At the start of lockdown I wrote about why I think a Persian rug is a must have item in any home, not least because they work in any space and with any style, but also because they don’t show the dirt – the red wine spills and weetabix mush. I also wrote about the vital role of the coffee table and why it’s the second most important important piece of furniture in your house and today I thought I would muse on armchairs.
You see the thing about an armchair is that you can fully claim it as yours. Not so the sofa which you have to share. Now The Mad Husband and I clearly have our ends (same as we have our sides of the bed) but when the teenage sons come in (rarely I know) all hell can break loose. And of course guests must be allowed to sit where they wish….
So the armchair. This is where you can make your own nest. Anyone who has seen Frasier, the spin-off from Cheers, will familiar with his father’s green and brown striped recliner which is so at odd with Frasier’s repro Coco Chanel sofa, which he so proudly claims as a remake of the one the French designer had in her apartment at the Ritz.
I have also just finished (and heartily recommend) Curtis Sittenfeld’s latest book Rodham, a novel based around the idea that Hillary Rodham didn’t marry Bill Clinton, in which Hillary describes making her nest every night – a comfy place of cushions with a book, a notepad, latterly a computer and a glass of wine or drink all within reach.
An armchair can be your nest. Pick one that you find enormously comfortable. Are you a feet up or down kind of person? Do you want a large love seat kind of a affair or a narrow wing back that will hug you? Will it have wide arms for resting drinks and laptops or narrow wooden ones that allow the light to pass through and are more sleek and modern in look?
Patterned or plain? Squishy or firm? Add a side table and a task light – either floor or table – and build your own nest. Perfect for working from home or relaxing once the work has returned to the office and safe in the knowledge that, marauding guests aside, the cushions will remain squashed to the exact shape of your back next time you sink into it.
And that, is why an armchair is more important than a sofa.