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wingback chair

Trend Spotlight: Traditional Wingback Chairs are Getting a New Twist

Traditional design is rising in popularity across the country, as people spend more time at home and are looking for a little more comfort and familiarity in their home’s design. The surge in popularity of traditional interior design is something that steadily grew in the second half of 2020, and one of our 2021 trend predictions is that it will continue to rise into the coming year.

With its rise in popularity, we’ve been exploring different traditional design ideas, with furniture, decor, and overall room designs that bring this style to life. One piece in particular that we’ve been seeing in a lot of traditional and modern spaces alike? The wingback chair.

wingback chair

What is a wingback chair?

A wingback chair—also known as a wing chair, a fireside chair, or an easy chair—is a style of upholstered accent chair with “wings” attached to the seatback. Wingback chairs generally feature a high back, and all but some of the more modern styles of this chair have armrests. (Traditionally, the wings connect all the way down to the armrest in one continuous piece.) They tend to be designed with wooden legs and a fully upholstered body—though some styles have wood side panels and backs, or scrolled wood frames along the edge of the chair design.

You’ll also sometimes see wingback details in settees (which are perfect for a dining nook) or in upholstered captain’s dining chairs. This will add a more formal, traditional vibe to your dining space.

In the most traditional approaches to this chair style, you’ll often see nailhead trim, roll arms, and scrolled or cabriole legs—a classic Queen Anne-style furniture detail. But more modern designs forego these details, creating a more streamlined look.

Where do wingback chairs come from?

A quick lesson in the history of wingback chairs. The first wingback chairs were made in England in the 1600s—but they didn’t rise in popularity until the 1720s. They were created as a way to help shield a person from drafts of cold air (something quite common in colonial homes!) and also to trap the heat from a fireplace. That’s actually why they’re sometimes called fireside chairs, as it was a popular style of chair to have pulled up in front of or flanking a fireplace. While the earliest wingback chair designs were made entirely of wood, with no cushioning or upholstery, today they make very comfortable chairs to cozy up in, whether they’re pulled up next to a fireplace or not!

How to Style a Wingback Chair

Want to see wingback chairs in action? We’ve rounded up a handful of our favorite wingback chair designs in the Modsy catalog. Keep scrolling for some wingback chair design ideas and how to integrate this style of chair into your home!

wingback chair

Darlene Accent Chair (Black), Nyla Home

This take on a wingback chair features sleek mid-century modern lines. The dark color is sophisticated and modern and allows this chair to work well across many different styles. Despite the chair’s sleek form, its soft fabric and traditionally inspired shape make it a cozy place to sit!

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Marilla Accent Chair (Khaki), Jofran

The combination of gingham-patterned upholstery and wingback styling give these chairs a very traditional look that’s perfect for modern farmhouse and traditional styles alike. With their padded seats, arms, and backs, these chairs are the perfect place to curl up with a good book.

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Iris Wingback Chair (Cathedral Slate), Ravine Home

The classic blue and white pattern found on this wingback chair—along with the tapered legs and clean-lined frame—make this a perfect choice for those looking to embrace New Traditional design style. This chair will give your space a comfy, traditional vibe with an updated feel.

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wingback chair

Paul Accent Chair (Pink), Nyla Home

This is a very modern take on a wingback chair. In fact, we may even say it’s wingback-inspired rather than sitting squarely in the camp of wingback chairs. With an hourglass shape and metal framing, it adds a striking look to any modern or eclectic space. But it’s the high, curved seat back, plus the spindles, that give a nod to both wingback and traditional Windsor styles. To make it comfortable, this chair features a plush seat cushion and free-floating back pillow, which come in many colors to suit different color schemes and styles.

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wingback chair

Modern Wing Accent Chair (Navy), Scout Home

An absolutely classical take on a wingback, this navy upholstered wingback chair has a traditional form, with a camelback top, nailhead trim, and rolled arms. However, its simple, streamlined legs give it a slightly modern twist. This is the perfect choice for a sophisticated reading nook.

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Iris Wingback Chair (Shibori Coral Cay), Ravine Home

Just because you want a chair with a traditional shape doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun with the upholstery! The fun Shibori-style print on the fabric is perfect for boho or eclectic spaces, giving your room a pop of color and global-inspired style.

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wingback chair

Malia Accent Chair (Grey), Nyla Home

This elegant and rustic chic wingback chair will add sophistication to any corner of your home. With a weathered wood frame featuring beautiful scrollwork, neutral exterior upholstery, and a crushed velvet seat, back, and accent pillow, this chair is full of vintage charm. All of its elegance makes it a great stand-alone statement piece or a perfect pairing for those interested in decorating with antiques.

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Palm Desert Wing Chair (White), Global Views

With button-tufted linen cushions and a wood frame, this modern wingback-style chair has boho and coastal written all over it. The frame’s sleek lines make it perfect for modern and Scandinavian spaces as well. We love how the caning on the sides adds texture and an unexpected element that you don’t typically see on a wingback chair!

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wingback chair

Marilla Accent Chair (Navy), Jofran

The plaid upholstery on this classic wingback chair adds a warm and traditional touch. But lighter wood of the tapered wooden legs adds a sleek, modern rustic feel. We love how this piece adds a pop of color and pattern to a space—great for those looking to dive into the Traditional Comfort design trend.

