Hi, I’m Anne, and I’m addicted to armchairs.
I have my dad to blame for this obsession. From an early age I was subjected to a constant bombardment of “family outings” to antique fairs, auction houses and garage sales, where my parents would search for treasures and trinkets.
While I felt pretty hard done by at the time, it wasn’t until I moved into my own place recently, and started to decorate for myself, that I realised how much of my love of interiors and design I had inherited from my dad.
At the heart of my newfound style-crush is the man chair. Otherwise known as the grandpa chair, recliner, or armchair, it’s pretty much the place to be. The best seat in the house. The home within a home.
With father’s day around the corner, what better time to pay homage to this style staple? Here are five of my fave types of man chairs that will never go out of style.
1. Classic leather
There’s nothing quite like a leather armchair. They exude natural warmth and character, and they’re the perfect place to curl up with a good read on a lazy Sunday. On the more structured side of the spectrum you’ve got the button-back or chesterfield styles and the classic wing-back design, which I love for their old-school look and feel. With the more relaxed designs, natural creases and crinkles will only add to the character and charm of your chair. The beauty of leather armchairs is that they only get better with age, and you’ll never have to reupholster them.
2. Minimal mod
Designers are constantly looking to the past for inspiration, and some eras just never go out of style. Take the striking Cuba and Julian armchairs from Mercer Trading Co. These man chairs are defined by bold silhouettes, strong lines and a structural strength that really packs a punch in the style department. Drawing inspiration from iconic European designers of the 20th century such as Alvar Aalto and Erich Dieckmann, they’re are at once on-trend and timeless in style. They’re also an example of a high-end look that won’t leave you weeping at your bank balance (for a change).
3. Slouchy chic
We all need to sink into a comfy couch or chair at the end of a hard day’s work, and that’s why I’m digging the ultra-slouchy style man chair. The Togo Chair, first designed by Michel Ducaroy in 1973, revolutionised this concept, and no doubt inspired the phrase “couch potato”. The look is futuristic, retro and cool, and the feel is so sink-into-able that’s it’s hard to get up again. Check out the Togo-inspired Besson Chair from Zanui, available in a pop of red or a neutral grey.
4. Smart and structured
At the opposite end of the man chair spectrum exists the more structured look. The type of chair that debonair style icons like Tom Ford, Don Draper and Cary Grant would look totally at home on. Rather than curl-up-in comfort, this chair is all about the statement look, modern lines and timeless elegance. Think the Barcelona Chair and ottoman, first designed by Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe in the 1930s. With its classic good-looks and ergonomic design, you can recline and put your feet up while looking cool, calm and collected.
5. Relaxy maxy
At the height of man chair luxury is the legendary Eames chair. It’s hard to go past the classic combo of warm walnut veneer and black leather, and its handy swivel and recline functionality. Paired with a matching ottoman, it’s THE place to stretch out, relax, and switch off in utter comfort and style. If you own an Eames chair, you’ve kind of made it. This goes for replica Eames chairs too – apart from the bonus of getting the look for less, faux-leather is ultra durable and easy to clean (read practical).