For seating that effortlessly combines form and function, mid-century modern living room chairs are known for their quality and their aesthetically pleasing designs. The mid-century modern style has elements of both traditional and modern design, including the cool minimalism of modern pieces and some of the more extravagant flourishes you'd see in traditional furniture. With living room chairs available in all colors and shades, you can easily find pieces that make your home look even better, whether those are accent chairs in a bright, bold orange or armchairs in a subdued brown. Read on for everything you need to know on these pieces, from the types available to how different upholstery materials compare.
When you need smaller pieces to complete your living room, mid-century modern accent chairs give you plenty of fun options. Accent chairs technically encompass many other chair types, as any chair that makes a good accent piece falls under the accent chair category. The versatile mid-century modern style means these chairs can mesh well with many different living room looks. Just because these are accent pieces doesn't mean they need to blend in, as brighter accent chairs are great for giving the room a pop of color.
This type of chair has wings on the chairback, and if the chair also has arm rests, those arm rests usually connect to the wings. The original idea behind wingback chairs was that wings created more of an enclosure for the person sitting there, which both blocks drafts and prevents heat from escaping, especially if the chair is facing a fireplace. Since the wingback chair is quite traditional, mid-century modern wingback chairs tend to put a unique modern spin on the design.
A hallmark of the mid-century modern style is that it prioritizes comfort, and with the recliner being such a comfortable chair to begin with, mid-century modern recliners typically feel amazing when you sit in them. The recliner takes the popular armchair design, and adds a chair back that tilts backwards and a footrest tucked into the base. You can sit in this type of chair normally or lean back until you're practically lying down.
If you don't have much space available but you need extra living room seating, a corner chair could be the optimal solution. This type of chair is designed to fit right into a corner of your living room, and it often has an L-shaped design. Mid-century modern corner chairs are also useful if you have a little too much bare wall space that you want to cover.
Mid-Century Modern Living Room Chair Beds
With the chair bed, the name tells you everything you need to know about it. When you need seating, it's a chair, and when you or a guest need a place to crash, it becomes a bed. Like the sofa bed, the chair bed is great if you don't have a guest room but still want your guests to have a nice place to sleep.
Upholstery Materials for Mid-Century Modern Living Room Chairs
Cotton Mid-Century Modern Living Room Chairs
Among the natural fibers, cotton is one of the most durable options for living room chair upholstery. It handles normal wear and tear well, and it's not a fabric that fades easily. The main thing you need to watch out for with cotton is spills, because it can pick up stains, and those are often hard to get out.
Linen Mid-Century Modern Living Room Chairs
Linen is another popular natural fiber for upholstery. While caring for linen furniture is similar to caring for cotton furniture, linen doesn't quite have the same level of durability. It's still long-lasting, though, and it tends to be a bit more elegant and formal.
Microfiber Mid-Century Modern Living Room Chairs
Microfiber is a synthetic fiber that's known for being very fine and for its ability to mimic just about any natural fiber. One huge perk with microfiber is its resistance to stains and wear. You obviously still want to avoid spilling anything on a microfiber living room chair, but this material is less likely to stain than natural fibers.
Leather Mid-Century Modern Living Room Chairs
In terms of luxury, it's hard to top leather. It's a gorgeous upholstery material that can easily last for decades, and because of its toughness, leather can withstand heavy wear and tear without damage. As leather has been a popular material in high-end furniture for decades, it naturally looks a bit traditional. Designers of mid-century modern leather living room chairs frequently switch it up with cool shapes or more off-the-wall color choices.
Mid-Century Modern Living Room Chairs FAQ
Do synthetic fibers require different care than natural fibers?
For the most part, cleaning and maintaining living room chairs is the same whether the upholstery is a synthetic fiber, a natural fiber, or a blend of multiple fibers. Dust them when necessary and occasionally vacuum them while doing your best to avoid spills. If any special care is required, you can find out in the manufacturer's instructions.
What are the most and least durable upholstery materials for mid-century modern living room chairs?
Leather ranks among the most durable materials because of its thickness and because it typically doesn't absorb liquids. Microfiber and cotton are also above average in durability. Silk is near the bottom in terms of durability.
How do you find the right mid-century modern living room chairs to pair with your existing furniture and decor?
When you already have pieces in your living room, start by considering what roles they play and what the room still needs. For example, if you already have an impressive sofa and cocktail table serving as focal points, then it makes sense to look at smaller accent chairs, club chairs, and stools, instead of choosing large chairs that could leave the room crowded with too many centerpieces. If your living room has enough seating already but it all blends together, you may want to check out a recliner or lounge chair that puts an exclamation point on everything.