Wednesday 6th July 2022
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My quest for new dining chairs is never-ending

eames chair

My old dining chairs—which I liked a lot and which did not cost a little—are all falling apart. So I’ve been looking for replacements, and have had the toughest time pulling the trigger on any. Tell me, which of these would you go for? This classic Eames style, perhaps?

orb chair

I like that this chair looks comfortable, as I do most of my writing at the table. I know it’s not ergonomically sound to sit at a dining chair all day, but that is my reality.

ghost chair

The Kartell Ghost chair is a bit of a modern classic, and I like the way it both sort of disappears and makes a statement at the same time.

felix chair

This is a non-inexpensive category, but here is a nice chair that rings in under $100.hay chair

I like the combination of materials here.

classic chair

Just really basic, but in a good way, I think.

fornasetti chair

OK, this Fornasetti chair is just mind-blowingly expensive and there’s no way on God’s green earth I’d ever buy it, but it does amuse.

liberty chairs

These are all part of Anthropologie’s Liberty of London collab, and so of course I had to include them.

midcentury chair

I’d go for this one in that bright, poppy orange.

aluminum chair

And finally: a standard aluminum chair holds a certain appeal.


Here is a post I did not long ago on coffee tables.


Posted on March 2nd, 2018 61 Comments

61 Responses

  1. prisiclla says:

    gurrrl! you need to get yourself out and SIT in some real chairs if you’re going to be working all day in one of them!

    go, shoo!

    (and hopefully the fornasetti chair will be awful).

  2. Alix says:

    The ghost chair is fantastic but looks mighty uncomfortable to sit on. The standard aluminum, on the other hand, I find (through experience)to be quite comfy. The Anthropologie ones are adorable.

    But yes, you gotta go SIT on all these to decide!

    • Jamie says:

      I remember seeing Ghost chairs with custom upholstered backs and seats. That might be against the whole attraction of having them visually disappear, but you could have them upholstered in the Liberty pattern of your choice.

      Personally, my vote is always for upholstered dining chairs if you’re planning on sitting in them for longer than an hour!

  3. Susanna says:

    I love the classic Eames look but needed something transparent a la the Ghost Chair to prevent visual clutter in my small space. I chose these from World Market (which, btw, may seem somewhat downscale, but I have gotten so much surprisingly great stuff for my apt there). Very comfortable and inexpensive to boot.

  4. ceejay says:

    I think aluminum chairs are uncomfortable and cold if you are wearing shorts or thin material sweats or pants and they are slippery… they do look good so that is something.

    • kathyj says:

      I have the bar stool version of the aluminum chairs and they are definitely slippery and cold. Don’t buy them unless you like how they look with a cushion. 🙂

    • ComicSansa says:

      I nearly bought a couple of the aluminum Navy chairs a few years ago, and am very glad I didn’t. A nearby Chipotle, and several other fast food restaurants, use them (or knock-offs), and while I don’t have a much of a decorating style, I’m thinking Chipotle is not what I should be emulating.

      (Despite my lack of style, I’m still a snob in such matters, apparently.)

  5. Rae says:

    Are you sure your current chairs can’t be repaired? I have my parent’s Scandi design chairs from the 1970’s and I’ve had the woven roped seats tightened, wood oiled, joints tightened etc and they all look new. Perhaps worth it if they were decent quality to begin with and you still like them?

  6. Dana D says:

    Eames, but with the light ash or maple legs…in different colors!

  7. Shannon says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! I turned 50 this year, just last Sunday, and have tried just not making a big deal about it. I still feel like I’m lurking around in my 40’s still trying to figure out what to do in life now anyway, so perhaps something hasn’t really kicked in yet. Pull your closest to you closer and enjoy a beautiful dinner or outing. Don’t sweat it.

    Partial to those Poppy West Elms!

  8. Anna says:

    I have the Eames (okay, a decent knockoff of them) and while I LOVE the way they look, they are not great for sitting and working/writing for hours. It’s not that they aren’t comfortable, it’s more about — and apologies that this is sort of gross — swamp butt. They just don’t breathe! I’d vote for one of the pretty ones with a cushioned seat for comfort and less sweatiness 🙂

    • Wendela says:

      I have this exact issue with my office chair. I think I you could go for Eames but have a seat cushion you pull out to use when working during the day—at least that has worked for me. You would not need to use cushions for dining because your dinner company won’t be seated for quite so many hours at a stretch! The Eames chairs are beautiful and seem way easier to maintain than the otherwise attractive upholstered options.

