In the feast of furnishings, a wing chair is a design staple—and one that’s always welcome. “It’s the mac and cheese of upholstered seating,” says interior designer Eric Hughes. “No matter what style, a wing chair is reliably comforting and comfortable,” he says.
The classic piece boasts a generous size and stately shape that can easily act as the main attraction in a room. Plus, signature blinders—a clever remnant of its late-17th-century origin when it blocked out cold air while boxing in the heat of a blazing fire—make these draft dodgers ideal for fending off winter’s chill. But its substantial stature means moderation is key: The wing chair has a lot of presence, the inside story is to use them strategically, such as against a wall or tucked into a corner so as not to overwhelm a space.
Fortunately, there are countless styles to suit any taste, from sleekly modern to traditional Colonial and everything in between.
Baker Historic Charleston Wing
CELINE TUFTED WING CHAIR BY CELERIE KEMBLE FOR LANEVENTURE
BERGÈRE CHAIR BY AUTOBAN FOR DE LA ESPADA
“This would work well in a city apartment because it’s lean and slim,” offers Hughes, who’s a fan of the chair’s crisp lines and handsome walnut frame. He also admires its shipshape silhouette and its comfortable angled back.
CH445 WING CHAIR BY HANS J. WEGNER FROM SUITE NEW YORK
“The exaggerated wingspan is a little avant-garde, and the aerodynamic shape gives the chair a Jetsons flair,” Coyle opines. “It’s fashiony and fun,” she says, adding that its sleek lines and large size would work well in a modern home. Coyle also loves how the lack of customary rolled arms gives it a distinctive look.
BARKAM WING CHAIR BY NATHAN TURNER FOR ELITE LEATHER
“This is the chair I’d like to talk to at a party,” says Hughes with a laugh. The artful proportions and the “contemporary way the nailhead trim is used give it personality in a classic setting.”
BIG CHAIR BY JENS RISOM FROM RALPH PUCCI INTERNATIONAL
“This is the big daddy of all the chairs here,” Hughes asserts, citing its “generous bones.” He calls its wings “futuristic” and “podlike,” creating a sheltering effect. As for the unusual angled wood base, he says, “the legs have an artisanal feel, like Noguchi.”