Help with contemporary white chairs 4 small kitchen please!

ResourcefulDesignerJune 20, 2012

Hi All,

I have found so much inspiration on GW as I've worked on my kitchen remodel and know that you all are such a helpful bunch so really hoping you can help me before I go insane!

As long as it took us to finally make a decision on choosing our granite counter-top, then the backsplash.....I never in a million years expected finding dining chairs to be so difficult.

It probably wouldn't be so hard if we had an unlimited budget but unfortunately, that is not the case.

I'm set on white (off-white,or cream) chairs to go with the clean, contemporary look of the rest of our small, eat-in kitchen.

I found a set that I just loved for only $358 for a set of 4 (see photo). I just loved the open feel of the cut-out in the back and how they just seemed to visually keep that area from looking too closed in....Problem is, they just ended up being too big both for our small kitcen and for the 41" round table (a thrift store find that I still need to repaint but just love the look of).

As much as I hated to, I sent them back.

I then tried a whole different type and brought home one of the "Erland" chairs from Ikea to try. I really tried to love them and did kinda like the chair part but just couldn't learn to love the skinny chrome legs...The chome was fine, since it matched the middle of my table, but they were just too thin and looked "cheap".

(I realize that my budget is forcing me to go cheap, but don't want it look that way! ; )

Now it's back to the drawing board again am really hoping someone here has solved a similar problem.

The photo doesn't really show just how over-crowded the chairs make the kitchen look, or how far they have to stay pushed out from the table to fit but gives a good idea.

They were 38.5" tall x 18" wide x 24" deep so I need something smaller.

I'm guessing that I'll have to go with a regular Parsons chair (w/o the cut-out) and have found some with-in our budget (trying to stay around $75 a chair, but up to $100 for something we love)....but they all seem to be the same size as the chairs we sent back! UGhhh!

What I'd really like to find is a Low-back version of the parsons chair in a faux vinyl (no micro-fiber or fabric due to dog hair), but the one's that I've seen are soooo expensive! Smaller but more $$'s crazy!

(I wanted to attach a photo of the rest of the kitchen but could only attach 1 for some reason....the white floor will be changing soon but we have dark cappicino lower cabinets with off-white uppers to match an off-white subway tile backsplash & New Romano granite)...I provided a link to show the "Erland" chair from Ikea if anyone is curious.

Please Help! I really need this part of the process over with so I can move on! The more photos, links and creative suggestions the better! Looking forward to your help!


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Could you possibly keep two at the table for most of the time and use the other two elsewhere in your house as a desk chair or a bedroom side chair? Then, you could use the ones you love.

I had a hard time finding anything in white. I did find one that's available in black, brown or caramel and I've linked it below. The white one I found, I'll link in another post.

Here is a link that might be useful: Caramel

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 9:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The other one.

Here is a link that might be useful: White

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 9:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Are you absolutely locked in to that table? I guess I am thinking that a bench on the end and one on the side where the bubble vase is, and then a square table, might work more effectively. Judging by the size of the chair against the end wall, it looks like two people could sit there on a bench.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 10:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Ugh! So many problems logging back in here. Realized I didn't add link for the "Erland" chair I mentioned and figured I'd add the other kitchen photo too.
Updated original cabinets to home build in 1966 with hidden hinges (very challenging due to only 1/4" thick plywwod doors) but so glad I did. Also, the upper cabinets are so high because there used to be a built-in cook-top on counter and a hood under cabinets. I built the shelf so it didn't look so obvious.

Fun2bHere - That first pic of the "Caramel" is exactly what I'd like to find but over my budget and doesn't come in white. The 2nd one is nice but I do prefer either wood or metal legs....something about the white legs on a white chair reminds me of plastic patio furniture (call me crazy)....not to mention a little over budget for something I'm not loving.
Who would have thought white could be so hard.
There are so many with small apts and condos that you would think it wouldn't be so hard to find more sizes in upholstered chairs.
Appreciate the help tho so hope more chime in!
Anyway....still hoping for more solutions.

