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Parsons Kitchen & Dining Chairs

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Choosing Parsons Dining Chairs for Your Home

Parsons dining chairs date back to the 1930s and are named for its origin - created in Paris by a designer at the famous Parsons School of Design. The chair design is a streamlined combination of historical influences that ultimately resulted in an enduring modern classic. The simplistic elegance of the parsons dining chair gives it a level of versatility that allows it to blend into any interior style. Read on to learn why these dining chairs might just be a perfect fit for your home.

What is a parsons dining chair?

The parsons dining chair generally features a slightly curving, squared backrest and legs. Traditionally, these chairs featured a slipcover upholstery entirely covering the legs, giving it a solid appearance. However in more recent designs, the slipcover may be optional or fully absent from the chair. Another way modern parsons chairs have evolved from their humble beginnings is with the addition of armrests, though you can still find plenty of armless designs. Use parsons chairs in your kitchen or dining room for extra seating, or slide them up to your dining table when you host this year's holiday meal. A single parsons chair can even serve as a desk or vanity chair - these comfortable seats are quite versatile.

In what styles can I find parsons dining chairs

Today's version of a parsons chair has plenty of decorative features to fit in with your style. Design styles to choose from include traditional, modern & contemporary design, rustic, and transitional styles. Read on for a few more style insights on parsons chairs.

  • Nailhead Trim: exposed nailheads accenting the back of the chair or along the base adds stately detail without overpowering the chair.
  • Tufted Backrests: tufted backrests exude a classic look and come in a variety of colors and fabrics.
  • Slipcovers: slipcovers with skirts that drape to the floor, covering the bottom of the chair add a solid touch that visually softens the angles of the chair legs.
  • Upholstery: you'll find many upholstered parsons dining chairs in solid colors, as well as patterns with animal prints, abstract designs, and plush velvet. Leather and faux leather chairs are suited for just about anywhere in the home and easy to clean.
  • You may also spot subtle details designed into the legs of the parsons chairs. Some are designed with a slight curve to the legs, while others maintain a straight, contemporary appearance.

    Are parsons dining chairs comfortable?

    While modern design enhancements and padded upholstery have increased the overall comfort of the parsons chair, their straight, high back design may restrict the ability for someone to fully lean back in relaxation. However, your guests won't find themselves uncomfortable sitting in these chairs for a meal, and parsons dining chairs make a wonderful option for extra seating in main rooms. Look for chairs with softer foam padding and fully upholstered seats and backrests for the most amount of comfort they can offer.

    Chairs are an essential and practical decorating accessory. Consider adding parsons dining chairs to your home when you want to update a space with decorative details that also serve practical purposes.

    Related: Dive in even deeper with our Dining Chair Buying Guide.