Chairs are one of the more essential elements of the home, but their design potential shouldn’t be overlooked. When carefully selected, chairs can add personality and style to a space, in addition to functionality.
Chairs are versatile and can maximize your space, too. Texas-based designer Stefan Bucur, founder and owner of Rhythm of the Home, says decorating with chairs is a perfect way to use a home’s full potential.
“You can turn an empty corner into a cozy reading or relaxation spot with a comfortable armchair, accompanied by a side table and lamp,” Bucur says.
The problem that faces many home design novices is, “Which chair should I use in this space?” Read on to learn about the different types of chairs DIY home decorators should know, and how each chair design can be used throughout your home.
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1. Rocking Chair
Homeowners likely will recognize rocking chairs, which are chairs mounted on curved bands that allow the chair to rock forward and back. These chairs are perfect for people who have a hard time sitting still and feel more relaxed in motion. Parents also love using rocking chairs to soothe babies and young children to sleep.
Best For: People who like to sit in motion and parents with young children.
Our Recommendation: Babyletto Kai Rocker at Amazon for $499
This chair is a comfier take on a classic rocking chair, with a fully upholstered armchair as the body so occupants can sink into the chair and rock to their hearts’ content.
2. Egg Chair
Introduced in 1959, the Egg chair has become among the design community’s most famous chairs. It’s known for its chrome base and wide, round back that curves in to envelop the chair’s occupant and block peripheral vision, which can encourage deep focus.
Best For: Private spaces to think or read, such as a library or office.
Our Recommendation: Arne Chair at Interior Icons for $1,999
This Egg chair replica is made with luxurious materials that make this chair a true status symbol.
3. Queen Anne Chair
Queen Anne chairs are a more traditional style known for their cabriole legs, which mimic the curve of an animal’s leg. While the Queen Anne style goes beyond chairs, one of the most popular pieces is a Queen Anne dining chair, which is typically made of walnut, features cabriole legs, pad feet, and a vase-shaped back.
Best For: Use in a formal dining room or traditional-style living room.
Our Recommendation: Staas Upholstered Queen Anne Back Side Chair at Wayfair for $1,039.98
This Queen Anne side chair is made from cherrywood, which creates a rich look that’s perfect for a formal dining room.
4. Adirondack Chair
Adirondack chairs have a deep seat and slanted back that envelops the sitter to fully sit back and relax. These chairs often have wide arms, sit low to the ground, and are made of wood or plastic. They’re typically used as outdoor furniture.
Best For: Adirondack chairs are perfect for your patio, porch, or other outdoor space.
Our Recommendation: Elland HDPE Folding Set of 4 Adirondack Chairs at Wayfair for $560
We love the ability to fold these classic Adirondack chairs, so owners can easily transport or store away during the winter.
5. Windsor Chair
The Windsor chair is known for its spindle backrest that connects its wooden seat to a curved wood frame. The legs are attached directly to the seat. Windsor chairs sometimes have armrests that are continued from the chair back with the spindle design.
Best For: Use as dining chairs or as a bedroom chair, especially in spaces with a farmhouse or countryside vibe.
Our Recommendation: Ton Ironica Dining Side Chair at Williams Sonoma for $195
This Williams Sonoma chair freshens up the traditional Windsor style with a black finish and steam-bent seat.
6. Club Chair
Club chairs are typically found in family rooms, dens, or libraries and are almost always upholstered in leather. They feature a low back, wide armrests and have lots of cushioning. Club chairs tend to be more boxy than other types of living room chairs, but can sometimes have rounded backs.
Best For: Cozy spaces, such as your living or family room.
Our Recommendation: CHITA Swivel Accent Chair at Amazon for $569
The saddle brown leather is a classic look that never goes out of style, but you can choose different colors to suit your taste. And, we love that this chair swivels!
7. Wing Chair
You can easily identify a wing chair by its high, wing-shaped back that flares out to the sides and down to the armrests. The wings of the chair are meant to protect the chair’s occupant from drafts, but now serve more as an aesthetic choice on which designers have taken a more modern approach.
Best For: Wing chairs make a perfect reading spot in a living room or library.
Our Recommendation: Strandmon Wing Chair at Ikea for $429
The classic wing back and tufted button design of this chair gives you the elevated, traditional look without breaking the bank.
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A chair-and-a-half piece is exactly what it sounds like—a piece of furniture that’s the size of a chair and a half. If you prefer to sit upright in your chair, these might not be the chairs for you. These oversized armchairs are slightly smaller than loveseats, but provide ample room that’s perfect for stretching out or curling up in the chair.
Best For: Use in cozy spaces, such as a TV room or in your family room.
Our Recommendation: Winston Porter Jalitza Upholstered Oversized Swivel Armchair at Wayfair for $1,959.99
This seat looks like the perfect spot to cozy up under blankets during a winter afternoon with its low profile and wide armrests.
9. Tulip Chair
The Tulip chair made its debut in the 1950s and continues to be used in modern design. Its sleek and futuristic design makes this chair a unique piece that instantly adds personality to any room. Tulip chairs are available with and without armrests, and it’s the way the armrests slightly unfurl at the ends that gives this chair its name since the shape resembles a tulip.
Best For: Those who love mid-century modern design. The Tulip chair works well as a dining chair.
Our Recommendation: Set of 2 Tulip Dining Chairs at Modholic for $121.99
These swiveling chairs come in the classic white and red color scheme that is instantly recognizable.
You’ve likely seen these popular upholstered armchairs in the homes of your family and friends. At first glance, a recliner is nothing special until the lever or control button tilts the seat back and raises the footrest so occupants can lean back and stretch out. These chairs tend to be large, heavy, and the perfect spot to take a snooze.
Best For: Get a recliner if you love to lounge while watching TV or to sneak in an afternoon nap.
