Armchairs: Buying Guide

By Nicky Rampley-Clarke

If a sofa is the centrepiece of a scheme, then consider an armchair as an accent, complementing bigger pieces of furniture and bringing a room together. Not only that, but an armchair provides a functional purpose as well as an aesthetic one, whether it’s for creating a cosy reading corner or simply curling up in front of a box-set solo. But the best bit? They don’t necessarily have to match your suite or décor – in fact, a contrasting style can give you a designer edge, looking more contemporary than something matching. Here, we show you how to choose an armchair that’s just right, making for an investment piece that truly sweeps you off your feet.  

First up: choose a style that suits your taste and space. Generally speaking, a design featuring a high back usually creates a formal look for spaces geared towards socialising, while a low back is more conducive to casual situations with a relaxed aesthetic. A cosy snuggler or loveseat both do what they say on the tin by providing enough room for two to cuddle up; and an elegant chaise or lounger comprise elongated proportions that enable reclining. Otherwise, an accent chair makes for a statement in a room, adding visual interest. There’s a place for them all: you just have to decide what design facilitates the way you want to use your armchair and the room you want to put it in.  

Something to kick-back and relax in? The upholstered Ella Lounge Chair, by British designer Matthew Hilton, embraces you with ‘wings’ either side to envelop you in comfort (put your feet up by pairing with the Ottoman).  

Alternatively, the Odyssey Sofa Armchair by Nazanin Kamali – a founding designer of Case, no lessprovides a soft but stable seat characterised by its armless silhouette and retro aesthetic.  

For something in between, why not consider the Stanley Armchair, also by Matthew Hilton, which balances form and function with sharp lines and soft upholstery. A talking point, but a comfy sit, all wrapped up in a Mid-Century design. Harmony, indeed.  

Muse over material

Next: consider the material of your armchair and whether it’s fit for purpose. For example, leather provides a modern look that feels cool to the touch and can be easily wiped and kept clean; while fabric – the likes of linen, cotton, bouclé, amongst others – are harder to maintain but are usually warmer and more versatile in the aesthetic they create. 

Equally, the shade and style of the fabric are just as important, whether muted and monochrome, or colourful and patterned – or, indeed, something that sits in the middle. Neutral armchairs will blend more seamlessly into schemes and are trickier to keep looking like new, while maximalist styles provide stand-out and are more forgiving against spills and stains. Luckily, we offer a range of free swatches in materials and colours to give you confidence in your choice of upholstery. 

Looking for leather? Call off the search with the Stanley Armchair.  

A fan of fabric? The Ella Lounge Chair or Odyssey Sofa Armchair have got you covered.  

Undecided? Get inspired by visualising the forthcoming Forum Armchair in a range of finishes, from buttery black or brown leather, to on-trend chalk, moss or slate bouclé. Originally designed by Robin Day in 1964, it’s been sympathetically reimagined by the Robin and Lucienne Day Foundation, nearly 60 years after it first launched.   

Plan its place

Finally, it sounds obvious, but consider where your armchair will be placed once you get it home and ensure its proportions fit accordingly. Typically, armchairs won’t be the largest item of furniture you’ll ever invest in, but you’ll still need to consider doorways, staircases and any awkward angles that could make reaching its final destination cumbersome. Simply measure your potential new armchair and correlate its dimensions with those of your home to avoid disappointment. 

Once you’re confident in choosing, make the most of free delivery with Case and get your armchair delivered to your doorstep without any money exchanging hands. 

Better still, our Price Match guarantee will give you peace of mind that if you find the same product at a lower price online or in-store elsewhere, we’ll match it. That’s a promise. Finally, if you’re still struggling to select your armchair, try before you buy for the ultimate reassurance at our showroom in Wandsworth.

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