Finding your dream armchair can be a surprisingly tiresome enterprise.
“High or low back?”
“Would you like a footrest with that?”
“We've got a promotion at the moment if you're interested …
“Oh the free delivery promotion conveniently only covers the armchairs you do not want – sorry about that”
“Which of our four shades of beige fabric would you like?”
This tend to be the amount of armchair ordering inquiries in the majority of furniture retailers. Quite an exaggerated account, admittedly, but there's an element of truth mixed in with the nonsense. Are there any more adventurous retailers that dare to be different in their armchair offerings? Well, there are two main schools of thought here.
The Joey Tribiani approach
The first is the, shall we say, high-tech luxury end of the armchair market. Picture Joey from Friends' luxury leather monolith. We're talking pop-up footrests, refrigerated cup-holders, integrated speakers – the works. Perfect for a cinema or gaming room, sometimes, but maybe a bit much for when the in-laws pop over for afternoon tea?
Maybe not. Maybe they're tech-minded individuals, maybe they'll even admire the utilitarian convenience of having everything they could possibly need within an arm's reach.
If they do fall into the “bit much” camp, you're almost guaranteed to convert them once you power on the 5-point massage-come-heating system.
… OK, maybe that is a little excessive. Still, you're the one who will be getting the most use out of it – it's your dream armchair, not theirs.
The people pleasing approach
Perhaps your dream armchair pleases both parties. The people's armchair, if you will. That's where hand-crafted furniture retailers come into the picture.
Serving as a perfect middle ground between the standard and high-tech luxury furniture retailers, hand-crafted furniture retailers offer a range of more sensible base designs, which you can then customize.
Options tend to include:
• More fabric options that you thought even exhausted
• A high or low back
• The wood finish on the armchair's legs
• The filling for the seat cushions
• The filling for the back cushions
Some will even offer scatter cushions as an optional extra – saving you the trouble of hunting down your particular shade or pattern elsewhere.
Sure, they will not be able to integrate speakers into the headrest, or massage motors into the seat cushion – but they can help you craft an armchair that will not be upset the in-laws, and will not be mistaken for a fun -sized version of your sofa at the same time.