There’s nothing quite like having an armchair that feels like it was made just for you. Custom upholstered armchairs allow you to design a one-of-a-kind chair tailored to your personal style, space and comfort preferences. Investing in a custom chair means getting premium quality materials, construction and the exact look you want.
In this post, we’ll explore all the factors that go into choosing your dream custom armchair. Discover the most popular armchair styles and upholstery fabrics to consider. Get tips on customizing details to make it your own. We’ll answer frequently asked questions about cost, lead times and more. Let’s dive in!
Custom armchairs provide amazing benefits compared to off-the-shelf models. With a custom chair, you control the size, shape, fabric, cushion fill and other details. This results in the ideal chair for lounging, reading or dining that looks like it was designed for your home.
You also gain access to higher-end materials like premium upholstery grade fabrics, down feather cushions and hardwood frames. Skilled craftspeople build the chair to last. All this makes your custom armchair a comfortable, functional work of art.
This post will cover everything you need to confidently design your own armchair. First, we’ll look at key factors from size to fabrics to help choose your chair. Next, the most popular armchair styles are highlighted to match with your home’s decor. We’ll also suggest on-trend upholstery fabrics and ways to customize. Finally, frequently asked questions provide insight on cost, timelines and more.
Let’s get started designing a custom armchair you’ll love coming home to!
Choosing Your Custom Upholstered Armchair
Designing a custom armchair may seem daunting, but breaking it down step-by-step makes it manageable. Keep these essential factors in mind when planning your perfect chair.
Consider How You Plan to Use the Armchair
Your armchair usage will significantly shape design decisions like size, fabric and cushion fill. Key questions to ask yourself include:
- Will this be your primary reading chair? Focus on maximizing comfort with a deeper, wider seat and softer cushions.
- Do you need a dining chair? Prioritize a firm, upright seat that promotes conversation at the table.
- Is this a relaxation chair? Choose a sloped back with low, enveloping arms for lounging.
- Will kids or pets use the chair? Opt for family-friendly, durable fabrics that can handle wear.
- Is the chair for your home office? Seek a professional look in leather or woven textiles.
Once you decide the chair’s purpose, you can hone the specifics to make it perfectlysupportive. A multi-purpose chair for reading and relaxing may combine a deep seat with a moderately sloped back. Get creative in designing for exactly how you’ll spend time in your custom armchair.
Size and Proportions Are Key for Comfort and Style
It’s imperative to consider both the size of your space and your body’s proportions when designing a custom armchair. You want a chair that fits the room without overwhelming. But it should also properly fit your frame to support and cradle you.
Take measurements of your existing space:
- Width and length of area chair will occupy
- Proximity to other furniture
- Pathways around chair – at least 24″ clearance recommended
Measure your body:
- Overall height
- Hip to knee length when seated
- Shoulder width
- Arm span
Provide the manufacturer with these dimensions so they can recommend the ideal chair scale and shape. Avoid going too small or the chair will feel cramped. But don’t oversize it either or the room may feel crowded. Get help finding that sweet spot tailored just for you.
Select the Perfect Upholstery Fabric for Durability and Style
Fabric selection makes a huge impact on the look, feel and durability of your custom armchair. From luxurious velvets to stain-resistant crypton, you have countless options.
First, consider your lifestyle. Active families with kids and pets often opt for performance fabrics that can handle messes. If you plan to curl up with a book and a glass of red wine, delicate fabrics won’t work.
Next, think about the chair’s style and placement in your home. More formal living rooms tend to feature velvet and leather. Casual, contemporary spaces embrace linen and cotton textiles. Go bold with patterns or textured tweeds in dens and offices.
No matter your selection, look for high-quality upholstery grade fabrics with rub counts exceeding 15,000. Check that the weave is tight enough not to snag. Upholstery fabrics should wear beautifully for years with proper care.
