Mix Benches with Chairs for a Versatile Dining Room

There are so many reasons use both chairs and benches around the dining table. Some of them are practical: perhaps you are working with limited space and want to accommodate more diners. Perhaps you have younger children and benches are easier for them to climb on and off. Perhaps your dining space is tucked in a nook and benches work well along the walls.

And of course, many of the reasons come down to style. Combining benches with chairs creates visual interest, bringing a fun playful vibe to a room that has traditionally been more reserved and uniform. You can vary the colors, materials, and silhouettes of your dining room seating to design a space that has a laid-back and welcoming feel.

Here are a few vignettes that got us excited about the possibilities of combining dining chairs with benches the EcoChic way: clean lines, classic beauty, and lots of color.

There are three shades of wood harmoniously coexisting in this room: the rich dark hue of the table and matching bench, the warm caramel of the sideboard, and the pale almost-bleached frames of the chairs. The asymmetry somehow makes the dining space more approachable, and the bench provides a transition between the stark contrast of the table and chairs.

Image source: Architectural Digest via Studio McGee


The timeless design of a flat-top wood bench is the perfect neutral canvas for the tropical boatwood that characterizes EcoChic furnishings. To feature our Buoy Crazy Bench in a dining ensemble, you could go with a natural wood table and chairs in a bright accent like red or blue. Or you could do the reverse: choose the brightly colored Buoy Crazy Dining Table, and tone things down with natural wood chairs.

Source: EcoChic Lifestyles


In this dining area, the shades of the wood bench, table, chairs, and even the rug are all in a similar mid-range, which calms down the energy. The contrast is between the grounded solidity of the table and bench and the light airiness of the armchairs.

Source: Schoolhouse Living


This dinette area has stronger contrasts again, this time the stark pairing of the white tulip table with the black spindle chairs. The high-backed leather bench blends beautifully with the parquet flooring.

Source: Small Space Living

The Galley Cat Bench from EcoChic features longer wider boards of marine-grade painted teak, reclaimed from fishing boats. The black iron framing would work well with black chairs like the ones above, or with a black dining table and white chairs.

Source: EcoChic Lifestyles


Finally, this design shows off the marriage of materials and textures, with sinuous leather chairs and the overstuffed blue batik-style benches. The light fixture here is the real showstopper, picking up the more rustic relaxed feel of the benches and matching the color of the more modern chair style.

Source: Chad Mellon

The mix-and-match approach to dining room seating shows no sign of slowing down, and we look forward to seeing more designers and homeowners push the boundaries of variety in chairs and benches.

Megan Risdon

CEO EcoChic

Megan Risdon is the CEO of EcoChic Lifestyles. She was inspired to found the company when she discovered the possibilities for crafting art furniture from colorful fishing boat wood.