The Club Chair Through the Years

A home is more enjoyable when it can provide comfort and relaxation to the people living in it. After all it’s the place that everyone comes back to at the end of a stressful day or simply to relax in during a lazy weekend. While there are several factors that contribute to a comfortable home, the type of furniture that it contains is one vital part of that recipe.


One kind of furniture that defines comfort is the club chair. A leather club chair, depending on color and design, can be a very significant addition to any room.

What is a club chair?

A club chair is a type of armchair that is usually covered in leather and is thickly upholstered for added comfort. Typically low-backed and with an ample seat space, club chairs have a character of their own that can be attributed to its history. 

Name origins

While it was initially called a comfortable chair, it soon began to be known by its now famous moniker because of its popularity among clubs. Gentlemen’s clubs, in particular, had them for men to sink into with a drink in hand whenever they needed to get away from the household. Thus, the name “club chair” was born.

Its Beginnings

The club chair originated from France, and was conceptualized and created around 1929. Initially, it was called “fauteuil confortable” or the “comfortable armchair” as a way of distinguishing it from the “fauteuil de style” of chairs.

Characterized by straighter lines, the existing armchairs of the “fauteuil de style” were far less enveloping.  While the names of the designers of the comfortable chair has been lost to time,the club chair design exploded in popularity soon after it was introduced to the market.

Due to its comfort and functionality, the club chair soon found its way out of the gentlemen’s clubs, and into both casual and upscale restaurants. In later years, it found itself paired with tables to create a feeling of comfort in casual dining areas around the home.

Modern Club Chairs

While they originally had round forms and padding made from double conical springs and coir, the Art Deco period saw the evolution of the club chair design to having cleaner and flexible lines. The following decades would continue to see the appearance of new shapes, such as the “gendarme’s hat” and the “moustache.”

Nowadays, club chairs have their own variety of designs and forms. Swivel club chairs are a popular modern invention that’s available in both traditional and modern designs. Contemporary leather club chairs, on the other hand, have lower backs with heights the same as the arm rests. The reclining club chair is another modern twist to the traditional club chair.

Continuing Impact 

Today, the club chair is still very much loved and used among upscale dining establishments. It remains a crowd favorite even in casual restaurants, as well as around the home. With its simple lines and comfortably thick upholstery, these chairs tend to be quite easy to work into various decorating styles. Being available in a variety of colors allows for club chairs to function even in a wide variety of room styles. 

The club chair may have come straight out of classical French interior décor, but it certainly has not lost its charm over the years. Leather club chairs, especially, give off a feeling of luxury and character. Its distinctive feature can add elegance to a room, and does so without compromising comfort.


Angie Cole is a fan of everything vintage and admires true old-world craftsmanship. She lives in Denver, Colorado, with her pet turtle, Socrates...(Read More)

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