Choose Cushion Fill for Your Desired Comfort and Support
The fill inside your custom armchair’s cushions directly affects comfort. You’ll usually choose between:
- Memory foam – Firm but contours to your body
- Polyester fiber – Affordable cushion with medium density
- Down feathers – Softer with pillowy feel but requires maintenance
- Combo foam and down – Balances support and plush feel
In general, foam offers firmer support, while down feathers provide that sinking, cloud-like sensation. There are also eco-friendly fills like soy-based foam and recycled plastic beads. Talk with your manufacturer about fill options to meet your priorities. Removable covers allow replacing fills over time.
Select a Sturdy Internal Frame Built to Last
While you won’t see it, the armchair’s internal frame impacts durability and integrity. Hardwoods like oak and maple make the strongest base. Engineered woods laminated for stability also work well. The joints should feature corner blocking and double dowel construction to prevent loosening over years of use.
A quality frame paired with cushioning and fabric centered on your needs results in a custom armchair made to provide a lifetime of comfort.
Now that you know what to look for in a custom armchair, let’s check out the most popular styles.
Top 5 Custom Armchair Styles
Narrowing down your perfect armchair design starts with selecting a style. From classic tracks arms to sloped rolled arms, the options go on and on. Here are 5 of the most popular armchair styles for inspiring your custom creation:
1. Tufted Armchair
A tufted armchair instantly infuses lounging spaces with plush elegance. The deep button or diamond tufting adds ornate detail to the backrest. Meanwhile, it gives the cushions irresistible sink-in softness. The arms tend to be lower to maximize comfort.
Upholstery fabrics like velvet suit the formal aesthetic in colors like emerald, navy or ivory. Fabrics with a matte finish help avoid over-the-top shine. Tufted armchairs work well in living rooms, master suites and offices seeking a dose of luxury. Their deep seat invites you to settle in with a book or cup of tea.
2. Wingback Armchair
With their iconic high back and sheltering sides, wingback armchairs deliver majestic flair. The wings nicely support your head and neck while imparting a sense of privacy. Their commanding silhouette demands attention.
Many customize the wing size, height, curvature and angle to suit their build and style. Various fabrics like leather and damask align with the wingback’s classic elegance. Use these statement chairs to accent a living room or library. Their cozy cocoon-like feel offers comfort and grandeur.
3. Slipper Chair
For those short on space, slipper chairs provide versatile, compact seating. As an armless armchair, they tuck perfectly into corners and smaller areas. Their tight back and seat pad provide ample support without surrounding arms or wings taking up room.
Upholster slipper chairs in fresh patterns or vibrant solids to inject visual interest. They work well gathering around a dining table. Or use their petite scale to add accent seating to living spaces and bedrooms. Their clean lines give slipper chairs contemporary appeal.
4. Track Arm Armchair
The track arm chair’s squared-off arms give it a streamlined, modern look. The straight arms lay flush, with no curve like a roll arm. This creates strong lines and silhouette. Track arms diverge slightly from the backrest for ergonomic support.
With their tailored design, track arm chairs seamlessly blend into transitional spaces like offices and family rooms. They convey an approachable feel that fits right into bustling homes. Their simple style also pairs well with bold prints, textures and colors.
5. Roll Arm Armchair
For traditional charm, the rollback arm chair delivers. Gently curved, rolled arms provide a classic, feminine touch. Their rounded shape visually softens corners to create flowing lines. Roll arm chairs work nicely with curved chair backs for a timeless sensibility.
Their versatile style suits both antique and contemporary interiors. Use an ornate damask fabric on the seat for a Victorian vibe. Or go mod in velvet or linen. Roll arm chairs offer comfort along with their swooping rolled arms and rounded edges. They lend elegance without overpowering.
This just scratches the surface of all the possible armchair styles out there. Use these popular options as a jumping-off point to inspire your custom furniture creation.
Now that you have an armchair style in mind, what about upholstery fabric patterns and colors? Let’s look at on-trend options to elevate your armchair.
Popular Upholstery Fabrics and Patterns
When finalizing your custom armchair design, you’ll give serious thought to your upholstery fabric selection. The fabric impacts the look, feel and durability of an armchair. While colors and patterns set the aesthetic, also check the quality. Upholstery-grade fabrics feature tightly woven fibers that can withstand years of use.
