Red Dining Chairs

When I bought my first house eighteen years ago, I painted my living room Sherwin Williams’ Ming Red.  At the time, my most favorite color.  Since the living room wasn’t going to be used as much as the family room, I decided to make it a library to house my collection of design, art, and cookbooks.  The room had one solid wall that was not broken up by windows or openings.  Floor to ceiling bookcases flanked the openings from the foyer and into the dining room.  The bookcases were painted black, the windows were sharply dressed with black rattan shades with ivory colored vertical stitching, the furnishings were a mix of antique and new pieces.  It was a beautiful, dramatic room, and I was very proud of the design, however I could not stay in that room for more than five minutes at a time.

my old living room

Red is the color of energy, of passion, of confidence.  Red can be stimulating, agitating, and fattening (revs up the appetite, it is known).  Blue, on the other hand, has the opposite effect, hence the “all you can eat blue plate special” at restaurants.   The blue color of the plate actually suppresses the appetite and causes you to eat less.   I should  embrace blue instead of red since I can afford to lose a few pounds.  I just made my screen saver blue.  Baby steps.

I knew red was a stimulating color, that’s one of its attractions for me, but I wasn’t expecting to be so affected by it.  So much so, in fact, I barely spent any time in that room in the eight years we lived in the house.  Ever since then, I’ve shied away from using red on walls and even on furnishings unless it’s as an accent and easily interchangable.

Until now… when I find myself in need of furniture for my dining room.  I’ve found three possible table options and now the chairs need to be selected.  And not just any chairs, but red ones!  I’ve seen some dynamite rooms with red dining chairs and they speak to me.

The question is will I be able to live with them?  Here are a few inspiration photos

Outdoor dining at Cafe de Flore in Paris.  Not sure, but the baguette may be inspiring me more than the chairs.


The gorgeous riff on a klismos from Donghia, the Anziano chair designed by John Hutton, in red lacquer is one of my favorites.  Unfortunately, no longer available in red. Gensler


Matisse “L’atelier rouge” , 1911  Oil on canvas  Can you feel the energy?


These 1950’s French bentwood beauties are making a statement!       Photo from Elle Decor
Classic lines, interior by Steven Gambrel
Elegant and timeless.  Love the contemporary vase on the table juxtaposed with the period furnishings.  The Maison Jansen chairs belonged to 20th century socialite Daisy Fellowes and are covered in an Hermes leather.  Design by Coorengel and Calvagrac.
I love these outdoor, aluminum chairs in classic Windsor style for their versatility and punch.   Available through Charleston Gardens.
For the adventurous type there is the Phillips Collection seat belt chair.  They’re pretty comfortable as the material has give to it.  For Hunger Games fans they were featured in the Capital housing for District 12.
A little red goes a long way.  Accents of red can be quite spectacular as in this display piece.  Design by Alessandra Branca