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by Craig Blake
Now that armchairs have become such a common household item that it is almost ludicrous to think these pieces of furniture were once exclusive to the wealthy and powerful. Although armchairs are thousands of years old, it hasn't been so long since they became a fixture in most homes. Nowadays, armchairs come in a variety of styles, and whether you want a leather armchair or upholstered armchair in another fabric, the sky is pretty much the limit. Still, we have thousands of years of development to thank for modern armchairs, a piece of furniture often taken for granted. Here are a few interesting facts you might not have known about your armchair.
In the beginning: Although it would be impossible to pin down the exact origin of chairs, armchairs were rare symbols of dignity and power for thousands of years. Most common people would probably never take a seat in an armchair. Instead of armchairs, commoners most often sat on stools, benches or on the floor. Armchairs in ancient Egypt were extremely fine and ornate and reserved for governors, Pharaohs or other people in high public office. These armchairs were often made of fine materials, such as ivory, crafted wood or precious metals. Although they differed in grandeur, armchairs were reserved for the financial and social elite in nearly every culture.
Life, liberty and the pursuit of armchairs: In Europe, the armchair finally began to reach the chair-less public thanks to the Renaissance. As artisans and craftsmen became more common, more and more armchairs were available for anyone who was willing to pay for one. Armchairs became the sitting-furniture of choice almost immediately. They remain so popular today that people can hardly imagine a life without armchairs.
Armchairs, armchairs everywhere: After the European Renaissance put armchairs in most homes, armchairs experienced a renaissance of their own in the 20th century. Modern armchairs like the recliner became popular, and many sleek arm chairs were ergonomically designed. There are now armchairs made of pretty much every material imaginable. The designs of armchairs widely vary from the same plain wooden armchairs once reserved for the rich and powerful to finely upholstered armchairs with intricate designs.