Living Room Decorating With Vintage Wingback Chairs (Practical Ideas)


A vintage wingback chair is a piece of furniture that we may inherit after our family members. We may also buy it if we love having vintage or antique furniture in our homes. Apart from serving only as a decorative element for our interiors, the wingback chair is a comfy piece of furniture with great functionality.

It’s where we happily sit down for an afternoon rest, reading our favorite book, watching a movie, or just relaxing. But sometimes it’s also where we like to sit while working.

The wingback chair is recommended for rest because of its unique design that guarantees comfort and convenience of use.


But What Does a Wingback Chair Really Mean?

Wingback chairs are types of armchairs. The difference, however, lies in their design. Their characteristic feature is the high backrest with “wings”, as the name suggests, mounted to each side. The wings, which are semi-circular cushions, not only perform a decorative function but also hold your head comfortably while you’re sitting down. Yet, while this element remains their hallmark, the wingback chairs’ height, width, shape, and finish can vary greatly.

The wide seat provides softness and the wooden legs add lightness to the chair. A matching footrest is an inseparable element of the wing chair.


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Many of us will find some antique or vintage furniture in their homes. It could be, for example, an inherited grandparents’ table, a lamp, a carpet, or a wingback chair that is being passed from generation to generation. We have a fondness for these items and we want to keep them in our home to remind us of our deceased relatives. If the old furniture is in good condition, you won’t even need to renovate it. And if it does require some updating, it will gain even more value for us.

A wingback chair, like every old furniture, has its undeniable charm. It is one of those items that can stand in homes for generations. It will complement our interior and make it take on a new character.

A vintage wingback chair will suit any interior. It will be ideal for the living room, bedroom, home office, or a study. However, regardless of where such an armchair will stand, you must admit that it is quite a personal piece of furniture and we like to see it that way because it reflects our personality.

By changing even a small detail of the armchair, such as wooden legs or a pillow placed at the back, we can completely change its character, and thus breathe new life into our interiors. A vintage wingback chair is the perfect piece of furniture to display in a spacious living room.

However, you can make obvious mistakes when home decorating with a vintage wingback chair. Let us help you out to decorate a stylish living room using this unique piece of furniture.


How to Choose a Vintage Wingback Chair for Your Living Room?

The living room, as usually the largest room in the house, gives more space for experiments with antique and vintage furniture. However, this sometimes can be lead to exaggeration.

When introducing vintage furniture to the living room, you should follow the principle of simplicity and minimalism. Opt for one representative piece of furniture, rather than several stylistically detached pieces.

The correct combination of different styles in the interior often requires consultation with an interior designer. But if you want to diversify the interior of a modern living room by yourself, have only one piece of furniture be the center of attention.

For example, a vintage wingback chair by the fireplace will add style, warmth,  and spirit to your décor.



Many people dream about having a unique, stylish, vintage wingback chair at home. The stylish wing chair with interesting upholstery will definitely catch the attention of all of your guests.

Wingback chair models from different decades, available in various styles, colors, and upholstery fabrics can be found in many pawn shops that sell antiques.


How Can You Combine the Old and New Furniture?

It turns out that this task is not difficult at all. All you need is a bit of good taste and a few simple rules. It is vintage furniture that makes a house take on a character and it’s definitely making the room more cozy and warm. However, remember not to overdo it with unnecessary old items, and do not make your home look like your grandmother’s house, unless this is your intended goal.

You can definitely use wingback chairs as decoration elements in your living room. If you have a great looking vintage wingback chair, you can make a real interior design star out of it by placing it in the foreground. Let the whole room décor be a complement.

How to do it? For example, you can paint one of the walls in the same color as the wing chair, or you can create a separate corner for the chair. The other decoration elements should also be in the same style to emphasize the armchair’s uniqueness even more.



How to Decorate a Living Room with Wingback Chairs According to Style?

The armchairs with thickly filled upholstery and clear curves will be suitable for many interior designs, such as classic, colonial, shabby chic, glamor, rustic, or American.