Here are some of the most popular upholstery fabrics and patterns to consider:
Linen brings a casual warmth and texture to armchairs. Made from natural fibers, linen breathes well to stay comfortable in all temperatures. It softens and gains character over time, with wrinkles adding charm. The matte linen texture works in relaxed living spaces like family rooms. Choose linen for an approachable, livable feel.
Few fabrics exude luxury like velvet. The plush pile and soft shine give velvet dramatic depth. Velvet upholstery comes in a variety of colors from moody navy to shimmering emerald. Use velvet to dress up a tufted armchair for formal seating in the living room or master suite.
Cotton and Cotton Blends
For family-friendly durability, cotton and cotton blend upholstery offers timeless appeal. Natural cotton fibers allow for great breathability in warmer months. Look for cotton-linen or cotton-poly blends to reduce wrinkling. From solids to stripes, a cotton covered armchair fits right in for movie nights and homework sessions.
Nothing conveys refined sophistication quite like leather. Beyond sleek good looks, leather gains character over time. High-quality leather holds up well especially when conditioned properly. Opt for full grain leather with natural markings. Use leather armchairs to add a glamorous feel to home offices or living spaces.
Make a plush statement with velvety corduroy. Wide wales give it a textured vertical ribbing and interesting visual dimension. Durable cotton-blend corduroy comes in lively hues from pumpkin spice to seafoam. A corduroy slipper chair can blend into bohemian or modern spaces.
For worry-free armchair upkeep, Crypton performance fabrics excel. They boast moisture resistance, stain resistance and antimicrobial properties. Clean up food or pet messes easily. Crypton’s protective finish stays strong through regular wear and tear. Bold crisscross patterns and mottle prints hide spills even more.
Get the sleek style of leather for less with faux leather upholstery. Polyurethane and microfiber offer animal-free leather looks. Faux leather works well in high traffic areas thanks to easy cleaning. Opt for subtle pebbled and distressed textures over shiny pleather. Use faux leather to get a luxe vibe without the maintenance.
The options for unique upholstery fabrics go on and on. Consult with upholstery houses like Kravet, Duralee, Romo, and Robert Allen for even more choices.
Now for the fun part…time to add special touches that make your custom armchair truly one-of-a-kind.
Customization Tips for Personalization
After picking an armchair style and upholstery fabric, consider adding special details and flourishes. Custom trim, skirting, nailheads and more let you inject personal flair.
- For ornate allure, add diamond tufting to the chair’s back. Adjust the button size, spacing and pattern.
- Contrasting welting around the cushions adds pretty definition.
- Exposed wood arms and legs give contemporary appeal. Opt for tapered legs for a lighter look.
- Add a bold nailhead trim border for metallic flair. Brass and silver tones pop on both solids and patterns.
- Include a luxurious floor-length skirt for instant glam. Choose among pleated, shirred and shaped skirt styles.
- Customize the chair back shape beyond standard rectilinear. Try a dramatic high wingback or sloped roll.
- Select a complementary fabric for chair back versus seat if desired. Play with blending colors, patterns and textures.
- Include vintage details like casters or an ottoman for old-world charm. Carved wood feet also signal tradition.
Make the armchair truly yours by communicating special details you crave. Share fabric samples, sketches, inspiration images. Work directly with skilled furniture makers and upholsterers who can bring your vision to life masterfully.
By fully customizing materials, construction and flair, you end up with a comfortable work of art ready to enjoy for years.
You’re now equipped with the knowledge to begin designing your dream armchair. As you move ahead, you may have some final questions. Below we answer some frequently asked questions about purchasing a custom armchair.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How much do custom upholstered armchairs cost?
Expect to invest $500-2000+ for a high-quality custom armchair. Cost depends on the materials and construction methods used, along with any special details and customization. For example, down and feather cushion filling, hardwood frames and luxurious fabrics will increase costs. More embellishments like tufting or nailheads also add expense. Balancing your budget with your priorities will allow investing smartly.
You can reduce costs by:
- Opting for mid-range polyfiber cushion filling over down
- Selecting upholstery fabric on the lower end of your budget
- Skipping embellishments like skirting or contrast welting
- Choosing a simple, clean-lined frame over ornate carvings
For a sturdy, stylish custom chair, plan to spend $1500+. Going with a skilled local artisan over a retail furniture chain can provide quality while controlling costs.
