Different Types of Armchairs
Overstuffed Armchair. The different styles of feature armchairs vary greatly, and thus must be chosen carefully in order to effectively accentuate and enrich the interior of your home and ensure that they serve the desired purpose. Those boasting clean lines, sharp corners and crisp metal features suitably enhance a more modern interior design scheme, whilst armchairs that are punctuated by elegant, soft lines, rounded corners and earthy finishes have a tendency to complement traditional decors. Here are just a few of the armchair styles that you can choose from.
Deemed the original accent chair, wingback chairs have long held pride of place in the living room. Evoking sophistication and refinement, high backs, arm rests and winged sides are characteristic of a wingback chair.
The armless slipper chair is a versatile piece that can be incorporated into a range of spaces, particularly bedrooms and smaller living spaces. Positioned lower to the ground and boasting a supportive, high back, armless slipper chairs can provide a room with comfortable elegance without taking up too much space.
Chaise Lounge Armchairs
The enduring style of a chaise lounge dates back to Ancient Egypt, and is still to this day chosen to deliver fashionable comfort for those who are more leisurely inclined. Fusing the traditional elements of a chair with a footstool, the chaise lounge is essentially an elongated chair that can be used to recline.
Chair & A Half Armchairs
Perfect for those who desire a loveseat, but lack the space for one, a chair and a half is, as it’s name suggests, an armchair with a little more room to move. A chair and a half can add comfort and style to your living space, and provide a suitable chair in which to snuggle up with your loved ones or enjoy in solitude.
The Purpose of Feature Armchairs
Providing more than just additional seating, feature armchairs are versatile in their application and the purposes that they serve. When used in isolation, they can accentuate an interior design scheme, inject a burst of colour and/or add another textural element to a room, whereas when used collectively, feature armchairs can unite to create a functional, yet decorative furniture arrangement. Placed within your home office, bedroom or living room for example, feature armchairs can be utilised to complete an existing seating area. Alternatively, you can create a separate space entirely by positioning a plush armchair in a low-traffic area, such as next to a window, accompanied by a small table and lamp, to create a cosy reading nook. Whether it is championed as the focal point of a room or supplements the furnishings that sit alongside it, a feature armchair or two can add visual interest, through it’s colour scheme, texture and shape.
How to Choose the Perfect Feature Armchair
When selecting feature armchairs for your home, look to your existing interior design scheme and furnishings, and ensure that comfort and functionality remain at the forefront. Consider the space available and choose armchairs that are in proportion with the size of the room. This will ensure that the armchairs don’t distort the configuration of the room and allow people to navigate the surrounding space comfortably. For example, armless slipper chairs are suitable for rooms with limited space, whereas an oversized chair and a half will fit effortlessly in a more sizable living area.
The feel, depth, width and height are key considerations that must be made when shopping for a feature armchair. The chair should be soft to the touch yet still provide the necessary support and be a suitable depth to accommodate the length of your legs. Additionally, the width of the seat and the height of the back and arms are also crucial for luxurious lounging. It is worth noting that feature armchairs don’t have to match the couch in the living room, but should complement and accentuate the partnering furnishings and chosen colour scheme to achieve an even balance. If you’re struggling to find the perfect armchair or can’t bring yourself to part with a treasured piece, reupholstering an existing armchair is also a great way to breathe new life into a room.
Be it modern or traditional in style, create a cosy corner or supplement your existing furnishings with a feature armchair or two that accentuates the style of your home and serves as the perfect place to relax in plush comfort.
How John Croft Design Uses Feature Armchairs
Feature armchairs feature quite heavily in the interior design schemes of many of our projects. Regarded as quite important pieces by the design team, they play an integral role in pulling a design scheme together. Quite often we select couches in more neutral colour schemes and then accent these with armchairs in vibrant prints that inject a burst of colour. With the style and comfort deemed paramount, the feature chairs that we tend to gravitate towards are those with a unique point of difference to create visual interest and a hint of the unexpected.
We can be ever so rigid in our thinking at times. Armchairs and sofas go in the living room, don’t they? That’s where they’ve always gone. That’s where we relax in front of the TV, open Christmas presents, and have lazy evening takeaways when we can’t muster the energy to set up the dining room. It’s where we entertain and relax.
Why restrict ourselves, though? There are a number of rooms that armchairs would easily fit into, and in fact, there are a number of use cases that are crying out for armchairs above all else. With handcrafted furniture companies (see below for an example), you have ample options to tailor an armchair to those specific environments. No need to worry about your armchair looking like it’s been pulled straight out of the living room and is being held somewhere else temporarily.
1. Under the stairs
A vacant space under a set of stairs can easily be transformed into a reading area with the addition of an armchair, and little else. It’s a simple, cost-effective change – no shelving, carpeting and so on necessary. You just need to fit in with the colour scheme of your hall.
There is a danger that this chair might end up being used as an incredibly luxurious shoe fitting point, however. If you don’t think anyone in your family is likely to actually read under the stairs, the armchair may end up being more decorative than functional – which might not be a problem for you, depending on your circumstances.
2. In an improvised cinema room
While many of us watched MTV Cribs bursting with jealousy and loathing, some of us might have seen the cinema rooms in a number of celebrity mansions as inspiration for a smaller-scale cinema room project of their own.
While the rich and famous might have the space for a thirty-seating cinema in their basement, the rest of us don’t. So the rows of plush cinema seating that the stars have aren’t really of any use to us. A handful of armchairs would neatly achieve the same objective, though.
3. In the bedroom
The armchair in the bedroom helps with a very 21st century issue – the quandary of laptop, tablet or phone use in bed while your partner is trying to sleep.
Be it an email you just need to send that night, or some last minute present buying or travel arrangements, our lives are increasingly ruled by devices, and at the same time, we’re increasingly expected to be accessible and available all hours of the day.
As a result, we’re sometimes forced to poke at devices in the dark, all while finding brightness settings that strike the delicate balance between readability and how much it disturbs our sleeping partners. We could always move off the bed, but what’s more comfortable than a bed in a bedroom? An armchair could be a close second. It’s a wonder more people don’t have comfortable seating in their bedrooms for this very scenario.
4. In the conservatory
Conservatories are difficult to contend with, furniture-wise. Do you make the conservatory a secondary summer dining area, a bright working space, or a living room without a TV?
From where I’m sitting, using it as a summer dining area seems unnecessary. Your summer dining area will be your garden or patio if you have the space, and if the weather is good enough, so why would you need what is effectively a tertiary dining area?
As for the well-lit study suggestion, appealing though it sounds to work under the sun without contending with sudden winds, nothing renders a computer screen unreadable as quickly as sunlight shining directly onto it. Before you know it you’ve closed so many blinds to block out the sun you’ve taken away all of the benefits of the conservatory in the first place.
The conservatory as TV-less living room argument is persuasive though. Perfect for entertaining guests before dinner, or even for day-to-day reading, web browsing, or just for sitting down with a cup of coffee and looking out at the scenery. You could start with an armchair, and then add other living room accoutrements if the armchair trial proves successful and desirable.
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