a guide to wing chairs

When I was growing up, my parents always had a pair of traditional wing chairs on either side of the fireplace. I remember they were frequently recovered when we moved to a new house, or when mom and dad were looking for a change (guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree). At the time, I thought wing chairs were old fashioned and uncool, but my opinion has changed significantly—in part because today’s furniture designers have taken this traditional form to a new level of chic. The first wing chairs were designed in the late 17th century to protect their occupants from cold drafts as they sat in front of the fireplace. Today a fireplace is not required to stage a handsome wing chair, just a desire to be open minded about taking an old form into the 21st century and beyond. Clearly, by the number of new wing-chairs being introduced to the market, there is still a strong demand for this graceful chair.

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1. Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Suzanne wing chair, 2. Baker Furniture wing chair #6200, 3. Williams Sonoma Home Chelsea wing chair, 4. Victoria Hagan Home Wainscott chair, 5. Hickory Chair Farm wing chair, 6. Restoration Hardware French upholstered wing chair.

On a recent trip to Boyle in Hudson, New York, Lauren and I fell in love with this traditional form made magical by it’s dramatic print. You can often find upholstered arm chairs at tag sales and estate sales.  Assuming the frame is well-built, this can be a great investment. We can help you find a good upholsterer if you’re in the New York/Connecticut area.

wingchairhudson

  • http://couldihavethat.blogspot.com samantha

    LOVE the Victoria Hagan one! Wing chairs are my favorite for near or in a closet. Wing chair = the spot where you put your “worn once, but not yet ready for the hamper yet clothes”

  • http://pvedesign.com pve design

    Ready to do my chair, when ever you are!
    pve

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  • Nancy

    Hi,

    I love that chair that you say comes from Boyle in Hudson, NY. But in googling Boyle, I have not found anything to lead me to these chairs.

    Was it just one chair in an antique store? I need a fabulous pair of wing chairs that I can upholster with COM.

    Any advice?

  • goodbone

    The store in Hudson, New York is called Doyle. That was a single chair, unfortunately, but a great form.
    I recommend going to estate sales, you’ll often find a pair looking for a refurbishment and a new home.
    Good Luck!

  • http://www.wing-chairs.com Wing Chairs

    Nice examples of wing chairs there… i think only the mitchell is buttoned and i love the lines on the hagen

  • http://www.ccfnz.co.nz/ Office Furniture Expert

    I think these old style wing chairs will make a great comeback not for applications they were once used for although there is still a market for them but for hospitality environments where people want to make a statement. The wing chairs would be a vocal point and that is fantastic. I say new marketing and these chairs will be around for another 100 years.