10 Best Armchairs

It’s that time of the month again and here is my round up of the 10 best armchairs that I definitely like and think you might too. I have included a mix of high street and handmade, mid-century and modern, pattern and plain. Most of them come in other colours or are made to order, so you can change the colour if you don’t like the one shown and prices range from £369 to £1,499 so I hope there is something for everyone.


Design Vintage


tine k velvet armchair
tine k velvet armchair

The Danish designer Tine K always has gorgeous covetable things and this chair, while expensive, is perfect for a small space. But if you read my post on How to Buy a Sofa you will notice that this has narrow arms which means it will take up less space while still giving you plenty of sitting room. Add that to the gorgeous colour palette – moss, smoke and phantom – and it’s definitely worth a closer look. There’s a sofa too and they are loose covers so you could buy two and ring the changes with the seasons, one of those things we preach but don’t practise.



bienno armchair from
bienno armchair from

I was in the showroom last week (for reasons which will soon become clear. Clue? madEaboutthehouse…) and on my way out I saw this sofa and armchair. Now I know this is about armchairs but this sofa stopped me in my tracks, it’s a great design. It also comes in two shades of teal if you’re interested. This company is going from strength to strength at the moment (and that’s why I wanted to work with them rather than me saying that because I am, if you see what I mean). They have a new inhouse textile department and there are some real standout pieces.





black and white geometric armchair from habitat

I’m  fan of a patterned chair. So often we stick to sensible plain colours and rely on cushions for some pzazz (as the 13yo would say) but that’s always a bit “stuck on” if you see what I mean. If you have a plain sofa – and you probably do – then why not throw in a patterned chair or two to liven things up a bit? This is black and ivory so it’s a safe colour choice but the dramatic geometric pattern is really cool. I have sat in this one too and and can tell you that it’s both compact and comfortable. I had to get practically into the window display to do so mind and I didn’t look at ALL ridiculous so don’t say I never do anything for you.


Galapagos Designs


midcentury chair in pink and gold from galapagos designs
midcentury chair in pink and gold from galapagos designs

Can’t go wrong with a classic and a mid-century chair works in any environment. Try covering it in really modern material to make a real feature of it. Then you have something that looks good and seats well, if you know what I mean. Am seriously considering this for my own bay window.




pink and brass armchair from westelm
pink and brass armchair from westelm

But then again my heart has belonged to this beauty for some time now. The brass and blush is, of course, a stunning combination and the delicate legs mean that it doesn’t dominate the space too much. It also comes in a rich teal colour as well as a natural linen. Pair with a charcoal sofa or see below…




pink velvet armchair from loveyourhome
pink velvet armchair from loveyourhome

This gorgeous deep pink chair would work well with the one above in an open plan or knock through reception which so many Victorian terraces have. Imagine the pale chairs at the lighter end of the room leading through to these darker ones at the back. You could also make the walls slightly darker and create a lush cosy atmosphere at the back that opened out in the same colours at the front. Would look amazing no? Obviously, this chair comes in almost any colour you care to choose so just because I have gone on a pink rampage doesn’t mean you have to too…


by Christiane Lemieux for House of Fraser


blue velvet armchair from house of fraser
blue velvet armchair from house of fraser

See navy blue. Complete change of scheme. The Christiane Lemeiux collection is one of the hidden gems at House of Fraser. She did a fabulous sofa for them a couple of years ago which sold out quite fast. This comes only in navy but if that is your colour scheme get in there. The wooden arms will support a gin and tonic nicely.


Atkin & Thyme


blue and linen armchair from atkin & thyme
blue and linen armchair from atkin & thyme

Another mid-century beauty, this is a little smaller and politer than the one above. I like the mix of linen and velvet and it comes in a pale green and gold velvet too. Earlier this year I posted about the matching sofa which is a real stunner. You can’t have both though as that would be defying the laws in interior design according to The Mad House – one or the other depending on your space and needs.


&tradition at nest



fly armchair by & tradtion
fly armchair by & tradition

This is so terribly expensive but I have been gazing at it for months now so I thought I should include it. It’s love seat proportions and it’s Danish so it’s cool and functional and beautiful as well. No-one manages to marry form and function quite so well as the Danes so we should celebrate it when we find it.


Tom Raffield


arbor armchair by Tom Raffield
arbor armchair by Tom Raffield

And finally, you can’t beat a bit of steambent wood. I have been a fan of Tom’s work for years – I have one of his lights which I bought in a sale a couple of years ago. He also featured on Grand Designs this week so all the more reason to remark on his talent. Chairs, lights and houses. The man can build.

So there you have it. Ten best armchairs. If my house wouldn’t look like a doctor’s waiting room I could make a case for every single one of them. What do you think?

Tags : armchairbest armchairsmid-centurysofasteambentvelvet armchair
Kate Watson-Smyth

The author Kate Watson-Smyth

I’m a journalist who writes about interiors mainly for The Financial Times but I have also written regularly for The Independent and The Daily Mail. My house has been in Living Etc, HeartHome and featured in The Wall Street Journal & Corriere della Sera. I also run an interior styling consultancy Mad About Your House. Welcome to my Mad House.


  1. We had Le Corbusier LC2 chairs at my old office and they were so amazing. But I am partial to my club chairs, which have been recovered but are still as comfy as ever. After 30 years I’m not tired of the style.

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