armless chairs

Armless Chairs: What Are They?

Armless chairs, also called slipper chairs or cocktail chairs are excellent seating additions for limited room space. With an endless array of available styles, patterns, and colors, armless chairs can enhance the look of any room. It’s the perfect furniture for a bedroom, walk-in closet, hallway, or living room due to its size, functionality, and stylish look. 

When you’re dealing with limited space, filling a room is too often a game of hard decisions and compromise.

There are only so many nooks, so much wall space, and so much room between walls. With every inch, you have to ask how you’re adding to the aesthetics or the practicality of the room. In most cases, the two seldom overlap.

What if there was something that could bring character and style into a room while also offering functional advantages?

Even if you’re strapped for space, there is one exceptionally underutilized tool to accomplish just that — armless chairs.

An armless chair is perhaps the most efficient way to inject your room with personality, flair, and value. If you’re in the middle of a room redesign, or if you’re just wondering how to fill that empty spot, we’ll explain all the possibilities of armless chairs to get you inspired.

Armless Chairs and Home Decor

The armless chair is a smart design but simple enough that you would think it had been around forever. While armless chairs, or “slipper chairs”, have been used since the 1800s, their history as accent chairs didn’t begin until the 1930s, when designer Billy Baldwin brought them to living rooms and corporate offices.

Since then, designers have been taking armless chairs to new levels, with innovative designs adding more benefits. Let’s look at how those benefits translate to better use in your rooms.

An Inexpensive, Portable Addition

There’s less that goes into the material costs and construction of an armless chair, and you can often see that reflected in the price! If you need more seating for the occasional guest, a slipper chair can be the comfy addition that doesn’t break the bank.

A slipper chair is much easier to move around a room because they are usually smaller and lighter than their armed counterparts. If you struggle with finding that extra chair, you can tuck the armless chair into a corner to balance the room and quickly pull it into a conversational setup when you have company.

A World of Possibilities

You can still find them nowadays, but print sofas are much less common than they used to be. We’ve already discussed the advantages of neutral tones when replacing a sofa, but if you’re serious about designing a room, you’ll usually need to add pattern, color, and texture.

Pattern

The endless array of designs is the true strength of the armless chair. While some manufacturers stick to basics with sofas, loveseats, and sectionals, they use their accent chairs as an opportunity to explore the artistic side of sitting furniture.

As a result, we have armless chairs to fit any decor. You can find prints in floral patterns for more vintage looks or you can go with stripes, chevron, or other modern prints to sit alongside clean-lined, geometric furniture.

Color

Colors also abound with accent chairs, giving you yet another opportunity to tie a room together with a three-dimensional piece. We can’t talk enough about how important an accent rug is for completing a room. But between rugs and wall art, we mostly have flat plains that stay in one place even if we do rearrange a room.

An accent chair can be another colorful link in a cohesive room design. As an added bonus, you can often find standard slipper chairs with accompanying lumbar or toss pillows. Move that pillow over to your neutral sofa, and you have just made one beautifully curated combination.

Texture

Texture adds a lot to the atmosphere and direction of a room, but sometimes, as much as we may want to add certain textures, they just aren’t practical. This is where an armless accent chair can pick up the slack.

For example, leather is eye-catching and associated with higher value. It would be great to add that upscale appeal in many situations, but genuine leather is an expensive material. Meanwhile, faux leather can get you the look, but its construction has plenty of downsides that make it hard to justify using it for your primary sitting pieces.

Instead, you can stick with fabric upholstery and add a complementing faux leather accent chair. We know how good a living room or office looks with a smart club chair, and you can accomplish much of the same effect with an inexpensive armless chair.

An armless chair is a great way to explore different textures. Regarding the faux leather example, you can use it to add a high-end boost to a modern space or to enhance the rustic appeal of a tweed sofa.

Accent chair textures don’t create a confusing design. Instead, they add another layer of depth to a specific style.

Armless Chairs Go in Any Room

Resting to the side until they’re needed, armless chairs can be a thoughtful addition no matter the room design of your house.

If you have an extension dining room table, you can flank your server with two armless chairs that match your dining setup. They fill in the gaps and maintain symmetry, but when Thanksgiving rolls around, you can seamlessly transition from a 6-seat to an 8-seat arrangement.

In the living room, you get much of the same aesthetic/functional versatility. With no arms, they give you three access points, expanding the number of ways you can arrange them with other furniture in a social setup.

With their small scale, you can even add extra utility to a space-strapped bedroom. You can recall the original function of the slipper chair by giving yourself a spot to put on your shoes. With several cartoon and kid-centric prints, they also make great gifts for your children to use in their room.

How Can an Armless Chair Fit Your Room?

Armless chairs usually have lower backs, and with no arms, you save several inches on either side. They can go where other chairs cannot, and they add a level of charm that can impress any guest. Plus, if you ever want to change the look, it’s a lot easier to make a slipcover when you take the arms out of the equation.

Look around the room you’re sitting in, and try to imagine what an armless accent chair can do for the design. It could be the missing piece to create a truly satisfying and memorable space.

Want more amazing design tips for your home? Follow our blog for inspiration and advice from our collective of room design experts.

Related articles