The Complete Guide to Finding and Caring for the Perfect Velvet Wingback Chair

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The velvet wingback chair is truly an icon of elegance and luxury. With its dramatic high back that curves around to form wings on either side, the wingback design makes a striking statement in any space. When rendered in rich, plush velvet, this chair becomes the epitome of timeless glamor.

While vintage wingback chairs from past eras ooze vintage appeal, today you can find wingbacks ranging from fussily traditional to ultra-modern minimalism. The common thread is that sensuous, enveloping high back that cradles you as you sit. Wingback chairs attract the eye while also providing exceptional comfort and support.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll uncover everything you need to know about choosing and caring for a velvet wingback chair to fit your personal style. You’ll learn how to select the perfect fabric, size, and silhouette to complement your existing decor. We’ll also share expert tips for keeping your velvet upholstery looking lush for years to come.

By the end, you’ll be able to confidently choose a velvet wingback chair that makes a lavish yet functional statement in your living room, bedroom or office. So settle in, and let’s explore the wonder that is the velvet wingback!

The Top 5 Styles of Velvet Wingback Chairs

The wingback form appeals to a wide range of tastes thanks to the availability of so many stylistic variations today. Here are 5 of the most popular genres of velvet wingback chair available:

Traditional Wingbacks

This is the classic wingback profile with its button-tufted back, rolled arms, and turned wood legs. Traditional wingback chairs typically feature ornate details like iconic nailhead trim outlining the frame. The overall vibe is unabashedly formal. Brands like Restoration Hardware and classic British furniture companies excel at rendering luxury traditional wingback chairs.

Pros: Timeless and elegant stylistic reference to Old World opulence. Channels vintage library vibes.

Cons: Can feel stuffy and outdated if leaned on too heavily outside of traditionally decorated spaces. Not as ergonomic as some modern options.

Contemporary Wingbacks

For those desiring the drama of the high wingback form in a more streamlined package, many companies now offer contemporary wingback styles. These feature cleaner lines, less tufting and ornamentation, and more emphasis on comfort. The back shield may be single upholstered panel rather than padded and buttoned. Simple tapered or sled legs provide lightweight visual balance. Brands like Article excel at contemporary wingback chairs that feel fresh yet classic.

Pros: Sleeker silhouette works in modern and transitional spaces. Often more affordable and more ergonomic form.

Cons: Purists may say they lack the gravitas of ornately detailed traditional wingbacks.

Transitional Wingbacks

Transitional wingback chairs straddle the line between old and new. Often called “modern traditional” or “contemporary classic,” transitional wingbacks blend elements of both genres. You get the elegantly curved back and sheltering sides but with slimmer outlines and cleaner tailoring. The overall effect is a flexible, livable wingback that nods to tradition without overwhelming a room. Brands like Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams specialize in stunning transitional pieces.

Pros: Warmer and more welcoming than formal traditional wingbacks. Fresh and livable for today’s interiors.

Cons: Not as showstopping and impressive as ornately detailed traditional wingbacks.

Slipper Wingbacks

The slipper chair is a smaller, more intimate wingback style where the back does not rise as dramatically high above the sitter’s head. Originally designed for ladies to don slippers in their boudoirs, these have a cozier, more diminutive scale. Their lower profile makes them perfect for bedrooms and living room conversations. Brands like Worlds Away offer stunning modern slipper chairs.

Pros: Daintier visual footprint suits small spaces. Cozier, more “sit-with” than grand “sit-upon” presence.

Cons: Lacks the commanding visual punch of larger wingback silhouettes. Not always as comfortable for larger individuals.

Chaise Wingbacks

This genre puts a lounging spin on the wingback, with an extended seat to support legs. Chaise wingbacks are statement relaxation chairs, often placed floating in living rooms or bedrooms rather than against walls. Their dramatic presence beckons you to curl up with a book or catnap the afternoon away. Brands like Anthropologie carry a variety of chaise wingback styles.

Pros: Ultimate lounging experience. Sensual aesthetic injects bedrooms and living rooms with luxe glam.

Cons: Bulky footprint requires generous floor space. Not a multipurpose or upright task chair.

Now that you’re acquainted with popular velvet wingback styles, let’s go over factors to keep in mind when choosing your perfect chair.

