One of America’s biggest design problems is that the “living” or “front” rooms in older homes (1930 for instance) weren’t designed for TV watching – thus forcing designers, homeowners, renters, and parents to struggle to arrange a TV and comfortable furniture in a way that works and doesn’t look dumb. Despite what Orlando says (read our heated debate that ended our friendship here -JK), the TV over the fireplace is often the only real option, with windows and/or doorways chopping up the rest of the room. I’m helping two close friends decorate their new/old homes and they need a lot of the same problems solved. Both want comfortable warm homes, both have 100-year-old traditional, homes and both want them to feel charming yet modern (one is going more “DudeBro PNW Lodge” and the other more “Anthro/Soho Home”). And y’all both have their more “formal” living rooms where the only real configuration is for the sofa to face the fireplace/TV and thus they need side chairs that can either swivel to see the TV or chairs that you can lounge on sideways to see the TV (both have basement TV rooms but their families like to watch tv upstairs together at night). Cue Tom Cruise accepting the mission!!! But with less intensity!!!
So in order to figure out what the formula for this is, I sat on a lot of chairs (not all below, but many). The swivel chair seems like the obvious answer (and just might be the best solution) but one of my friends wanted me to explore other chairs that could simply be laid on towards the TV. The key to this VERY specific need is a supportive yet soft back that leans back (not too vertical) and soft arms. Ok, let’s dive into what I’ve been looking at. FYI, I am going to be referring to my friends as “R” and “N” just to give them some privacy:)
This is the top contender right now for R’s living room – The cushion of the back + height of the arm + large scale means that this is very floppable sideways or normal-ways (technical term designers use). The only thing to think about with this is that since it’s so big your room needs to be able to handle it (and the sofa needs to be big too). We might use this in the corner, easily pulled into the room – but I need to do more measuring to make sure it’s not too big. Boy do those rounded arms look comfy.
This was the top contender for N’s house, but it MIGHT be too big to allow the pass-through space we need. It’s 48″ wide which IMHO isn’t a loveseat but is def bigger than a normal chair. However, it absolutely looks like the tweens could lay on it sideways to watch TV but is so much more elegant than a lot of swivel or comfy chairs (also V splurgy).
I decided to keep swivel chairs off this list for now (there are SO MANY, so just keeping them separate). But this swivel chair looks like a normal accent/club chair. It’s giving comfy traditional vibes (rather than a swivel chair that looks more cool and clubby). Again, the rounded arms and the lean of the back make this look extremely ergonomic (and the velvet doesn’t hurt, although it comes in lots of fabrics and colors).
Now the reason I pinned this one was because it reads more as a living room chair which we want in N’s house, but A. you could easily rotate it because it is lighter, and B. the arms would be easy to swing your legs over should you let your kids on chairs sideways to watch TV (we do).
This is another one that can’t be in every room and stylistically it’s very specific (V. “70s basement”), but if you have the space for it, it looks so cool, comfortable, and incredibly easy to flop your legs over the sides of it! The arms look supportive enough to be mini “backs” too. I haven’t sat in this but I’m tempted to run to Crate & Barrel to give it a whirl.
I’m convincing myself of this one RIGHT NOW. OOH boy that looks comfortable. I’m not sure if it’s really heavy (so hard to angle towards the TV) or light, but def easy to flop sideways on. Oh dear that looks comfy.
The EHD team all agrees that Midcentury is actually coming back already (just as some websites are finally catching on that it was out for a few years LOL) and I’ve sat on this chair many times. It’s very comfortable and could be easy to angle or snuggle sideways on. This is starting to become ridiculous how much I want to be able for these tweens to lay sideways on a chair, but as a mom I get it!!
Admittedly this chair looks pretty simple but in a corner or in a family room, the scale, proportions, and angles lend itself to hours of TV watching. Those of us who like to hang out and chat while sitting crisscross apple sauce will be happy here.
I have this chair and while it on the smaller size, it’s extremely comfortable when sitting sideways (with legs over the side) as well as normal:) Add the ottoman and if you have a smaller space that needs filling, this chair is so unbelievably cozy. Just make sure that your sofa doesn’t have a really high back (not over 32″) or will dwarf this chair.
So that’s what I’m looking at! Stay tuned for more challenges I’m trying to solve. xx