April 9, 2020

Trend alert! Statement retro armchairs are going to be big!

Disclaimer: This statement armchair post contains affiliate links which are marked with an *. Purchasing via an affiliate link means I make a small commission as a thank you for referring you. These posts take a lot of time to research (so please use them!)

For some unknown reason, instinct told me that I needed to visit Maison & Objet earlier this year. I never normally attend (always waiting it out for Milan Design Week), but this year thanks to some cheap Eurostar tickets and an avid design partner in crime (looking at you Bianca), I decided to make the trip. Enter coronavirus and who knows when the next design event, but thankfully I have all that research stored for features and blog posts alike. Weird, eh?

From left to right: Green Apple, Brand Unknown, Burov Paris, Eno Studio, Dooq Studio, Munna, Hamilton Conte. Photos by Emma Jane Palin

While I’m not normally too into short-term looks in interior design, I do think there was a focus on longevity and sustainability this year, which is of course great to see. Something I noticed across the majority of design brands was the ode to the statement armchair. Noted in my iPhone as ‘Mad Men Luxe’, there was a distinct nod to the retro shapes and sculptural makeups of earlier decades, but with luxe materials such as bouclé and velvet.

Furniture design is similar to fashion in that designers gain inspiration from the past and fuse it with modern details and inspiration. So while we’re seeing a resurgence in vintage fashion, we’re also seeing it in homeware. I’d much rather focus on a ‘trend’ that will last for the foreseeable so if you’re looking to invest, statement armchairs are where it’s at.

I’ve rounded up some of my favourite options on the highstreet so you get the idea, but I’d also highly recommend getting on eBay or Facebook Marketplace if you’re looking for something truly unique. Remember, vivid colours such as orange and yellow are key here, as are textures like sheepskin and rattan. You can always stick on Mad Men for some extra inspo…

statement armchairs in mixed colours and materials

1 // Rockett St George Rattan Lounge Chair | £450

2 // Oliver Bonas Tress Velvet Chair* | £375

3 // Made Pink Velvet Kooper Accent Chair* | £399

4 // West Elm Isabella Velvet Chair* | £599

5 // Heal’s Furniture Ziggy Sheepskin Chair | £1299

6 // West Elm at John Lewis Gray Swivel Chair*| £419

7 // Habitat Misty Orange Velvet Armchair* | £395

For more interior inspiration, colour clashing and general life admin, check out the rest of my blog. Follow me on InstagramPinterest and Twitter for more EJP in your life.


  1. Kate says:

    Oh my, that Heal’s sheepskin chair is sooo lush!

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Emma Jane Palin is a freelance art consultant, interior stylist and multi-award-winning blogger residing in Margate, UK. She has worked with various home and lifestyle brands not limited to West Elm, Apple, John Lewis, Habitat, MADE, Caran D'Ache + No.3 Gin. Emma is also a regular contributor to Hunker where she writes about design trends and interior advice.

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