Armchair critiques

Recumbent, reclining, rocking, swivelling and even with surround sound – here are seven ultra-stylish luxury armchairs to suit every style of decor. Each has its pros and cons, to help you choose which one should have your back in these uncertain times…
Aston armchair in oatmeal
Our large and luxurious Aston armchair is the ultimate statement seat.

With all that’s going on in the world right now, it’s hardly surprising that the inclination to cocoon ourselves away – even where we’re not legally locked down or having to self-isolate – is stronger than ever.

An armchair that envelops you and allows you to sink into its padded security is the ultimate luxury, particularly when you want a bit of space to yourself or someone else is hogging the sofa. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a settee, can provide a focal point in a corner or act as a statement piece in any room.

The luxury armchair you choose depends on your personal style and taste but it’s also important to consider its longevity. You want it to last for years to come, so it needs to be well constructed in easy-to-clean or removable upholstery.

Bear in mind that if you choose a striking colour or pattern, you should love it with a passion – or take the risk that its attractions could fade over time. As well as comfortable, your armchair needs to be easy to live with, wherever in the home you decide to put it.

Look for a shape and style you love and try not to be too influenced by fashion. Consider the style of your existing furniture and aim to choose a chair that complements it.

Co-founder of La Residence Interiors, Sarah, says: “There’s nothing more satisfying than cosying up with a good book in your favourite seat for one, especially at this time of year. Even better if it’s cold or rainy outside, and you’re indoors in the warm.

“Whichever style you go for, it’s important that an armchair has a good, sturdy frame, a well sprung seat and cushions that can hold their shape over frequent use.”

Here are our top picks:

 

TIMOTHY OULTON CABANA YETI CHAIR, Barker & Stonehouse £1,999 (reduced from £2,495)

 
This Yeti chair from Barker & Stonehouse is a real softie.

You’ll probably never get closer to a yeti than this! Soft, shaggy and distinctly rugged looking, the Cabana Yeti Chair invites you snuggle deep into its woolly coat.

PROS: Clad in luxuriously thick long-haired New Zealand sheepskin, this chair will keep you toasty and insulated.

The minimalist oak frame has a contemporary feel and its neutral colours mean it’ll sit easily alongside most décor schemes.

CONS: Sheepskin is not the most forgiving of fabrics, so may need protecting from direct sunlight to prevent discoloration of the wool. Vacuum regularly and clean with a wool shampoo to keep it looking its best.

 

THE ASTON ARMCHAIR, La Residence Interiors £650.

Aston armchair in dove grey
Our Aston armchair in dove grey is available to order.

A very generously proportioned padded seat makes this chair easy on the rear, while its classic winged back, weathered oak frame and contemporary steel studded detail make it easy on the eye.

PROS: This is a statement chair for a reasonable price with a seat almost large enough for two to curl up on (not that you would want to share it). Ideal for a corner in an open-plan living/dining room or a cosy snug it comes in neutral oatmeal-coloured or dove grey linen upholstery.

CONS: The oatmeal version is currently out of stock but is due back in November.

 

GRAND RELAX LOUNGE CHAIR COGNAC LEATHER by Vitro, Heal’s £5,510

Grand Relax Armchair by Vitro, Heal's
The Grand Relax Lounge Chair by Vitro, available from Heal's.

Its grand title is no misnomer – this made-to-order designer reclining lounge chair is upholstered in soft buttery cognac cowhide leather and features a concealed integrated mechanism that absorbs the occupant’s weight and moves the chair into a reclining position.

PROS: This chair offers an ‘exceptional seating experience’ thanks to its high-quality leather covers encasing the soft seat and back cushions, helping the user to sink slowly into the cushions. A hidden mechanism adjusts to their weight to move the chair into a reclined position. For ultimate comfort, there’s a control knob to adjust the height and backrest angle.

CONS: Encourages indolence – it could prove difficult to move from this chair once reclined.

 

JESSE CAPTAIN HEAVEN ARMCHAIR, gomodern.co.uk £2,060 

Jesse Captain Heaven Armchair
The sleek Captain Heaven armchair is designed to buffer you comfortably from the outside world.

The aptly named Captain Heaven, with its contemporary lines, Italian design and luxury finish, steers you into its relaxing embrace. There’s a slightly curved backrest to welcome the body, an adjustable padded cushion with magnetic system (good for posture and relaxation) and headrests that offer support and act as buffers against noise from the outside world.

PROS: A Bluetooth audio system can be integrated into the headrest, giving you total surround sound, great for losing yourself in your favourite music.

The seat and headrest can be upholstered in a huge range of fabrics, eco-leathers or high-quality leather in a variety of colours – or you can supply your own fabric.

CONS: The surround sound option costs an extra £1,780 and for optimum, feet-up comfort you’ll probably need the matching pouf, which starts from £485.

 

KOLTON ROCKING CHAIR, made.com £549

Kolton rocking chair, made.com
Some rhythmical rocking in this contemporary chair from made.com may help soothe and relax you.

This is a real mod rocker – a no-frills, contemporary-looking take on the traditional rocking chair. Wide, welcoming, and comfortably chic, it has quilted upholstery that feels woolly and warm. A good spot to curl up, rock back and relax.

PROS: Rocking chairs are said to be good for relaxation and pain management – research has shown the gentle rhythmic motion to have a sedating effect. (In the 1950s, US president John F Kennedy was prescribed a rocking chair by his doctor in the 1950s to alleviate chronic back pain.) Available in a variety of colours to suit your décor, from marl grey to yolk yellow.

CONS: Probably best situated on a carpet or rug rather than on a hardwood floor, where it might scratch the wood or “walk” across the floor when rocking.

 

GEORGE CLUB CHAIR – CHEETAH, oka.com, £2,995

George Chair in Cheetah by Oka
This cheetah-inspired chair by Oka definitely has some animal magic.

Take a walk on the wild side and relax into this king of the jungle – upholstered in tactile goat hair, hand-dyed to resemble the beautiful coat of a cheetah. One armchair would make an impact, a pair would add perfect symmetry to a living room. The chair is exceptionally comfortable too, courtesy of a plump, foam-filled seat cushion.

PROS: A bold statement chair with definite animal magnetism – the fur looks super-soft and inviting. You can even match it with a cheetah print throw, again crafted from goat hair for a realistic look and feel and shaped, cut and dip-dyed by hand.

CONS: The chair itself is quite small, which is why a pair might have more impact. However, a single chair would be ideal for a bedroom or dressing area.

 

 VIV SWIVEL ARMCHAIR by west elm, John Lewis £629
Viv Swivel Armchair, John Lewis
The pretty pink Viv Swivel Armchair from John Lewis may win you around.

If you’re looking for an armchair for a smaller space, this Art Deco take on the classic drum chair is something of a head-turner. With its 360-degree swivel base, this pretty pink fully upholstered chair brings a touch of luxe to embracing, comfortable curves.

PROS: This petite swivelling armchair makes it easy to arrange a room that works for both conversation and TV viewing. Swivel chairs, once chained to office desks, are fast becoming a popular feature in living areas, so you’ll be a trendsetter if you buy one. Put a side table next to it, and swivel around easily to pick up a glass, cup, or the remote control without having to reach over or stretch!

CONS: Beware if you have young children – you won’t be able to get them out of it.

 

 

October 27, 2020 by Mandy Lebentz
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