Originally, wing chairs were purposely designed for use in front of a fireplace. So, it comes as no surprise that today, we still see them positioned in front of the hearth. The wings (as the expanded sides of the chair’s back are called) were meant to catch and keep the heat from the fire from traveling past the occupant. Since, in those days, people sat in company before a warm fire on chilly nights, the chairs were often set together in pairs, and so they continue to be arranged today.
Of course, you don’t have to place your wing chairs in front of a fireplace. You don’t even have to own a fireplace to enjoy the timeless beauty and elegance of a well-made and classically styled wing chair. They are great for a sunny window spot where you like to curl up with a good book, or as a side chair in an office or library. Wherever you locate yours, it will add a touch of timeless elegance to the room.
Today’s wing chairs are not always the dark, leather pieces we recall from old movies. They come upholstered in an amazing array of fabrics and colors. Today’s chairs, moreover, are a little more generous with the padding than those of old, making them quite comfortable. The depth of the back between the wings varies, as does the styles of the arms and the turn of the legs. So, no matter how classic the style, there are enough variations that you will surely find one that will work in your decorative scheme.
Wing chairs are a great way to add a little old-world charm to a modern room, or to enhance the look of period pieces without having to hunt down antique chairs to match. Time has shown them to be enduringly beloved and, as such, a great long-term investment that pays dividends in style.