Shopping for Quality Dining Chairs

Buying new furniture is an important part of putting together a home and we all take that seriously when it comes to shopping for good quality as well as a fair price.  Last Fall, I shared with all you my new dining room chairs and how they came to be.  They replaced another set of chairs that came from the same company, Carrington Court and I still love them dearly.  They really make my dining room look like a beautiful and elegant space and just changing out the chairs made a huge difference. As I explained in that post, Carrington Court worked with me as a sponsor and I got those chairs in exchange for sharing them on my blog, which was easy to do as I had been a customer of theirs 10 years earlier, before I was even blogging.

Today, I’m going to share the process of how Carrington Court makes their chairs and let you know of the quality and workmanship that goes into each and every chair that they produce.  This company is based in NC, the furniture capital of our country and each piece is still handmade and put together with care and quality.

What makes Carrington Court different from other companies and brands?

Instead of settling on what they find from a manufacturer and what a chain store might offer, with limited fabric selections and finishes, Carrington Court customers want choices and quality and they want to build “their furniture” with the ability to personalize their pieces and have trust in the company that is making the furniture for them. That’s where Carrington Court is different.  Getting what you want, as far as style and fabric for a fair price, knowing that it’s going to be built well is how they make their customers happy and coming back for more.

So, let’s go through the steps I took to get my new chairs from Carrington Court.

{Cutting and Sewing}  Fabric is laid out on 24′ long cutting tables where individual pattern pieces are laidout to ensure that any pattern in the fabric is properly centered and matches across design elements.  Seat upholstery is sewn as is piping, skirts and borders.

Step 1:  Pick your Style (this gets creative as you can choose legs, style of chair, back of chair, fabric, tassels, trims, tufting and more)

There are so many choices at Carrington Court and I wanted to go for something a bit different than what I’d bought 10 years earlier, so this time I chose the Fenwick chair, a transitional, somewhat modern lined chair, which fit my space as well as the previous chairs and added a little more modern vibe to my dining room.  I had a more traditional camel backed chair in my original purchase and these fit my style even more at this point.  With my traditional style mahogany sideboard, these were a good mix in my space and I just loved their tufted backs!

{Upholstery process:  Craftsmen with an average of 22 years of experience upholster the piece. While upholsterers usually build up and upholster the seat first, in the case of the Fenwick and other diamond-tufted pieces, the seat is built up, then back foam is installed, upholstered and tufted before the seat upholstery is added.}

Step 2:  Order Swatches and pick your fabric

With over 200 fabric choices and 16 top grain leathers (or bring your own COM fabric to the mix), this can be the tough part, but order as many samples as you are interested in seeing to narrow down the choices.  Once I saw all the fabrics in person that I was interested in online, it made it easier to figure out THE one that stood out to me.  Fabric samples are only 50 cents each, so seeing them in person is crucial.  Order all the fabric samples you think you’ll like, trust me on that!

Angela Cream is the beautiful linen/cotton blend I choose.  It’s a bit more white that this swatch shows, but a very nice neutral.  I also considered Gayle Linen, Gayle Seashell, Donna Linen, Joan Greige, Tina Latte, Cassandra Linen, Georgia Snow, Marsha Natural, Sally White, and Wanda Linen, before deciding on this one.  Once you lay them all out in your space, your favorite will make an appearance and say “pick me!!”.

Step 3:  Select Your Finish and Nailhead Colors (7 finishes in each selection)

There are several wood finish choices and I chose Brown Cherry Leg finish with Old Gold nailheads for my chairs.  I love, love how it all turned out together. This is where your creativity comes in, you can get your chairs exactly the way you want them!

{Outside Upholstery:  Craftsmen, known as Trimmers, inspect the work of the Insider and then finish each piece by adding an out-back, piping, and dust cover.}

Step 4:  Carrington Builds Your Furniture

Once all the choices are made, then you leave it to the pros to make your chairs exactly to your specifications.  When I ordered the first time (10 years ago) from Carrington Court, I really didn’t know all this behind the scenes information, but felt like I was ordering from a great company with quality chairs.  After using my chairs for 10 years, I’m totally convinced on their process for making quality chairs and seeing these pics of how my chairs were made further confirms my thoughts.

