Our Top 10 sofas for small spaces has been wildly popular, so here’s the follow-up – compact armchairs for small spaces. It’s inspired by our own search – we were looking for a fairly contemporary, small armchair that’s not too deep so it doesn’t protrude too far into our small, square-ish living room. It also couldn’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 wide 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 is the Jonah armchair (H84 x W82 x D89 cm) designed by James Harrison, winner of the Elle Decoration Young Designer of the Year 2007. A contemporary style, yet with a retro feel, the Jonah’s single seat cushion, integrated back and slim, angled legs make for a fresh, clean look. Shown here in Stone Grey, it also comes in Saffron Yellow and a leather finish.
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 Johan Armchair (H82 x W72 x D83cm) from the John Lewis ‘Any Shape Any Fabric’ range of sofas and armchairs. There are over 400 fabrics and leathers to choose from in eight price bands, so you can pick the colour, pattern and fabric to suit your style and budget. I chose the bright Zarao Apple fabric to show you, as it has quite a mid-century texture to it that suits the style of the chair.
Their clever online tool enables you to see the chair in any of these fabrics, just by clicking on the swatch (hours of fun/time wasted depending on your point of view) and you can also order free fabric swatches to colour match at home too.
The Louis armchair (H80 x W86 x D84 cm) is a classic timber lounge chair from Nottingham-based independent furniture studio And Then Design (yay! for Nottingham, my home town). Beautifully crafted in solid oak, they say: “The generous proportions of the linear frame are softened by rounded cushions and the seat is supported by traditional pirelli straps. A handsome and comfortable chair”. Available in fabric or leather upholstery options.
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, and would look amazing in contemporary schemes, alongside lots of other natural materials. 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 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 it looking too heavy and chunky like many 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!