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Decorate Update: The Occasional Chair

b4794cda804a4d1a6b22a78276ca11f2Deborah Needleman, former editor of Domino magazine, author of The Perfectly Imperfect Home and a doyenne of decorating, is very keen on a chairs. “A variety of chair types…” she writes in The Perfectly Imperfect Home, “are essential to decorating for happy times.” She is advises adding “a deep and cosy armchair”, “an upright chair” and – my personal favourite – “a spare chair – a chair-in-waiting” to any living room layout. I love the idea of an occasional chair. I am in the throes of reconfiguring my home’s living space. I have decided on the sofa (side note: we all – from baby through four-year-old to parents, enjoyed a morning at‘s Chelsea HQ the other weekend. They have a children’s area (including staff to play with and look over your children), complimentary (decent) coffee and tea, charming and impeccable service, and fabulous products). We have a suitably upright armchair – now all we need is an occasional chair.

An occasional chair perches on the periphery, waiting to make itself useful, and looking pretty whilst it does so. Maybe it’s not your first choice, but it’s surprisingly comfortable and – in my house at least – the perfect place to read or think or just enjoy a rare moment of silence, gazing out of the window.


Space can dictate the size and scale of said chair – it can be neat [above] or deep and squishy:


I like the idea of positioning it next to a table – so you have somewhere to put your book, cup of coffee/glass of wine, a light source, but this is not prescriptive, just personal preference. I also think that it’s worth considering a chair which comes as a surprise in your overall scheme – something a little quirky and out of kilter (in a good way). It can throw the rest of the room and the style of your home into relief.



It can either be pared back and very simple – like this chair in Milly’s gorgeous flat (which is from Ikea, incidentally. Thus proving you do not need to spend a fortune):


Or it can be totally over the top (good if the rest of the furniture is very simple and classic).



Some ideas:

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Hound dog occasional chair, £745, Loaf; Strandmon wing chair, £195, Ikea; Le Cocktail chair, £425, Oliver Bonas

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Molly armchair, £399, Made; Moresque chair, £398, Anthropologie; Kerava armchair, £249, M&S


Images: Anthropologie. Little Design Corner,, We are Maven, Design Milk, David Cleveland, The Design Files, Tamara Maynes



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