After struggling to easily find the right items to furnish her own apartment, Kuldea Co-Founder, Deirdre Mc Gettrick, was inspired to create an online platform to make home shopping as straightforward, efficient and fulfilling as possible. Here, she talks about the top tips for picking the perfect armchair for your home.
Cosying up on a comfy armchair with a mug of tea and a good book is many people’s idea of the perfect way to spend a rainy afternoon. But picking the right armchair which looks good as well as offers somewhere to relax is not always easy. Do you opt for style or comfort? Can you have both? Read my top tips on how to purchase the perfect armchair for your home, to help you make any decisions before you buy.
Top tip 1) Who is going to use the armchair?
First you need to consider its primary use. Is it there as a spare seat in your living room when you have visitors? Do you hope to use it as a relaxing space to read a book? Or do you simply want one to add a decorative element to your living room? You might want an armchair to use when you’re on the telephone, or perhaps it’s for the kids to lounge in when playing computer games. Or maybe you need to buy one for an ageing relative who struggles to get up off the sofa.
If your primary concern is comfort then you really need to try before you buy and test out different styles in a showroom before making any decisions. Even if you decide to buy online, ensure you have an idea of the features you like beforehand, such as the type of fabric, the height of the arms or back. For more inspiration, you could attend one of the many interior design events held across the country. Read our list of events coming up here
If your new armchair is going to act as a spare seat for guests then you could think about buying one which transforms into a sofa bed, giving you the option to use it for another purpose if needed to potentially save space elsewhere. You might want to consider choosing one which can easily move from room to room depending where you might need an extra seat.
If you have oodles of space and want an armchair more for its appearance than practicalities then there really are some elaborate varieties which would look Impressive in a larger room.
Top tip 2) Don’t be scared to have fun with colour and fabric
Options on colour, fabric and pattern really are limitless, but consider choosing something which complements your sofa rather than matches, which can add interest and creativity to a room. With a sofa you might want to choose something natural in one colour, but an armchair gives you the chance to be a bit creative and add a splash of something a bit bolder and daring.
You might choose beautiful pink velvet, cosy tartan or even animal print, selecting something you really love and which reflects your personality, but which you wouldn’t dare use for a large sofa! Read our top tips for buying a sofa here
Top tip 3) Browse different designs to find the perfect one to suit your home
There are numerous armchair styles, from a relaxing recliner to an upright woven rattan. You probably have a vision in your mind of the type of armchair you want, but have a browse online as there really are lots of different styles, which might suit your space better than what you had imagined.
If you choose something heavyweight then you will need to find it a permanent home, as moving it around your living room won’t be easy if it’s bulky and takes up a lot of space. Whereas something more lightweight can easily be repositioned depending on your needs. You might want it next to the window if you’re daydreaming the afternoon away, or opposite the television to watch your favourite programme.
If you want your armchair to make an impression, then choose a bold style which will stand out, creating that wow factor when people enter your living room. Vintage leather style armchairs can look really impressive in a larger living room, while a rattan wicker armchair might better suit a smaller space, and can easily be moved around if need be.
Top tip 4) Consider the space you have
If space is limited then there are plenty of petit armchairs available which will fit snuggly into a corner. Or you could buy one which doubles up as an office chair, which could be moved around the home depending on where you want to use it. Armchairs with slim arms and exposed legs can create the feeling of space and help make a room appear larger, whereas an armchair with very deep seats or wide rounded arms can appear oversized and heavy in a small space.
If you are really tight on space (and super close to your loved one!) then an armchair big enough for two, appropriately known as a love seat, could be used instead of a two-seater sofa or large sofa, which take up more space.
Make sure that you measure up before you buy anything, and ensure that your new armchair will fit in the space you want it. If you have plenty of space then you might want an armchair which comes with a footrest, offering added comfort when you really want to relax. However, if you don’t have much space but are attracted to an armchair with a footrest, don’t discount it, as it can always be used as a stool for extra seating when you have guests around, and stored away somewhere when not in use.
There are even some lightweight stackable armchairs available to buy, which might not offer the same comfort as a traditional armchair, but which are versatile and take up little space, possibly offering extra seating for guests. Read our top tips on other ways to accommodate holiday guests here
Top tip 5) Use cushions to add extra comfort
An armchair isn’t really complete without cushions, and whilst you could match these to those on your sofa, why not be brave and go for something different? Soft furnishings allow you to unleash your creativity and showcase your true taste and style. No one wants to paint their walls bright red with white polka dots, but if you fancy some bright red polka dot cushions to add a splash of colour to your living room then using them to complete an armchair is the perfect way to do this, without the colour being overwhelming in your living space.
Consider finding some cushions in unusual fabric patterns, which can add interest to your living room, and don’t forget they can easily be changed when you fancy something different. Cushions can transform a room from bland and boring to vibrant and colourful in an instant, and can be used to freshen up a room without having to completely redecorate. Simply changing cushions around can make you feel like you have revamped a room without doing very much at all, and without spending a lot of money.
If you live in a small apartment and want the luxury of an armchair but don’t have space for one of the larger recliners or the huge squishy type that you sink into, then cushions can add comfort to a smaller armchair, transforming it from something hard and upright, to soft and relaxing.