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The Victorians placed great value in formality, ritual and a sense of occasion. For this reason, dining furniture was an important investment for the middle-class 19th century family, who would gather each day on carefully turned, upright chairs around a dramatic mahogany table to share their meals. As Queen Victoria’s reign continued through the decades, in tandem with the ever-strengthening Industrial Revolution, access to quality furniture grew and more households could afford to create beautiful homes. There is a huge range of Victorian dining chairs on the market, sold as sets, pairs or individual chairs. Whether you are hoping to create a formal, matching look, an eclectic steampunk feel, or you want a single elegant chair to use in a hallway or bathroom, browse the Vinterior range of Victorian dining chairs now.

Why choose Victorian dining chairs?

Keeping up appearances was of utmost importance to the Victorians. For them, the parlour, or what we would now call the living room, was the most important space in terms of displaying wealth and success. Coming a close second was the dining room. As well as an ornately carved sideboard groaning with delicacies to impress guests, and a stunning drop leaf table designed to seat eight or more, there would be a set of immaculate dining chairs. Sometimes upholstered, sometimes not, Victorian dining chairs were designed to emulate many different furniture styles from across previous centuries, with no single look dominating.

The classic image to spring to mind when you think of a Victorian dining chair is quite possibly a chair with a highly decorative, split (horizontally or vertically) balloon back on casters. It would have a generously upholstered seat and the wood would be a deep, dark oak or walnut. However, this is just one example of many types and styles of Victorian dining chairs currently available to buy on the antique furniture market. Those who really prized comfort and had the means to afford it, may have opted for a set of Chesterfield-style dining chairs. These upright versions of the cosy buttoned sofas feature the same dimpled seats and backs and were built both with and without arms.

Cromwellian chairs, meanwhile, have a more austere square shape, straight legs punctuated with carved detailing and leather upholstery studded with brass nails. For some Victorian families, a set of carver chairs, which have arms, would have represented the height of respectability and success. These grand pieces, if bought as a set, require a generous dining space. Lending a sense of gravitas to meals, there are Chippendale revival, Medieval-style and towards the later end of the Victorian period, more simply styled carver chairs.

Victorian dining chairs: shop with Vinterior

Steeped in history, lovingly restored and thoughtfully repurposed to meet the needs of modern furniture buyers – there are so many reasons why buying vintage or antique pieces for your home is a great move.

Homes with real stand-out style that stick in the mind and inspire everyone who visits, are those whose owners have the courage of their convictions. They are brave enough to pair retro mid-century curtains with a Victorian steamer trunk coffee table and even modern shelving units. If you are looking for inspiration on creating your own bold look, visit Vinterior for one-off finds and creative ideas.