ISSUE 94  |  Handyman Special

10 Easy Pieces: The Wingback Is Back

October 16, 2013 9:00 AM

BY Izabella Simmons

The wingback armchair is back–and this time around, its shape is pleasingly streamlined.

The design dates to the late 1700s and came to the US by way of Great Britain. The chairs were typically placed near the fireplace; in the chilly houses of the day, the wings acted as a shield against cold drafts and also the extreme heat of the hearth. Over the centuries, the form has had surprising staying power, nimbly adapting to current fashions, but always with wings intact. In fact, there are so many good examples currently out there that we’ve included 13 here, rather than 10. Which gets your pick?


Above: The Highland Wingback Chair by California furniture designers Lawson-Fenning. It’s shown here in the corner of Glenn Lawson’s bedroom. To see more of his house, go to The Designers Are In: LA Style, Artisan Edition.

Above: The Beagle Chair by London furniture designer Christopher Howe is upholstered in the traditional combination of hand-stitched horse hair and down. Price available upon request. 


Above: The Wingback Chair by BDDW is available in 150 different fabrics. It has oil-finished dark walnut handles, blackened cast bronze legs, and hand-carved ebony buttons. Price upon request. 


Above: The Ixelles Wingback Chair by Casamidy can be ordered in three different sizes and several finishes. Price upon request. 

Above: The French Upholstered Wing Chair from Restoration Hardware comes in several upholstery options. It’s currently on sale for $760-$1,125 (marked down from $895-$1,325). 

Above: Restoration Hardware’s Wingback Swivel Glider with Slipcover starts at $1,199; different fabrics available.  


Above: The Deeda Chair is upholstered in a jade cotton; $1,995 from Jayson Home. The chair can be customized in several different colors. 


Above: The Study Wingback Chair from CB2 in navy with turquoise piping; $749. 


Above: The Strandmon Wing Chair from Ikea, available in gray or blue; $279

Above: The Wingback Armchair by Tom Dixon for George Smith; £4,650 from the UK Conran Shop.

Above: The Wingback Easy Chair in black leather, a Borge Mogensen design that dates to 1963; chair $6,375, ottoman, $2,710, from Mjölk. 


Above: James Harrison Wing Chair; $799 from West Elm. It’s shown in brushed-heather cotton with down-wrapped cushions; leather upholstery also available. 

Above: The 1951 Papa Bear Chair by Danish designer Hans Wegner. It comes in several fabric options; $2,460.75 from Modernica.

Looking for a comfy chair with a smaller profile? See 10 Easy Pieces: South American-Style Leather Chairs and 10 Easy Pieces: Classic Upholstered Armchairs.