Today we’re looking at compact armchairs for small spaces.  Our Top 10 sofas for small spaces has been wildly popular, so we decided to do this follow-up.

As before, it’s inspired by our own search for compact, modern furniture.  This time it’s for a contemporary, small armchair that’s not too deep so it doesn’t protrude too far into our small, square-ish living room.

All of the compact easy chairs in this Top 10 have slim, strealined shapes that make them perfect armchairs for small spaces.  No wide, chunky arms or boxy profiles here.

Long(ish) legs were another criteria, to give an illusion of space under and around the chair, a classic trick to use when buying any furniture for small spaces.

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!


Contemporary upholstered armchairs for small spaces

To start, a selection of traditional upholstered armchairs with contemporary styling to update this classic look.

Kubrick small wing back blue armchair for small spaces1. The Kubrick Wing Back Armchair (H105 x W91 x D90 cm) oozes style and charm with its stitched seams and buttoning details.  Its available in a lovely range of colours that are perfect for the contemporary home – go as bright or classic as you  like.

2. The mid-century inspired Cecil Accent Armchair has a solid oak frame and cotton velvet upholstery in a choice of three gorgeous shades – Burned Orange, Grass Green and Gold.  Piping and button detailing complete the Cecil’s style credentials (W75 x H82 x D80cm). One of each colour, please.
3.  The Noah Armchair is available with or without buttoning and in a wide range of velvets, linens and cotton weave fabrics. Based on their best-selling Isaac chair, contemporary sofa and chair specialists Love your Home have made the back higher for increased support and comfort which means the Noah measures W80 x H86 x D75 cm. A brilliantly versatile armchair for small spaces.

Scandi-style wooden framed armchairs for small spaces

The next small armchairs take inspiration from Scandinavian-style and mid-century inspired wood framed armchairs.  They’re all rather fabulous, and all on my wish list…

Solid oak Frome compact armchair for small spaces from John Lewis4.  The striking, solid oak Frome armchair (H81 x W75 x D86 cm) is part of the Croft Collection at John Lewis & Partners.  Shown here in blue, it’s available in any fabric from their ‘Design your Own’ range and also in a selection of gorgeous leathers.  There’s also a 15-year frame guarantee.

Hendricks mid-century style armchair by John Lewis & Partners with oak frame and grey upholstery5.  Second of our Scandi/mid-century-inspired compact armchairs for small spaces is the Hendricks armchair with exposed oak frame (H76.5 x W73 x D82cm).  Again, you can design your own by choosing from a wide range of fabrics.  Don’t want to wait?  Buy it ready to deliver in a choice of leathers, like the sumptuous version in Sellvagio Parchment leather, below.

Mid-century style leather armchair with oak frame and tan leather upholstery

Contemporary leather armchairs for small spaces

Wallis compact leather armchair for small spaces by Russell Pinch for Heal's6.  We love the elegant lines and toffee-coloured leather of the Wallis armchair designed by Russell Pinch for Heals. This colour looks stunning against dark walls.  Mind you, this beautiful, contemporary statement armchair would look great anywhere, really.  (H86 x W87 x D85 cm)

Groucho aniline leather armchair for small spaces from John Lewis7. Friends of friends have this deliciously squashy and ultra-comfortable Halo Groucho Aniline Leather Armchair (H68 x W107 x D84cm), shown above, again from John Lewis.

Slim arms and long legs stop it looking heavy and chunky and its big brother, the Groucho Sofa, is in our Top 10 Sofas for Small Spaces too.  Why?  Because both are the interiors versions of the most comfortable, lived-in and much-loved leather jacket – ever.

8.  Buttery soft Italian leather, ultra-slim lines and understated metal legs – be still my beating heart.  How gorgeous is the  Heal’s Matera leather armchair, above?  Elegant and utterly timeless, it comes in a range of sumptuous leather finishes and colours and measures a compact H82 x W70 x D87cm.

Compact accent chairs for small spaces

Although not exactly armchairs, the streamlined contours of compact accent chairs are nevertheless ideal for small living room when space is at a real premium.

Also called cocktail chairs, they’re particularly useful as occasional chairs i.e. somewhere to sit for a drink or a cuppa.  Or as extra seating when you have guests.  Equally, they’re brilliantly versatile in bedrooms, hallways and cosy reading nooks.

Richmond grey velvet button back accent chair by The White Company9. The White Company’s beautifully-made Richmond button back tub chair measures H74 x W 64 x D72 cm.  The traditional shape is brought up to date with contemporary grey or stone velvet, and a choice of dark stained or natural oak legs.  (Cotton, wool and linen upholstery fabrics also available).

Alpana velvet cocktail chairs from Graham and Green10. The Alpana cocktail chair from Graham & Green comes in a range of velvets.  Choose from plain teal and coral, above or yellow with patterned back, below. (Approx H72 x W56 x D79cm).

Alpana yellow velvet cocktail chair with printed cotton back

Or for a burst of tropical colour and pattern, how about the Alpana Mexicana Print Chair below?

Alpana Mexicana cocktail chair for small spaces by Graham & GreenI 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.

(This post has been updated since publication to keep items current)

Images: brands and shops as credited above

Enjoyed our Top 10 Armchairs for Small Spaces? Check out our Small Space Living Solutions

Find more contemporary furniture for small spaces in our new Small Space Living section:

Find more armchairs in our Contemporary Armchairs Sourcebook


  1. Thank you so much – this article may have helped us find the perfect mid-century chair

  2. Helen

    Hi Gabi
    Just back from holiday, so sorry not to have replied sooner. Great to hear you’ve found your chair – possibly! Hope it really is the one.