Arm chairs have provided a comfortable place to sit for hundreds of years. The combination of a high back and armrests provide support and comfort while reading or watching television. Easily adaptable to any room, many of the original styles of armchair are still popular in homes today.
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A wing chair, or wingback chair, is a fully-upholstered arm chair with arms and a high, wing-shaped back. The back joins the chair at a 90 degree angle, sometimes wider. The winged back wraps slightly toward the front of the chair, presumably to protect the person seated from drafts on chilly evenings. The chair's legs are typically curved, creating a distinguished appearance that fits well in parlour rooms or offices. The wing chair became popular as an easy chair in the late 1700s, and endures to this day with very slight modification to the original style.
The rocking chair is a comfortable armchair option common in many homes. Usually made from wood or wicker, rocking chairs have curved wood pieces attached to the feet to allow the person seated to enjoy gentle rocking motion. This chair style is believed to have originated in the early 1700s in England and it became popular in America around 1750. The modern rocking chair has evolved to a glider rocker, which allows the same rocking motion without the bowed rocker pieces that could crush the tail of a cat unfortunate enough to pass by while the chair is in motion. Rocking chairs fit nicely in sewing rooms, children's rooms and front porches.
The Adirondack chair has a distinctive design that is appropriate for indoor or outdoor use. This rustic high-backed chair is traditionally made from 11 wood planks to create a low-seated armchair with a sloping back. The chair was designed by Thomas Lee in 1903 and first called a Westport plank chair. Lee's intention was to create a comfortable patio lounge chair for his family, and his acquaintance Henry Bunnell patented and marketed the chair nationally. Today's Adirondack chairs are made from pine, hickory, hemlock and even plastic. This chair style is ideal for ski lodges, cabins or grassy outdoor spaces.
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