Written by Hugh Metcalf

How to style an eclectic dining room scheme

From mismatched dining chairs to mixing up colour and crockery, eclectic style can be particularly effective in a dining room.

mixed chairs round table in colourful dining room - goodhomesmagazine.com

Image: Good Homes

Sometimes, mixing and matching styles in a dining room is done out of necessity, rather than choice. We all end up with odds and ends of serving ware and glasses collected over the years, and sometimes you can spot the perfect dining chairs on eBay, but there’s only 4 left, not the 6 you need when hosting a dinner party.

Rather than this being a problem, let it define your style and create a look that doesn’t have to be restrained by everything matching perfectly.

Here’s our top tips on getting an eclectic look right in your dining room.

Get the right mix of chairs

There’s no hard and fast rules to how many different styles of chairs you can use around a dining table, but if using two styles, opt for statement or larger chairs at either end of the table, whether that’s a taller or upholstered seat.

With 3, 4 or 5 different chair options, think about finding certain commonalities between designs to link the collection together. Two styles may share a common shape, for example, while two others may be the same colour. This will help to bring an overall cohesiveness to your eclectic look and prevent the whole scheme appearing too random.

Be clever with your layout

traditional style dining room with mixed chairs - goodhomesmagazine.com

Image: Good Homes

Next, consider how you’ll arrange your chairs. One way to approach it is to use symmetry – mirroring the same chairs across the width or the length of the table.

Always use taller or bulkier chairs at the heads of the table and consider how different colours will affect your overall palette depending on which way you’re looking at your dining set-up. When in doubt, take a big step back and look at how you’ll set out the chairs – which is catching your attention for the wrong reasons?

Unite a colourful scheme

colourful dining table scheme with flowers - goodhomesmagazine.com

Image: Good Homes

Where you want to create an eclectic look with colour, think about proportions to bring the scheme together. The 60:30:10 ratio is golden for interiors – take in this floral scheme above for example. Teal-green tableware makes up the lion’s share of the palette, while yellow brings a striking contrast. The extra elements are made up of pink and orange, rounding out the scheme.

Use built-in seating or benches

dining table with mix of chairs and banquette built in seating - goodhomesmagazine.com

Image: Good Homes

Built-in or banquette seating not only looks effective, it’s super functional too, especially when you need to squeeze extra place settings around the table. Using a bench on one side of the table simplifies your seating layout, meaning you can be a bit more experimental with the other chairs around the table.

Mix and match prints

floral print dining room with mix and match crockery - goodhomesmagazine.com

Image: Good Homes

Mixing and matching crockery makes for a fun, novel look when laying the table, but pulling together individual pieces to make this up can be tricky. Diningware from the same collection, but that features different colourways or patterns, makes for an easy way to achieve the same idea.


Have you got an eclectically-styled dining table? Let us know by Tweeting us @goodhomesmag, or post a comment on our Facebook page. Or post a picture of your dining space on Instagram using the hashtag #ThisGoodHome for your chance to be featured on our feed.



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