Here is a link that might be useful: Erland Chair from Ikea...nice but legs too skinny & cheap looking. Hoping I don't have to settle for these.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 11:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Here is bbstx 2nd chair...first had white legs.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 2:12AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

les917 - Thanks for the suggestion but yes...I'm tied to the table. It was a $37 thrift store find that I know will look great once I refinish it. I like the style of it and it helps break up the squareness of the room and all of the hard lines not to mention allows for better flow around the table and centers under where the light fixture is. (Nothing there now but I will be making a drum pendant if I can ever move past my chair problem). We had a square table there before and hated it...Thanks though!

bbstx (& Olychick) On the right track...that first set that you sent bbstx...the one with the white legs...I may just give a try! I know I said that I didn't like white legs but the description actually says "chrome"?? If they are truely white, I can easily paint them to either look like stainless steel or the dark wood to match cabinets! The price is great so I may be willing to make them work!

As much as I like the open back style of the Meryl chairs, they are just a little to pricey for budget at almost $600 for a set of 4....too bad : (

Thanks for your help!...going to wait for a few more suggestions before ordering but at least if I don't end up liking them, I can return to local Target store without paying for return shipping! Hoping for a few more ideas before ordering so please....keep them coming!
Here is another that I love and the size & price are perfect! (33.25 " H x 22.0 " W x 22.0 " D and $149 for set of 2)...I only wish they came in white or off-white so if anyone can find something similar, these would totally work.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 11:05AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
cyn427 (zone 7)

These are a little over your budget, but they might work.

I love the idea of benches and a square or rectangular table in that space. It wouldn't even be that difficult to build in a seat if you or DH is at all handy. :)

Here is a link that might be useful: West Elm

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 11:10AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think your problem is not chairs - it's legs.

Now, don't swoon when I show you these $1,200 Knoll Tulip chairs, but a knock-off of this iconic modern chair might solve your problem? The whole base fits underneath the body of the chair, which you can pull up close under the table, and keeps the legs out of your circulation.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 12:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi! Just popped back in to say that the first chairs I linked that are not available in white are actually right on budget as the price of $208 is for two chairs. After seeing the added picture of your kitchen, I thought it was worth bringing it up because I think the caramel might look very nice with your countertops and would add some warmth to the space.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 12:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

$75 a chair for upholstery will be tough without getting something too clunkily "modern", I'm afraid.

You've already looked at Ikea. But if you can stretch your budget to $140 a chair how about the Bernhard chair? We considered those for our Danish Modern DR table and were about to pull the trigger when some vintage chairs showed up on the local CL. The Bernhard has a more solid feel to it than your first chair, and it's leather. It bringsd to mind some Calligaris chairs. For IKEA, it's high-end.

But if you really want some design bang for a lower buck, how about the REIDAR chair? It's aluminum, and comes in white, and it's $50. It's meant for outside use, but I think it's workable inside. There's also the URBAN chair, which is more obviously an outdoor chair (plastic, drainhole), but has a great look to it (IMHO). And it's all of $39 as well.

The good thing about the last two selections is they can be transitioned to a patio or deck at some point if your budget later allows something different in the kitchen.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bernhard chair from IKEA

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 5:04AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Here are some white chairs I've found under $100. I'm not certain if any quite fit the look you want, but maybe one will work. You're right that it's difficult finding chairs under $100.

Crate and Barrel:
$119 (just a tiny bit over budget)


Room and Board:

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 11:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

These ones are cute I know they are not white yet but for $134 for 2 they could easily be re-upholstered

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 3:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Here's a thought that has nothing to do with chair selection...

Move all the chairs 1/8 turn, so that you have a chair in the corner, and all the other chairs are accordingly adjusted. I think you will find the arrangement less crowded and more inviting.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 10:51AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Pricklypearcactus - Thanks for posting those pics...ladderbacks are out-too "country" to me...the others are just like the ones I got from Ikea & I just wasn't happy with the skinny metal legs for some reason...(I'm also set on 4 legs vs those U shaped kind...too much visual "clutter" to me and distracts from the table...Call me crazy ; )
I'm posting the pic of the Ikea chair that I tried & you'll see that it's comparable and was only $65 a chair. I did kind of like them but decided to keep looking instead.
CLBlakely - Those striped chairs would be great if they were only white! The seats would be easy to reupholster but I'm no good at sewing which I'm sure would be required for the top part...(don't even own a sewing machine)...The cost to pay someone else to do it would likely far outweigh the savings....I actually saw these several months ago in white but of course I can't find them now....Ugh.

