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Refresh your Dining Room with Upholstered Chairs: Before & After

By 09/29/2015February 10th, 201723 Comments



When I decorated my client Barbara’s dining room, she had too many chairs already and didn’t need anything more than new chair covers, an area rug and custom drapery.

But when I found this upholstered chair from Pier 1 (below) that would make her dining room feel much more collected and less ‘matchy-matchy’, she bought them right away.


Pier 1 Dining Chair




Interior Design by Maria Killam

Barbara still has grandchildren who come for dinner so I suggested an off-white faux leather to re-cover her dining chairs.

Since her trey ceiling was so close to the dining room window, I recommended attaching side panels directly to the ceiling instead of a rod and rings since she didn’t need closing drapes here.

We chose a small scale blue and white check for the 3 1/2″ banding on the custom drapery.


Photos by Tracey Ayton


Happiness Pots from Wisteria


bettlesdining2The wall colour is SW Agreeable Gray 7029 and the blue ceiling is SW Atmospheric 6505.


If you would like to inject your dining room with a new carpet and end chairs, here are some combinations to choose from:

beige dining

West Elm Rug | Serena & Lily Dining Chair

If you still have yellow or pink beige in your living room but want to introduce gray, this is a good combination of both (above).


Pier 1 Area Rug | Chair

If your living room is decorated in gold, brown and rust shades from the Tuscan Brown Trend, this could freshen up your dining room.


Pier 1 Chair | West Elm Area Rug

If your decor is more muted with blues, browns and beige, introduce this chair and rug.


Serena and Lily Jute Rug | Pier 1 Chair

Decorating in silvery blues? Here’s a way to still keep warmth in the rug with the natural jute.


West Elm Rug | One Kings Lane chair

Stuck with pink beige but want to introduce a bright orange shade? Choose this combination to pull it all together.

greenandflowersAnthropologie Area rug | One Kings Lane Chairs

OMG how awesome is this area rug from Anthropologie!

Remember to check the height of your existing chairs, there shouldn’t be more than about 2″ difference in height with your new end chairs.

In other words, it won’t look good if your regular chairs are 38″ high but then your new upholstered or funky, coordinating, end chairs are only 33″ high.

Here’s the good news about this post! If you missed the post about coordinating dining chairs and tables or you simply have a matching dining room set and want to make it more interesting, this is how you can freshen the whole room.

Which combination works in your house?

If you would like your home to fill you with happiness every time you walk in, contact us! We would love to help you choose colours, select the right combination of hard finishes or create a plan to pull your room together. You can find our fabulous e-design consultation packages here.

Related posts:

Dining Chairs with Matching Chairs: Yay or Nay

Ask Maria: Must my Kitchen Coordinate with the Dining Room?

How to Mix Yesterday and Today in your Renovation

49 pins


  • KA says:

    That blue and yellow room is lovely. So many nice chairs from Pier 1!

  • Victoria says:

    Beautifully done! I just had my dining room chairs recovered in a blue and turquoise chenille stripe to coordinate with my turquoise accent wall and cobalt drapes and artwork. Still not sure about a rug though. Wish I had your talent for finding them!

  • KA says:

    I should add that the Anthropologie rug has all the colors of my living room, but would clash due to the busyness with my artwork. I originally got the color scheme from a tea pot I bought and I rarely drink tea but loved the colors.

  • Pursuit says:

    Wow, what a great revamp! And every single sample boards you created is stunning. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen so many wonderful, original ideas in a single post. Amazing!

  • Lucy Haines says:

    What great combos Maria! It would be difficult to choose just one. You nailed them all! Home Goods also has nice inexpensive host and hostess chairs. It is so much fun to freshen up a tired room and turn it into a designer look.

  • Kathrine Davis says:

    Fabulous transformation without a huge investment. I love the Pier One light blue damask with the natural rug. Can you tell us what type of chair you would pair with this?

    • Maria Killam says:

      A traditional dining chair close to the same height is what I would recommend. Not a round back so that it relates to the straight backed chair.

  • beth says:

    What a happy dining room that is now!

    Love those brilliant chair/rug combinations, too!

  • Mary-Illinois says:

    Hi Maria, This is a great post. Love all the combos you showed. Blue & white is my favorite.
    I also like the tip of hanging the drapes to the ceiling to gain some height with your panels. And rods can be pricey. You’re so smart!

  • SDC says:

    Terrific transition from yawn to wowzer. I’d love to learn how you actually attached the drapes to the ceiling. What specific type of hardware was used? Are those pinch pleat drapes? I’m having a hard time picturing the system used.

  • Anne R says:

    Love the dining room transformation. Beautifully done! I am currently working on my kitchen/dining room area and wonder if you know the name of the fabric used for the pillows shown on the living room chairs. This fabric would work perfectly in my dining room/kitchen.

  • Rose says:

    Where did the rug come from?

  • Nancy of Lake Stevens says:

    Wow, just love this dining room re-do. What a fabulous job Maria.

  • Deana Ison Dawson says:

    Very timely! But what about a round dining table? Can you mix and match chairs? I already have four chairs that I really like and need two more (they don’t make my current chairs anymore), but will that (4 and 2) look odd on a 60″ round table? I’ve been struggling with this. I love the mix and match look, but everywhere I’ve seen it done is with an oblong/rectangular table. Any ideas?

    • Maria Killam says:

      No that will not work. Unless you’re doing an eclectic thing where maybe every second chair is different. Maria

  • Andrea says:

    I would like to know the source of the gorgeous living room pillow covers. They are exactly eat I need.

    • Maria Killam says:

      They were all custom made (except the mohair ones which were from West Elm) fabrics from Robert Allen Fabrics. Hope that helps, Maria

  • Lucy says:

    Well I have matching queen anne dining chairs but my table is glass with marble pedestals. I have put a pillow on the back of the host and hostess chairs to make them look different and the seats are upholstered in a fabric that correspond with the living room colors. However I do like side chairs to match but the end chairs to be upholstered so that they look more important than the sides. All of your examples are great and I really love the Anthropologie rug!

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