Table and Chair Height Guidelines for Outdoor Dining
Sharing brunch or having dinner on your patio is much more comfortable when you have the right type of seating. There are three different height options of patio dining chairs to choose from. After settling on the right seat height for your balcony or deck, you can pick seats in the right style to complement surrounding furniture and decor for a well-balanced, refined look.
Check out this post for decorating tips and information on:
- Measuring table and chair height
- Outdoor dining chair height guidelines
- Standard dining chairs
- Counter-height dining chairs
- Patio bar stools
- Designing with outdoor dining chairs
- Arm chairs vs. side chairs
- Patio dining chair styles
The correct height dining chairs ensure guests feel comfortable while seated at the table.
How Do You Measure for an Outdoor Dining Table and Chairs?
Choosing the correct height dining table and chairs ensures that you and your guests can sit comfortably during meals. To avoid picking seats that are too high or too low, select a chair seat height that stands about one foot below the underside of your table. That's equal to twelve inches of space between the seat's top and the tabletop's bottom.
It's also important to outfit your surrounding space with furnishings or accents roughly the same height as your standard bar or counter-height chair and table set. For example, console tables serving as buffets or bar carts for supplies and drinks should be close to the size of your tabletop or a little lower.
This 3-piece balcony dining set is the same height as the railings.
Outdoor Table and Chair Height Guidelines
Each chair height serves its own unique purpose within the design of your outdoor dining space. Depending on the size of your patio and the look or atmosphere you want to create, one of these dining chair heights might be better suited to your needs. Take a look at the following patio dining chair height options to learn which one is the right fit for your space and style.
A standard dining table measures 30 inches tall, so your standard dining chair seat is roughly 18 inches off the ground. Standard-height patio chairs tend to have taller backs than counter- or bar-height stools. If you prefer standard chair height, you can also choose between arm chairs, foldable options or sleek, armless side chairs.
Most outdoor dining sets feature standard-height chairs and tables, making them a popular choice for those who like to host al fresco family meals outside or invite guests over for backyard celebrations. Due to their low-profile design, these sets can take up a lot of floor space. Be sure to measure your patio and dining area to see whether a standard-height table and chairs will fit.
Standard-height tables have a low-profile, classic design for casual or formal meals.
As their names suggest, counter-height tables are about the same height as the average kitchen counter. However, outside they become "balcony height." Since these tables are about 36 inches tall, counter stool height usually leaves 24 inches between the seat and the floor. Tall, sleek frames make counter-height stools and tables perfect for small patios and balconies.
Decide which style of counter-height chair works best for your entertaining and dining needs. Backless stools with swivel seats can help guests get into and out of their chairs easily while saving space in cramped quarters. On the other hand, high-back counter-height chairs with stationary seats provide back support during longer dinners.
These balcony-height chairs feature tall backs, plush cushions and swivel seats.
Typical bar stool height measures about 30 inches off the ground, while coordinating tables stand about 42 inches tall. Many patio bar stools come with footrests and swivel seats to help people get into and out of their chairs. Choose from a selection of bar stools with backs and arms, or pick from a range of adjustable, armless and backless designs.
Bar stools are also perfect for those who love to entertain. Tall bar stools keep people at roughly the same eye level, standing or sitting, so it's easy for party guests to maintain eye contact as they chat and mingle. Also, their sleek silhouettes make bar-height tables and chairs a perfect fit for modern patios, pool houses or as a separate addition to your backyard dining space.
Tall backless bar stools lend patios a lifted look and breezy feel.
Designing with Patio Dining Chairs
Choosing the right chairs is important when creating a comfortable, inviting outdoor dining room layout. Whether you're hoping to foster a charming atmosphere for family mealtimes or promote an upscale mood for posh rooftop cocktail parties, you'll want to choose dining chair styles and designs that suit your needs.
Surrounding your standard-, counter- or bar-height dining set with complementary furniture is another crucial step in the design process. For example, if your setup centers around a standard 30-inch table, choosing low-profile decor like bench seating makes the space look comfortable and cohesive. Consider the following tips for creating the perfect dining room design.
An outdoor bench adds ample seating to a standard-height patio dining table.
Arm Chairs or Side Chairs?
Regardless of whether you pick standard-, counter- or bar-height seats, you'll need to decide whether arm chairs or side chairs work best for your space. Although comfy arm chairs let guests settle in and relax as they enjoy their meals, their wide frames can sometimes overcrowd the table. Armless side chairs take up less room, and many are stackable but lack the extra support arm chairs offer.
A popular compromise for standard rectangle tables is to arrange side chairs along the length of the table and place arm chairs at either end. Along with creating a cozy look for family get-togethers, this setup gives guests plenty of elbow room while reserving two lounge-worthy seats for the hosts or elderly relatives.
Consider providing arm chairs at each end of the table for special guests.
Outdoor Dining Chair Styles
Dining chairs are just as important to your overall design as any other accessory. To create a harmonious, cohesive look within your outdoor dining space, you'll need to select chic bar-height, balcony-height or standard-height chairs that complement the style of your patio decor.
Standard dining chairs are available in several styles, ranging from classic dark wood to contemporary wicker. Opt for elegant chairs with curved wrought iron frames and upholstered cushions if you're going for a refined, formal look. You can also keep things simple with rustic or industrial-style seats with metal frames and weathered wood finishes to promote a more relaxed aesthetic.
Intricate details and a bronze finish exude elegance on a classic outdoor dining set.
Like the look of stylish throwback decor? Consider decking out your balcony with retro, mid-century-modern or simple modern dining chairs featuring angled legs and plastic molded or sling seats. Those with more current, cutting-edge tastes can try sleek minimalist or transitional tables and chairs that combine timeless designs with streamlined touches.
Bar stools and counter-height dining chairs also come in several unique styles, including traditional, industrial, modern, rustic and casual. Whether you're looking for light wood or rattan dining chairs for your boho chic home bar or want to enjoy your morning coffee and a cozy French cafe bistro set, it's easy to find the perfect chic seats for your space.
Create your own front porch cafe with a French bistro set.
Choosing a Good Seat Height for Outdoor Dining Furniture
Picking the right size chairs for your outdoor dining area can be confusing. However, knowing some standard seat height guidelines can help you select chairs that fit your space, suit your style and keep your family and guests comfortable. And, with a little creative decorating, you can use these chairs to shape a cohesive design for your patio or deck.