When you are updating the chairs in your living room, you want to choose pieces that are not only comfortable and stylish but durable enough for family and friends to sit on for years. With armchairs in various fabrics, wing-back chairs and other accent chairs available, you have many choices when selecting living room furniture for your home. This buying guide will help you find the living room chairs that fit your style and provide you with tips on caring for your living room furniture.
Buying Living Room Chairs:
- Take notes: Before choosing your living room chairs — or any furniture, for that matter — 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 that the chairs won’t feel too small for the room or your sofa.
- Be complementary: 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 living 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.
- Atmosphere: Think about how you’ll be using your living room chairs. If your living room is a more formal room used only on special occasions, look for chairs with upright backs. If your living room is a casual gathering place, look for armchairs that are meant for lounging, such as recliners.
- Styles: Leather chairs come in a variety of styles, including leather armchairs, recliners and club chairs. With their smooth fabric and clean lines, leather club chairs will give your living room or office a classic, masculine feel. Leather club chairs feature armrests and, in traditional designs, low backs that are almost level with the arm rests. Try taller leather armchairs made of softer, plusher leather for comfortable seating around the TV.
- Care: Leather chairs scuff and wear naturally, which adds beauty to the look. That said, leather is a natural material and requires some care. Here are a few maintenance tips to ensure your leather chairs will last for many years:
Leather Chair Care
- Clean your leather chair regularly with a commercial leather-cleaning product. Use a soft cloth and only wipe in one direction. Regularly vacuum behind the seat cushion.
- Rub light scratches with a chamois cloth to buff them away.
- Wipe up any spills immediately to prevent marks. If a spill is not noticed right away, wipe the stain with a clean cloth lightly dampened with distilled water.
- Keep leather chairs out of direct sunlight and away from heat sources to prevent sun-bleaching, cracking and brittleness.
- Once or twice a year, use a leather conditioner to maintain the suppleness of your leather chair.
- Styles: Fabric armchairs are available in many colors and patterns. If you want something casual or colorful, fabric chairs may be the choice for you. Since you’ll be spending a lot of time in your fabric armchairs, consider an upholstered arm chair. Wing-back chairs are other options. With their tall backs, arm rests and winged sides, wing-back chairs were originally designed to protect from drafts but now lend a dramatic, old-world look to your living room.
- Care: Whatever shape of chair you choose, a fabric chair will be a place where you’ll want to spend a lot of time. Here are some ideas for extending the life of your fabric chairs:
Fabric Chair Care
- Vacuum your fabric chairs before there is visible dirt. Once you can see the dirt, it may already be ground into the fabric.
- Most upholstery fabrics are designed to be durable and cleanable. Check your manufacturer’s guide to see if the particular fabric you have requires special cleaning.
- If you are concerned about staining, consider using a spray treatment to protect the upholstery on your fabric chair. These protectors don’t prevent all stains but can give you more time to clean up a spill. Test the spray on a hidden part of the fabric before using it on the whole chair to check that it doesn’t affect the color.
Other Living Room Chairs:
- Accent chairs: Also known as occasional chairs, accent chairs are smaller in scale than fully upholstered living room chairs. Accent chairs have a visible frame and either an upholstered seat or an upholstered seat and back. An accent chair gives you the option of additional seating in a living room. Some accent chairs 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.
- Sofa chairs: 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, only with one seat cushion instead of two or more. This ensures that the two pieces will match perfectly; however, you can also buy sofa chairs separately to coordinate with other furniture pieces.