  9. Mrs. Z says:

    Eternal dilemma. Many pairs of chairs discarded, sold, relinquished. As a fellow worker at the dining table, one thing that I’ve discovered is that I need some type of arm on a dining chair. I tend to hunch and put my forearms on the edge of the table and thus begins the lower back ache, shoulder pain, and arm/elbow soreness (not to mention the elevation in the wrists which leads to carpal tunnel issues).

    I’ve noticed that when I have low arms on which to position my forearms, my wrists are in a much more ergonomic posture. My neck! That’s a whole different issue!

    Here are a few I have my eye on. I’m currently using the yellow (color discontinued) Ikea Bernhard chairs.

    Current situation:

    Affordable and sturdy (though I’d reupholster them):

    A classic! My family had these in the ’70s-’80s:



  10. Andree Chalaron says:

    I second looking into having your existing chairs refurbished. If they were expensive then it’s probably worth it! Surely you have some designer friends who could help you find the right resources. If you don’t, I can help.
    The Hay About A Chair is one of my favorites. It’s really comfortable, the plastic feels good, and it comes in great colors. The Gubi Beetle chair is also now available in plastic and their color palette is outstanding!
    If you want something really comfortable and pretty stylish, but insanely affordable check out these – they are worth SO much more than their price!

  11. Susan B. says:

    We just replaced our dining set. My DH insisted that the chairs had to be comfortable, so we wound up with the “Cora” chairs from Room and Board. Not inexpensive, and a little clunkier than I’d have chosen, but extremely comfortable.

    And Happy Birthday!

  12. Holly says:

    Love the classic chair from West Elm – they have such classic deigns & I feel like it would stay on trend! Also though who could say no anthropologie collaborating with Libertys – they are gorgeous! Especially the one with pink legs. Love it! Thanks for sharing and I hope you find your perfect chair!

    Holly from The Art of Being Holly xo

  13. DeDe says:

    I’m partial to the second one. Looks reasonably comfortable, you won’t slide off of it, and (thanks, Anna!😝) zero potential for swamp butt, which is definitely a thing.

    You have so many good options for furniture in NYC though, so please go Sit On All The Things before you decide. The only thing worse than getting a chair that doesn’t work in your space is getting one that makes your back or your ass hurt.

  14. Martina says:

    I’m moving in a month, and new chairs were needed. I’ve ordered these from Crate and Barrel…really comfy, and I loved the quilting (and the white color).

  15. Lesley says:

    I have knockoff of the first Eames with the maple legs and have found them quite comfortable for working in 4 to 5 hours a day (not to discount other swampy experiences some might have… perhaps try breathable undies?). The ghost chair is indeed uncomfortable. They are adorable but not even tolerable to perch on temporarily while putting on a pair of socks.

  16. joannawnyc says:

    Modernica has Case Study chairs in about a billion colors

    I don’t know what’s best for you, but I can’t work in a chair without arms, so I’d look into that too.

  17. Anne says:

    Our rule is that you have to sit in any chair before buying and any metal chair must have some sort of cushion to soften the blow. We finally have enough chairs scattered about our home to have a decent sit down adult party, but not all were purchased following the rules so they don’t get to come to the dining table any more.

  18. slr says:

    I have the Eames knockoffs. I like them. I bought the ghost chair for my office and it was terribly uncomfortable, I have the Eames in there now. Do NOT buy the ghost chair if you are interested in being comfortable!

  19. tara says:

    If you sit in these chairs all day do NOT get the ghost chair (trust me – my back is still recovering) go for upholstered – the WE mid century chairs seem to be the best fit for your needs although the Eames would work too b/c they’re molded.

    These are probably impractical for your purposes but I love their look and the unexpected mix for a dining room

    Both of these remind me of Perriand Le Arcs chairs which are gorgeous and gorgeously expensive.

