Similar to a spa bathroom without a large tub, a living room without a reading chair. There is an omission.
But when you add a comfortable reading nook, the space starts to feel welcoming. According to Emily Henderson, a stylist and “Styled” author based in Los Angeles, “Comfortable furniture will make you want to stay in the room, and any place that makes me truly want to spend time in there is a winner for me.” We sought professional guidance from Henderson and Nicole Lanteri, a D.C. interior decorator, because there are countless chair options available and numerous considerations to take into account, including height, width, material, and colour.
The most crucial factor, according to Henderson, is comfort because “you will be sitting in it for long periods of time.”
To each person, that means something different. My spouse prefers to sit up straight in a very firm chair, while I prefer to read curled up in a chair with a blanket, explains Lanteri.
Once you’ve found your match, you’ll need a place to put your feet and good lighting (Lanteri offers a tiny leather pouffe). Find a floor lamp that is between 50 and 60 inches high, ideally with a dimmer and no glare.
You can place a pair of chairs in the family room or one by itself in a sparsely furnished room. Just be careful not to overaccessorize your reading corner, advises Henderson. “I prefer a little lumbar pillow to keep things simple— for those extra-late nights of reading — or a thin decorative throw to add some texture.”
The Sofia Chesterfield Chair ($549, urbanoutfitters.com), which refreshes the traditional Chesterfield sofa with light-colored bun feet and cotton-linen fabric, is both sophisticated and trendy. Make sure you enjoy the chair’s feel in any case. Henderson chuckles as he explains, “There’s sitting in chairs and there’s staring at chairs. “As you age, sitting on chairs become more appealing to you.”
Green Sofia Chesterfield Chair is available at urbanoutfitters.com for $549. City Outfitters
Gray Sofia Chesterfield Chair $549 at Urban Outfitters The Elijah Chair and Ottoman Set by Simple Living, which has a mid-century design and dark oak legs, is available from Urban Outfitters for $408 (overstock.com). According to Lanteri, while coordinating chairs with other pieces of furniture in a room, pay special attention to the style of the legs. “Make sure that it’s cohesive — not too matchy-matchy and not too chaotic.”
Elijah Chair and Ottoman Set by Simple Living ($408, Overstock.com) (Overstock.com)
Not all reading chairs in solid colours have to be taupe: The 42-inch-deep, 11-color Slub Velvet Willoughby Chair by Hickory is available at anthropologie.com for $1,148. The seat cushion is also composed of down. For years to come, Henderson advises, “a down cushion always helps to keep the chair looking attractive and comfortable.”
Sapphire is one of 11 colours available for the Slub Velvet Willoughby Chair ($1,148, anthropologie.com). (Anthropologie)
Caribbean Slub Velvet Willoughby Chair, $1,148; anthropologie.com (Anthropologie) Mid-century chairs frequently have low backs, so if you want a place to rest your head, take measurements or sit in the chair before buying it. One example of a design that draws inspiration from the mid-century is the Pittsburgh Pink Armchair.
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