From the traditional telephone chair to the famous love seat, your furniture says a lot about you. Anya Cooklin-Lofting shares her top stylish seating picks for your home
Not all chairs are created equal. Some are for dining, some are for children, some are on trains, planes and in cars, and some are just an extension of our wardrobes (read: chair-drobes). But chairs aren’t always just for sitting – some have a little more personality.
They are created for very specific things we do in our homes, and no, on this occasion, I’m not talking about the humble barstool.
Furniture designed with a very specific use in mind adds undeniable character, not to mention a talking point for your interior scheme.
There is a distinct human essence to these pieces, a sense of identity that normal furniture does not often possess.
My fascination with such characterful works started with the love seat, a piece that can be found in museums, antique emporiums and contemporary furniture retailers alike.
Chairs like love seats command action by steering our body language through shape and style.
Also known as a courting bench, the love seat is a curled and cocooning chair designed for two. The figure-eight shape was created to facilitate free-flowing conversation, or perhaps more appropriately, flirting.
These pieces are usually found in the Baroque style, upholstered in rich velvet damask fabrics and with ornate, acanthus carved wooden legs.
For a contemporary update on the original 18th century styles, Rockett St George has created a sofa with moveable backing cushions that turn a rather innocent looking black leather, dimpled sofa into a love seat.
Perfect for long nights of poetic whisperings and sipping good wine with that special someone, this industrial yet charming piece is a great choice for both a city home and a dark corner in a stately drawing room.
Of course, 1stDibs is always a fantastic place to find antique originals or even quirkier pieces.
Perhaps the only high street sofa and chair manufacturer to recognise the true potential for charm in their wares is Sofa Workshop.
The brand’s wonky-armed Daydreamer model is the 21st century’s answer to the gossip chair, or telephone chair, styles which feature a built-in side table for a retro chord telephone, and subsequent gossiping.
Sitters are encouraged by the Daydreamer's peculiar shape to take their chins into their hands, spending an afternoon lost in thought and fantasies. Shown here in Sanderson’s Capuchins fabric complete with delicate and inspiring botanical etchings, who could resist the temptation to daydream in such a chair?
Finally, here's another one for all the lovers out there. The snuggler chair is to millennials what pattern matching your curtains and your sofa was to Generation X. In other words, snugglers are having a moment, and rightly so.
Snugglers somehow boast both generous dimensions and space savviness in homes that might not be able to accommodate more than one sofa. Not only this, but their charm credentials qualify them for this very roundup.
Complete with a cute name and available in a vast array of styles from almost every furniture manufacturer, the snuggler is at its core and by its name an invitation to curl up and spend time with your beaux (or your dog, obviously.)
So why not keep your eyes peeled for a truly enchanting chair with charm for your home?
Choose pieces that look as if they could spring to life from the corner of your eye, just as Guy de Maupassant describes in his 1890 short story, Who Knows?: “And behold, I perceived, all at once… an armchair, my large reading chair, which came waddling out.
Right into the garden it went, followed by others, the chairs of my drawing room, then the comfortable settee, crawling like crocodiles on their short legs; next, all my chairs bounding like goats and the small footstools which followed like rabbits.”