For the last several months MWT and I have been looking for one+ new chairs for our living room. After more consideration than the situation demands, we decided to get two upholstered dining armchairs. Why? Well, they take up less room, and we haven't found any 'accent' living room chairs that measure up to the tailored styling of an upholstered dining chair.
However, just because we finally decided what kinds of chairs we want, doesn't mean the search since has been easy. Upholstered dining chairs are meant to be used at a table, so the seats are less deep and the backs are much straighter than a living room accent chair. These two points alone mean they're less comfy in a 'take a seat and let's have a chat' kind of way, if you know what I mean.
So, after an exhaustive search and A LOT of test drives, here's our 411 on some of the more popular upholstered dining chairs from the national retailers we visited.
First, Pottery Barn. Their Grayson Chair, pictured above, is nicely styled, but as far as comfort goes, we give it a thumbs down. The back is very straight, which, like I said, is great for sitting at the table but not so much for relaxing. At only 25" deep, you also feel like you should be sitting at a table while sitting in it!
As far as PB's Napa Chair, ditto on all points as above.
From PB, we went to Crate & Barrel, where we test drove the Miles ($399),
and the Pullman ($359). As dining chairs, we would choose either of these over the PB versions as they're more comfortable, however, for using them in the living room...still not comfy.
C & B's Palmetto ($379), on the other hand, was more comfortable, but not the style for which we were looking.
From C & B, we headed over to Room & Board. There we zoned in on the Marie ($499). A beautiful chair and more comfortable than any of those similar we had tested. But....nope.
We loved the Ansel ($540). Although the comfy quotient was getting better, we still felt like we were missing a table parked in front of us.
and slipcovered versions ($399 - $479),
and leather versions ($499).
The Hudson was, hands down, the most comfortable of the bunch. The back is more angled, and the seat, which is 26" wide, and at 29" deep, has more room to wiggle, thereby finding your comfort zone. (In comparison, the Napa chair is only 20" wide at the front and 18" wide at the back and only 17.5" deep. The Grayson is 23.5" wide and 25" deep and the Ansel is 20" wide and 18" deep.)
So, what did we decide? Nothing, yet. But if we were to pull the trigger today, we'd go with Restoration Hardware's Hudson. However, KEEP IN MIND, as far as this assessment goes, what makes Restoration Hardware's selection better than the previous for living room use is what might also make them less desirable as dining chairs.