If you have one formal and one casual dining space, you can really go to town with different chair designs for both. A casual spot will do best with sociable, comfy seating that naturally leads to conversation, whereas a formal setting is where you can play around with luxury fabrics. If you only have one dining room, you're going to need to combine all of these elements in one set of chairs, if possible!
For dining chairs that are built to last, there's no better material than oak. One of the strongest, prettiest and most accessible woods currently available, oak can be whittled by any master craftsman, into a fabulous set of dining chairs that will last a lifetime. Because oak is such a beautiful material, it can be turned to represent any design genre to an incredible standard. Contemporary, retro or traditional chairs will always look great in oak, not to mention bench seats.