When I have enough space and money to have a proper dinning room I want a big one. I like having dinner with 10-20 guests and that means a big table.
I like the look of a bench on one side, big chairs on either end and smaller chairs opposite the bench. But it isn't practical to have the table set up for 20 every day, nor is it practical to have 10 extra dining room chairs hanging around your house (I know this from experience, not only is my apartment in my parents house right now, my mother also went chair happy a few years ago so the house is nearly exploding with chairs).
Folding chairs are the obvious solution to wanting extra seating. But metal ones are ugly, sound terrible, and uncomfortable. Plastic ones have similar problems, but are even more cheap looking. Wooden ones are clearly the way to go.
These are my favorite, from Ballard Designs. They're simple yet pretty and don't cost an arm and a leg. I also like that you can easily add cushions.
|Ballard Designs St. Germain Folding Chair|
|Ballard Designs Oxford Folding Chair|
|World Market Ladder Back Folding Chair|
|World Market Mika Wooden Folding Chairs|
|Horchow wooden folding chairs|