Chairs Defined for Style

Excited about picking out new chairs for the dining room or kitchen table?  You’re hearing that Windsor chairs are the perfect choice for you, but have no clue what they are…

Chair choices are all over the board when it comes to seating, so here are several style terms to help you make solid seating choices:

Queen Anne Style 

By far, the most traditional dining room chair known to mankind, Queen Anne styling is based is based on 18th Century English design and is recognized by the shaped crest rail (the top across the back of the chair), an urn shaped center splat (the styling within the chair back) and gracefully curved legs with paw feet.

Yes, they’re for traditional dining rooms all right, but we’ve seen this style taken to a whole new level with funky fabrics.

Parsons Chairs

Fully upholstered chairs usually used in the dining room  - tall backs and straight lines and sometimes skirted to fully cover the legs.  Popular in contemporary dining rooms because of the linear shapes and the ability to add upholstery to bring in colors and textures.  Also used for transitional styles, as slipcovered dining chairs mimic the parsons style.

Windsor Chairs

Going from casual to formal and rustic to modern, Windsor chairs are versatile and love the kitchen.  Characterized by spindles and stick legs and wood seats, variations include bow-backed and hoop-backed.  Upholstered cushions add texture, color and comfort for the kitchen.

Ladder Back Chairs

Wood slat backed chairs so popular in country and cottage interiors go from kitchen to dining room tables in the blink of any eye with informality being the key.  Also called Shaker style, the seats are usually woven and cushions soften the look with style.

Duncan Phyfe

The most reproduced style available, the Empire styling of Phyfe chairs are based on 19th Century features such as saber legs (legs shaped appropriately like a cavalry sword) and neoclassical motifs, particularly characterized by the lyre shaped splat back. 

If you’re looking for antique dining room chairs and redecorating on a budget, chances are you’re going to end up with a good set of 1920’s or 1930’s Duncan Phyfe chairs for a good price.  The clean lines can go modern while the warm wood can go traditional, so you’ll love these for the dining room.

Eames Era & Mid Century

If you’re looking for chairs for your contemporary dining room and want a vintage bargain, mid century modern is your hit pick.


Elegance for a dining room, Victorian chairs feature heavy, nearly gothic stylings until they start calming down styles with the more graceful Edwardian period. Elaborately detailed and traditional, formal dining rooms love Victorian grace.