Our Top 10 sofas for small spaces has been wildly popular, so here’s the follow-up – compact armchairs for small spaces. Again, it’s inspired by our own search for a contemporary, small armchair that’s not too deep so it doesn’t protrude too far into our small, square-ish living room. It also can’t be too high as it will sit in the bay window but also not too narrow so as not to look lost in the width of the bay.
All of the compact easy chairs in this Top 10 have slim, neat profiles that make them perfect armchairs for small spaces – no wide, chunky arms or boxy profiles here. They’re also less than 90 cm deep, with several measuring 80 – 85cm deep and some being very petite indeed. Hopefully one may be the small armchair for you!
Top 10: compact armchairs for small spaces
To start, a selection of traditional, fully upholstered armchairs, but with contemporary styling to update this classic look. The Rubens armchair (H101 x W82 x D85 cm) above, designed by Steuart Padwick for MADE, has fabulously clean, flowing lines and fuss-free wool-rich or leather upholstery. It’s deceptive – I thought it would be too deep for this line-up but no, it’s beautifully petite.
A contemporary take on the classic wing back armchair, the Rubens comes in grey, green/yellow and a very gorgeous cognac leather too, as you can see above.
Also from MADE, part of their collaboration with popular interiors blogger Kate Watson-Smyth, is the Made about The House Accent Armchair (H74 x W72 x D86 cm). Upholstered in lush inky blue velvet, and with American walnut legs, it’s the perfect way to introduce a contemporary take on the classics into your space.
Its slim profile and compact proportions make the Momo Armchair (W68 x H100 x D74cm) ideal for small spaces. Designed in-house by Habitat, it’s part of their Momo range and is also available in other colours and fabrics.
The very stylish Heal’s Brunel range, designed by Rob Scarlett, melds industrial and Scandi influences to create compact, contemporary furniture for modern living. The classic yet timeless Brunel armchair (H79 x W74 x D80 cm) has tapered black metal legs and tailored grey contemporary buttoned upholstery.
The next three small armchairs take inspiration from Scandinavian-style wooden framed armchairs, and fit perfectly into the mid-century look that’s so popular right now.
First up is the West Elm Mid-Century Show Wood Armchair (H82 x W80 x D66cm). This is a really compact and neat armchair, and the grey flecked salt and pepper upholstery is versatile and stylish. Or there’s a seriously handsome leather version too. If you love this style, here are more covetable mid-century pieces available from West Elm that are extremely hard to resist.
The striking Marino armchair (H86 x W75 x D85 cm) is by iconic British furniture makers Ercol, exclusively for John Lewis. The steam-bent solid ash frame has gracefully flowing lines, and there’s a choice of seven upholstery colours to choose from (brochure here). A beautifully crafted small armchair that’s a real heirloom piece.
Last of our Scandi-inspired compact armchairs for small spaces is the Karla armchair (H78 x W72 x D90 cm) in solid oak and grey canvas from Swoon Editions. With its weathered, matte oak frame and stonewashed canvas upholstery it has a very cool “urban rustic” feel to it. I really did swoon when I saw this, and am desperately trying to find a place for one (on the deck of my fantasy holiday home, as things stand right now).
A very different look now with the soft, deliciously squashy and ultra-comfortable Halo Groucho Leather Armchair (H68 x W107 x D84cm), shown above, again from John Lewis. The slim profile of its sides, its generous width and the long legs stop stop it looking heavy and chunky, so often the case with leather armchairs. It’s big brother, the Groucho Sofa, was in our Top 10 Sofas for Small Spaces too because both are the interiors versions of the most comfortable, lived-in and much-loved leather jacket – ever.
We’re finishing with some bright colour and a very loose interpretation of “small armchairs” as these final chairs, whilst definitely small, don’t actually have any arms. These compact accent chairs are ideal for bedrooms, hallways and cosy reading nooks, but can look equally good in small living rooms where their simple contours are the perfect solution when space is at a premium.
Graham & Green’s Trianon button back tub chairs (H73 x W 67 x D57 cm) take a traditional shape and bring it up to date with contemporary shades of raspberry pink or grey velvet teamed with pale, distressed wood legs. The Trianon chair is also available in natural linen.
And last but not least, two beauties inspired by1950’s cocktail chairs. Shown left is the Duke Cocktail Chair (H80 x W66 xD68 cm) and on the right the Fitz Cocktail Chair (H83 x W71 x D73 cm). Chic and elegant, both are available in a range of six jewel-coloured velvets.
I can’t believe that’s the 10 done already – it would have been so easy to have written about another 10 at least!. We hope you’ve found our round up of compact armchairs for small spaces useful, and even if your perfect small armchair isn’t here then at least the selection above has provided inspiration and food for thought. Happy (small) chair hunting.
UPDATE – FEBRUARY 2015: WE FOUND IT!!!
I just wanted to add a quick update to say we finally found our armchair for our small living room – yay! On a recent visit to our local John Lewis store, I came across the Olson Armchair, which has the mid-century details I wanted, but is different enough from our sofa to look sufficiently mismatched.
It’s the perfect height (81cm) and not too narrow, so won’t look all lonely in the width of the bay window. It’s part of the Design Your Own range and I finally went for an olive green velvet. I do hope it’ll look OK when it arrives!
UPDATE ON THE UPDATE ABOVE, SEPTEMBER 2017: Sadly the Olson armchair seems to have been discontinued, but the link above will take you to the current John Lewis armchair range, including many suitable for small spaces. I hope you find one that works for you.