Wingin’ it.
Living Room Chairs

As you all know I’m up to my third forehead wrinkle with kitchen renovation plans. Figuring out where stuff goes, when to order things, what day cabinets will or will not arrive.

Plus of course, there’s keeping up with the blog, the animals, the house. And I was hired for a rather fun, but time consuming, side job last week (which I’ll tell you about later). These are all things I need to do. Not just should do, but need to. Otherwise, you go unentertained, I make no money, the animals die and the house falls in on me, with my little nostrils peeking out of a landslide of garbage for their very last breath.

So it should come as no surprise at all that I am spending 12 – 14 hours hours of the day … looking for a living room chair. That I don’t need.

It all started with a chair from Urban Barn. A very retro looking leather chair. And then the search for the chair I don’t need became an ongoing, never ending obsession.  I have no idea why.

I’m sure a psychologist well versed in midcenturymodernitus could probably pull it all out of me in less time than it takes to skim an old issue of Dwell magazine.

What I needed was a midcentury modern wingback chair.  Not an easy thing to come across.  So I widened my horizons and decided I’d accept other offers that beckoned to me as well.

These are some of the wingback chairs I came across in my Internet travels.


Lawrence Peabody on Etsy – moulded plastic midcentury modern chair

Crate & Barrel – gray new traditional chair

Lawson-Fenning – blue/gray velvet chair

Costco – bonded leather chair

Restoration Hardware – curved lines, beige chair

Urban Barn – retro inspired leather chair

Ikea – gray and orange chairs

Etsy – houndstooth chair

Lawson-Fenning – beige chair with sharp lines

West Elm – black leather, button back chair

Made – yellow chair


Some of the chairs I love, some I like and some I’m not  sure about.  What I am sure of is, I may not need a new chair, but I want one.  And that’s a dangerous thing.

Once I tried to ignore the fact that I wanted french fries.  For 3 days I fought the urge.  Then, on the 4th day, my head exploded.

True story.

Which would make an even bigger mess in the house I’d have to clean up.  Seems smarter to just buy a chair.


  1. Meg says:

    I had a wingback chair once. It died in a frozen pipe incident.

    It was tragic, because it was my favorite chair ever. It was heavy and old and kind of horrible fabric, but it fit my body perfectly-even when I sat with my head in a wing corner and my legs over one of the arms. It was the ideal chair, and my goal was to have it reupholstered….alas. I will someday begin the hunt for a new wingback chair. It’ll probably be used, because you don’t get the kind of springs and solid wood in new furniture. Also when you try putting your feet up on things at a furniture store the people look at you like it’s *their* personal living room….But this is how I’m GOING TO SIT. I need to know if it’ll work out!! Have fun choosing!!! :)

  2. Barbie says:

    I LOVE the houndstooth chair….I have a similar one…but I really love it in black and that is a good price. I wonder what the construction is. I’m kind of a furnitureaholic myself!

  3. Lisa B says:

    I have been on a chair hunt for about 6 months (since deciding to sell all my living room furniture and start fresh). I could not find one that I loved, so I bought the Ikea chair as a interim chair for the holidays since it was a good price and matched my decor. I have to say that I may not replace it! We love it SO much! Comfortable and it looks great….

  4. Debbie says:

    Love the Crate and Barrel chair. You have to get what you love!

  5. West Elm, Made, Urban Barn. I’ll be very honest… I think the Costco one looks like a cheap imitation and you would eventually regret it. And I like Costco but this chair does not look good. This first Lawson Flemng is gorgeous too if you can swing the cost!

  6. Margaret K. says:

    Buy the one that fits you. We spent about 5 years sporadically shopping for a wingback chair that was comfortable for my husband. He sat in a lot of chairs before he found the right one [it was his idea that it be a wingback]. His legs are a lot longer than mine and it is NOT that comfortable for me. I ordered extra fabric that matched the fabric he chose and had my not-quite-a wingback highback armchair re-upholstered to match his. I have had mine for about 40 years and it is still the most comfortable chair I have ever sat in.
    And for the person who asked why it’s called a wingback, the “wings’ are the extensions at the top that partly block drafts and give you a place to prop your head when you fall asleep watching TV or videos.

