It was the legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright who put it most eloquently: “Dining is and always was a great artistic opportunity.” One piece of furniture that often gets overlooked in a home is the dining chair. Most people will go out, buy a table, and the chairs come with it. No muss, no fuss. However, in many of these prefabricated sets for sale, usually the chairs aren’t the most optimal option by feng shui guidelines. In fact, at times they can be downright uncomfortable or ugly. To add some more artistic opportunity to one’s dining room, here are my suggested specifications for getting the right kind of dining chair:
- You need to like the chair! If one doesn’t like the shape, size, color, etc. of the dining chair in question, it will never be used. Or on the rare occasions when the chair is used, negative feelings will arise. It should be something stylish that reflects one’s own personal taste.
- The chair should be comfortable. No one likes to sit in discomfort. The chair should have a comfy seat. Upholstered seating rarely has this problem, but some wood, plastic and metal seating can cause inadequate relaxation. A quick way to fix this issue is to add a seat cushion.
- The chair needs a solid back. In feng shui folklore, it was believed that one’s enemies could stab you much easier if there were openings in the back of the chair. While I may not necessary follow that line of thinking, I do believe in back support. The more solid the back of any seating, the better the reinforcement. Also, having a solid chair back can make the occupant of the chair feel much more secure and at ease than sitting on a stool or ladder-back chair.
- Choose comforting materials. Generally, a chair should ideally be constructed of wood, or upholstered in some way. While there are some exceptions to this rule, I find these are the best choices. Keep the weight of the chair not too heavy. Avoid getting white or cream-colored chairs, as these tend to get dirty much faster than their darker counterparts – especially if there are children, pets, or unruly people in the home.
Now, where does one find a nice chair? A good quality dining chair can be somewhat expensive. I would first suggesting acquiring chairs from estates sales, Craigslist, or consignment stores. One can find much better quality of a chair for far less money. As always, use your best judgement. (All of my dining chairs I’ve either purchased at gently used thrift stores, or have been given to me by friends) As for buying new, I’ve comprised a collection of some the best dining chairs currently available, all of which are under $80.00 each (excluding shipping and taxes) that are ideal feng shui selections:
The Harry from Ikea is a standard classic, at the affordable price of $49.99 each. The cover can be removed easily for washing, or one can cover it in the fabric of their choice. This chair is comfy and lightweight.
From Overstock.com we have the Classic Parson Red and Gold Damask Chair. Each individual chair sells for $76.09, and is upholstered in a rich red and gold paisley design. This chair would bring a wonderful fire and earth element to any dining area. One reason I love Overstock.com is their shipping prices. No matter how large or small the order, the total shipping is only $2.95.
The Decor Dining Chairs also from Overstock.com come in three different upholstery options. However, I did not care for the third one, so I only posted the two I liked. The first is a contemporary red striped pattern, adding passion and fire to any room on the left. On the right, we have flowers covering a chocolate background. This would bring a beautiful earth and wood element to a space. Either of these options are sold in pairs for $135.00, plus the $2.95 shipping fee.
For a more masculine feel, this set of two Black Walnut Dining Chairs, offered by Coaster Home Furnishings runs at $127.00. The warm walnut hues add a dramatic richness to any environment. These are available at Amazon.com, and I believe are eligible for free shipping.
This set of two Cappuccino Finish Dining Chairs, also by Coaster Home Furnishings are priced at $66.67. Although these chairs do not have a completely solid back, they are mostly solid, which provides more security and stability to the chair’s occupant than say a chair with many more open areas. This specific style and type of chair is available all over the internet from various distributors. I found the Amazon.com price to be the best, but it does not include free shipping.
From Baxton Studio we have the Spain Dark Brown Modern Dining Chairs. A pair of these elegantly refined chairs is $148.00 from Amazon, with free shipping. I like the taupe microfiber as the upholstery, which adds a tactile, nurturing earth element to the dining experience.
Target.com is currently having a furniture sale. Of the many offering of dining chairs there, I really like the Oval Back Chair. The oval shape and the gray/dark blue of the fabric brings water and metal to the party in high elemental fashion. A pair of these beauties sells for $139.99.
But how many chairs do I purchase? Well, that is entirely up to you. If one has a circular or oval table, any amount of chairs will work. If one has a square or rectangular table, the number of dining chairs should be an even number. As for chairs having arms or not, that is also entirely up to one’s own taste. In most formal dining rooms, the seating at the ends of the table will have arms, while the ones flanking the sides will not. For more information about selecting a prosperous dining table, take a look at my article here: https://fengshuifoodie.com/2012/04/22/how-to-choose-a-dining-table/ If you don’t currently have the right kind of seating, don’t worry – chair covers and seat cushions can go a long way in improving the energy quality of a space, and make the seating much more desirable. Having the correct dining chairs and table in your environment will bring further prosperity to one’s dining experience.