An armchair is a versatile piece of furniture that can play many different functions in your home – from providing a place for you to curl up with a book to being the perfect finishing touch to your living room seating or a bold accent to brighten a dull corner. According to design experts, placing an armchair in a room can be an alternative to painting a feature wall or hanging artwork by adding personality to the space.
Whether you’re a fan of traditional pieces or prefer a more modern approach, there will certainly be a chair to suit both your style and space. Just make sure you choose it right. The perfect armchair for you is the one that complements the style of existing furniture but that still stands out enough to make your guests say “WOW!”. Here are some things to think about when choosing your armchair.
Check Different Fabrics
With proper care, an armchair should last for years, but the type of fabric you choose will impact its longevity.
- Leather – A leather armchair is durable and stain-resistant. Although you can wash the covers of a fabric chair, this type of material loses its colour and deteriorates with use. With good care, leather furniture can last a decade while keeping its appearance as if it were new. Another benefit of a leather armchair is that it’s easy to maintain. Since it’s stain-resistant, leather furniture usually stays cleaner than other finishes, such as fabric furniture. Just applying a damp cloth to the spot you’ve detected to be stained and that can prove to be enough.
- Velvet – You might appreciate the luxurious look of velvet fabric, but you should know that this fabric is high-maintenance. So, if you own a pet like a dog or a cat, it might be a great idea to avoid this fabric because your pet’s fur will make the chair messy and you’ll have to brush it frequently.
- Linen – Since linen is a natural fabric, it tends to be soft and comfortable, which is appealing to many people. Unfortunately, linen cannot handle heavy wear and tear, which means it’s not ideal for family rooms or other spaces where the furniture will be used on a daily basis. With that said, a linen armchair should be reserved for more formal spaces that are used on special occasions.
- Cotton – Another natural fabric that offers excellent protection from fading and pilling. But it’s not very resistant against wrinkling, stains and fire. When it comes to durability, it will depend on the finish and design.
- Wool – To protect your chair from fading, pilling, wrinkling and soil, use wool. But for the fabric to be cleaned easily, it should be mixed with synthetic fabric.
Style: What’s Trending
When it comes to what is on-trend, it’s all about curves right now. Soft, rounded chairs designed to facilitate conversation continue to be the choice of many. There’s also a growing emphasis on sustainability. Natural materials such as wool and leather, are increasing in popularity. Colours drawn from nature are also popular such as terracotta, orange, burnt, greens and inky blue.
Vintage and vintage-inspired are top sellers. A leather armchair tends to have a classic style that can also be associated with retro or vintage decoration. Swivel chairs look perfect in front of a fireplace or window while allowing you to enjoy the scenery yet stay connected with the room. A style that contrasts with your sofa can deliver a wow factor. Chairs with deep buttoning, rolled arms and loose cushions suit traditional spaces. A clean-line decor needs sleek profiles with taut cushioning and statement upholstery. Slimmer styles of chairs are ideal for smaller rooms.
Here scale is crucial – you don’t want to block views or traffic flow in your room. In order to prevent the room from feeling cramped, an armchair should have a minimum clearance of 60cm. Of course, the size of the chair will depend on how much space you have as well as the amount of space necessary to be comfortable in the chair. In other words, avoid opting for a chair that is too big for the room or too small to sit on comfortably.
If you want a chair to kick back and relax on, ensure that it’s sufficiently wide and stable. Also, check if the height of the backrest is suitable for how you plan on using the armchair. If you want an armchair to use just as a decoration piece, it won’t require the same backrest height as one that you plan on using every day or want to add to a reading nook. For maximum comfort, it’s import for the backrest to be at least as high as your neck.
Regardless of style, comfort is what matters. Sit on the chair to find out how comfortable it is – your feet should touch the floor at a 90-degree angle and arms should rest comfortably on the sides. A recliner or seat with matching footstool will be more comfortable for prolonged use. Find out what the frame is made from – quality pieces will be made from solid hardwood, metal or a combination of the two. Also, look for corner reinforcement and screwed or interlocking joints rather than ones that are stapled or glued.