What type works where? Wing chairs, wood chairs, large, small, overstuffed or streamlined, they are in a world unto itself. Different types, of course, are better in different rooms and for different situations.
Upholstered chairs provide the greatest comfort. Upholstered furniture will last a lifetime, so it makes sense to buy quality. The guidelines for buying an upholstered chair are similar to those for buying a sofa. Check the upholstery to see how it is wrapped and covered. Check the depth of the seating and ask what it’s made of. If there is a choice of fabric, you might want to ask if it’s stain resistant.
Large, overstuffed armchairs are often referred to as club chairs. They encourage lounging, and if you place an ottoman in front of one of these comfortable chairs, you can create the perfect spot for doing just that.
This chair is smaller in scale than the club chair, usually armless and shorter than most chairs. The back is also lower than your average chair. The original use for a slipper chair was for drawing up close to the fireplace. It is equally at home in the living room and the bedroom and usually stands alone. You don’t often see several used in the main sitting or conversation area, but they are wonderful to draw into the group for extra seating, or for their original purpose. I have two in my living room and find them extremely convenient, as you can perch on the edge or turn easily to face people on either side of you.
Interior decorator Billy Baldwin was famous for his small-scaled slipper chairs with white slipcovers or upholstery. They were his signature and he had them in his New York City apartment as well as in his vacation home on Nantucket Island. They provide a wonderful solution for an arrangement where larger chairs might be too cumbersome. Singing the praises of the slipper chair, Mark Hampton says it is as popular today as it was a hundred years ago. Good design always prevails.
A wing chair is graceful and almost architectural in design. Place it opposite a fireplace and it becomes the coziest spot to curl up with a book on a winter’s evening. “Put it in front of a bay window and suddenly you’ve got a corner office,” says New York interior designer Vicente Wolf. A wing chair is perfect for adding height and drama to a room. It can be upholstered in leather, which is a popular version, or a more refined fabric such as velvet or heavy tapestry in flame stitch patterns.
Use one wing chair by itself. Or use two, placed opposite each other on either side of a fireplace or across from a sofa with a table between. A wing chair is adaptable and can be used in contemporary or traditional settings. Larger ones are used in living rooms, while smaller versions are popular for bedrooms.
These chairs are usually smaller than upholstered chairs and have a wood frame. There are many styles that can add accents and complement a room. An occasional chair is quite versatile, as it can be placed against a wall and easily brought into the main conversation area when extra seating is needed.
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