Our Recommendation: CHITA Power Recliner Swivel Glider at Amazon for $649.99
We love the power recline option on this chair; it tilts the chair and lifts the footrest more smoothly than a traditional lever.
11. Chaise Lounge Chair
Chaise lounge chairs are actually small sofas that are constructed in the shape of a chair so occupants can fully extend their legs. The back of chaise lounges is slightly shorter than most chairs. Typically, chaise lounges are upholstered in a more traditional style, but the term is now synonymous with any long reclining chair, such as deck loungers.
Best For: Living rooms or outdoor spaces, such as a pool or deck, if you choose an outdoor chaise lounge.
Our Recommendation: Set of 2 Outdoor Wicker Chaise Lounges at Wayfair for $465.99
These outdoor chaise lounges perfectly encapsulate tropical resort living and will make your outdoor space feel like a beachside getaway.
12. Barcelona Chair
Barcelona chairs are modern accent chairs easily recognized by their scissor-shaped frame and clean silhouette. The frame is usually plated in chrome with the chair seat and back in an upholstered leather with a tufted grid pattern. Bucur likes decorating with Barcelona chairs for modern spaces. “It is a modernist classic and it can elevate the style of any room with its clean lines and luxury,” he says.
Best For: Living rooms or as a bedroom accent chair.
Our Recommendation: Barcelona Chair at Manhattan Home Design for $1,100
This Barcelona chair replica closely resembles the original chair created in 1929, and is available in multiple upholstery options.
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13. Eames Lounge Chair
The Eames lounge chair is almost always paired with a matching ottoman and is an iconic lounge chair that originated in 1956. It’s best known for its black leather upholstery, wooden frame, and angled backrest so occupants can lean back and relax.
Best For: The Eames lounge chair works well in living rooms, bedrooms, and family rooms.
Our Recommendation: Leather Swivel Accent Chair at Wayfair for $799.99
This piece encapsulates the sophisticated style of the original Eames lounge chair and even offers the opportunity to swivel.
14. Slipper Chair
Slipper chairs have a simple silhouette with a low seat. They are similar to side chairs in that they have no arms, but slipper chairs can be distinguished by how low they sit to the ground and the long cushioned seat.
Best For: Slipper chairs are great for living rooms and are especially useful in bedrooms and large walk-in closets to briefly sit to put on shoes.
Our Recommendation: Emily Upholstered Slipper Chair at Wayfair for $189.99
The long seat and lumbar pillow on this slipper chair look especially comfortable and inviting.
15. Wishbone Chair
The Wishbone chair is a popular chair style that originated in 1949. Wishbone chairs can be identified by their curved back frames that resemble a wishbone. These chairs typically have a rope cord seat woven in an envelope pattern.
Best For: Use Wishbone chairs as dining chairs for a contemporary look.
Our Recommendation: Wish Solid Wood Dining Chair at Wayfair for $355.99
We love the two-tone look of this chair with the black wishbone frame and natural woven seat.
16. Papasan Chair
Papasan chairs have a distinguished boho style that makes them stand out. These chairs have large bowl-shaped frames typically made of rattan or wood and a round cushion where the sitter can lounge in the chair at an adjustable angle.
Best For: Use in boho-style spaces or more relaxed areas, such as a game room or bedroom.
Our Recommendation: Bayou Breeze Lairey Swivel Wicker Papasan Chair at Wayfair for $179.99
The rattan frame and circular cushion are the quintessential look of a papasan chair.
17. Chesterfield Chair
This comfortable armchair is a variation of the Chesterfield sofa. You can recognize a Chesterfield chair by its rolled arms and deep button tufting, and the chairs are often made from leather. Many Chesterfield chairs feature a nailhead trim, too. Bucur recommends Chesterfield chairs for traditionalists at heart. “When I’m trying to achieve a more classic feel, I always go with Chesterfield chairs,” Bucur says.
Best For: Use in a study or a traditional living room, according to Bucur.
Our Recommendation: Canora Grey Ezekiella Chesterfield Chair at Wayfair for $333.99
This chair embodies the classic Chesterfield design with luxurious scrolled tuxedo arms, nailhead trim, and turned legs.
18. Barrel Chair
Barrel chairs can be identified by their barrel-shaped, rounded back that allows occupants to sit deeply into the chair. These armchairs tend to be upholstered in leather or fabric and have lower backs than other armchairs.
Best For: A pair of barrel chairs is a great addition to any living room.
Our Recommendation: Swivel Barrel Chair at Walmart for $145.99
This barrel chair not only swivels but is upholstered in a soft, teddy fabric for a cozy seat.
19. Bean Bag Chair
Nothing says relaxed style more than a bean bag chair, also called a Sacco chair. These chairs are large fabric bags typically filled with polystyrene beans so sitters can easily move and adjust their position to be as comfortable as possible. While soft, the chairs may not provide the back support some people need and can be difficult to get out of.
Best For: Use a bean bag chair in children and teen spaces, such as a game room or bedroom.
Our Recommendation: Sofa Sack at Amazon for $73.57
These bean bag chairs skip the beans and are instead made from memory foam, which provides more sitting support.
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20. King Louis Chair
King Louis chairs get their name from King Louis XVI of France. They are one of many types of dining chairs and often look throne-like and have upholstered round or shield-shaped backs. King Louis chair legs and arms traditionally have decorative carvings that give these chairs an elegant and stately look.
Best For: King Louis chairs work great in the dining areas and can dress a space up or down, depending on the chair’s style.
Our Recommendation: Set of 2 Rodden Dining Chairs at Wayfair for $324.99
These King Louis dining chairs have a shabby chic look with a pink upholstered seat, making them perfect for everyday use.
The prices listed here are accurate as of publication on 10/31/23.