slipper chair cover with ottoman 2021

slipper chair

slipper chair cover with ottoman 2021

Names of various furniture shapes don’t come any more interesting than the “slipper chair.” It sounds feminine and romantic and seems like something that would be in a bedroom, but what exactly is a slipper chair? It’s ubiquitous, and you’ve almost certainly seen bunches of these in your lifetime.

What Is a Slipper Chair?

A slipper chair is simply an armless upholstered chair that has short legs so that it sits closer to the ground.

Slipper Chair History

When it first made its appearance in the early 18th century, this low-slung chair was used in women’s bedrooms as seating, and it was often used when maids helped them put on their shoes, or slippers, as they were then often called.

Hence the name. These smallish upholstered chairs stayed discreetly in the bedroom until the 1950s when American designer Billy Baldwin brought them into the living room and added the option of box pleats at the bottom to hide the legs.

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Slipper chairs are often found in mid-century modern designs, with a tight back and no box pleats so that the geometric form of the legs is prominent. Since the ’50s, slipper chairs in a variety of styles have been integral to furniture used in both bedrooms and living areas and especially in spaces that are relatively small.

How to Decorate With Slipper Chairs

Slipper chairs don’t take up as much visual or physical space as other types and still provide a place to sit. Slipper chairs are virtually always upholstered, and the term now refers to a chair that features a wide, tight rectangle for seating and another tight rectangle for the back.

These highly versatile chairs have a multitude of uses and can be made to fit almost any decor scheme with a change of upholstery. Here are some ideas on how to use them in your house:

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Place a pair of slipper chairs that do not have box pleats, so the legs are showing, in front of the windows, perpendicular to the sofa, in a smallish living room arrangement. These minimalist chairs allow the windows to be seen and accessed but make use of the space for seating.

Match the fabric on the chairs for a balanced and more formal effect or cover one in a stripe or print and the other is a solid that is one of the colors in the other chair’s covering for a more eclectic look.
Put an upholstered slipper chair either with the legs showing or covered by box pleats in a small corner with a tiny side table.

This is a useful placement in either a living room or a bedroom. Cover the chair in a solid fabric and dress it with a couple of throw pillows covered in prints or stripes stacked up to the straight back for a dramatic effect and unexpected focal point.

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Place a slipper chair with exposed legs opposite a sofa and coffee

table arrangement for good conversation―the chair is easy to move and can be brought closer to the sofa if desired during an intense discussion. Cover the chair in an accent color to add a spark to the room and give the small chair presence.

Slipper Chair 101: Definition, Decorating Ideas, 2021

Is a Slipper Chair The Perfect Seat?

There’s something illustrious about the very thought of a slipper chair. When it first emerged in the early 18th century, it was designed as seating for a woman’s boudoir—a place where an elegant Victorian lady might sit to put on a pair of silk slippers, with her maid kneeling at her feet, aiding in the sartorial endeavor.

For women of the day, who dressed in a heavy petticoat and a laced-up corset, the task of slipping on shoes was no small feat—one needed a little help.

How we got from there to the more common image—running out the door with one heel in hand—is a long history lesson. Long gone are the days of the silk slipper, but the slipper chair has become a permanent fixture in the modern interior.

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What is a slipper chair?

With short legs, an armless body, and a high back, the compact shape of the slipper chair has made it an enduring design, great for small spaces and tight corners.

An armless design is the hallmark of the slipper chair, so it’s rare to find a slipper chair with arms. The exception is a slipper chair with slight, sloping wings or a design with a curved back that hugs the body much as arms would.

Though the chairs made their debut in women’s bedrooms, today they’re often found in living rooms and entryways, as well. However, it actually wasn’t until the midcentury when they left the nest, so to speak.

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How did they end up in today’s interiors?

Acclaimed American interior designer Billy Baldwin is credited with drawing the slipper chair out of sleeping quarters in the 1950s. Bringing them into the living room, including his own pictured above, Baldwin saw their potential as an entertaining chair.

With a low-slung, angled seat, the chair has an inviting shape that says, “Come, take a load off.” But without arms, it’s not the kind of chair you want to curl up in for hours. It’s more like, “Take a seat and stay awhile—but not too long.” Just what midcentury hostesses needed.

Stylistically, Baldwin also reimagined the slipper chair—traditionally unadorned with exposed wooden legs—adding a simple box pleat to conceal the base. Since then, slipper chairs have been produced in all manner of styles, from the midcentury modern look with a tight back and no skirt to a Spanish modern neoclassical style with woven leather straps to the Art Deco interpretation with a curved back and rounded contours.

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How has the slipper chair’s look evolved?

A number of slipper chairs envisioned by celebrated designers have earned near-iconic status, and remain very much sought after years after their debut. Edward Wormley, an American designer of modernist furniture, was the man behind one of the most quintessential midcentury modern slipper chairs, crafted with a round molded ebonized wood base, tapered legs, a tight back, and button tufting.

Designed in 1970, American furniture designer Milo Baughman’s armless slipper chair for Thayer Coggin has a unique teardrop form that swivels and tilts, resting on a circular base of walnut veneer, brass, or chrome. Billy Haines, a film star who started a successful interior design business in the 1930s, put a Hollywood Regency touch on the slipper chair with a classic Klismos-inspired shape and feminine button tufting.

