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Club Chairs Buying Guide: The Coziest Club Chairs for Winter 2020

We all love the idea of finding that perfectly comfortable and attractive living room chair.

(Left) Caracole Classic Almost Black Club Chair (Center) Caracole Classic Club Chair and (Right) Sonder Distribution Vanessa Destroyed Back Club Chair, All from LuxeDecor

The 2020 to 2021 Winter Season will be all about Hygge interiors. Hygge — the Danish tradition of “living well” in intimacy, tradition and warmth with loved ones — offers those stuck inside during the pandemic an opportunity to revel in each space of their homes. The concept of Hygge evokes thoughts of cozy fireplaces, toes snuggling into plush rugs and evenings spent in a nook reading old books. It also brings to mind candlelight, respite from the cold and the closeness associated with the holiday season. Many Americans — and others abroad — have reconnected with their homes over the last eight months. Living rooms and bedrooms have turned into office spaces while kitchens and dining rooms have evolved into mock school spaces for children. Hygge fits perfectly into our desire to “cocoon” this year — to find sanctuary in our homes as the world outside becomes more turbulent and complicated.

Hygge also offers a look towards home health, an area that has garnered growing concern and interest over the last few months. Because Hygge — and other Scandinavian design ethoses — focuses on natural, organic interiors, it fits in perfectly with our renewed desire to foster home health. And now — as the weather cools down, rain pours and snow threatens — Hygge offers us a source of comfort, warmth and meaning. It offers us a way to return to quality materials, intimacy with family and friends and places to simply cuddle up on our own with a good book. There is no better way to cuddle up with a beloved pet — or with that great book — than to settle into a soft, enveloping club chair. To light the Hygge spirit in your own home, follow below for our Club Chairs Buying Guide and the coziest club chairs for Winter 2020.

What Defines a Club Chair?

(Left) Global Views Club Chair (Center) Sunpan Hanna Giotto Shale Grey Club Chair and (Right) Sunpan Sheldon Polished Stainless Steel Club Chair, all from LuxeDecor

Club chairs were originally referred to as “fauteuil confortable” — which directly translates to “comfortable armchair.” Traditionally, club chairs have been wide, deep-seated accent chairs upholstered in leather or brocade. Today — however — they are covered in many different materials and are available in a number of silhouettes, both with and without legs. Modern, contemporary, vintage and antique versions all exist, though mid-century modern examples might be the most popular styles at this time. Tub chairs and barrel chairs are often compared to club chairs, with some arguing that tub and barrel chairs are subsets of clubs.

Choosing the Right Club Chair for Your Home

#1 Consider the Size and Layout of the Room

(Left and Center) Caracole Classic Club Chair, from LuxeDecor

The size of the room you intend to place the club chair within will determine how large your cozy chair can be. The layout will also somewhat determine this, as matching the height and scale of your chair to surrounding furniture will create a more cohesive living space. Begin your club chair search by — of course — determining which room you would like to place the chair in, but then by determining how your chair will fit into an existing layout. While many club chairs are used independently — e.g. in a one-person reading nook or the corner of a bedroom — they are also used in concert with a seating program. If you wish to incorporate your new club chair into an existing seating program — for instance, pairing it with a sofa, sectional or other chair — you will need to measure the space to ensure it will fit.

Be sure to leave enough space around each furniture element — e.g. the coffee table, sofa and any other chairs, end tables or light fixtures — for people to walk easily. This is typically between eighteen inches and three feet of walk space. It is also advisable to measure the height of your club chair to correspond well with other seating. If the seat of your club chair is much higher — or much lower — than other seats, it will likely be uncomfortable, difficult or ergonomically incorrect to converse with others sitting in the area. Designers often recommend keeping the seat of a club chair four to six inches within the height of other seated furniture.

#2 Keep in Mind the Performance Requirements of the Chair

 

(Center) Tommy Bahama Island Fusion Loose Back Bandar Arm Chair and (Right) Sonder Distribution Carson II Antique Espresso Club Chair, Both from LuxeDecor

 

There are three major elements to determining the performance requirements of a club chair — or virtually any other form of accent chair. These three elements are 1) who will use the chair, 2) how often the chair will be used and 3) what the chair will be used for. You might also consider who else will be in the room in which the club chair has been placed when determining what kind of fabric and other materials your chair will be made from. This might also influence the size and shape of the chair.

For instance, if you are considering a leather club chair — the most classic upholstery for the style — but have children and plan to place the chair in a common area, it might not be the best choice. Spills are difficult to fully remove — or even disguise — from leather. Additionally, if you are going to sit on your club chair with a cup of coffee, you might consider a performance fabric or easily wiped upholstery. If you plan to use the club chair each day — or fairly frequently — you might avoid velvet, suede or another easily worn covering. However, if you absolutely love the leather, suede or velvet club chair, you can always reupholster it if disaster strikes! 

