For years, I was like Goldilocks when it came to dining chairs. I went through three different sets before finally settling on vintage Paul McCobb Planner Group chairs. They’re decidedly mid-century in their provenance, but really, they’re a riff on a classic spindle chair that could have been designed by the Shakers. I chose them because they are simple, sturdy, and comfortable, but I would also argue that this type of modern spindle chair is one of the most versatile dining chairs you can purchase.
Today’s spindle chairs can easily go farmhouse or modern, depending on what table and linens you pair them with. They also have a knack for looking right at home in both casual and formal settings. Many are painted black, which both harks back to traditional Windsor chairs and creates a visually striking silhouette, but you can find them in a range of finishes or paint some in a rainbow of shades yourself, if you want to. If you’re looking to upgrade your dining table setup, consider these eight spindle armchair contenders. They’re all made from solid wood, so they are built to last for years—and will likely still be in style for the long haul.
Ton’s beech Ironica chair, sold by Design Within Reach as the “Salt Chair,” is an icon in its own right. The company has been selling this slender take on a spindle for more than a decade and currently stocks four finishes—white, grey, black and natural. This is one instance when DWR is more “within reach.” If you search for the Ironica from other retailers, you will find other colors but with higher price points.
J77 Dining Chair
Hay is another European manufacturer that makes its own modern take on a spindle chair. Their J77 dining chair is a personal favorite, thanks to its stylish, lower-profile back. This design is part of Hay’s 2011 relaunch of furniture originally made for FDB, the Danish Consumers’ Co-operative Society in the 1940s, and it comes in a few different colors as well.
Magnolia Home Vermont Chimney Dining Side Chair
Of course Joanna Gaines, the queen of modern farmhouse style, has not one, but two, spindle chairs in her collection for Living Spaces. This particular style skews a little more on the rustic side and has just the right proportions for a smaller dining area or breakfast nook.