Carrington Court chairs start with a solid frame of kiln-dried hardwoods, with joints that are double dowelled, glued and screwed as well as reinforced with steel clips and a corner blocked seat box.  Their over engineering allows them to offer a limited lifetime warranty on the structure of their chairs in a residential setting. That’s good news for us!

Take a look at the hand tapped nailheads that went into making my chairs. Now that’s craftsmanship!


{Finishing:  While all Brass Nailers are Trimmers, not all Trimmers have what it takes to apply decorative nails. While many large manufacturers and importers have resorted to using nail strips or pneumatic nailers to apply decorative nails, Carrington Court stays true to the craft and individually hammers each nail into the piece. Hand applying nails does two things which set pieces apart from mass produced furniture. It creates slight irregularities in spacing and alignment of nails and the hammer itself makes small marks on the nail heads which give them a unique character. When you see these characteristics you know you are looking at a handmade piece that was artfully crafted in the USA.}

Inspection, Packaging, and Delivery: Finished pieces are inspected, and if necessary corrected. Then they are cleaned, threads trimmed, and finished elements are padded and taped. The piece is then bagged and boxed for shipment direct from the manufacturer to the client’s home where the pieces come to life!

So, I wanted to share this process with you so that you can feel confident if you decide to buy chairs from Carrington Court too.  I love working with great companies like this who stand behind their products and consistently produce quality chairs.  I have no doubt if you are looking for new dining room chairs and upholstered chairs are on your radar, that you will love working with Carrington Court as much as I have loved working with them.  I can honestly say that is completely true for me!

Buying dining room chairs is not something that we do every day, so sharing this post is a good way for you to gain knowledge of the workmanship offered if you are looking for non-cookie cutter chairs and one of a kind look for your dining room.  I hope you’ll check them out if you’re in the market for new chairs and this should help give you confidence that they will treat you well and give you the chairs of your dream dining room!

After you check out the website and if you decide to call, you can use this special number to reach them and they will know that I sent you!

1-844-797-4632 (79-RHODA)

Note:  This is a 2nd sponsored post on behalf of a Carrington Court collaboration.  They provided my dining room chairs for me last fall, after I bought my first set of dining room chairs from them 10 years ago.  I have been so completely happy with the experience that having them as a sponsor on my blog is a natural fit and I wanted to share all of this with my readers. 

- Rhoda


  1. It is so impressive to see the work that goes into each piece. I especially enjoyed learning about the art of nail head trim. Buying furniture is a huge investment. I believe in purchasing the best you can afford and keeping it forever (call me a sentimental girl!)

  2. Love the workmanship so will check them out next time I’m buying chairs.
    Off topic but how is your dad liking his hearing aides?

    • Hi Regina, he’s really liking them & doing well with them & we are all really happy he has them.

  3. Now I’d like to see the inside of a big box etc., chair. This was an education for me.

  4. Enjoyed seeing this post about Carrington Court chairs. Wish I had seen this before purchasing a chair last year! Interesting!

  5. Iris McCloud says:

    This article is interesting. I have been looking for dining room chairs. The process does make it seem like these are good quality. Since they are built to order how did you know how comfortable they would be? I frequently have a problem finding comfortable furniture, partially because I am short and my feet may not reach the floor without sitting so far forward that my back is no longer supported. Did you have a chance to try the chairs at a store in Atlanta or just trusted the comfort level because you already owned their chairs?

    • Hi, Iris, I ordered 10 years ago not having any idea how comfortable they would be, but took a chance and they were everything I hoped they would be. This time, I knew the quality and I had no qualms about ordering a different style since I had such good results from the first set of chairs I had ordered from them. If you look at the measurements and try to compare that to something you might have in your house, I think you would be fine with not sitting in them before hand.

  6. Love seeing the craftsmanship with these chairs. Also really love that they are made in the USA!

  7. I LOVE the story of how Carrington Court reached out to you: a great example of the win-win-win! You win in getting these new chairs and knowing that you’re recommending a great company to your readers. Your readers win because they learn about a great company and get to see the real product up close and personal right here on your blog. And the company wins because they’ve been recommended by someone who really knows what’s what! It’s awesome. Thanks for the introduction to Carrington Court. Honestly, finding a really comfortable dining chair is not easy. Next time I’m looking, I know where I’ll start!

    • Thank you, Richella, you are so right, they are definitely a company I can recommend with ease.

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