#3 Seek to Reflect the Room’s Pre-Existing Interior

(Left and Center) Lexington Santana Club Chair, from LuxeDecor

Though matching your new club chair to the room’s pre-existing interior is typically the best choice for creating a harmonious space, this does not mean exactly matching the silhouette or materials of other furniture. Instead of directly matching other elements — e.g. the legs of the sofa or the upholstery patterns or colors of other chairs or the — consider taking the spirit of each piece into consideration. Also keep in mind the color scheme, accents and shapes of other elements within the room. For example, is the room dominated by brass or bronze accents — e.g. drawer pulls, light fixtures and ferrules? Is the design style of your space generally modern and simplistic or ornate and antique? Consider how minimalistic or embellished you would like your interior to be when choosing a club chair’s style and pattern. However, be sure to consider comfort above all if Hygge is your intended atmosphere! 

#4 Decide if the Chair Needs an Ottoman!

(Center) Lexington Laurel Canyon Club Chair and (Right) Tommy Bahama Twin Palms Coconut Grove Loose Back Chair, Both Available through LuxeDecor

 Many club chairs are deep-seated innately, but some also recline or tilt backwards. If your club chair tilts backwards somewhat or is deep enough that your legs cannot bend comfortably at the knees to touch the floor, you might need an ottoman. The right ottoman can truly make the club chair as it creates an entire seating program out of two relatively small elements. Keep in mind that while ottomans do not have to match your club chair, choosing a similar texture, color or pattern will help integrate the two pieces into your room’s existing design program.

As you consider whether or not to purchase an ottoman with your club chair, keep in mind your body’s ergonomic needs and the type of use intended for your club chair. If your goal is to kick up your feet and relax at the end of the day, an ottoman might be essential! If you do shop for an ottoman to complete your club chair, remember that the ideal height should be approximately one or two inches below the height of your club chair’s seat.

2020 - 2021 Furniture Trends to Capture with Your Club Chair (While Still Holding onto that Hygge Feeling)

#1 Antique or Vintage-Inspired

(Left) Sunpan Hanna Giotto Olive Club Chair and (Center) Gus* Modern Embassy Saddle Brown Club Chair, Both through LuxeDecor

Market experts have noted a growing interest in antique furniture that had remained stagnant — and actually slipped — over the last decade. Recent articles in Architectural Digest have referred to this renewed interest, noting that older pieces of furniture — or those inspired by older styles — create depth and texture in a too-modern space. Mix in an antique-inspired club chair with modern decor to achieve the “layering old and new” trend. “Layering old and new” was defined as an essential interiors trend of 2020 by Elle Decor earlier this year. Capture this trend while staying true to the Hygge ethos by choosing one of the chairs shown above. Comfortable and luxuriously upholstered, each chair pictured above oozes class and nods to history while offering a wonderful piece to settle into at the end of the day.

#2 Contemporary and Almost-Childlike

(Center) Tommy Bahama Twin Palms Dorado Beach Loose Back Chair and (Right) Curations Limited Modena Weathered Natural Ash / Granite Leather & Sand Velvet Arm Chair, Both from LuxeDecor

The bold, contemporary silhouettes of oversized furniture can make adults feel like pint-sized children. However, they are also incredibly adept at comforting and drawing in residents of a home. These post-modern-inspired styles make a room feel more exciting, more enticing and more casual than other formal spaces. The playfulness and versatility of interiors has become important over the last eight months as parents and children have shared spaces more inexorably and more constantly than in years past. As this continues, a turn towards functional, usable and intriguing furniture is expected. To capture this trend, do not shy away from bright, bold colors, exciting patterns or large, swallowing silhouettes.

#3 Soft and Earthy

(Left) Natuzzi Editions Destrezza Club Chair (Center) Sunpan Peggy Antique Brass Swivel Club Chair and (Right) Lexington Santana Club Chair, All from LuxeDecor

The shift towards biophilic interiors began before the COVID-19 pandemic but has truly found its foothold during the crisis. Many interior designers, decorators and architects have focused on the need for natural materials and organic colors in residential spaces. Simply viewing nature — whether a photograph, painting or houseplant — has been scientifically proven to reduce stress, boost productivity and reduce recovery time from disease and injury. As such, earthy colors that remind us of the outdoors have taken hold in interiors over the last year. To meet this trend, consider gentle greens, cozy browns, soft beiges, quiet putties and neutral grays. Consider organic materials as well — especially in a Hygge home. Include materials that are perfectly enjoyable to touch — whether they be suede, leather or wool.

How to Hype up the Hygge with the Coziest Club Chairs for Winter

(Left) Natuzzi Editions Sollievo Club Chair, from LuxeDecor

To make your club chair even cozier, add throw pillows and blankets atop the chair. Place an ottoman in front and set the chair atop a plush rug — especially in a room with hardwood, linoleum or tile. Make sure the area is well- but warmly lit with soft, filtered bulbs. By creating your own cocoon, you will ensure a cozy Winter season — filled with warmth, joy and hope for the new year!

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