  7. Anita says:

    You will be looking for a new project once the kitchen is finished, so I say go to a thrift shop and buy one that has good bones and recover it yourself. I know you can do it! Just think of the fun you’ll have choosing the fabric!

    • Karen says:

      Yah, I know I could do it too Anita, lol. But ya know, sometimes you just wanna buy something that’s already made. :) ~ karen

  8. jenny says:

    Just buy the Urban Barn chair. The amount of time you’ve spent looking for something else times your hourly average salary and you probably could’ve already bought it. And the big ass stock pot from the specialty store.

  9. Bols says:

    I was extremely tempted by the Ikea chair when I saw it in the store in September. Of course I don’t need it, but the orangey-red matched perfectly some decorations I have and dang, on top of that, it was VERY comfy. But then I reminded myself that I also want a sectional plus a new kitchen and that I would need to win 6/49 to accommodate all my wants.

  10. Susan U says:

    Urban Barn chair gets my vote. Classic with mid century flair. Timeless.

  11. Adrienne says:

    That last one is fab.u.lous. But not a fan of the yellow.

  12. Sera says:

    West elm had a grey plaid wingback chair that both my husband and I were coveting and when we finally got up the inclination to do something about it, they had discontinued the grey plaid fabric!! Grr. The chair was even comfortable! We did sit in the ikea one and it isn’t very comfy.
    I vote for the urban barn chair. It’s beautiful and has character that most of the rest don’t have.
    Further, you’ve inspired me to hunt for a wingback-esque dining chair. I have now had a third successful thanksgiving dinner where we had to move our couch and chair into our kitchen in order to make room for one long table to seat 19 in our living room. Now we’re hungover and lounging in our kitchen “living room” trying to dream up ways to keep this coziness and still have a table in the kitchen.

    • Karen says:

      LOL! My sister actually has full sized, regular chairs at the heads of her dining room table. They’re GREAT. Makes you feel like you’re there for a good amount of eating. ~ karen!

  13. Of course I love the Lawson-Fenning chair. Give me a list and I will invariably pick the most expensive option. I got the Standmon for my birthday (see the story here:, and it is a super comfortable chair. I highly recommend it.

  14. Kate says:

    Wing chairs make me shudder. With that out of the way, the Made chair is the only one that caused me to sit up and consider my wallet. I also quite like the IKEA chairs, though much depends on the quality of the construction. Used to have a house full of leather furniture. And four cats. Not one piece left. One cat had a SERIOUS leather love affair. Nothing could keep her from her leather love. Love hurts. Remembrance of dollars spent still smarts.
    For your consideration—Not a wing chair, but a handsome midcentury modern design from CB2:

  15. Chris says:

    I agree with Betty (your mom) that Urban Barn is your style. If you want a comparable style but a bit more expensive and made in Canada, try Montauk.
    When you scroll through the collection it has modern in top left hand corner. It is beautiful and retro-looking.

  16. victoria says:

    can I just MAKE you look at ONE more chair. ..? The Kai chair (named after my son Mokai!) at I think you would like it. .. lamb skin and vintage hand spun linen!

  17. SarahP says:

    Can’t believe I’m going to say this but I like the ones from Ikea better than some of the more expensive ones.

  18. rktrixy says:

    My parents, married in ’48, got a pair of wingback chairs as a wedding gift. Brown brocade that survived the raising of 6 kids. In ’74, Mom had them re-upholstered. Green brocade. Flash forward to ’85. Mom and Dad were downsizing. They said they were going to give away the chairs. I said “Don’t you dare!”. So their next trip to see me, I received 2 green wingback chairs. 20 years later, give or take, I reupholstered them with an Alexander Girard fabric (“names”, black on white) and had everything reconditioned and the woodwork painted black.

    These are now my chairs. I adore them. They are easy to get in and out of. They support our heads when we nod off. The top of the back serves as a monorail for my cat. I can see that I might have to clean the upholstery more often – the husband I never envisioned having works around cars and trucks… that white is not so white anymore. What the heck. They are not just parts of a space, but they are parts of our home. I hope when I have to “downsize” I can find someone who will love them for the next 100 years.

  19. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    I pick the Ikea..but then I am very cheap..uh frugal..

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