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What Is a Slipper Chair? Guide to Armless Style

It’s not, in fact, a chair shaped like a slipper. Read on to learn more about this trending furniture piece.
A slipper chair is an armless chair usually upholstered in fabric.
Traditionally, it features a sleek silhouette (looking at it from the side, it looks like a hard “L” with legs).
Their name derives from their origin story: Women in Victorian times needed a seat that would easily allow them to “slip” into their shoes/slippers.
Essentially, a design that would sit low enough to not warrant straining the back – and without arms, to allow for free motion.
It can be surmised that the chair was designed for ladies – the ‘slipper shoe’ was the name given for two different shoe types in the 1800s: the women’s dancing shoe, and what we know today as the women’s house slipper.
(And while we’re on the topic of shoe names in the 19th century, here’s a fun fact: “Sneakers” were originally called so because of their quiet sound – they ‘snuck’ up on you!)

How to Style with a Slipper Chair in the Home

Looking for some style inspiration? You don’t have to be an expert to incorporate these Victorian-inspired gems into the home. Whether you want to bring one home or are wondering how to style the one you’ve got, follow these easy design tips for effortless slipper chair aesthetic.

These designs are armless and low to the ground – so, they’re sleek. They can easily fit in living room corners and nooks and even make great dining side chairs. (Around a large rectangular dining table, a slipper chair at each “head” of the table is a classic styling arrangement.) You can also use them in the bedroom for accent bedside seating.

If you’re really after a statement, place one in an entryway to greet guests with a dose of authentic Victorian charm! To play this up, pair the chair with a traditional-inspired accent table with a pedestal base over an intricate-patterned rug.

What Is the “True” Look, Anyway? (Hint: It Depends)

Why don’t all slipper chairs look the same? You may notice that in the photos above, some of the chairs look slightly different than the others. While some are tufted, others are not. Fabric is a dominant motif, but some are also made of parts wood and leather. In terms of height, these designs vary drastically. So, what exactly is the “true” slipper chair look? The key takeaway here is that the modern slipper chair will have two core features: L-shaped and armless. (Along with these, more traditional designs will have stricter guidelines – such as short legs, skirted base, etc.)

"Slip" into Comfort!

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Editorial Disclaimer: Articles featuring tips and advice are intended for educational purposes and only as general recommendations. Always practice personal discretion when using and caring for furniture, decor and related items.