How many of us have really stopped to think about the decision-making process of buying a chair? At Cottage Culture, we believe it’s important to think about function first, as well as space available in order to make the best decision – how are you planning to use that chair? Time spent thinking through your needs will help you choose the best solution guaranteed to bring years of enjoyable comfort.
The first overall functional decision is between Lounge, Cross-over or Dining uses, as detailed below. Further functional considerations include space available and whether accommodations, such as higher seats or arms on chairs would be helpful for people to get in and out of the chairs. A further, more personal decision, is whether you would prefer lower maintenance chair options that avoid any cushions. One last consideration is whether use will be outside, restricting the use of natural rattan, and focussing on all-weather wicker, powder-coated aluminum, coated steel or teak.
Are you looking for seating where you are strictly planning to lounge – we’re talking perfect relaxation here! These choices are often lower models with deep seats, that encourage sinking in for a lazy afternoon with a good book or a convivial gathering of friends for the whole evening. A number of these styles also have high backs for those who want their whole back supported, or want to be able to lean back and rest their heads on the chair back. An added feature is that many of these styles would look quite at home indoors as well!
For those people who wish to maximize relaxation time and minimize any work, there are chair options which avoid cushions altogether, yet provide total comfort for relaxation. These choices include powder-coated aluminum chairs, such as the Delia lounge chair; also, teak or powder-coated aluminum frame lounge chairs with high quality textilene seating which allows the rain to drain through. The Vevi lounge chair collection includes both a teak frame with textilene and the powder-coated aluminum frame with textilene, both with co-ordinating footstools.
Another great option, for a 3-season room, or as an accent chair indoors is Rossvik, which also has a higher seat, plus arms, great for allowing the user to get in and out of the chair easily.
Are you looking for seating where you can sit and take a break? Perhaps enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and a light meal or delicious snack? This style fits the category of low dining - a relaxed comfortable seating choice that is slightly higher than the lowest seating category. It is perfect for light meals, or just relaxing when you have a moment! This seating is often a great choice for balconies where space may be constrained, or for outdoor spaces where you want your furniture to serve a variety of purposes.
Again, for those wishing to maximize their time and not spend it tending cushions, there are chair options either with high quality textilene seating which allows rain to drain through, or solid teak choices. These cushionless options include the Andy Position chair which allows the user to adjust the angle of the seat back through a range of reclining positions providing customized comfort to the user, and boasts solid teak arms and high-quality textilene seating. The Turin Foldable chair, as the name implies, folds for easy storage or relocation, making it easy to furnish spontaneous seating requirements or increase seating options as a group expands. It is an outdoor chair that moves indoors easily in the off-season for additional seating.
For those seeking cushioned comfort, this flexible seating category includes many options. Kamomill is a classic, romantic chair with an open weave of synthetic rattan on the seat back which curves around to form arms, with a beige Olefin fabric cushion, ensconcing the user in comfort. Lenora is another traditional woven look in synthetic wicker, this time in a solid weave, with wrap-around arms, and a beige Olefin fabric cushion. Another popular choice is the Midway lounge chair, in twisted synthetic rattan with gentle modern outlines, a deep Olefin seat cushion and a cushion at the backrest. Any one of these chair choices, with their high-quality synthetic rattan which will withstand all kinds of weather and frequent use, is essentially maintenance free – a perfect choice for flexible, multi-function comfort.
Then there are true dining chair options, seating with slightly straighter backrests, some with slightly higher seats, yet exceedingly comfortable for lingering over fabulous meals or parties.
Table height needs to be considered when selecting dining chairs to ensure that arm chairs in particular, will fit under the table edge. Make sure there is plenty of space between your lap and the tabletop.
Another consideration is whether you have frequent diners who would find arms on chairs helpful to help them rise from the table? Again, if you want to be able to slide the chairs under the table, it is important that the chair arms do not get in the way.
There is also the question of space availability – do you have the space to store extra chairs, or would stacking or folding chairs be a better option? Stacking or folding chairs also allow you to respond immediately by adding a couple or more chairs if your party suddenly gets bigger; the corollary is also true, as sometimes you may want to put a few chairs away.
The width of each chair and distance between each pair of legs at the table will then determine how many chairs will fit at your table. It is also important to consider the leg construction of your table; a round table on a pedestal will accommodate more people than a round table with several legs.
Increasingly a consideration as we age, or suffer from accidents or other aliments, is the topic of accessibility. In choosing a chair for anyone with mobility issues, the question becomes whether a particular chair you are considering is easy for someone to get in and out of, without a lot of discomfort or the need for assistance. In this regard, people should consider the height of the chair seat, with a higher seat making it easier to get in and out. Also how deep is the seat, and is the seat level? Or does the chair seat tend to slope back and downward toward the backrest, like a Muskoka style chair, something which everyone can picture. And everyone can then likely picture a person with some hip or other mobility issues possibly needing help to both slide forward to the front edge and get up and out of such a chair style. The same thinking applies to a chair’s backrest, with a straighter backrest making it easier for someone to sit more upright and therefore more easily get out of a chair. The last consideration is chair arms. While armless chairs look lovely and sleek, a chair which has arms is more helpful for someone with mobility challenges, as they can use the arms to help themselves rise from a seated position. Taking all these factors into consideration, chairs styles in the Cross-over and Dining categories are more apt to meet accessibility needs.
Another question is whether you are choosing dining chairs for indoors, a 3-season room, an outdoor dining space where there is coverage from weather, or the great outdoors where the choice you want to make is a chair that will withstand the elements? Cottage Culture has a range of chairs to suit all these spaces and uses.
Bonete, in natural rattan, is both rustic and chic, a classic style for indoors or for a 3-season room. Covelo dining, Delia dining, Domingo and Midway dining chairs are all cushioned options which work equally as well indoors as out-of-doors, where you want to be prepared to store your cushions against inclement weather.
Stylish cushionless chairs are excellent choices for outdoors, or anywhere people in wet bathing suits might tend to gather. These selections include Avanti, Delia armchair, Net and Trill, which are also all stacking chairs, a bonus for flexible storage possibilities. The Africa dining chair, while not stacking, has the same resin and fibreglass construction with UV protection, as Net and Trill. The Turin teak folding chair is equally an option for those outdoor spaces, every bit as much as for indoor use.
One last thought after all the other considerations is the aesthetic one. You want to buy chairs that look great from multiple angles. Ask yourself: How does the back look? And the profile of the chair?
You might also try combining the same style of chair in different colours for a fabulous contrast and to add an energetic vibe to your space. The Trill and Net are just two examples of chairs that come in a selection of bright colours, to give you this peppy, spirited look.
Similarly, you can combine different styles of chairs for a boho chic look at alfresco dinners, inside or out. Don’t be afraid to mix it up! This relaxed look will add to the charm of impromptu alfresco dining and translate to a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere for everyone gathered around your table. You can even bring your indoor dining chairs outside if you are short a chair or two. Just don’t forget to bring them back inside at the end of the night!
After thoughtful consideration of all these questions, we are confident your selections from Cottage Culture will totally suit your lifestyle needs and bring years of pleasure. Enjoy!!