Furniture Guides | Accent Chairs

Accent Chairs: How to Pick the Perfect Round Chair

Round chairs are cozy, inviting seats that foster private reflective moments. But how do you know which one is right for your home and personal taste?

Some round chairs could more succinctly be defined as Papasan chairs, which originate from Southeast Asia. Others are more masculine, such as a barrel chair with a leather covering and prominent studs.

Depending on your personal preferences, your decor, and your budget, you can choose statement round chairs in an array of materials and styles. Here are some tips on how to pick the perfect round chair for your home.

Emerald Velvet Barrel Chair

Choose Your Size

There's something cozy and casual about a round chair. The corner-less design invites lounging and relaxing. With a few vibrant throw pillows and an excellent standing reading lamp, you have the ideal combination for a book nook.

Take the time to measure the space in which you plan to install your round chair. Round chairs are typically oversized and larger than other accent chairs like armchairs or wingbacks. Ensure you add 5-6" clearance space around your chair to minimize disruptions to foot traffic.

The round chair also needs to fit through all the apertures of your living space, so if you live in an apartment, this also means that a storage elevator is a necessity to transport the piece into your home.

Standard Size Fury Papasan Chair in Grey
Elegant Round Swivel Barrel Chair
Tufted Papasan Chair in Black

Pick Your Upholstery

Round chairs generally come in two upholstered looks - leather or fabric.

  • Leather

If you want a more natural upholstered look, leather looks wonderful and ages gracefully. And the flaws that may appear on a leather covering are merely a part of its character as no two hides are alike, giving your space a unique appeal.

Leather covers are meant to last a long time with the right care and attention and anchor a room with an understated classic tone. Opt for tufted styles to keep the look streamlined or opt for studded edges to give your space a traditional style.

  • Fabric

Fabric upholstery comes in a myriad of textures, colors, and patterns. You can match your round chair's fabric with your other pieces of furniture, or you could go for something bold and bright to make a statement, like a fire-engine red chair in an otherwise demure setting.

Fabric is an excellent choice if you want to be able to change up your decor over time. You can find round chair models with removable covers for easy washing or switch the covers out for a simple style upgrade.

For a family home, opt for fabrics such as cotton or microfiber, which are highly durable, breathable, and easy to clean. If you are placing the chair in a low-traffic area, try sumptuous fabrics such as silk, linen, or velvet to add a touch of luxury to the space.

Faux Leather Barrel Chair in Brown
Microfibre Round Armchair in Grey
Linen Swivel Barrel Chair in White
Microfibre Papasan Chair in Black

Match Your Style

A round chair is a sizable piece of furniture, and to create a cohesive look in your living room, you have to make sure that the round chair you choose matches your existing decor.

Ideally, the room where you're going to install your round chair should have a theme or color palette already. Many designers advise using three or four colors in your palette, with a few understated hues like ecru or slate as your base tone and a pop of color to express your personality.

Industrial Metal Swivel Balloon Chair
Traditional White and Black Balloon Chair
Swivel Barrel Chair in Beige
Tufted Fabric Chair and Ottoman
Faux Leather Barrel Chair and Ottoman in Yellow

Opt for a Sturdy Frame

On a round chair, the frame is the most critical part of the piece. You want a solid piece of craftsmanship made of either pressure-treated wood,  heavy-gauge metal, or high-grade plastic.

Oversized round chairs are ideal for cuddling up with a loved one or pet, but you need to make sure that the frame can support the weight of two people. Look for chairs that have weight capacity of at least 250 lbs.

Spring Support

Not only should you ensure that the frame of your chosen round seat is sturdy and long-lasting, what the chair is filled with is equally as important.

A round chair can support your body in a couple of different ways, including webbing, spring edges, zigzag springs, traditional springs, or serpentine springs.

  • Webbing

Made of fabric, plastic, or nylon, webbing starts from a central point and runs out like spokes on a bike wheel, attaching to the round chair's rim. Not quite as cozy as some other options, webbed round chairs add a sleek edge to any aesthetic.

  • Spring edges

Used mainly by Georgian and Victorian upholsterers, spring edges are lashed together so that one single spring doesn't work more than any other. This type of seat floats above the frame's line, creating a bouffant muffin top to the seat. This technique is long-lasting and preserves the seat's shape.

  • Zigzag springs

These springs attach front and back on the chair's seat and top to bottom surrounding the seat. These springs, along with sinuous ones, are great at preventing sagging.

  • Traditional springs

These springs are individual coils, each residing under a portion of the fabric.

  • Serpentine springs

Also called sinuous springs, serpentine springs look like the S-shape of a moving snake. Upholsterers use this technique to preserve the chairs' seats and prevent sagging.

You don't have to be an expert in the history of upholstery to be able to pick out the perfect round chair for your space. All you need is exact measurements and a discerning designer's eye.

Check the Filling

What the seat of your round chair is filled with is another consideration because, more than anything else, you want your round chair to be comfortable. Chairs are usually upholstered with foam or fiber.

  • Foam

Most traditional round chairs are filled with foam, which retains its shape better than fiber-filled seats. For the firmest feel and most structured look, you should opt for foam filling.

  • Fiber

Fiber filling is softer and needs to be plumped daily for the furniture to retain its shape. Most fiber-filled round chairs are more expensive than the other options.

Whether you get a foam-filled or fiber-filled round chair is entirely up to you. You may not even know what your new chair is filled with, but simply like the feel and look. The most important consideration of choosing the perfect round chair is comfort. If the chair isn't comfortable, it's not fulfilling its purpose.

The Take-home Message

Picking out furniture can be an arduous process, but a little knowledge can make your search for the perfect round chair shorter and more focused.

The most important elements of picking the ideal round chair are the size, the style, and the comfort level.

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