Choosing Your Perfect Velvet Wingback Chair

Selecting a velvet wingback comes down to a handful of key considerations that will ensure you get the right chair for your needs and decor. Keep these tips in mind when making this important decision:

  • Size – Make sure to measure your available space to ensure the chair will fit without overwhelming. Measure doorways as well to ensure it can be brought into the room. Allow adequate clearance around the chair so it doesn’t impede foot traffic when occupied.
  • Style – The wingback genre encompasses so many aesthetic interpretations. Be sure to choose one that complements your existing interior design style and vision.
  • Fabric – While velvet is classic, other upholstery options like linen and leather provide appealing textures as well. Consider maintenance and your personal preference when choosing fabric.
  • Color – Neutrals like black, navy and gray offer versatility while rich jewel tones or pastels make exciting statements. Make sure to avoid light hues if concerned about visible dirt over time.
  • Features – Do you prefer button tufting? How about sleek track arms or shapely rolled arms? Consider these decorative and ergonomic details.
  • Quality – A sturdy kiln-dried hardwood frame and reinforced joinery will stand the test of time. Quality velvet has a lush, deep pile.
  • Comfort – Try chairs in person when possible. Look for adequate cushioning and seat depth for your frame.
  • Budget – Well-constructed velvet wingback chairs range from approximately $400 to over $2,000. Determine what you can spend but note cheaper options likely won’t endure.
  • Reviews – Don’t just order! Read reviews from real owners to learn about durability, comfort, and potential issues to inform your purchase.

Investing in a quality velvet wingback you adore will reward you with lasting daily enjoyment – so take the time to weigh all these factors carefully. Next we’ll go over how to care for your chair to maximize its beauty and longevity.

Caring for Your Velvet Wingback Chair

Velvet requires particular care and maintenance to maintain its plush, lustrous texture over many years of use. Follow these guidelines for preserving your wingback chair’s splendor:

  • Vacuum regularly using the soft brush attachment. This removes abrasive dust and dirt and prevents embedded debris from breaking down delicate fibers.
  • Immediately dab spots and spills. Quickly absorbing liquid with a cloth prevents stains. For stubborn spots, gently apply mild detergent and rinse cloth frequently to lift grease.
  • Freshen crushed areas with steam. Velvet pile easily flattens from use. Gently pass a handheld steamer just above the surface to revive flattened areas and release trapped dirt.
  • Rotate the chair so all sides receive equal light exposure. Keep it out of direct sun to avoid premature fading. Close curtains as needed.
  • Inspect the chair frame and legs periodically. Tighten any loose joinery or hardware to prevent instability issues. Broken legs can lead to collapse!
  • Fluff cushions frequently to restore shape and plumpness. After washing, air dry fully before replacing to prevent moisture damage.
  • Professionally clean upholstery every 1-2 years to revitalize velvet and remove stubborn odors and stains. Specify velvet-safe methods only.
  • Avoid harsh chemicals like bleach, acetone and spot removers as these damage fibers. Mild, pH-neutral detergent is safest for velvet.
  • Consult manufacturer guidelines for additional care recommendations specific to the velvet furniture you purchased.

With regular upkeep, your velvet wingback chair will retain its indulgent beauty and remain a welcoming oasis for relaxation for years on end.

Frequently Asked Questions About Velvet Wingback Chairs

If you’re still uncertain about embracing the wingback lifestyle, here are answers to some common velvet wingback chair questions:

Are velvet wingback chairs actually comfortable?

Yes, a well-made velvet wingback cradles you in comfort! Quality cushions provide ergonomic support, and the wings create a cozy sense of enclosure. Button tufting adds structural integrity while the smooth velvet feels wonderful against skin. The sheltering high back makes wingbacks ideal for reading. Just ensure adequate seat depth so legs don’t dangle uncomfortably.

Does velvet show every dirt and dust speck?

All velvet will show crushing from use – the nature of the pile slightly flattens where your body rests. Vacuuming often preserves the plush loft. Modern performance velvets are quite stain-resistant, especially in darker hues. Still, velvet requires gentle handling compared to fabrics like canvas. But its grandeur comes from the touchable texture only velvet provides.

Is polyester velvet inferior to cotton velvet?

Most velvet today utilizes synthetic fibers for cost efficiency and durability. But don’t assume manmade fibers mean low quality. Premium polyester velvets have exceptional softness, rich color depth and strength. Even budget poly blends outperform cotton, linen and viscos at masking spills and wear. The quality of construction matters most in ensuring lasting beauty and comfort.

Should I get a patterned velvet or solid?

This comes down to personal preference and what complements existing decor. Solid velvet makes the most lavish statement. Patterns and textures provide visual interest while potentially hiding day-to-day wear better. Classic motifs like floral jacquards work well on wingback chairs. Distressed textures add modern edge. Consider undertones so multi-toned velvets don’t clash with furnishings.

How do I clean wine or food stains from velvet?

First, calmly blot any liquid or food debris immediately with an absorbent cloth. Avoid aggressive scrubbing which forces the mess deeper into fibers. Use a mild detergent and distilled water solution with frequent rinses to gently lift the remaining spot from the pile surface. Let dry fully before assessing if professional cleaning is also needed.

Can I use velvet wingback chairs outside?

We don’t recommend it! While certain performance velvets have some weather resistance, the luxe chair you invested in is best protected indoors away from UV exposure and moisture. Most quality wingbacks have wood frames vulnerable to warping and mold. Consider more outdoor-friendly fabrics if you want your chair to live on a porch or patio.