Theoretically, wingback chairs should only match classic interiors. However, the right color allows you to match the chair to almost any arrangement and style of your interiors. Thus, the vintage wingback chair with a classic look will be a great addition to your living room.


The vintage piece of furniture is perfect for both contemporary and elegant interiors. Older furniture pieces, thanks to their timeless design, perfectly complement the modern furniture.

The chair models that are made in the right colors will fit into the interior in the Scandinavian or ultra-modern style. For example, the yellow and green colors are great for the modern style.

On the other hand, subdued colors emphasize the character of classic interiors.

In interiors furnished in a classic style, slightly lower, “stocky” models mounted on low, turned legs work perfectly.


Wingback chairs also fit very well in the Scandinavian-style homes. So, if you have a living room decorated in a Scandinavian style, reach for a wing chair in grey shades or pastel colors. Also, chairs in intense colors, such as yellow or pink, will create a stunning contrast. Scandinavian interiors will also favor models with high wooden legs.


If your vintage wingback chair has a very original pattern and color, contrary to what you may expect, it will look perfect in a classic interior, adding a little variety and appeal. But it will also look great even in very colorful interiors with soul, while emphasizing the artistic appearance of the living room.


Designers love to experiment with the appearance of armchairs, so they make them in bold and extravagant designs and upholstery. Some of the wing chair styles can have an original patchwork upholstery. Without a doubt, the material combining stripes, peas, plaid, and floral motifs immediately catches the eye and adds the zeal to the interior design. This kind of aesthetics is impressive in cozy, warm living rooms in the English, boho, or Scandi style.


If your entire living room is already decorated in a vintage style, the wingback chair will match its original style as well. The chair model should have interesting upholstery, e.g. checkered, with a floral motif, or in intense color. The pattern from the chair can also appear in different accessories, for example on pillows or curtains.


A nicely-shaped wingback chair covered with dark leather is a furniture piece that will never grow old. And even if, then this upholstery will gain additional charm, class, and nobility with the passing years.

A leather wingback chair will perfectly match any interior design style. It can be a star in a colonial, industrial, glamor, or hi-tech arrangement. And if you decorate the armchair with a cream-colored throw or decorative cushions, you will surely love this romantic variation. Thus, such a wing chair is, without a doubt, a timeless class and chic.


If you like intriguing interiors, a vintage wing chair with velvet upholstery will really stand out in your living room. A velvet wingback chair in bottle green color, navy blue, or mustard color will go well with a velvet sofa and golden accessories. It is worth exposing the armchair by placing it on bright wall background.


A comfy wing chair covered with soft suede in a neutral color will be a classic, versatile, and timeless. The design of the suede wingback chair is subtle and delicate, thanks to which it will be suitable for every interior style. The armchair’s character can be given by Also, accessories such as a decorative throw, thick blanket, or cushions.


A traditional model with smoothly turned legs would suit a living room arranged in a cozy style, such as in the Hygge style. The seat should be quite spacious, and the “wings” and armrests should be clearly profiled.


For a quiet living room design (light paint color walls, neutral upholstery furniture), a wingback chair in cream or light grey colors will be a good choice. However, if you are going to introduce an energetic accent, consider armchairs in intense color, e.g. green or mustard.


In turn, for the modern and, at the same time elegant interiors, an earthen armchair on lightweight design, with a slender seat supported by high, wooden or metal legs, will fit perfectly. To add a bit of flair to your living room, consider refreshing upholstery, e.g. mint or light blue. If your other furniture is elegant, choose an armchair with decorative details, e.g. bent legs, quilting, or deep indentation.


For a boho style living room, choose a wingback chair with a simple design, without excessive decorations. With subdued interiors, it is worth trying a model upholstered in a material with a strong color. To accentuate the boho style, place a blanket with fringes and a natural fabric cushion on the armchair. Spread a patterned carpet on the floor to complete the look.


