Finally Deciding on Living Room Chairs

I had been struggling for two years to find the right living room chairs. I put hours into testing seats, photoshopping mock-ups, and browsing styles online, and I even tried a few in the room before returning them. I was dealing with clashing elements in the space that kept dictating what kinds of chairs would be a good fit.

How to pick living room chairs

This post is in partnership with Article!

The blue velvet couch that now lives in the den was previously in the living room. The bright color, the velvet fabric, and the tufting steered me away from any other seating that had those elements. I just didn't want a room full of tufted upholstery or oodles of color. The living room's woodwork has orange tones that kept me from any of the camel colored hues or natural wood hues. Even though I wanted a chair like this, it simply would have been too much.

Living Room Before

We lived with that super clashy teal chair and the wooden dining chair for a couple of years while I hunted for the right ones. These two were leftovers from our old house and they were probably the worst chairs for the space - oy.

I was on the lookout for neutral colors, with simple lines, that were neither bold nor boring. It was a tricky thing to do! I was looking at traditional designs, modern wingbacks, casual cushionsswiveling bases, and so so so many more.

But then, the blue couch and the existing teal chair moved to the den when I transformed that space for the One Room Challenge earlier this year. And my world opened up! I moved the grey sofa into the living room and it instantly neutralized the space. I still plan to replace it with another piece without tufting and a lighter color, but I'm happy to have it for now as it lets the chairs be the center of attention rather than the big couch.

Through the swapping of furniture, I learned that I prefer a simple couch to ground the space, with accent chairs to add the personality. I also came to the realization that I wanted to find ways to make the living room feel more casual. The traditional woodwork, my affinity for velvet (more on that later), and the fact that the space is free of a TV, makes the room feel quite formal. An easy way to make a space feel less formal is to not go super matchy matchy. Some may disagree, but I decided I'd get two accent chairs that didn't match. 

So, I started my search over from scratch and this time I could source pieces that had color, texture, tufting, and leg designs that would complement a future couch. I could also pick two favorites instead of narrowing it down to one!

I'll quit my ramblings and just show you which beauties I picked out from one of my favorite online retailers, Article.

Blue velvet living room chair

Aren't they the bee's knees? 

Blue velvet Matrix chair from Article

Surprise surprise, I got another blue velvet piece! I just love the texture, and so does the cat! We've learned that velvet is the best material for avoiding cat scratches. Mabel does her fair share of scratching on rugs and furniture around the house (and I follow right behind her with a spray bottle attempting to dissuade the behavior). It's super frustrating and I've tried all the tricks to get her to stop, but velvet is by far the best material for holding up to the cat's natural tendencies.

That texture is simply irresistible to me and the cat. She spends HOURS lounging on this chair, it's her new favorite spot.

Blue velvet Matrix Article chair

I fell for the Matrix's color and fabric, but its scale fits the room just as nicely. In my heart of hearts I wanted a big wingback that I could curl up in while wearing a smoking jacket and plaid house shoes as I peruse my collection of leather bound books that are so aplenty that they are only accessible from a library ladder. But, literally none of that applies to my daily life, so I'll have to save that scenario for my dreams. This real life room needed something smaller scale to maintain sight lines to the adjoining dining room, and narrow enough that the walkway wasn't blocked. Matrix is a perfect fit with it's compact size.

Forma chair from Article

Now the Forma chair. What a beaut! The fabric texture adds just the right amount of detail without distracting from the pretty shape. With all of the chunky woodwork in the room, I wanted something that had soft curves and sleek legs that added visual lightness and this chair fit the bill.

Forma Article living room chair with gold detail

Check out the back detail! Since the chairs float between two rooms, the backsides are just as important.

How to pick chairs for living room

Ordering chairs online can be worrisome if you don't have the chance to try them out beforehand. Our home's chair critic (Ross) was wary, but he absolutely adores the comfort factor. He's the kind of seating judge that if he says "it's fine" then you're winning. It's a multi-layered evaluation that I don't fully understand myself. But after I found him quietly sitting in the Forma chair for ten minutes, I asked his opinion and without skipping a beat he said, "I love it." Victory! He had the same feelings about Matrix, but he had to wait until the cat got out of that seat before he could indulge.

Styling living room chairs

It's so great to walk into the house with these chairs on the welcoming committee. Now, I need to get a new side table and a new couch to really let these beauties shine.

Be sure to check out the other beautiful chairs from Article, including this perfect caramel wingback, and this one that looks great in blue velvet, too. They also carry lots of other modern furniture pieces, all for a flat shipping fee of $49. Plus, the Article team is just so darn nice!

I wasn't kidding when I said that Mabel loves the Matrix chair. I tried to remove her for the sake of these photos, but she kept jumping back into her spot.

blue velvet living room chair

Tell me, am I pushing it with the blue velvet furniture in my house? Would you do non-matching chairs? Which cat scratching remedies are effective for you? Who is the biggest chair critic in your family? Which Article chairs do you fancy? Share away!