Mclarke - Thanks for the suggestion on turning the chairs a little...hadn't even tried that before sending the first set back but they still just couldn't be pushed in any further due to size but I will keep this in mind for my next set.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 1:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I like the idea of a bench (built in if you can) and then two chairs. This way if there is always just 2 sitting, push the table more over the bench then you have more room. If you need the other (for 2 more) seating, pull the table away to fit more at the table.

I like the table, not knowing what is on the back side of the photo I presume there is not much room to expand in that direction for an expanded table.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 1:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks so much for all of the help I'm getting with this.
I know that what I'm looking for is out there....I just need your help to find it so I appreciate the input.

Jakabedy - I do like the seat on that Bernhard chair but don't care for those U shaped legs...too much visual clutter under the table for me...It's very similar to the Erland chair that I tried from Ikea but I just want 4 simple legs (something the Erland chair had but they were just too skinny)..No tulip chairs or other odd bases (but thanks for the idea Bronwynsmom).
The REIDAR and Urban chairs just didn't work for me at all.
It's difficult because I'm kind of set on what I want....either something like my original chair, a low back/smaller scale parsons chair, or something like the open back one posted above by bbstx & olychick is what I'm hoping for.
I'm posting another one that I just found and really like...still a little over budget at $124 a chair but may be worth stretching the budget for..the legs aren't as skinny as the Erland chair and seat is a little closer to the low back Parsons chair that I like....I'm getting so obsessed with this search that I think I won't give up until I've seen every white dining chair on the internet!
With the 4th of July approaching, there should be a lot of sales so hoping it will bring some of these options a little closer to my budget.
Keep them coming tho...I will definatley let you all know when I finally pull the trigger on this and hope this post will help others looking for a nice ccontemporary white chair!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 11:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The Knoll chair is perfect for your table.

You are thinking the thinner chrome legs on some of the other chairs are too thin.....I don't agree. If they were more substantial it would look like a chair leg forest in that small space.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 7:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
cyn427 (zone 7)

Another vote for a tulip chair (Knoll). If you are concerned about "visual clutter", then any group of four chairs would end up giving you 16 legs in that small space plus the table base which is busy. To me, that couldn't help but create quite a lot of visual clutter. Most of the others remind me of the student chairs we use at school or ones you see in other public spots. Might be worth a try to see what you think. Of course, if you hate them, then forget it!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 1:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
2 for $219.49 a little pricey but cute

I don't think anyone looked at the price of those knoll chairs LOL at $1200 each that would add up quick I saw one on a site but without the red and they were only $900 each.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 1:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm really surprised that so many of you like that knoll chair...I think that that the visual space taken up by regular chair legs would be much less than what,to me, looks like 4 big platters laying on the floor. To me, that would only draw more attention to the floor area. I do like a lot of the modern chairs but not that modern....To me, that one looks like it came from "The Jetsons").
To each their own I guess.
I do like some with thin metal legs but when they are combined with an equally small seat with a short back, it's just too much...reminds me of a classroom chair too. Those kind of legs with the right seat are not out of the question as you can see by the last chair photo that I added.
CLBlakey - Thanks for the link to the chairs thru Sears. Those are nice.....I considered giving them a try but the more I looked at them, the more I worried that the way the back is constructed (only 2 bolts holding it to the chair)..That theres a good chance that it could break off after awhile of people leaning on them. Too bad though because they were kinda cute....Ugh..this is so frustrating.
I've saved so many chairs that "almost" work. If I don't find something over the weekend then I am just going to have to choose so I can finally move on to other things. Hoping for some good sales for th 4th.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 10:02AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Have you checked Overstock?

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 10:52AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Took me awhile to check back here with so much else going on.
CLBlakely....Liked those chairs you posted...too bad they don't come in white...I checked with a reupholsterer for another set of chairs that I found but the price to have them redone was more than the chairs!.Hoped to find a few more options when I finally logged back in here but, yep....tried Overstock too...that is where I found the original chairs that were too big for the space and had to be sent back....still looking but hoping to make a decision soon.
Just wish there was a better way to shop chairs but when you find one you like, it's nearly impossible to find a similar chair at a lower price when sellers change the names, sku numbers and models so you can't. So frustrating. Someone had mentioned that restaurant chairs are usually smaller in scale but when I tried searching for those, I just get the same hits that I get when searching regular dining chairs. Ugh.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 9:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Have you thought about taking a different approach such as CL chairs or look around in thrifts on chairs to revamp? The reason I ask is because it's going to look real "chair-y" in that small space if you go with a regular backed chair height or solid back. To me it would look stunning if you found some used chairs with really interesting lines and a LOW back that is non-solid and partially open. If you found such chairs you could paint or stain them. If the chairs had upholster seats only that is a fairly easy quick fix that you could do in white or get jiggie with. So, I vote for some interesting/great lines chairs with low partially open backs to revamp. Plus, the old stuff is made so much better most of the time.

