Chairs Not for Sitting

In the comments to last week’s post about peacock chairs there was a consensus that, though beautiful, they are not actually comfortable enough to serve their primary funciton: sitting.  On the heels of that discussion, we thought we would look at non-sitting purposes to which chairs can reasonably be put. Longtime readers know that we are self-confessed chair hoarders (remember this picture?), and if there’s a decorative way to justify getting more of these leggy beauties out of the stables, we’re on board.

One non-sitting purpose for chairs, which is thoroughly endorsed by Pinterest, is using chairs as bedside tables.  As long as the seat isn’t angled back like most chairs, why not?  With sconces instead of lamps, there’s plenty of room for a book and a glass of water.  We love bentwood chairs forever and ever anon, and the graceful curves of this pair against the white wall are so pretty.

Back when we visited Design Within Reach in Seattle we tested out the iconic Wishbone Chair and found them to be less than lounge-worthy.  This might be the one way we would actually use this lovely perch in our homes.

This chair, levitating above the ground, is most certainly not for sitting, but adds a welcome dash of whimsy to this children’s room.

The unassuming chair in this bedroom brings natural wood tones into a space with a painted floor, and also provides nice vertical lines to an otherwise low-profile room.

The composition of this room is elegant, but we both think we wouldn’t like it half as much if not for that green chair cradling a pile of books.

We suppose you could sit in this chair as is, but you would be messing up a lovely composition and risking that dear little baby deer.

The effort it would take to unearth this chair from under its substantial stack of books and grand vase makes it unlikely that it’s used much for sitting.  We like it this way, though, and think that if it were just a little table holding this collection instead of a chair it wouldn’t have near as much charm.

Time to own up, do you have chairs not for sitting in your home? Happy Monday!

15 responses on “Chairs Not for Sitting

  1. Nina

    I have plenty of chairs that are not sat on on a regular basis, but none designated for not-sitting due to books or plant placement. But I love the idea.

  2. Katy Gilmore

    Love all these – and particularly the levitating child’s chair. Makes me think that a bathroom might be a perfect place – clothes draped over the back, toiletries on the seat – specially for guests would be handy – and then one could always sit to watch a little bather splashing in the tub! And it’s fun to see you inspired by last week’s comments – responding to an idea generated – always a treat to see what you have to say and show. Thank you!

    1. andrea

      I love the whimsy but i wonder if there is a kid in the room. Mine would try to climb onto the chair. Also, sorry to be a grinch, but do none of these people live in earthquake country!
      my favorite decorative chairs have cats on them.

      1. Mera

        I completely agree about that floating chair–what kid wouldn’t try to sit on that? But maybe it is attached in a way that it actually can be used–at that height, grownups could use it as a perch while reading to little ones in bed. Thanks Andrea!

  3. Gillianne

    When we downsized, I had to rehome a collection of “project” furniture housed in our capacious garage. Now we simply don’t have space–which was the idea. But oh, how hard it is to walk away from neglected pieces, especially chairs (!), that retain hints of beauty visible to the discerning eye. I could probably find a place for one more…. Thanks for the photo gallery.

    1. Mera

      I still find it next to impossible to walk away from a beautiful chair, even if I know it’s destined for the basement hoard. Thanks Gillianne!

  4. Jana Hayenga

    I have three mid-century chairs in my garage that I have been carrying around with me from house to house for the last 20+ years….time to think about using them in creative ways!

  5. Jill

    I have a three favorite orphan chairs in my garage because like another commenter I have downsized. They have been used for various purposes in different houses and like old friends they are hard to part with!
    I did find room in the house for an old tray-less pressback highchair I have used as a plant stand for years.
    Loved the bedside examples!

  6. Lea

    Yes, we have two rocking chairs not for sitting, but neither are put to particularly lovely use.
    One is a lovely old wooden rocker with a lovely velvet upholstered seat which is unfortunately structurally frail and probably needs to be completely re-glued. I keep it in the corner near my dresser as a rough target for tossing clothes which I have just taken off, but am probably going to be putting right back on and therefore don’t want to bother going to the trouble of actually putting away.
    The other is a very comfortable wooden rocker first purchased by Steven’s mother to rock his baby brother and decades later given to us so it could be used to rock our son. We happily used it for that intended purpose. But in the many years since our now-second-grader has been weaned, this rocking chair in our family room has become the preferred afternoon napping spot for a very long haired cat. Her shedding hair has so felted itself into the fleece of the seat cushion that we have given up all hope of ever getting it truly clean and instead have simply given the chair up to the cat on the theory that at least it concentrates her shedding in one spot and that someday when she finally crosses the rainbow bridge to wherever slightly naughty cats go after using the last of their nine lives we can just replace the cushions to make the rocker once again fit for human rumps. In the meantime, we just try to remember to warn unsuspecting guests that they really don’t want to sit there.

    1. Emily

      I feel like this is exactly what would happen if I had chairs not for sitting on – they would end up lost under a huge pile of discarded clothes! Better than the floor I guess?

  7. Carol Bryner

    I love to use chairs for holding clothing, books, the tv cable box, etc. We have a number of children’s chairs that are now used as end tables, plant stands, etc. And in response to Katy’s wish for a chair in the bathroom, we have just that. A tiny bright yellow chair with a cement seat embedded with broken pottery that Katy gave us years ago. We put on it the books, iphones, cups of tea, kindles, and whatever other precious things we want to keep from falling into the tub or into the “commode.”

    And I love that green chair next to the fireplace in the fifth photo.

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