I get questions from readers from time to time about various design issues. Normally they’re quickly answered but sometimes they’re a little more involved like a question I got recently from Kelley. I thought the discussion might be interesting for you as well so (with Kelley’s permission) I’m posting her question and my answer here. (It was fun putting this together so I think I’ll make this a regular thing as interesting questions come in.)
I am huge fan of your blog, I follow it almost everyday! My husband and I just purchased a home and I am SOOOO excited to be decorating it the way I have always wanted! I have a dilemma, my style is similar to yours, I would say that my style is eclectic and vintage with a modern flair. My dilemma is such…I adore the Saarinen table with the marble top, I wanted to purchased the table and tulip chairs for the dining room but thought it might be too matchy matchy, I was considering purchasing an antique pedestal round table and getting only the tulip chairs. But I REALLY love the dining table too so I am not sure what to do, what do you think would look best in your opinion? HELP!!!
In general, I prefer things not to be matchy-matchy as well. However, dining rooms are the one place where I’m not opposed to a matching set, especially when it is something so classic and beautiful as the Saarinen tulip table and chairs. I mean, what’s not to like about this room:
However, it is a very modern, streamlined look so if you’re goal is to achieve a more eclectic feel, I think your first instinct of mixing the table or chairs is a good one.
So then the next question is do you get the table or chairs? That’s a tough call. The more popular option seems to be using the table with different types of chairs:
I really like this look, not to mention it gives you an excuse to buy some really cool chairs(!) But, practicality may play a part here. I know you want a marble top version and my personal experience with marble is that it is not very user-friendly. It’s very easy to crack, stain, scratch and damage. (Citrus and wine are the worst!).
If you share this concern, you may want to opt for just the chairs with a different table. The other plus side of getting the chairs is that you can always use them elsewhere like in an office, for example. This was the only example I could find:
Having said all this, there is one more option. I don’t know what type of house you are moving into but if it has industrial or rustic architectural features, you could still get that eclectic vibe even with a matching set:
Otherwise, if you chose pieces that were more ornate or traditional for the rest of the room, that could also have the same effect:
I think this is my favorite option because it would be too hard for me to choose between the table and chairs(!) What do you all think?
Well, I hope this was helpful, Kelley, and I hope you’ll send me some photos of what you decide!
If you’d like my opinion on a design question for possible posting here, please send me a message by clicking “contact” at the top of the page. It may take me a while but I’ll answer as many as I can.