    I love the clean lines of these from Modernica

    I could go on for days 😉

  20. Heather says:

    Just bought Bertoia wire chair knockoffs for next to nothing (as far as dining chairs go) and put the real Knoll official-reissue butt pads (they are too thin to be called cushions) on them. Super comfy, light-looking and groovy with the orange naugahyde!

    • Mamavalveeta03 says:

      What a great site, Heather! I’ll be checking them out more closely the next time I need some furniture. Especially since my cat tore out the bottom of Every.Single.Damned.Dining.Chair! (6 of them!)

  21. Anne says:

    I splurged on the Ligne Roser Calin chairs more than 15 years ago and I still love them! (Maybe it was more than 20 years ago. I just turned 53 and, although I was cranky about it too, I’m starting to feel more powerful and determined to pursue my dreams without that negative voice in my head). OK, back to the Calin chair. They are sleek and modern but super comfortable. They look like a simple pillow folded over. Mine have steel legs and orange covers with big white buttons on the back. The covers come off so you can wash them, or change them out. Brilliantl I think anything from Ligne Roset will fit in your list and stand the test of time. Here’s the Calin

    • mlinky says:

      I second these. They will hold up forever, and if you get tired of them first, there will always be a resale market. The same can be said for the Eames chair, but they are not comfortable.

  22. Yen says:

    That orange poppy one from WE is cute! It reminds me of the Cora from Room and Board, that we have and is super comfy. But I get the feeling you like slimmer lines? Though I do agree with the other posters that the hard chairs are hard to sit in for long periods of time. The fun thing about an upholstered chair is you can always recover them years down the line.

  23. Hick from Styx says:

    I have been looking for chairs for our kitchen/dining room since forever. We are making do with self-assembled big box store chairs that feel good but look not so good. Still hunting. Def try before you buy.

  24. Carol says:

    The two from West Elm look comfiest

  25. Liddy says:

    I find the ghost chairs very hard to clean, FWIW. They attract fingerprints like mad and any greasiness from food or hands is difficult to remove. ps – the instructions say only clean with water, so…

  26. marjorie says:

    Echoing others: If this is your primary work chair the FIRST thing you need to look at is comfort/support!

    We have the Eames molded fiberglass 4-leg chairs (metal, not dowel legs) and I find them very comfy/have not had swamp-butt issues. The hotel in Berlin we stayed at had the wire-base version in the lobby and they were wobblier than ours, though it could because they are in a hotel and have experienced many more tushes. I do love the look of the West Elm midcentury upholstered chair and the Liberty chairs. (OH! I got my husband a bunch of Liberty fabric hankies from the Etsy seller you recommended — total thumbs up, and thank you!)

    And again adding to the chorus: The ghost chair is almost comically uncomfortable.

  27. Nicole says:

    While I have the West Elm ones (and other WE chairs that I would recommend), I have nothing but feelings of desire for the Eames.

    How many chairs do you need? are you doing any mixed chairs? I have 2 different kinds at my table, but same color.

    • Mamavalveeta03 says:

      I started thinking the same thing, Nicole. You could always do upholstered chairs at the head and the foot of the table and Eames or Amara on the sides.

    • Viajera says:

      Ditto. Depending on whether one’s friends are all the same size and height, it seems better to me to have a mix. I don’t think any single chair could be comfortable for everyone.

  28. SFH says:

    I have the anthro liberty chairs and they are more comfortable than they look and very solid.

  29. joni maloney says:

    Please check out ragamuf. They are amazing handmade chair covers made by syrian women refugees. They are so cool and colorful and look amazing. I have two in gray.

  30. laura says:

    Eames chair. For sure. We have had them at our kitchen table for years. They are comfortable, they are easy to move, they are easy to clean.

    About getting older. I’m a few months younger than you, but this is what I like about it. I don’t give nearly as much thought to what people think about me. There just isn’t that insecurity of youth. Enough people over the years have validated that I am a worthy person and if one or two people disagree, thats on them.

    Also, age is a great excuse to spend money on skin product. If not now, when? At least now it makes a bit of a difference. Get yourself some Skinceuticals CE Ferulic and marvel at how it protects your skin going forward (it isn’t going to do much for the past laxity in care.)

    Don’t be cranky. 54 today is nothing like 54 was for your mom…just look at the clothes you are wearing, girl!

