits, or to hold a cherished childhood toy.
Use it to create a cozy corner by piling on pillows and arranging next to a bookshelf.
A dining room chair can be used as a desk chair, but a traditional desk chair won’t really work as a dining room chair. If you don’t use your desk much, or have particularly comfortable dining room chairs, then this setup is quick and streamlined.
A dining chair will tuck away easier than a bulky computer chair, to avoid overwhelming a room.
Buy foldable chairs
They may not have the best reputation, but there are some surprisingly stylish foldable chairs on the market. Mix and match your main dining room chairs, and then these can be an extra that are tucked away the rest of the time.
By having an eclectic mixture of chairs anyway, the foldable basics will stand out less. In the meantime, you don’t have to worry about where to hide excess bulky chairs.
To make the right decision, consider where the chairs will get the most use, and how often you need to access them. You don’t want to pile clothing onto a chair only to have to shake them off every other day when visitors stop by.
In a small home, you may find a spare dining room chair gets moved about often. It can be surprisingly versatile furniture, working as both extra seating, a spare shelf, a handy table, or even some quick decoration.
It’s often better to have too many seats, because you can provide for any scenario (and no one gets stuck on the floor). That doesn’t mean that between visitors they have to remain useless. Make the most of spare dining room chairs by finding the small areas they can lend the most use.