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Furniture Glossary: Chairs

By: Kerstin Czarra
June 22, 2015
Utilitarian in nature, chairs come in a variety of styles and shapes and can add a dramatic statement to any decor.
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Arm Chair

A chair with a straight back and side structures or arms to support a person's arms and elbows. Image courtesy of Shelly Riehl David.

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Barcelona Chair

Despite its name, this design was actually born in Germany. During the International Exposition in 1929, the country offered this entry as an ode to the Expo's host city, Barcelona, Spain. The chair was a collaboration between two great design minds, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and his longtime partner and companion, Lilly Reich, a designer and architect in her own right. It is often cited as an icon of modern design. Its inspiration came from campaign and folding chairs of ancient eras. With a stainless steel frame, and a cushioned, Bovine-leather seat and back, it's a popular choice of design-obsessed homeowners. The chair has been manufactured by Knoll since the 1950s.

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From: Judith Balis

Bergere Chair

Usually associated with the country French style of decorating (Marie Antoinette used them in her rural estate), the Bergere armchair is defined by an upholstered seat and back which is typically an overstuffed cushion. Its frame is a carved, “curvey” wood. They make terrific reading chairs and mix well with many other styles of furniture.

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From: Elinor Jones


This in-between piece of furniture is larger than a normal armchair but smaller than a loveseat – perfect for those awkward spaces in a home. An armchair, typically upholstered, is ideal for a family room or reading nook setting. It beckons to be sat on for a long movie or a good read.

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