Styling Guide

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How to Pick the Right Chair for Your Space

If you are anything like me, you love a good makeover. But sometimes, it can be difficult to know how to pick a great chair for a makeover. I have found that a lot of this depends on your style and design taste. Personally, I love French chairs and believe these tend to make the best makeovers because their well defined curves and lines.


Aino Photography

There are plenty of chairs in desperate need of a second life—a makeover—but does that mean that the chair(s) will look right for your space?   Here are a few tips for finding chairs that truly do have potential to transform your space.
First, look for something to scale. Do you have a sofa that sits low to the ground? If so, don’t select a chair that sits really tall. You don’t necessarily need a chair that sits low, but look for a chair that doesn’t tower over the other furniture in the room. On the other hand, the chair shouldn’t look too small either. Think of the pieces of furniture in a room as family members. Ask yourself, Do they all look like they somehow belong together?


Aino Photography

Second, look for chairs that will be reasonably comfortable. It’s often true that beauty does not equal comfortable. At times, we find ourselves sacrificing comfort for beauty. I’ve done this with antique Victorian chairs, but I also pair these smaller chairs with something more comfortable for those (like my husband) who like to sit back in the chair after eating a big meal. So, I get to have my cake and eat it too!DSC_1914
Third, consider the shape of the chair and ignore the fabric, finish, and lack of stuffing. Does the shape get you excited? Call me a chair nerd, but I can truly say that when I find a “beauty in waiting,” I do get excited. The fabric, finish, and lack of stuffing can all change…the shape cannot be changed. Train yourself to look only at the shape!  before red chairDSC_2419If you don’t have the nerve to tackle the makeover, find an upholsterer who is able and willing to transform that chair for you. By following these simple guidelines, you can search with confidence for the right chairs to transform your space.

Wendy Conklin

I'm Wendy Conklin, The Chair Stylist.

What brings me joy is helping others live more creatively. I design antique-inspired, boutique chairs, and I teach others how to do what I do. Check out my shop, services, and courses to bring more whimsy into your home and life!


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