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Iris Wingback Chair (Cathedral Blush), Ravine Home

If you’re looking for sleek and modern wingback chairs, this design in blush upholstery is the perfect choice. It offers an understated pop of color to your space and works perfectly on its own or in a pair. The subtle pattern on the fabric adds a fun, unexpected element to this chair—giving this classic chair style an updated look.

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wingback chair

Wingback Accent Chair (Beige), Jofran

This is a more simplified version of a wingback chair. With simple lines and a lower back, stylistically it’s almost a combination of a club chair and wingback style. But a pinstripe pattern and exposed nailheads give this chair a definite traditional bent. We love the idea of pairing it with a footstool for extra comfortable lounging.

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wingback chair

Erik Wing Chair (Burnt Sienna), West  Elm

This Scandinavian-inspired version of a wingback chair is great for adding classic flair to a modern space. The long, tapered legs in a dark oak finish add a definite mid-century modern touch, while the soft saddle-colored leather manages to be both trendy and timeless (and oh-so-comfortable).

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Drexel Arm Chair, Hyde Park

Add some sophistication to your dining room with wingback captain’s chairs. The nailhead trim gives it a striking look, and the espresso finish on the wood legs adds beautiful contrast to the light upholstery. A pair of these chairs is not only great for use at the head and foot of your dining table but would also look great flanking a fireplace.

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Tabitha Accent Chair (Beige), Nyla Home

These French country-inspired wingback chairs have a classic form with deep seats, which are perfect for lounging. With linen upholstery on the seat and back, burlap upholstery on the exterior, and a solid birch frame with carved feet, this chair is full of charming, elegant details. It’s perfect for Refined Rustic and Traditional spaces.

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6 of our Favorite Lounge Chairs Under $500

6 Chairs under $500

Let’s face it, sometimes you just want to sit by yourself and enjoy a cup of coffee and some alone time. What better place than curling up in a cozy lounge chair? But finding that perfect chair is sometimes the biggest hurdle, and many come with price tags that might make you want to spring for a ticket to Europe instead. To help, we rounded up 6 of our favorite lounge chairs under $500 so you can find your happy place without breaking the bank.

See one you love? Let us know and we’ll show it to you in your living room, designed with your style.

 

1. Tobacco Leather Butterfly Chair, $399

Chairs under $500

A playful take on a familiar camping staple, we can’t get enough of this leather butterfly chair. We love it because it’s a great statement piece at an even greater price that works well across many styles – pair it with your mid-century modern, industrial, rustic, bohemian, or even contemporary decor scheme.

We also think the leather butterfly chair is great for small spaces, making it one of our most-used products in apartments. It has a small footprint so it won’t eat up valuable real estate, and the leather seat creates a comfy cocoon, so it feels like a substantial armchair.

Stylist Tip: Take your butterfly chair look from day to night by swapping your mug of coffee for a glass of wine.

 

2. Book Nook Armchair, $349

Chairs under $500

This chair was an easy pick for our under $500 hit list. We love the Book Nook armchair because its curved shape makes for the perfect place to cozy up with a book (or with Netflix, we don’t judge).

Sporting a sleek, no-frills yet approachable form, we love how this chair melds with any style. So whether you’re a hard core mid-century modern fangirl or if you prefer a more contemporary and clean look, the Book Nook armchair will fit right in. And at $399, this chair is a great pick for those who are looking to invest in a great quality piece that transcends style and will work with you for years to come.

 

3. Agency Chair, $349

Chairs under $500

Do you have pets who destroy all things upholstered? If that sounds like your daily struggle then please allow us to introduce you to your new BFF, the Agency woven wire mesh chair. Consistently described as “surprisingly comfortable,” this chair is another of our under $500 favorites.

We love how this chair is durable, easy to clean, and totally pet-proof. The open and airy frame makes this another favorite of small space-dwellers, and it’s a great way to add an industrial accent to your home.

Stylist Tip: Pair this chair with a sheepskin throw for an extra dose of comfort and glam!

 

4. Dhurrie Occasional Chair, $498

Chairs under $500

A petite little number, we had to add this nugget to bring some color to our favorite chairs under $500 list. We love the colors and vintage-inspired pattern, rendered in a washed velvet for a little extra glam. This chair is a great way to bring a little pop of eclectic, bohemian vibes to your space (and when we say “little” we do mean that this chair is pretty petite so you might want to try it on in your space to see).

5. Chinese Chippendale Chair, $499

Chairs under $500

For those of you who identify your style as a bit more on the classic and formal side, this Chippendale style chair has your name on it. With a frame rendered in a chinoiserie bamboo motif, this chair harkens back to a sense of tradition and will bring an element of formal elegance to any space.

Available in a rainbow of colors, we love this chair for anyone with a taste for finer things (but maybe not the budget).

 

6. Windson Wood Arm Chair, $230

Chairs under $500

Love the look of mid-century modern furniture but can’t swing the prices? Fret no more because we’ve got you covered with this amazingly affordable mid-century style armchair. We love the sleek shape of these chairs, which flaunt a mid-century silhouette but aren’t over the top.

So even if your style isn’t mid-century, we think these chairs lend a lovely modern aesthetic to any space. Weighing in at only $230, we extra love them because you can even get a pair under $500 to really fill out your living room look.

 

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