With its high back, wooden legs, and signature winged sides, the wingback chair is probably the most widely-recognized accent chair. Striking, yet sensible, this classic is one worth considering for your home. Let’s talk more about what this chair is all about, why you should have it in your home, and the best places in your home to show it off.
What is a Wingback Chair?
Wingback chairs are best described as upholstered armchairs featuring a high back, a low seat, and wrap-around side wings (also called cheeks) that encase the occupant’s head. The most common design features the wings mounted to the back of the chair. Sometimes, however, they extend down to the armrest.
Historically, the wingback chair can be dated back to the 1600s in England. At that time, they were used around the fireplace. The wings served as a buffer from cold drafts and trapped the heat emanating from the hearth.
In its earliest days, wingback chairs were constructed from wood with broad, flat arms. It wasn’t until the 18th century that upholstery was incorporated into the design with the focus of making them a more comfortable seating option. First, only fabric was used, but eventually, leather became another popular option. Towards the end of the 19th century, extra padding was added by using horsehair as stuffing. Additionally, when it came to upholstering, it was all about bright patterns and ornate fabric embellishment.
Since then, there have been numerous variations of the style and form of a wingback chair. Typically, all wingback chairs have curves. However, some are more elaborate, while others are more subdued. The silhouettes of the chairs vary as well, including fancy scrolled styles, classic S-shapes, and even sleek and straight modern options. Back height, leg shape, wing shape, tufting, nailhead, and upholstery fabric also allow quite a range of aesthetic styles.
Why Every Home Should Have a Wingback Chair
There’s just something about a wingback chair that many other chairs can’t replicate. And, being that there are so many variations available, there’s a wingback chair that will suit any decorating style. When it comes to why you should consider a wingback chair for your home, the reasons are pretty simple:
- Offer comfort for the whole family, including the perfect spot to rest your head
- Give an instant look of appeal to your home’s interior thanks to their elegant shape
- Can be surprisingly compact, making it easy to fit them anywhere you want
- Extra cozy in the fall and winter months
- Provide privacy in open spaces with their high backs and rounded wings
- A true classic that will never go out of style
Where to Use Wingback Chairs in Your Home
With its distinctive shape, a wingback chair can make a statement anywhere but if you are still uncertain about where to place one (or two), here are some ideas.
Next to Your Fireplace
As mentioned earlier, the wingback chair was originally designed to shield a person from the direct heat of the fire. With that being the case, it only makes sense that a fireplace would benefit from being flanked by a beautiful pair of chairs. Even if your fireplace isn’t functional, a pair of chairs covered in a bold upholstery choice is a definite way to draw attention to the focal point.
Doubled Up in the Living Room
Don’t have a fireplace? That’s okay! A living room can still benefit from a smart pair of wingback chairs. Place them side by side and top them off with matching accent pillows. As a general rule, use lower-back designs in the center of a space and keep the taller versions for edges and corners.
At Your Dining Room Table
Mixing and matching your dining room chairs is perfectly acceptable and actually, something that is becoming increasingly popular these days. If the mix-and-match look is for you, consider subbing in a pair of wingback chairs at the head and foot of the table.
In Lieu of a Typical Desk Chair
The beautiful curves of a wingback chair contrast the lines and angles of a desk quite nicely. Not only will it look impressive, but it will also provide some additional comfort while you work.
As an Entryway Warm-Up
A wingback chair in the entryway says, “Come in, relax; stay a while.” Additionally, a chair in the foyer serves a great purpose for anyone needing to perch while putting on shoes or taking them off. Nice leather upholstery will only get better with age, but an eye-catching pattern can be just as lovely.
We Can Help Create a Custom Piece!
Did you know that we have custom furniture, such as wingback chairs, to fulfill your decorating needs? Additionally, our showroom is full of upholstery fabrics. All you need to do is come in, pick your frame, pick your fabric, and then pick up your gorgeous finished piece from our store.
If you are looking for an upholstery fabric store near Katy, TX, we have just what you need! Come by either of our locations in Houston where you will find interior (and exterior) fabrics that will be the perfect addition to your Wingback Chair!