Are assembly and upkeep difficult?

Most velvet wingback chairs arrive fully assembled to your door. Some collections offer customizable selections like base or arm style which require minor assembly. Overall, the quality hardware and instructions make the task straightforward. Follow the included guidelines for regular upkeep. Or consider a furniture protection plan for peace of mind and easy professional cleaning at home.

How can I revive crushed flat velvet areas?

Don’t despair flattened areas where your head or arms frequent! With pile velvet, gentle refreshing brings fibers back to life. Use a hand steamer just above pile to lift, then brush with a soft nap brush. Avoid excessive heat or friction which risks permanent damage. Rotate/flip cushions to evenly distribute wear. And fluff before and after sitting to maintain loft.

Can I have velvet with kids and pets around?

Velvet’s tightly woven pile endures family life well – just take precautions. Immediately clean inevitable spills, keep claws trimmed, lift don’t drag across the chair. Provide alternative scratch surfaces for pets. Use throws to protect areas in high traffic zones. Take time to vacuum thoroughly and regularly. Many families embrace velvet happily with simple diligence.

Aren’t quality velvet wingback chairs expensive?

There is quite a range when it comes to cost. Yes, investment-quality designer wingbacks run over $2,000 easily. But you can also find a reasonably well-made velvet wingback for $400-600 that imparts luxe style. As with most furniture, you get what you pay for in terms of durability and workmanship. But velvet itself is surprisingly affordable, making wingback glamor more attainable than you might assume.

Velvet Wingback Chairs We Love

Now for the fun part – here are some outstanding velvet wingback chairs to consider across a range of budgets and lifestyles:

Rivet Alden Velvet Wingback Chair (Under $500)

Proof you need not overspend for velvet elegance. With classic wingback lines, vintage navy velvet, and tapered maple legs, this hits the luxe mark for only around $300. Spare traditional ornamentation maximizes versatility. Thick cushions promise comfort.

Newport Tufted Velvet Wingback Chair (Pictured)

This generously sized tufted traditional wingback envelops you in old-world grandeur. Heavily carved Queen Anne legs, vintage jacquard velvet, and nailhead trim transport you to an English manor. Spendier but built to last generations.

Christopher Knight Natalia Velvet Slipper Chair ($200-300)

A compact slipper silhouette perfect for cozy lounging or bedrooms. Button-tufted winged back with exaggerated flared arms. Low price but solidly constructed with plush foam filling. Proof great deals still exist.

Restoration Hardware Chippendale Wingback Chair (Splurge $2,000+)

The gold standard of ornate traditional elegance. Meticulously carved mahogany frame, hand-hammered nailheads, luxurious down-blend cushions. Museum quality craftsmanship. An heirloom investment.

Anthropologie Clemence Damask Wingback Chair (Statement Piece)

Make an entrance with this shapely armchair bedecked in opulent tonal jacquard, clustered button tufting, and turned legs. It begs to hold court in a lady’s boudoir or fancy living room.

Urban Outfitters Phoebe Velvet Chair (Small Space)

Perfectly petite at just 26” wide yet still packs dramatic wingback style. Lower seat makes getting up easy. Contemporary slim lines suit small condos to dorms. Available in lush jewel tones.

Safavieh Ferguson Paris Vintage Velvet Chair (Nostalgic Charm)

Channel Parisian vintage vibes with this sumptuous exposed wood armchair. Flared arms, purple button-tufted back, and curvy cabriole legs evoke Versailles glam. Use gold accents for extra pop.

Article Norri Slate Grey Velvet Chair (Modern Marvel)

This customer favorite blends mid-century and contemporary influences for a sculptural statement. Looks posh from every angle. Plus it reclines! Cushions have just the right density.

**Eichholtz Belgravia Opal Velvet Chair (Designer Classic) **

Celebrated Dutch design house Eichholtz brings edgy glamor with this emerald green velvet beauty. Elegant curved wings crest in front like breaking waves. The ultimate fusion of avant-garde and refinement.

Joybird Eliot Black Velvet Chair (Unique Silhouette)

Eliot’s deep scooped wings and angled rolled arms provide a uniquely sheltering experience. Perforated back inset adds breezy contrast to the solid velvet exterior. Joybird’s custom options let you tailor the look.

Settle into Wingback Luxury

We hope this guide has shed light on the stylish possibilities of the velvet wingback chair – and how to pick and care for the perfect one to bring luxe appeal to your space. With so many shapes, sizes and looks available, you’re sure to discover your ideal vision.

When chosen with care and maintained properly, few furniture pieces impart such timeless drama. A velvet wingback chair infuses any room with rich tactile beauty, beckoning you to curl up within its cocooning embrace. It just transforms the act of sitting into an indulgent daily ritual.

So go ahead – treat yourself to velvet wingback luxury. Your home will thank you!