What Chairs Go with Oak Dining Table?

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An oak dining table is a timeless, elegant choice that can suit any style of home decor. Whether your oak table features a natural finish that showcases the beautiful wood grain or is stained a darker walnut color, it’s sure to be the focal point of your dining space. Pairing the right dining chairs with your oak table is key to creating a cohesive, styled dining area. Follow this guide for expert tips on selecting chairs that complement your oak dining table perfectly.

Tips for Picking the Perfect Dining Chairs for Oak Tables


  • Oak is a durable wood that withstands generations of use, making it a sound investment piece. The natural richness and grain make it a stylish choice.
  • Oak tables come in a range of shapes like round, oval, square, and rectangle to suit your space. Extendable oak tables are great for accommodating guests.
  • Choose an oak table in a finish that aligns with your decor – from natural wood tones to dark espresso stains.
  • Measure table size and layout to determine the ideal number of chairs to comfortably fit your table. Allow for easier circulation by keeping chairs 10-20 inches apart.
  • Pay attention to proportions. Chair backs should be 2-3 inches higher than the tabletop so they don’t awkwardly hit the table edge.
  • A rug underneath can help ground the furniture and soften the look of wood on wood.
  • Oak’s versatility allows it to work with many decor styles from modern to traditional. It pairs well with current trends like mixed metals and eclectic accents.
  • To avoid too much hardwood, bring in softness and color with upholstered, woven or painted chairs.
  • A glass-top oak table opens up possibilities like transparent acrylic chairs.

Avoid Buying Matching Dining Sets

Dining sets that include a table and matching chairs may seem like an easy choice, but matching sets can look dated and boring. Instead of opting for a set, purchase your oak dining table separately from dining chairs. This allows you to bring in chairs with contrasting materials, colors, and styles to give your dining area a more collected and curated look.

Choose Chairs in a Contrasting Material

Matching an oak table with oak chairs creates too much visual weight and texture in one material. Opt for dining chairs in a contrasting material to provide balance. Some excellent options include:

  • Upholstered Chairs – Chairs fully or partially upholstered in the fabric will add softness and color. Go for patterned or textured fabric for extra visual interest.
  • Metal Chairs – The cool, sleek look of a metal chair contrasts nicely with the warmth of oak.
  • Woven Chairs – Natural fibers like rattan, wicker or seagrass provide texture contrast.
  • Leather Chairs – Consider leather for a luxe vibe. Top-grain leather will wear beautifully.
  • Acrylic Chairs – For a modern, edgy look, acrylic chairs pair well with oak’s traditional elegance.

Don’t be afraid to mix and match chair materials too. An oak table surrounded by two leather, two upholstered and two acrylic chairs makes for an eclectic, inviting dining space.

Select Contrasting Chair Colors

It’s best to avoid selecting dining chairs in the exact same color as your oak table. Go for chairs in a lighter or darker color for a subtle contrast. Crisp white chairs look striking with a natural oak table, while black dining chairs feel bold and modern.

If your oak dining table has a dark walnut stain, opt for beige or tan dining chairs for just enough color variation. Or go for sky blue or forest green chairs for more drama. Mismatched chairs in varying colors create a fun, eclectic style.

Consider How Flooring Impacts the Look

The color and material of your flooring also impacts how dining chairs coordinate with your oak table. If you have wood floors in a similar oak color, then dining chairs should contrast more strikingly. Bold paint colors or bright white upholstery help the chairs stand out from the matchy-matchy floors and table.

Conversely, if your floors are tile, concrete or carpet in a color completely different from the oak table, you have more leeway to bring in chairs that are more similar in tone to the table.

Mind Chair Height and Width

Don’t forget about proportions when selecting dining chairs! Measure the height of your oak table and make sure chair backs are at least 2-3 inches higher so they don’t awkwardly hit at table level.

Chair width matters too, so measure your table length and divide by the width of the chairs you’re considering. Allow 10-20 inches between chair backs for comfortable seating and circulation. Chairs that are too narrow or wide can make your dining area feel off balance.

Stylish Dining Chair Ideas for Oak Tables

Ready to start shopping for chairs? Here are some stylish dining chairs to consider for your oak table:

Upholstered Side Chairs

The softness of fabric upholstered chairs adds a nice contrast to an oak table. Timeless patterns like stripes, solids, or textures like linen work well.

  • Striped Dining Chair
  • Textured Grey Dining Chair
  • Patterned Side Chair

Modern Leather Dining Chairs

The sleek look of leather chairs pairs nicely with traditional oak. Top-grain leather wears well.

  • Tan Leather Dining Chair
  • Black Leather Arm Chair
  • White Leather Side Chair

Woven Seagrass Chairs

The natural texture of seagrass, especially bleached varieties, complements oak beautifully.

  • Natural Seagrass Dining Chair
  • Grey Wash Seagrass Arm Chair

Acrylic Chairs

For a contemporary edge, acrylic chairs are see-through cool.

  • Clear Acrylic Side Chairs
  • Smoke Acrylic Arm Chairs

Go Bold with Painted Chairs

Make the chairs the star with bright, bold-painted dining chairs. Primary colors or deep hues make the oak table pop.

  • Sapphire Blue Dining Chair
  • Bright Yellow Side Chair
  • Deep Green Armless Chair

There are so many fabulous dining chair options to mix and match with an oak dining table for a personalized, collected dining space you’ll enjoy for years. Moving away from matched dining sets opens up so many possibilities. Use the tips in this guide to thoughtfully curate eclectic chairs with your treasured oak table. Soon your dining area will become your favorite spot to gather for meals and memories.

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