The arm chair is arguably one of the most iconic pieces of furniture dating back centuries, and has been an inspiration to furniture manufacturers over the ages.
Originally only beholden by the wealthy aristocracy the arm chair is now presenting itself in countless forms, one of which is the infamous ‘club chair’ home to both traditional and modern stylish homes today.
Historically chairs were made solely with wood and were merely functional rather than comfortable. It was in the seventeenth century during Luis XIV’s rule in France that the arm chair termed “chaise a bras’ with its embroidery, fabric and embossed leather came into the homes of the aristocracy.
Then over the course of the next century the arm chair boasted even more padding for added comfort to be endearingly called 'fauteuil comfortable', meaning the 'comfortable chair'.
However it was the nineteenth century that brought the ‘lounge-into’ chair feeling, when Victorian chair makers created the inner sprung, deep seated, heavily padded, and full upholstered arm chair. The iconic name ‘club chair’ was born from the arm chair known to be within gentlemen’s clubs in London, a haven for males to socialise with their male friends with a drink and cigar sunken ever so comfortably into fully-padded, leather clad chairs.
Quite commonly these club chairs would be paired with other notable pieces of furniture in its time, one which is still equally favoured today, called the Chesterfield sofa.
The club chair has been an inspiration to furniture makers and quite notably so in the twentieth century with the creation of more modern straight lined versions of the arm chair, as well as French variations within the Art Deco era. It is without a doubt that the club chair with all its wonderful variations and interpretations throughout the centuries has never lost its charm, character and appeal.
A well made club chair can last 40 years, and even increases in value over time, and as such some see their ‘club chair’ as the ‘family heirloom’. It is a distinctive piece of furniture that not only suits the traditional home, but also the modernly styled home.