Q: How long does it take to receive a custom armchair after ordering?
Custom upholstered armchairs take 4-12 weeks on average from order to delivery. Simpler designs can ship in 4 weeks. Elaborate chairs with detailed frames require longer production times, up to three months. Communicate with the manufacturer upfront to receive an estimated timeline. This allows you to plan the arrival around your space’s decor updates.
Q: Can you reupholster a custom armchair later if needed?
One of the perks of investing in a quality custom armchair is the ability to reupholster it down the road. Contact the original manufacturer about replacing worn or outdated fabric. In most cases, you’ll ship the chair back to be stripped, re-padded and covered in your new fabric selection.
If a future reupholster may be needed, choose a solid hardwood frame rather than engineered woods or composites. Hardwoods like oak provide the most stable base for repeated upholstering. Also request zippered cushion covers to simplify the update process.
Q: What frame materials are best for durability?
For the strongest, longest-lasting base, opt for solid hardwood frames like oak, maple and poplar. Quality makers use the best cuts of kiln-dried hardwood. Joinery features corner blocks and double dowels to prevent loosening over time. Durable latex webbing provides back support. Plywood isn’t as stable long-term.
High-quality engineered wood frames can also provide years of service. Just ensure thicker plywoods and veneers are used. Avoid particleboard, which doesn’t hold staples well. A well-made frame provides the backbone for your armchair.
Q: Is it better to work directly with a furniture maker or order through a retailer?
Ordering directly through a furniture and upholstery artisan studio allows you to truly customize the armchair to your needs. You’ll have more say in the materials, construction, sizing and other options. Direct communication ensures you receive exactly what you want.
Large retailers provide more convenience but less customization. They offer set frames, fabrics and options. You’ll likely need to compromise on some preferences ordering through a store. Weigh the trade-offs based on your goals.
Q: How do I incorporate a custom armchair into my existing decor?
When incorporating your new custom armchair, choose a style that aligns with your current decor. For example, pair elegantly sloped roll arms with traditional interiors. Or have exposed tapered legs on the chair to match mid-century modern surroundings.
Next, coordinate fabric and finish colors. If your living room features cool blues and grays, select an on-trend blue velvet. Or opt for an armchair in the same neutral linen fabric as your sofa. Add pillows and a throw in colors pulled from the room’s palette. Place your new chair near complementary pieces like a leather ottoman or wooden end table. With aligned style and coordinated colors, your custom armchair will feel like the finishing touch.
Q: Can you recommend some high-quality upholstery fabric brands to ask for?
Some of the top upholstery fabric houses include:
- Kravet – Elegant fabrics like velvets, linens and woven textiles. Customizable options.
- Duralee – Bold patterns and performance fabrics. Faux leather and microfiber.
- Romo – Luxurious styles like mohair and chenille. Nice printed designs.
- Brentano – High-end 100% natural fibers such as wool, linen and silk.
- Maxwell – Tasteful prints and textures using cotton, linen and wool blends.
- Pindler – Classics like diamond quilting, ticking and brocade.
- Robert Allen – Wide selection including stain protection and child/pet friendly.
Look for upholstery-grade quality with tight weaves, durable fibers and 10,000+ rub counts for the best wear. Feel free to request fabric samples to coordinate colors with your space.
We hope this guide gets you excited to design your dream custom upholstered armchair! Think about how you plan to use the chair and measure your space. Select a frame, cushions and fabric suited to your needs. Add special details that reflect your personal style. Learn estimated timelines and costs. The end result will be a comfortable stunner of an armchair made just for you.
Creating furniture from scratch results in quality and comfort that off-the-shelf pieces can’t match. Work with skilled upholsterers and furniture makers to ensure sturdy construction. Communicate your vision and ask questions to get their expert advice.
A custom armchair not only elevates your decor, but becomes an heirloom to savor for years. Whenever you get home and sink into its perfect embrace, you’ll be glad you took the time to make it your own. Enjoy the process of designing a chair that reflects your needs and style like no other can.