Affordable Decorating Ideas: Embrace Your Inheritance

Infuse a hand-me-down dining table with style by pairing it with a set of new chairs.
Article: Zoe Gowen

Don’t pass up your grandmother’s dining set because it feels too grown-up for you and your home. A classic table has never hurt any furniture collection. It just needs to be rethought to better suit your lifestyle. Start by breaking up the set and bringing in new, more modern dining chairs. They will give you a fresh look and keep your room from feeling matchy-matchy. A good rule of thumb while shopping: The seat of your chairs should be 11 to 13 inches beneath the table for ample legroom. If you can’t find new chairs to fit your style, look for vintage ones at antiques stores and consignment shops. Give them a fresh coat of paint, and have the seats reupholstered in a pretty solid or a bold pattern. Don’t get rid of the original matching chairs, because you may want to reunite the set later. In the meantime, perk up the cushions and scatter the chairs throughout your home to use as extra seating.

Great-Looking Dining Chairs for $500 or Less

  • For faux-bamboo chairs: Chinese Chippendale Chair by Wisteria; wisteria.com
  • For elegant upholstered chairs: Louis XVI by Ballard Designs; ballarddesigns.com
  • For modern chairs with pep: Fleet Chartreuse Chair from CB2; cb2.com
  • For barely there armchairs: Louis Ghost Armchair from Design Within Reach; dwr.com
  • For comfy and graceful wingbacks: Willoughby Dining Chair by West Elm; westelm.com