5 Things to Consider When Shopping for a Modern Chair
How much time do you spend thinking about chairs?
If you’re actively looking for a new one, probably a good amount. But when you’re not looking – you don’t give them much thought, right?
Right. Because chairs are just places to rest … or are they? Learn why you should spend some more time thinking before you buy a modern chair, below.
1. Measure Twice, Shop Once
This comes from an old carpenter’s saying, measure twice, cut once. But since you’re not making your own modern chair, you don’t have to worry about the cutting part.
But you do have to make sure the chair you like will fit in the space you have planned for it. There’s no point in falling in love with a chair and then finding out you’d have to rearrange your entire room for it to work.
Rearranging your room when you’re little was fun, but now it’s a hassle – as you’ve decorated to match the current layout.
There are three measurements you need to find the perfect size chair for your space. The height, the depth, and the width.
Height may not matter that much unless you’re finding a chair that will go right under/by a wall hanging.
The easiest way to do this is to get some painters tape and make a square on the floor. Make the biggest square possible where your chair could be. If there’s a painting or something on the wall, measure to the painting, then subtract about a foot.
Now you have your height, your width (across horizontally) and your depth (across front-of-seat to back). Write those measurements down on your phone, or somewhere accessible.
Now when you’re shopping, whether you’re buying a modern pod chair or something off Facebook, you know the space you have to work with.
2. Consider Negative Space
How much air or visual flow is in the room the chair is going in? Does it seem a little crowded? Would your Roomba only vacuum 2/3 of the room because of furniture placement?
The amount of negative space under/around your furniture will tell you what kind of legs your chair needs to have. Many modern chairs have minimalistic legs, or even just one if it’s round-base chair.
If you love the look of a high-back chair, can you find one that has legs about a foot or more off the ground? Unless you’re shopping for a kids’ chair, tall chairs shouldn’t be an issue for adults.
If you don’t mind there not being visible floor space, don’t worry about this.
Look into chairs with hairpin legs, or even chairs that mount from the ceiling, like those old fashioned hanging egg chairs.
Right now, hairpin legs are very common, along with tulip-table type bases. Both keep the chair sturdy without blocking any feng shui flow.
3. Arms or No Arms?
There being arms on the chair or not adds to the flow of the space too. While arms on chairs are traditional “armchair”, they’re not mandatory.
Especially if you’re a bigger sized person, or someone in your household is. If you’re average size, you may not realize that narrow chairs with high arms making sitting comfortably difficult for plus size people.
A chair with no arms is more modern but may not look as comfortable for lounging in. It all depends on what space you’re putting the chair in.
If it’s one that you’re going to throw your clothes on we mean sit on in your bedroom, arms don’t matter. But in a TV room? Go for a comfier look.
4. Choose the Pattern
Most people shop for chairs solely on the pattern, but not you. You’ve thought about or walked through the first three steps, first. Good for you!
Now you can get into the really fun part – the pattern on the chair.
Don’t think that you have to go for a solid color because you have other patterns in the room. Pattern mixing is not only in right now, but it’s chic (and to be honest, it never really went “out”).
The first thing to know about pattern mixing is that texture is considered a pattern. If you’re looking at a chair that has embroidered design or raised fabric, that changes the way it’ll look with other designs.
The second thing to note is the leopard print is a neutral. You’re probably not going to get an all-leopard print chair, but this goes for clothes, too.
A bright purple chair with a leopard print throw pillow is a great way to go.
If there are already florals in the room, do stripes. Look for stripes that match one of the colors in the floral pattern, and keep them small to medium-sized. We’re talking no bigger than an inch or two wide.
Small stripes blend together when you’re looking at a distance, so they won’t overwhelm the eye.
Not ready to pattern mix two big patterns yet, like your rug and your new chair? Start with your throw pillows. A solid color modern chair and patterned throw pillows is a good way to dip your toe into the chic pattern mixing trend.
5. Point the Chair (Consider the Layout)
Finally, you need to consider which direction the chair will face in the room. If you’re creating a no-walls living space, like around the couch, you need to make sure you like the back of the chair as much as the front.
Play with angles and make sure you like all of the chair, not just the front!
Modern Chair Buying: More Complex Than You Thought
Did you ever think there were five steps to buying a modern chair? Most people think there is just one: buy a chair.
Doing this groundwork helps you avoid buyers regret and helps you pick a piece of furniture you’ll love and use for years to come.
For more advice on how to make your life picture perfect (or close!) take a look around the rest of our site.