Once made only for royalty and nobility, the wingback chairs today are still a symbol of classic elegance and timeless style. With their distinctive high backrests and winged sides, these chairs exude an air of sophistication and charm that can uplift any interior space. They are both an accent piece and a source of unparalleled comfort. Whether you choose an antique stylized or a modern design, they will add aesthetics to your home and give you a secluded relaxing spot.
The versatility of design features and décor styles make them a popular choice of an armchair for people who want to add a bit of personal touch to their homes, as well as enjoy the coziness of the perfect chair.
What Is the Point of a Wing Chair?
To the modern-day consumer, a chair with wings might seem slightly pointless, considering the fact that there’s no need for this lateral support, but they do in fact have a purpose. Or, at least they did back in the 1600s when they were first made. See, in those days, the houses in Britain were not exactly insulated and drafts coming from the windows and doors made staying warm quite difficult.
So, people made these chairs with tall backrests flanked by ’wings’ on the sides to shield their heads and necks from the chilly air. The chairs were commonly placed in front of the fireplace, the dominant heating source at the time and allowed a cozy and intimate sitting experience. Over time, the design has evolved in both form and function, and what was once a fireside piece of furniture in aristocratic homes, is now a multifunctional chair that can enhance the look of every home.
Richness of Styles
What sets these beautiful wing chairs apart from other sitting alternatives is their distinctive shape and construction. The backrest extends above the head and offers excellent support for the neck and shoulders making it ideal for relaxation and reading, while the wings on the side provide a sense of enclosure that contribute to the cocoon feeling, as well as its aesthetic appeal. The back curves out to the side, and the armrests and the wings form a shape similar to a bird’s wing, hence the name.
These chairs are usually constructed with a solid hardwood frame that ensures durability and stability, and the padding and upholstery can vary depending on the model. The most common styles are:
• Scroll wings – have a more traditional design with wider flared wings and either a roll arm or a flare arm at the base.
• Flat wings – can be narrow at the top and have the same or slightly bigger width at the base, with straight wings extended on the sides that run the height of the back.
• Barrel-back wing chairs – have a more midcentury look with the wings wrapped around the back instead of being attached.
Versatility in Fabrics and Designs
One of the remarkable aspects of these wing chairs is their versatility in materials and colours or patterns. They can be upholstered with traditional fabrics such as velvet or leather, or more contemporary options like linen and microfiber. Button-tufting and nailhead trim are common embellishments that add a touch of elegance.
If your interior design leans towards a more traditional style, then a wingback chair made from rich leather can create a sophisticated and refined atmosphere. On the other side, if you prefer a modern, eclectic space, then a chair upholstered with a vibrant fabric can infuse a bit of playfulness and a pop of colour. Choose hues that complement the décor, or go bold and pick a pattern that stands out. The wide range of sizes allows you to find the perfect fit for your home, whether that’s a compact option for a cozy corner or an oversized design that makes a statement.
Where to Place Wing Chairs?
Wingback chairs don’t have to be limited to living rooms and lounges. They can be a great addition to bedrooms, offices and even dining rooms, providing not only extra sitting but a touch of elegance as well. You can place them in a pair in front of a fireplace in the living room, like the good old days, and enjoy a conversation with a loved one. Put them next to the window for a comfortable spot to unwind at the end of the day. Or place them in a corner in front of a bookshelf where you can enjoy a good book without being disturbed.
They can add a dose of sophistication at the end of the dining table, or provide a comfortable and stylish spot in your home office. Tuck them away in a peaceful corner or give them a central position, they will suit every space.
Wherever you place them in your home, the wingback chairs will soon become your favourite spot because they offer exceptional comfort. With the high backrest and wings, they can support the upper body and promote proper posture, reducing strain on the neck and shoulders. The depth and angle of the seat are carefully designed to provide a comfortable seating position for extended periods of time.
There’s a reason why these timeless chairs have been around for centuries and continue to be attractive today. Blending history, style and comfort, they are the perfect testament that the classic design can have an enduring allure regardless of changing trends. With their regal appearance, unmatched comfort, and ability to seamlessly fit into any décor style, the wingback chairs have captivated our hearts and homes. They are an elegant and comfortable solution whether you are looking for a cozy reading spot or a statement piece for your living room.