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The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Perfect Armchair

Castlery   |   Jul 10, 2022

When it comes to creating a stylish and comfortable living space, choosing the right armchair can make all the difference. Whether you're curling up with a good book, entertaining guests, or simply unwinding after a long day, a well-designed and comfortable armchair adds both functionality and aesthetic appeal to your living room.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore some key considerations to take note of when choosing an armchair that complements your lifestyle and elevates your home decor.

5 key considerations when choosing an armchair

Finding the right size

Before diving into the world of armchairs, take a close look at your room's layout and dimensions. Consider factors like available space and existing furniture to ensure a harmonious arrangement. Your armchair should complement the space - not stick out like a sore thumb.

If you have a spacious living room, you might be able to accommodate a larger armchair or even two or three armchairs to provide more seating space. For smaller living rooms, opt for compact armchairs or swivel armchairs to offer more flexibility without overwhelming the space.

Armchair dimensions and height

Armchair dimensions can vary, but here are some general guidelines to consider:

  • Width: Armchair widths typically range from 66cm to 101cm. Smaller armchairs work well in compact spaces, while larger ones provide generous seating.
  • Depth: Armchair depths can range from 66cm to 101cm. Consider the legroom available in your living room and choose a depth that allows for comfortable sitting.
  • Height: The height of an armchair is an important consideration for both comfort and aesthetics. The seat height should generally range from 40cm to 48cm, allowing for easy sitting and standing. The overall height, including the backrest, can vary depending on the design and style of the armchair.

Determine your style

Armchairs come in a diverse range of styles, from classic to contemporary, and everything else in between.

Take a good look around your space and decide whether you want your armchair to complement your existing decor or stand out as a statement piece. Having this sorted out can then help you better pick out the armchair's shape, upholstery, and colour, ensuring it aligns with your personal aesthetic as well as vision.

Select materials and upholstery options

When it comes to comfort, the choice of materials and upholstery plays a crucial role. Let's explore some popular options:

Leather armchairs

For those seeking timeless elegance and durability, leather armchairs are an excellent choice. Leather ages beautifully, developing a unique patina over time. They are also extremely durable and, with proper care, can withstand the test of time.

A leather armchair. The Arden Leather Swivel Armchair.

Additionally, opt for full-grain or top-grain leather for superior quality and comfort.

Choose from the classic brown or black leather for a sophisticated look, or explore other colours like cognac to add a modern twist.

Bouclé armchairs

Bouclé is a luxurious fabric known for its softness and textured appearance. Bouclé armchairs provide a cosy and inviting seating option, with their tactile appeal adding depth and visual interest to your living room.

A cat lounging on a bouclé armchair in a living room The Amber Boucle Swivel Chair’s gentle and cosy bouclé texture make this armchair an irresistible option. Picture credits: @paulpayasalad

Consider neutral shades like cream or gray for a timeless look or experiment with bolder colours to make a statement.

Performance fabric armchairs

Performance fabric refers to a coating that gives upholstery its spill and fade resistant properties. Performance fabric armchairs are great for busy households as they are designed to be durable, easy to clean, and resistant to various forms of wear and tear.

A performance fabric armchair. The Sacha Performance Bouclé Armchair. Picture credits: @beesnburlap

Velvet armchairs

Velvet armchairs exude elegance and adds a touch of sophistication to any space. The fabric's soft and plush texture adds a sense of opulence to your living space, making it an excellent choice if you're aiming for a luxurious and stylish interior.

A velvet armchair. The Colette Swivel Armchair in Cumin Velvet.

Rattan armchairs

If you're aiming for a natural and relaxed vibe, consider rattan armchairs. Crafted from durable and sustainable materials, rattan armchairs bring a touch of organic beauty to your living room. Their intricate weaves and earthy tones create a warm and inviting atmosphere.

Cane armchair and footstool placed in the corner of a modern living room Combine style and function with the Mico Rattan Armchair to add a tropical flair to your living space. Picture credits: @akenfoo

Explore different types of armchairs

Aside from colours and materials, armchairs also come in various types, each with its own unique characteristics. Some popular types include:

  • Wingback armchairs: Wingback armchairs feature high backrests that curve into "wings" on each side. They provide excellent support for your upper body and create an enveloping feel.
  • Club armchairs: Club armchairs have a distinctive low-profile design with a wide and deep seat. They often feature plush cushioning and padded armrests, providing a comfortable and inviting seating option.
  • Bergère armchairs: Bergère armchairs are known for their exposed wooden frames, upholstered backs, and loose seat cushions. They offer a classic and timeless look, adding a touch of sophistication to your living room.
  • Swivel armchairs: Swivel armchairs provide 360-degree rotation, allowing you to easily turn and face different directions without needing to physically move the chair.

White bouclé armchair placed in the corner of a modern living room Create a cosy corner with the Paloma Boucle Armchair’s unique silhouette and comfy texture. Picture credits: @phoenixandtheocean

Prioritise your comfort

Comfort is paramount when choosing an armchair. Look for features like ergonomic design, ample cushioning, and proper lumbar support. Sit in the chair if possible, testing its comfort level and assessing how well it suits your body type.

Retro-inspired armchair with spindle frame and plump cushions Embody sophistication with the Wayne's deep, cushiony seats and classic wooden frame. Picture credits: @liz.amaya.style

Remember, a comfortable armchair is not only a joy to sit in but also promotes relaxation and well-being.

Choosing the perfect armchair involves a thoughtful blend of aesthetics, comfort, and functionality. By understanding your needs and exploring different options, you can find an armchair that not only complements your living room but also provides a comfortable and inviting seating experience.

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