Whether you need an extra seat in your living room, want to make use of a cosy corner or are looking to create a statement look in your space, an occasional chair is sure to be a welcome addition to your home.
With so many different style and shapes to choose from, it can be tricky knowing what’s right for your space. In this guide, we’ll talk through various sizing, styling and materials to help you find that perfect piece.
First Things First, Sizing
If you’ve got the space, go big! A chair that’s 95-100cm in height, 75-100cm in width and 90-100cm in depth will allow enough space for you to create a blissfully inviting and comfortable spot. With a larger chair, you’ll need to consider whether you have the room to accommodate such a statement setting.
If you’re looking to create the ultimate lounging area, have you considered a chaise lounge?
Larger than an occasional chair but smaller than a sofa, a chaise lounge doubles up to suit all of your seating needs. A chaise lounge, such as our Luxe, has such a luxurious and designer look due to its quilted back and smooth curved shape. You can style a chaise lounge in an open plan seating area or even in your bedroom as a sleek extra seat.
- Seat height
- Back height
- Floor protectors
Now Let’s Look at Materials
Are you after a soft fabric or a smooth real leather? It’s likely you’ll add a cushion or throw to your occasional chair but it’s always a good idea to consider the look, feel and durability of the material.
Fabric Occasional Chair
The melange yarn that we use for our fabric Angelo chair combines two colours of yarn which creates subtle tones and flecks in the material. This makes it far more forgiving than a flat plain coloured fabric. It also gives the chair a wonderful texture and depth of finish. Fabric chairs are inherently cosy so are ideal if you want to sit back and get super cosy.
To Clean: Use a slightly dampened cloth to wipe any spillages or marks as soon as they appear. For a deeper clean, only use specialised upholstery cleaning products to treat the chair as you know the product will be safe to use on the fabric.
Real Leather Occasional Chair
Real leather has such a rich, durable and tactile quality, instantly adding a refined look and luxe feel to a space. With a real leather seat, you could always add a textured cushion or small throw to add contrast and a real designer feel.
To Clean: Use an absorbent cloth or sponge to wipe the affected areas. Stay away from harsh cleaning chemicals- lukewarm water should do just the trick!
Faux Leather Occasional Chair
A faux leather occasional chair has such a contemporary edge and smooth overall appearance. Faux leather chairs are also very easy to clean and are at a lower price point than real leather, so are ideal if you’re working to a tighter budget.
To Clean: Use a damp, microfiber soft cloth, applying a gentle amount of pressure in a circular motion
Colour & Coordination
An armchair is a great way to introduce a bolder colour to your space without it being too overpowering. To do this, try to coordinate elements of your chair, such as the base or legs, with existing finishes in your space. This will help to tie the whole look together.
If you’re after a more neutral look, opt for a lighter colour material and coordinate this will sleek copper, gloss or matt black finishes. With a lighter colour occasional chair, you can strip back the look and let your accent pieces do the talking.
A grey occasional chair is great if your existing scheme is on the neutral or cooler side of the colour wheel. This is because it works alongside a whole variety of colours and finishes. If you’re working with a warmer palette, complement with clay grey to create an inviting and welcoming look.
Mix and Match
Don’t worry if you already have a fabric sofa in your living area. Faux leather and real leather chairs actually work really well together in creating a contemporary juxtaposition. A mix of materials allows you to subtly break up the scheme while still giving your space a comfy and coordinated look. This is typical styling of the top interior designers. Be brave with your choices as it’s a very on trend look!
What To Look Out For…
A self-righting pedestal base will keep your space looking neat and uniform with minimal effort. It also takes up less room and keeps the area around the base of the chair open and free from obstruction.
With a footstool, you’ll be able to kick back and relax with your feet up. Keep in mind that the addition of a footstool will require more space.
An armrest on an occasional chair will offer even more support when seated, whether you use the armrests to prop yourself up when reading or for when you just want to snuggle back into the seat.
An open armless style offers a nonrestrictive seat which is ideal for sitting with your feet snuggled up. This makes the chair very accommodating and much more versatile when it comes to seating.
Fixed seat cushions give the illusion that the cushions are loose but they are actually attached to the seat. This stops them moving around or becoming displaced during and after seating.
A high back occasional chair will not only create more impact in your room, but it will also offer plenty of support when seated. You can sit up or snuggle down depending on what you’re using the chair for and how you find most comfortable to sit.
There are loads of options when it comes to setting up your occasional chair in your home. For some inspiration, take a look at our top styling tips:
- To create a real presence in your room, opt for symmetry. Two statement chairs side by side or either side of a coffee table looks stunning because it’s impactful without looking overpowering.
- If you’ve got the space, you could place two occasional chairs opposite a sofa to create a cosy communal area.
- Scatter cushions are a simple but effective way to unify a new occasional chair within your existing scheme. Introduce accent colours and make sure you not only dress your new chair but also get cushions for your sofa too.
- Mix and match colours and patterns that blend well together. Styling your statement occasional chair with two cushions will instantly create a layered and very cosy effect.
- If you work from home but don’t have room for a specific home office, an occasional chair and footstool could offer a perfect solution. It also provides a comfortable and flexible seating alternative, where a more solid sofa might look cumbersome or too bulky.
Our Top Picks
Not to be biased, but we have a great selection of occasional chairs to choose from. So we thought this post wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t mention a few of our favourites!
1. Luxe Modern Leather Chaise Lounge
Perfect for: creating a style statement.
As mentioned previously, the Luxe chaise has such a premium and designer look. It’s bigger than a traditional occasional chair allowing you to fully lie down and get unashamedly comfortable. Its quilted back and curved wooden feet will update the look of your space instantly, adding a piece of every luxury.
2. Karma Leather Reclining Armchair and Footstool
Perfect for: ultimate relaxation.
We understand that not everyone is or sits the same. That’s why with the Karma, you can adjust almost every element to suit your seating needs. Recline the seat, manoeuvre the headrest and put your feet up on the footrest. This occasional chair is definitely for those who want to kick back and relax.
3. Drift Leather Occasional Armchair
Perfect for: easy interior update.
We love the Drift because of its simplicity. Its smooth curved shape and black powder coated legs give it a modern edge, but its simple design means you can easily style it in a variety of interiors. The armless style also makes this seat non-restrictive, creating such an open and inviting look.
If you’re looking for tips on how to style the whole of your living room space, then you can’t miss our Living Room Basics: Ultimate Living Room Buying Guide.