Seeking an extra seat in your sitting room? Feel like your sofa needs a comfy companion to really bring the room together? Adding an armchair could be the all-important finishing touch that completes your living room set-up.
Read on to find out how to choose the best armchair for your home.
Whether you want to create a cosy reading nook in the corner of the room, or need a living room throne to kick back and watch television - armchairs and accent chairs always offer that satisfying comfort.
All you need to do is pick the perfect armchair style and material to suit your current décor. Opt for a bright and vibrant velvet armchair to make a statement in your living room, or perhaps you’d prefer to partition the lounge with the sleek sophistication of a chaise longue chair.
Whatever your personal preferences, we’re here to help. Just read our in-depth armchair buying guide, below, to get to grips with all our top tips.
Let’s start with style. After all, when imagining how an armchair could look in your living room, you first think about the shape and silhouette.
Let’s run through the different armchair styles to help you decide which shape best suits your décor.
Prioritising comfort and relaxation, a traditional armchair style is all about plush cushions and super soft seating. With these designs, you sink deep into the seat and just don’t want to get up again… well, unless it’s to fetch the biscuit tin from the kitchen! Perfect for solo sitters who love that throne-like feeling in their living room.
Do you and your partner love nothing more than getting cosy for a Friday film night? A cuddle chair could be the ideal addition to your living room! Also known as a loveseat, these chairs are slightly wider than standard armchair designs, allowing two sitters to snuggle up for a relaxing evening of television. Of course, cuddle chairs and loveseats are also a great choice for solo sitters who like that extra space to stretch out.
Perfect for laidback living, think of swivel chairs as oversized armchairs that can spin a full 360 degrees. That means you can always find the ideal angle for the TV screen, while also being able to rotate to talk to the person behind you during the ad break… or do your best supervillain impression! Much like loveseats, swivel chairs can seat two people – or one person who likes to spread out across the cushions.
Evoking the elegance of an Edwardian manor, lounge chairs get their name because, well, they’re best for lounging! Also known as a chaise longue or a bedroom chair, this design demands to be admired wherever you put it in your home. Use the longer silhouette to partition your lounge, or place this plush chair in your bedroom to add an opulent accent to your boudoir.
Another chair choice that wouldn’t look out of place in a 19th century stately home, a wingback armchair gets its namesake from the ‘wings’ that extend out of the back cushions. The result is a distinctive and bold design that makes you feel more cosy and enclosed from the rest of the living room. A great choice if you really want to lose yourself in a book, film, or TV series!
While an accent chair will still offer a super comfy seat, its main purpose is to bring life to your living room. These armchairs are designed to either complement the décor, draw out a particular colour, or add contrast to liven up a monotone space. Whether you opt for a stately high-back armchair or a vivid velvet armchair, an accent chair can really bring the wow factor to any space!
Once you’ve selected an armchair style, the next thing on your ‘to do’ list is to think about the upholstery. Namely, which armchair material is best suited to the style, colour scheme, and lifestyle of your home? We breakdown the benefits of each armchair material, below.
Stylistically, fabric armchairs are the most versatile option available. You can find a wider array of colours, textures, and patterns with fabrics, compared to leather and velvet, which makes it much easier to mix and match with other fixtures and furniture in your current décor. Fabric armchairs also offer that sumptuous sink-in softness, with the kind of armchair materials that you just need to feel between your fingers! To find out more about the features of fabric, take a look at our fabric sofa buying guide.
Leather armchairs are all about that understated elegance, enhancing both timeless and contemporary living room set-ups. For example, a leather low-back armchair is perfect for a mid-century modern style, while a leather chaise longue is decidedly more traditional. Sleek sophistication aside, leather armchairs are also extremely low maintenance. They can stand up to the general wear and tear of daily use, such as spills and stains, making them a great choice for households with pets or children. If you want to find out more about the characteristics of leather, read our leather sofa buying guide.
A popular choice for glamorous homes, velvet armchairs look and feel luxurious, adding depth and dimension to your décor. This plush material always demands your attention, often becoming the show-stopping centrepiece of your living room. And while velvet is typically thought of as a delicate material, these chairs are actually quite durable if properly cared for. You just need to be vigilant with any spills or stains, taking care of the mess in a timely fashion. For more maintenance tips, head over to our sofa care guide.
Want to add an accent chair to your current living room set-up? Or maybe you’d like to squeeze a loveseat in the corner of your room? Well, you first need to break out the measuring tape before going on a shopping spree!
Read on for a step-by-step guide to measuring your home for an armchair.
First up, you’ll want to make sure that your chosen chair can be effortlessly transported through your home and installed without any fuss. That includes taking measurements of entrances and hallways. You will also need to consider if the armchair is going to be placed in the living room, or if you need to measure the staircase, for bedroom or accent chairs that are going to live upstairs.
With the route from delivery van to intended room mapped out, you need to pick out the perfect position for your new chair. Armchair size is an important consideration for this step. If you fancy buying a loveseat, for example, you’ll need to accommodate for the wider dimensions when rejigging your current set-up. On the other hand, an accent chair can slip more easily into the floor plan without much rearrangement.
So, you’ve earmarked the ideal spot for your new chair – now you just need to measure the dimension limitations of that position. Start with the length measurements, one along the front and the other along the back of the armchair space. This is especially important for loveseats or chaise longues that typically have wider silhouettes than accent chairs. You then want to measure the maximum depth between your two length measurements.
Still unsure whether an armchair or accent chair is the best choice for your home? Take a look at the answers to the most common questions that our customers ask, below.
Comfort is a matter of personal preference. Some people might prefer the cosy, enclosed feeling of a wingback armchair, while others would rather sprawl out on a chaise longue. Think about how you currently sit in your living room and decide from there. If you really aren’t sure, visit your local DFS store to test out the different options for yourself.
Armchair size largely depends on the dimensions of your living room or bedroom. After all, it’s all well and good wanting a huge high-back armchair for your lounge, but do you actually have the space to accommodate this style of chair? To find out for sure, fish out the measuring tape and start rearranging the other pieces of furniture in the room.
When weighing up budgets, it’s important to think about how often you intend to use the new chair. For example, if you’re looking for an armchair that will become the best seat in the house come family film night, then we’d recommend stretching the budget to pick out the perfect one. On the other hand, if you’re shopping for an accent chair that’s more for style than sitting, then you might prefer to opt for a less expensive model.
So, you’ve taken on board our armchair buying guide and have picked the perfect chair for your home. All you need to do now is keep the chair in tip top condition – which can be easier said than done! But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with our fabric sofa care guide. Just follow these helpful tips and your chair will look brand new for years to come.
If you want to find out more about our range of armchairs and accent chairs, just get in touch with our team of experts. We can offer more information of specific products, as well as provide interior advice that could inform your next purchase. You can also start browsing our range of chairs, if you want to put this armchair buying guide into action!