These are new but you get the idea.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 10:37AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sorry if this was suggested in an earlier reply, but have you considered possibly putting in a banquette or bench against the knee wall and then adding only two chairs?

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 9:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Jterrilynn - The chairs that you posted are kinda cute...if only they didn't have spindles in the back, I'd almost say perfect....(spindles are just too country for me)...I agree that they need to have a low back and that is exactly why I am having such a hard time finding any. I have been keeping an eye out on criagslist as well as local thrift stores on the rare occasions that I have time but there seems to be nothing but old country kitchen type chairs...nothing that would work for me.
If only I could be so lucky.

Clairbouyant - Yes, I did consider a banquette but just don't have the time to build anything right now and I stink at sewing so thats out too.

I've been dealing with some computer problems lately so needless to say...I still haven't found what I'm looking for just yet but will definatley post back when I the meantime....I'm still hoping to log in one day to the perfect chair!
Someone suggested that I look for restaurant chairs because they are usually smaller....just wish I knew a good source. Ever search I try just ends up showing the same expensive chairs I've already been finding. frustrating.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 1:27AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Definitely check out Overstock. They have lots of white chairs, some of which are sold cheaply in sets. Their shipping is only $2.95!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 10:06AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

HI Resourceful Designer,

I have chairs like the Room and Board ones posted by prickley...
They do help when space is a bit of an issue because the legs are very thin. I know you aren't in favour of them really, but they could be paired nicely with your table with a bit of a modern centerpiece - I picture thick chrome candle holders with white pillar candles. Don't mind me rethinking your vision lol. I always find Houzz helpful. If you haven't used it before, just go to and type in white dining chairs and tons of pics will come up. You can even try pinterest? The link below is to a blog post of mine where you can see a pic of my white dining chairs (it's the last pic in the post).

Here is a link that might be useful: White dining chairs

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 4:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

A banquette or benches would look great in that nook. Maybe two armless benches for the wall sides of the could probably find ready made seat cushions to fit.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 4:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

These are pretty...they are a little over budget though.

Here is a link that might be useful: White Dining Chair

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 1:37AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi all,

Sorry that it's been awhile but had some computer problems.
Whitewave41 - I did come across that chair too and really like that it has the same cut-out as my original set but it also has the same problem of being too big...scale is about the same...It's a great chair though.
I finally pulled the trigger and ordered a set of the Zuo Alex chair. Really hoping these work. My only concern is the shade of white....every image that I found just showed it with a white background which wasn't helpful at all. Really hoping they are more on the creamy side of off-white vs. a greyish white but I guess I'll know soon enough. I ended up paying a little more to order through Home Depot just to have the option to return them to the store for a full refund vs. having to pay for return shipping anywhere else. The cost to do that is usually as much as the chairs themselves! Yikes.
I'll post a picture of them in the space as soon as I get them if I can. Really hoping they work so I can move on to making the drum pendant for over the table!
Thanks for all of the help!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 8:45AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Bottom line if you make the box into a bench you will seat 6 in your kitchen. If you leave as is you will only ever seat two comfortably. We added a trestle table and bench combo DH made in our first kitchen. The room it gave us was amazing. With chairs comes moving room which decreases space. I have seen decorators do benches with round tables.. IMHO you only have room for two chairs in that space no matter how you go.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 11:30AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I was just thinking of you, just yesterday. Nice chairs. However, if they aren't the right ones you might want to check out They had lots of white chairs...I happened onto the site by accident... never expected to see furniture there. Anyway, I immediately thought of you.
Course, I couldn't remember your name??


    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 12:18PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Grey-blue paint
So our master bath is sea glass green (well kinda,...
Is this a great statement or a great ugly mess?
Hello to all I could use your input here I have a mid...
Bright solid or bold print to reupholster settees?
Anyway, I bought a pair of vintage settees for my 'formal'...
Help with window treatments
Hi, we put in new living room windows, and now I need...
Why do you decorate?
I'm sure this has come up a million times before ....
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™