Shopping for Compact Lounge Chairs

Lounge chairs are defining pieces in most living rooms, but they take up a lot of space. And if your living room is on the small side, that can create problems.

“One of the biggest mistakes people make is buying furniture that’s the wrong scale for the space,” said Sheila Bridges, the New York-based interior designer. Giant lounge chairs, she noted, can easily overwhelm a small room.

But there are plenty of compact lounge chairs that provide an outsize dose of style and comfort in a smaller-than-average footprint.

“When you scale smaller, there’s an opportunity to add more things, which is how you build a nice-looking interior space,” Ms. Bridges said. “It’s always easier to add to the furniture than subtract, once you’ve bought it.”

Another trick for making the most of a small space is to choose chairs with curvy shapes rather than square edges — a choice that Ms. Bridges said is also on trend.

“The nice thing about pieces that don’t have such rigid lines is that there’s more usable space in between them,” she said. “They’re a little more free.”

  • What’s the minimum seat size for a lounge chair? A seat with an interior width of about two feet, and an equal depth, will accommodate most people, Ms. Bridges said.

  • How can you make a compact lounge chair extra comfortable? “It has to do with the upholstery you choose,” Ms. Bridges said. “Go for chenilles or things that are a little more plush.”

  • Beyond the living room, where else is a lounge chair useful? “Ideally, you always want a chair in a bedroom, if there’s enough space,” Ms. Bridges said. That’s where a compact model may work especially well.

Chair with high back, loose cushions and powder-coated steel legs

From $1,699 at Blu Dot: 844-425-8368 or

Wood chair with shearling-covered seat cushion

$1,299 at CB2: 800-606-6252 or

Webbed folding chair by Morten Gottler for Carl Hansen & Son

$965 at Design Within Reach: 800-944-2233 or

Chair with flat or swivel base, or wooden legs, by Space Copenhagen for Gubi

From $2,445 at Lekker Home: 617-737-7307 or

Upholstered chair with curved back

From $1,595 at Trnk: 844-876-5689 or

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