More Guests Than Chairs? An Unexpected Solution

by Neal Kielar, Tastemaker in Residence

  We found these circa 1979 Krueger Matrix chairs in a used office furniture store. They have welded steel frames for durability and commercial grade fabric, which we steam-cleaned to like-new condition. Best of all, they're incredibly comfortable.

We found these circa 1979 Krueger Matrix chairs in a used office furniture store. They have welded steel frames for durability and commercial grade fabric, which we steam-cleaned to like-new condition. Best of all, they're incredibly comfortable.

Even with six or eight chairs in a standard set, most of us have more dining chairs than we use on a daily basis. Yet there are those occasional big gatherings that make you want more chairs than you have space to hold. What are the options?

  • Extra full-sized chairs are attractive but impractical for most people, who have nowhere to put them the other 360-plus days a year they're not in use.
  • Folding chairs are portable and easy to store but they won't be comfortable for a lot of the folks around your table. Longer term durability is another concern.
  • Molded plastic chairs made for porch or patio - forget about it if looks matter.
  • Renting is an option, but then that's one more detail you have to chase after when orchestrating a big gathering.

My suggestion: consider wood or upholstered stacking chairs. There are lots of places to get them, like big box stores or online retailers. But an unexpected source is a used office furniture showroom. Why office furniture?

  • These are most likely going to be commercial quality, designed for use in offices and public spaces which means that they're built stronger.
  • You'll have style, color and quantity options. Admittedly, they'll likely lean modern but the right chairs can complement any contemporary decor.
  • Most used office furniture dealers will let you buy the quantity you need.
  • Since the inventory will be on hand - unlike online retailers - you can sit in one to test comfort.
  • If you shop around you're also likely to get a great deal - less than $100 per chair.