  31. Kendall Spooner says:

    54 means you are too wise to let you back or ass suffer. I love the Eames, but you could not get me to sit in them every day. I got these from Ballard and work in one on the weekend for long hours and love the look.
    happy birthday!!!!

  32. Emily says:

    Aaah, the never ending quest of finding the perfect dining chair, I know it well! I am partial to the mid-century danish style, with touches of leather myself. Something timeless and beautiful about it, yanno? I recently discovered Industry West and have become so obsessed!! Everything they have is so beautiful, but I particularly love their leather stuff. I’ve ordered samples for a ton of things. Here are some of my favs: (those legs!!) (blue leather, ugh so good) (classic wishbone chair, so so classic)

    Good luck with your quest!

  33. KT says:

    Oooh, so many good chairs! I have the Ghost, and I *love* mine! It’s actually pretty comfortable to sit on! I think you have to be just the right size for the chair, though. Try one out!

  34. Jennifer says:

    So, I am following this conversation and LOVE the choices you picked, especially the Eames Chair. I also went to the site mentioned above, Industry West, and want to give a shout out to the TA Chair…yes, the TA Chair. It caught my eye because like the Eames, it is a pop of color!!

  35. c.w. says:

    We have the Saarinen tulip table and chairs in our house and they are comfortable. Plus, one of them swivels which I love. I do sometimes work at that table and the chairs are comfortable enough that I don’t end up cursing everyone in the house because my hind end went numb.

    And I agree with everyone else…chairs must be tested!!

    Side note: in regard to the above remark…I have my beau’s very expensive mid-century chrome and whatnot chairs in my Austin condo and they are beautiful and EXTREMELY uncomfortable. Like shortest dinner parties EVER when folks are made to sit in them.

  36. Jackie says:

    The poppy orange chairs (if they are comfortable).

  37. Amy Lashmet says:

    What? No mention of the clear plexi Ikea Tobias chair? Very comfy.

  38. Karin says:

    Either the cream colored one that looks comfortable or the poppy oranage one. Basically, get padded dining chairs – it makes lingering after dinner in conversation so much nicer.

  39. Neeltje says:

    Chairs should not make your butt sweaty when sitting in them > 15 minutes

  40. Mamavalveeta03 says:

    I’d vote Eames molded plastic or Kartell ghost chair, but only because my family spills on everything we own. Especially nice things.

  41. Lesa says:

    Go for the Eames chairs! I have 6, with the armchair version at the ends of the table. You can sit in them for hours. Very comfortable and stylish! (Wait for the sale at Design Within Reach…)

  42. jen says:

    upholstered dining chairs always seem dicey to me. (slipcovered are another story)
    i adore the ghost chair but would only put one against a wall. regardless of a person’s size, the view through a clear seat is no bueno. no one’s ass looks good spread across a chair

  43. Steve says:

    I don’t know about you all, but my kitchen has a drastically different look from my dining room. I’ve always been more an eclectic, random person, so my house is styled accordingly. In my kitchen, I really like the retro vibes I have going on. (black and white checked tiles!) These chairs fit perfectly:

    What I was surprised by is that these chairs are far more comfortable than you’d think. Can’t recommend them more!

  44. Another Rebecca says:

    I like how Ghost chairs disappear. I also like the look of the mid-century West Elm ones (they look like ones my grandparents had). I have the aluminum one and use it as a desk chair. It’s comfortable for long hours, but in winter the chair never warms–it’s always cold from the bottom.

  45. Olya says:

    CHAIRS. I love chairs. I collect miniature chairs and photograph them, but I love all chairs.

    For my birthday I got a set of these:
    Almost exactly those, different local retailer but look identical and similar price point. I’ve had them since November and they’re AMAZING,
    So comfortable. So stylish. So beautiful. Mid century enough, kooky enough, crazy comfortable – I started eating and reading at my table.

    Highly recommend.

  46. Erin says:

    I just ordered some Jansen chairs from Room and Board. I chose them because they have a little arm rest feature built in while still maintaining the ability to be pushed under a table. I also found them comfortable in the store, which isn’t easy to find with chairs that also have a modern, minimalist look.

    Since I have cats I had to get them without seat cushions, but you can get them in cushioned form.