Living Room Chairs Buying Guide
by Stephanie Petersen
Published April 28, 2010 | Updated February 17, 2015
When you're shopping for the best chairs for your living room, you'll want to choose pieces that are not only comfortable and stylish but also durable enough for family and friends to sit on for years. This buying guide will help you find the living room chairs that fit your style and your living space. To start shopping for the perfect chair, consider size, style, and materials.
Get the Right Size:
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- Determine the size of your living room.
Before choosing any furniture, measure the room, particularly the spot where you are planning on placing your chairs. You'll want to make sure the chairs you choose not only fit into the spot, but also allow walking room around them.
- Make sure the chairs won't feel too small next to your sofa.
If you already have a sofa, measure the height of the seat from the floor and the width of the seat and the arms. Choose chairs that are close to the same measurements to make sure the proportions are right.
- Accent chairs fit small spaces.
Also known as occasional chairs, accent chairs are smaller in scale than fully upholstered living room chairs. They have a visible frame and either an upholstered seat or an upholstered seat and back. They give you the option of additional seating in a small area; you could fully furnish a petite living room room with a pair of accent chairs and a loveseat. Some can even be pulled into the dining room for extra seating there. Use an accent chair to add a burst of color to a corner of your living room even when no one is sitting there.
Find Your Style:
- Coordinate with a sofa and sofa chair set.
The term "sofa chair" is used by some people to refer to the sofa itself and by others to refer to a chair meant to match the sofa. In the latter case, sofa chairs have been manufactured to have the same lines and materials as a sofa, only with one seat cushion instead of two or more. When you buy the sofa and chair as a set, it ensures that the two pieces will match perfectly; however, you can also buy them separately to coordinate with other furniture pieces.
- Complement your sofa.
You'll want to find a chair that goes with your sofa, but you don't have to find an exact match. Coordinating the color or style between your sofa and chair will make your room look like a decorator chose them for you. Sticking to furniture pieces that are influenced by a similar time period can help pull your living room together, too.
- Consider the atmosphere of the room.
If your living room is a more formal room used only on special occasions, look for chairs with upright backs. Upholstered wing-back chairs are one option. With their tall backs, arm rests, and winged sides, they were originally designed to protect from drafts but now lend a dramatic, old-world look to your living room. If your living room is a casual gathering place, look for pieces that are meant for lounging, such as recliners or chaise lounge chairs.
Choose a Material
- Leather chairs:
Leather chairs come in a variety of styles. With their smooth finish and clean lines, they will give your living room a sophisticated feel when matched with modern furniture. One popular choice is club chairs, which feature armrests and, in traditional designs, low backs that are almost level with the arm rests. Try taller armchairs or recliners made of softer, plusher leather for comfortable seating around the TV. Leather chairs scuff and wear naturally, which adds beauty to the look.
- Fabric chairs:
If you want something casual or colorful, fabric may be the material for you. Fabric chairs are available in many patterns and hues, so they can provide a lively splash of color in the room.
- Microfiber chairs:
Do you have pets or children? You may need your furniture to be made from easy-to-clean materials, like microfiber chairs. Although you may not have as many colors and patterns to choose from, you can still choose from many styles, and the ease of cleaning will make up for the slightly more limited selection.