Furniture Guides | Chairs & Recliners

7 Tips For Choosing a Relaxing Chair

There are hundreds of different styles of relaxing chairs available, from Chesterfields and wingbacks to recliners and chaise lounges, and choosing the best one for your space is not always easy.

A good chair should balance comfort, durability, and visual appeal, but with so much to think about, where do you start? Follow our top tips, and you're sure to make the right decision.

Get inspired

Before you start shopping, we recommend you get a clearer idea of the style of chair to suit your decor. The best way to do this is with a bit of chair research. When it comes to getting inspiration for interiors, the internet is an excellent resource. Explore inspirational photos of decor you love at, then assess your current interior style. Consider what chair designs, colors, and materials will blend with your home.

Perhaps you're drawn to the clean lines of mid-century modern design to create a sleek aesthetic in your contemporary home? Or maybe a bold rattan accent chair with a plush cushion would add dramatic flair to your boho style? Whatever your interior aesthetic, inspirational images give you a place to start on your search for the perfect chair.

Consider how the chair will be used

Are you looking for a cozy chair for your reading nook where you can snuggle up for hours with a good book? How about a pair of modern chairs for your office where you can have informal meetings with clients? Need a convertible chair that can accommodate visiting friends and family? Or maybe you just want a beautiful piece for your bedroom where you can have your morning coffee before starting the day?

Thinking about how you intend to use your chair helps you decide what features it needs to have. If you know you will spend long periods sitting, you may need something that has good back support. If you're someone who likes to curl up into a chair, you should look for a wider seat to offer the most comfortable position. Good furniture is a marriage of aesthetics and function; keep both in mind when selecting your relaxing chair.

Size up your space

Once you have determined the perfect room for your relaxing chair, you need to size up the layout and take measurements. It doesn't matter how gorgeous or comfy your chair appears if it can't fit in the room.

To find the maximum size of your chair, measure the length and width of your space, taking into account 10" - 12" clearance space around the front of the chair to allow for foot traffic. If you're buying a recliner, don't forget to find out how large it is when it's fully extended.

Remember, although a chair might physically fit in a space, you need to consider its size in proportion to the room and the rest of your furniture. Bulky seats can dominate a small space while dainty chairs can get lost in bigger rooms. If you're buying for a smaller space, streamlined designs will be more successful. Whereas, in larger areas, you can afford to experiment with exaggerated shapes.

Coastal Living Room Design
Style Agnostic Indoor Design

Choose durable upholstery fabrics

When buying your relaxing chair, picking the right upholstery is about both looks and practicality. If you're designing a warm, cozy room, choose fabrics like wool. For something more luxurious, sumptuous velvet is an excellent choice.

However, if you have pets or young children or are purchasing seating for a business space such as a cafe, your chairs will get heavy use. To ensure they last the long haul, choose chairs upholstered in durable fabrics such as leather, linen, or polyester microfiber.

Don't just pick your current favorite color

When it comes to decor, there's nothing more personal than color choice. Most of us have colors that we are drawn to, but it's crucial to think about how your chair's shade will fit in with the rest of your decor.

That's not to say you should buy matching drapes, carpet, and sofas. Contrasting colors can bring vibrancy to a room. However, to ensure you end up with a chair you love, consider the vibe you want to create in your room.

For a bright, fresh New England beach house look, consider cool blues and classic stripes. If your room has a country farmhouse feel, warm hues and plaids add a cozy, rustic aesthetic. Before making your decision, get a few swatches of fabrics or print out color samples you like and see how they look in the space at different times of the day.

Glam Living Room Design
Glam Living Room Design

Invest in a Statement Piece

The right chair can make a dramatic impact on a room. Chairs are large enough to make a statement but small enough so they don't dominate a space, so you can afford to have a little fun with your design choice.

Experiment with bold prints and complementary shades that add a pop of color to your room. Take a risk with an unusually-shaped design that reflects the lines of your other furniture. As long as you concentrate on your own tastes, rather than whatever is fashionable at the time, this chair could become your favorite piece of furniture.

Think About the Chair's Construction

The materials used to make a chair's frame are just as important to consider as your upholstery when making your purchase. Chair frames are usually constructed from wood or metal, though other sturdy materials like plastics are sometimes used.

A chair's longevity is ultimately determined by the materials used to make it. If you're investing in a piece that you want to keep hold of for many years, choose a heavy-duty frame material. Steel tends to be heavier and sturdier than aluminum, though it does rust, so if you're looking for an outdoor relaxing chair, it may not be your best option.

For chairs with upholstered frames, you can focus on strength and weight rather than beauty. Engineered wood products are often used for this kind of frame, especially in critical stress areas where maximum strength is needed, such as cross braces and joins.

If the chair frame is on show, the aesthetics are important. The look of this kind of frame is as important as upholstery fabric, so consider how bamboo, oak, aluminum, and other relevant material finishes blend with your decor and suit your style.

Club Chair And Ottoman
Glam Bedroom Design

The Take-home Message

After a hard day at work, there's no better feeling than sinking into your favorite relaxing chair. But to get the most style and functionality out of your purchase, there are several important factors to consider. Ensure that your relaxing chair supports your body with a comfortable yet chic design, and keep the size and design coordinated with your current furniture for a vibrant interior aesthetic.

Foter is a premier architecture, decoration, interiors and design website. We inspire and guide you to make your home a more attractive place.


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