Design & DIY

11 chair design ideas to upgrade your space

It can be a head-scratching moment for any cottage owner when you look around an empty room and wonder, “how am I going to furnish this space?” The good news: you might already have all the furniture you need. All that’s missing is some know-how to group long-loved (if temporarily overlooked) pieces or a new statement chair for maximal impact. Here are 11 of our favourite finds from cottages that we’ve visited—and how, with a little rearranging or a few key adds, a chair can become your living room’s new centrepiece.

Bonus! Our experts share their secrets for styling any kind of chair: 

Pair similarities

Furniture from different eras works well together if there are some overlapping features—a rounded, Rococo back can complement the arched frame of a peacock chair. The same principle is true for colours, textures, and patterns. 

Create a sense of balance

Many designers recommend following an 80/20 rule. A room will look cohesive if the majority of the furniture is from one style, even if everything else is an eclectic array. But, at the cottage, perhaps we can agree on 70/30 or even 60/40.

Get into the woods

Wood as a material is wildly versatile. Unlike contrasting paint colours, which can easily clash, wood tones usually work together—blonde oaks accent dark walnuts or warm maples. Think of a forest—the mix of trees is what makes it beautiful. 

Comfort is king

If all else fails, remember that it is the cottage after all. While having a sharp look is nice, it’s far more important that all your friends and family have a nice, comfortable place to gather and enjoy each other’s company. 

Matthew Hague wrote “A Deeper, Longer Breath,” in our October ’21 issue about his cottage on Lac Manitou, Que. 

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