Picking The Perfect Chair - Pier 1

Picking The Perfect Chair

Bar Stools, Accent Chairs, Dining Chairs, Recliners, Couches and More...

History of the Chair:

The first chairs were used as early as the 12th century in China, and in Egypt. By the time they reached Europe, they were viewed as a status symbol for the elite. Chair-like devices were also used as torture tools in the 17th century. Offenders were forced to spend 7 hours a day sitting as punishment. Now, we sit that long voluntarily! If you’re in the wrong chair it might still feel like a form of medieval torture. Read on to discover where your favorite chair comes from and the kind of seating we like best for relaxing, eating, zoom calls and Netflix marathons. 

Now, Let’s Talk About Our Best Chair Finds:  

 Dining Chairs & Bar Stools

For more formal dining, the elegant and sophisticated Penryn Dining Chairs offers unique design and cushiony comfort to keep you lingering around the table. For casual kitchen island dining that gives a traditional but contemporary look, we like the Camillle Two-Tone Bar Stools (featured above) with curved backrests offering a comfortable place to lean back and relax.

Accent Chairs

To provide additional seating and to create eye-catching focal point in a room, add accent chairs like this handcrafted rattan and oak wood velvet arm chair or this this armless accent chair. The chair is perfect for extra guest seating or lounging with your morning coffee and it can be used in any corner of your room.


In ancient Rome, sofas were owned by the very wealthy. You no longer have to be a Roman emperor to be a couch potato, but you may feel like royalty while lounging on the Mid-Century Modern Sofa (featured above). To style it, try a Pier 1 exclusive pillow like the Velvet Lumbar Pillow in rust or green. If you prefer something contemporary, we like the Modern Velvet Sofa shown here (right) in teal blue. So soft, it’s like a hug at the end of a long day.


A two-seater sofa, aptly called a loveseat because of the closeness it offers, was crafted from wood and used for women to accommodate petticoats and layers of clothing. Thankfully, we’ve come a long way in fashion and furniture since then! Loveseats are super comfortable, trendy and great for compact spaces, like the functional reclining loveseat or the Lansden Green Loveseat (featured above). It’s zen green complements simplistic elements such as a jute rug or white accent table for a room that could easily step out of nature and into a magazine.

Bean bags 

One of the newest furniture creations, the bean bag chair burst onto the scene in 1969, and was labeled as radical Italian design, according to Architectural Digest. The trend quickly caught on. It was one of the first items Pier 1 carried in the 60’s. As time passed bean bags were often relegated to kid’s rooms or dorm rooms. Recently, bean bags are being made for everyone. Newer versions such as the Cosmic Bean Bag Chair are still fun but offer more support. Modern, trendy versions offer a design element as well as functionality, seen here in the versatile Magic Pouf (shown above) which doubles as an ottoman. 


The first recliner was owned by Napoleon who probably needed to put his feet up after a long day of being a dictator. Today’s recliners still offer a place to stretch out at the end of a difficult day with the bonus of not having to use an ottoman. In contrast to a couch, recliners such as the upholstered recliner in white and blue provide individual seating and lumbar support. This  narrower chair is a nice choice for condo living or to create a cozy nook in your home. 

For those who like a more modern design, there’s the bestselling mid-century recliner (shown above). It offers contemporary style and an ideal place to curl up with a book (or the remote), and put up your feet. TIme to relax!

Office Chairs

Office chairs should give you support and comfort so you can focus on your work. Unfortunately most people sit in the wrong chair. As noted by Buzzfeed, 1 out of 100 people get stuck in an office chair everyday! To avoid this and for a more modern look, we suggest an armless chair such as the Swivel Armless Office Chair (above) in gray. It has a wider seat and sturdy aluminum base for stability and comfort. Now go forth and be productive!

When to Shop

Now that you know a little more about seating, you might ask when is it the right time to buy new sofas or chairs?

 Here are some reasons to invest in some new seating:

  • If you’ve downsized and your old furniture is too big for your new living room.
  • Furniture that doesn’t fit a space looks awkward and makes a room feel claustrophobic instead of cozy. Sell your larger pieces and replace them with a smaller sofa, loveseats, or armchairs

  • If your favorite chair has a permanent indentation from your behind, or your couch stabs you with a spring every time you sit down.
  • If your furniture wounds you or is no longer supportive, it's time to end the relationship. Though you might be attached, chances are once you’ve moved on you’ll see that having more support is just what you needed. 

  • If you need a change! 
  • We’ve all been spending more time at home, staring at the same furniture day in and day out. If you don’t want to commit to a new couch, try a new chair, or bean bag. Toss out old pillows and refresh your sofa with new ones, add in fresh accents or brighten your room with a trendy area rug

    There you have it, a little seating history, and some great finds to cushion your behind. Try one of the options in this post or browse the hundreds of other options available on our site. Happy sitting everyone!