Wingback chairs upholstered in bright fabrics with a distinctive weave can complement the décor of the living room in the Hamptons style. Make sure that the rest of the lounge furniture is kept in a similar tone, and you can introduce color accents in the form of blue pillows, a carpet in a Moroccan clover pattern, or mint-colored curtains.


A wingback chair that is black, quilted, and on golden legs, is the embodiment of the glamor style. Such an armchair will be a perfect complement to a luxurious and glamorous interior.


On the other hand, the rustic interiors are ideal for wing chairs covered with braided material and in earthy colors.


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Wingback chairs are all the rage when it comes to interior design, and updating the chair you inherited can be a great way to keep a family heirloom in the family, without having to sacrifice on the overall style of your home.


How to Update the Look of Your Vintage Wingback Chair with Paint?

If you have recently inherited a wingback chair that has a lot of life left in it but doesn’t exactly match your personal style, consider changing the upholstery of the chair.

There are many people who do not realize that the wingback chair upholstery can be painted.

The following guide will walk you through the steps you need to take to update the look of your vintage chair.


  1. Tape the Legs

The legs of many vintage wingback chairs are made of wood. You want to use painter’s tape to completely cover the legs because you do not want to get any of the upholstery paint on the legs. You can paint the legs at the end of the project if you want, but the upholstery paint will make the legs rough and bumpy, which will be a pain to sand later on down the road.


  1. Paint the Upholstery

Remove the seat from the chair, if possible, and lay it on a tarp on the ground outdoors. Use fabric spray paint to carefully paint the entire seat. You need to keep the paint a foot or two (30 or 60 cm) away from the upholstery because you do not want to oversaturate it. Paint the rest of the upholstery on the chair in the same way as you painted the seat.


  1. Add Detail to the Upholstery

Allow the paint to dry for 2 hours and then place a decorative stencil near the top of the backrest of the chair. Be sure that the stencil is located in the center of the backrest. Tape it into place with painter’s tape and then tape newspaper over the rest of the chair to protect the upholstery from the second color you are going to use to paint the stencil.

The stencil can be the first letter used in your last name to customize the chair, a decorative flower, or any other detail you think would add intrigue to the chair.

Use a different color of fabric spray paint to spray directly over the stencil. Remove the stencil and the paper from the chair and then allow the paint to dry overnight before continuing.


Remove the tape from the legs of the chair and paint them if you want. The chair can be used right away, and you do not have to worry about the fabric paint rubbing off on your clothing when you sit in the chair.


You can also have the wing chair reupholstered professionally. Bear in mind though that a professional replacement of upholstery can very expensive.


Final Thoughts,

Vintage wingback chairs, even in a contemporary interior, will add a unique touch, a dose of history, and the mystery associated with them. They also enrich our interior with their own, unique personality. They impress us with their sophisticated style.

However, vintage wingback chairs are not cheap furniture. Because of all these qualities, there is only one conclusion: the wingback chair is an investment for years!


Related Questions:


How to Clean a Wingback Chair?

In most cases, it’s impossible to remove the cover from the wing chair. If the upholstery gets dirty, you can use special cleaning products intended for carpet and upholstered furniture. And if it’s an emergency and you don’t have specialized detergents at home, you may use water with washing-up liquid. But remember to soak the chair as little as possible. Too much contact with water can cause unsightly stains on the upholstery.


What Sofa Goes with Wingback Chairs?

You are welcome to use your imagination. So if you’re wondering what wingback chair will suit your sofa most, you may focus on contrast. For instance, a raspberry color sofa will go very well with a yellow wing chair.

Luckily these days, there are many interior design concepts so you don’t need to decide on a boring brown living room set, consisting of a sofa and two matching armchairs.


Are Wingback Chairs Comfortable?

User opinions are unanimous that the wingback chair is an extremely comfortable armchair, be it for reading, watching TV, relaxing with family members, as well as for naps. It is good for the spine, providing comfort and support, which will help your back relax after a long day.