And across the pond, Italian architect and designer Gianfranco Frattini devised an upholstered slipper chair with shaped wood side panels, exposed brass bolts, and splayed brass legs.

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How are slipper chairs used today?

Slipper chairs have become versatile heroes of the accent chair family, used everywhere from bedrooms and dressing rooms to living rooms, offices, bedrooms, and even foyers.

Living Rooms

One of the most common uses is a slipper chair framing a living room coffee table. If your room and coffee table are big enough, a pair of slipper chairs opposite a sofa can create a beautiful sense of balance. Their compact shape makes them great pieces to tuck next to a freestanding bookcase or in a corner with a small table at its side to create a little vignette or styled moment. ”Not only do they fit into funny places where it would be hard to put a full-sized chair,” says traditional interior designer Mario Buatta. “They’re also charming.”

Bedrooms

Another place to use a slipper chair is a bedroom. Placed across from a bed, a slipper chair can offer a useful place to perch when putting on shoes, catching up on a bit of reading, or passing time while waiting for your certain someone to finish getting ready.

Cozy a side table up to a slipper chair and you’ve procured a functional corner out of awkward space that might otherwise go unused. Two slipper chairs can also be dropped at the foot of a bed. The effect is similar in theory to capping a bed in a settee but doesn’t visually pack as much heft.

Foyers

If your entry is more of a proper foyer than a passageway, a pair of slipper chairs can be a welcoming addition to your home. As we mentioned, they’re the perfect place to perch while you slip your shoes on or off, and integrating a slipper chair or two can also create an instant “waiting room” for your guests. Similarly, in a private office, paired with a sofa or a settee, they make a great place to convene for a discussion or simply take a break from desk work.

Home Offices

If you’re looking for a chair to soften the hard lines of a home office, a slipper chair can be an inspired choice. Two slipper chairs opposite an executive desk can temper any overly masculine energy, especially when upholstered in a pattern that spans the spectrum like houndstooth or plaid. With glass or lucite desks, a traditional desk chair can also be swapped out for a slipper chair to imbue a room with a more casual, laid-back feel.

1. Christopher Knight Home 305498 Kendal Traditional Fabric Accent Chair, Print, Matte Black

slipper chair
  • CONTEMPORARY: With clean lines and tapered legs, this accent chair features a prominent contemporary style. With a minimalistic and comfortable design, this chair will blend seamlessly with your decor while providing ample seating space in any room.
  • UPHOLSTERED: Our accent chair is generously upholstered, giving any room a refined appearance. This provides a smooth, immaculate texture for this piece as well as plush seating.
  • RUBBERWOOD: Our wood not only offers plenty of durabilities, but it also gives this piece a beautiful natural-grain look. Combined with a gorgeous finish, this wood will truly stand out in any room.
  • TAPERED LEGS: This chair showcases elegantly tapered legs for a chic look. With two straight front legs and two gently sloped back legs, this piece not only provides a stable structure but also a refined look to your home.
  • ASSEMBLY REQUIRED: Some assembly is required for this chair. All of the instructions and tools needed for assembly are included.

2. Christopher Knight Home Merel Mid-Century Modern Fabric Club Chair, Dark Teal / Natural

slipper chair
  • Polyester
  • This deep, luxurious club chair is both beautiful and supremely comfortable, a perfect seat for lounging and relaxing.
  • Includes: (1) Club Chair
  • Dimensions: 28.30″D x 27.60″W x 31.50″H
  • Material: Fabric | Color available in Orange, dark teal, light grey, or plum
  • Leg material: Birch | Leg finish: Natural | Light assembly required

3. Roundhill Furniture Pisano Teal Blue Fabric Armless Contemporary Accent Chair with Kidney Pillow, Single

slipper chair
  • This durable chair is crafted with solid wood legs and a chenille fiber weave, which means it is built to withstand extensive use through time. Ready to Assemble
  • The chair comes with a matching fabric accent pillow to complete the look. The sturdy legs are coated with a deep espresso finish. It’s solidly made of wood frame which offers a solid foundation
  • Upholstery Color: Teal Blue. The seat and back are padded for a great comfortable feeling. The unique graffiti design is a nice touch of modern contemporary appeal
  • Set up Dimension: 22.75″ W x 31.75″ D x 36.5″ H; Seat height 17.75″; Apron height 7.75″; Apron to floor 10″; Pillow 18.00″ x 8.50″ x 5.50″
  • Photo May Slightly Different From Actual Item in Terms of Color Due to the Lighting During Photo Shooting or the Monitor’s Display

4. SIMPLIHOME Kitchener 28 inch Wide Traditional Accent Slipper Chair in Black Textured Bonded Leather

slipper chair
  • Handcrafted using kiln-dried engineered and solid woods with high-density foam and webbing for extra support, durability, and comfort
  • Upholstered with Textured Black bonded leather with nailhead trim & tufted back
  • Solid hardwood legs
  • Classic traditional styling
  • Size: 28″ w x 33.5″ h x 30″ d; Simple assembly; just attach legs

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