The 10 Best Reading Chairs
The reading chair is 2021's comeback kid in furniture. As last year's world events have imposed a slowdown in our lives, this trusted piece of furniture is again at the forefront of home styling with plenty of time to do 'nothing.' Not to be confused with another great reading spot, the daybed sofa, a reading chair is also referred to as a side chair and most certainly involves upholstery. Who doesn't love the idea of curling up with a good book or even a good streaming app?
Comfort is number one when it comes to a reading chair with stellar qualities. But it doesn't mean they can't look good too. French architecture star Pierre Yoyanovitch highlights this library room in the Chateau de Frabrègues in Nimes, France - an endless source of Instagram inspiration. San Francisco-based designer Geoffrey De Sousa suggests a tall wingback chair as a spot to curl up with your favorite book.
Even without an interior designer to guide you, there are plenty of beautiful and comfortable chairs on the market for reading that long-awaited novel. Or binge-watch the series at least five friends have been gushing about to you.
The Top Ten Reading Chairs
It's been over 50 years since designer Gaetano Pesce created his Up5_6 sculpted foam armchair that begs conversation while beckoning one to sit down in its comfy cradle. Shown here in the original 1969 beige and petrol green stripe pattern, this chair from B&B Italia also comes in a refreshed assortment of solid colors such as navy blue, emerald green, cardamom, among others. Warning for this chair: be sure to have plenty of time to spare once you sit in this as you'll want to stay there.
Designed in 2004 by Antonio Citterio, this handsome armchair combines a sleek frame with upholstered cushions available in either fabric or leather, resulting in a rare combination of soft and hard surface textures. An extra special touch is a throw-pillow style, which makes snuggling up in this chair feel extra comfortable and inviting.
Imagine a massive marshmallow in your living room. This image sums up Holly Hunt's Sumo lounge chair, especially when rendered in white nubby wool. Described as 'robust and playful' by the Chicago-founded design firm, these cube-shaped chairs swivel for a change of scenery when reading, feature ample armrests for comfort, and can accommodate an upright or curled-up seating position. Reading in these beauties gives new meaning to sink in.
One of the loudest American voices of the Mid-Century design movement, Vladimir Kagan's legacy still lives on through Holly Hunt’s modern designs. His High Back Contour Lounge Chair possesses an undulating curved lined wooden frame with tips that jut out in four directions suggesting motion. Its modular cushion curves and wraps over the neck and leg area, allowing a seamless cushion for all body points connected with the chair.
This classic dates back to 1929, but its name playfully riffs on the series of public works programs enacted by President Franklin D Roosevelt in the early 1930s to provide relief, reform, and recovery from the Great Depression. With its ultra-curved style - think: sphere-shaped with sections carved away to allow for a seat and armrests - is an earlier version of the Vanity Fair chair and designed by Savina Pisani, the wife of Poltrona Frau founder Renzo Frau. He gave her detailed notes on what he envisioned in this design. One can almost picture FDR reading his daily presidential briefs from this chair, hence not hard to guess why this chair was given its name.
The roomy and simple design on this Laurent Nicolas armchair originates from the Ecart International. Founded in 1978 by Andrée Putman to revise some of the greatest 20th-century design hits from icons such as Robert Mallet-Stevens, Eileen Gray, and Pierre Chareau. Bonus points for this timeless and roomy style, it comes with a coordinating footstool.
BDDW founder Tyler Hays turns a classic Wingback chair into a modern, slightly quirky focal point crafting a chair that resembles a T-Rex dinosaur with miniature arms and feet. Stately but with a sense of irony, this master of the house-style chair comes in various textiles and patterns to make it truly a personal relic in one's home.
There is a certain logic to some of the best styles of reading chairs hailing when books, not a digital screen, were the windows to the world. Dating back to the end of the Space-Age design-influence Fifties, Milo Baughman's high back chair with a lush deep seat and implied winged arms, this chair takes the classic's refinement armchair fused with Mid-Century cool that's at home with whichever medium you choose to read.
With armrests sloping upward ready to cradle arms holding a book, the Parky chair from Soho Home is a bookworms' delight. In a rich deep forest green velvet, this chair beckons a fireside side read in a chic cabin with a view of a snowy landscape.
Ask a Mid-Century modernist to name their ideal reading chair and certainly, the Richard White Armchair Tribute from Artemest will be mentioned. A bold statement of an upholstered chair, the back features an open slot while the seat rests gracefully on angled thin brass legs.
Things to Style Your Reading Chair With
Man (or woman) does not live by reading chair alone. In fact, a good reading chair set-up generally includes a reading lamp nearby as well as a cozy throw or small blanket to grab if your quiet space for reading tends to get chilly. Last but not least, keeping those feet toasty underneath is generally served by a nice, plush rug or carpet. Nest Casa recommends these pieces to pair with a reading chair.
The reading chair, Lamps, and a cozy throw top of the literary experience accompany your next favorite piece of furniture. An adjustable floor style from Artemest allows for the reader to choose the desired lever. 1stDibs and Flos offer architectural and tongue-in-cheek styles, respectively; the latter, designed by Phillip Starck, has a lampshade reminiscent of draped fabric. Apparatus Studio suggests the Metronome floor lamp for side-gazing and pondering what was read.
Oyuna cashmere throws, also available on Nest Casa, provide under-stated beauty in throws that provide a light cover-up to a hearty heavyweight style in understated hues. Hermes marries impeccable French taste with a Tibetan know-how. Spun from Yak wool, this gradient dyed throw is hand-made from start to finish, including the unique wooden 'H' detail. Saved BY's Calabria 100 percent cashmere throw available on Nest Casa brings the classic motif into a throw blanket that softly lets out a roar of chic.