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Oak Kitchen Chairs

The warm tones of oak bring beauty to any kitchen.

Oak kitchen chairs are typically associated with a country look—with somewhat heavy and ornate furniture. But if you like this wood, you can find chairs in a wide range of styles, including contemporary.

Homeowners are attracted to oak for several reasons. Because it is a hard wood, it's a good, durable choice for chairs. It is popular with furniture makers because of its strength and because it resists fungus and pests. It is also popular—with homeowners, designers and furniture makers—because of the wood's warm, appealing tones.

There are many different types of oak, but white American oak is the type most often used to build furniture. While your first mental image of oak chairs probably shows them in their natural wood state, another option is painting them to match, blend or provide a color pop in your kitchen. Or you can purchase oak chairs with a stain, or stain the bare wood yourself before adding a finish. In a good oak piece, the grain should show beautifully before painting.

To find oak chairs that will suit your both your kitchen's decor and your family's needs, there are many sources available. Your budget will come into play when choosing. Are you buying chairs for a kitchen table or stools for an island or breakfast bar? How many do you need? If you're on a tight budget, you can start with large discount stores and home improvement stores. Or take your search to antique stores or online retailers. Even thrift stores, estate sales and yard sales can turn up some good finds.

If you want (and can afford) a custom look, you can also go that route. Many designers and craftsmen will work with you to find the perfect design for your kitchen, whether it includes multiple wood tones, cushioned seats, or unique lines in the chairs' legs, arms or backs.

Amish furniture makers have become a popular source for oak furniture, including kitchen chairs. These craftsmen are known for building sturdy furniture that will last for generations to come, and the styles available vary widely beyond what would be considered "traditional" Amish, from country styles with highly detailed spindles and backs to Arts and Crafts-style pieces with sophisticated, curved lines. An Internet or word-of-mouth search should turn up good sources.

Once you've purchased your oak kitchen chairs, be sure to keep them clean, as dust and grime can settle into the wood's grain and damage it over time.

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