Once upon a time, the swivel chair seldom made appearances outside the confines of the nursery or home office. Its smooth, rotating motion makes it a natural for anyone wanting to work in comfort while seated at a desk. Likewise, the soothing motion of a swivel has made it a perennial favorite in nurseries and children’s rooms. But there’s a world of possibilities open to this versatile chair style beyond the office and baby’s room!
Thomas Jefferson is said to have been the father of the modern swivel chair–inventing it by modifying a classic Windsor chair to rotate on a spindle–and reportedly even got cozy in a swivel while drafting the Declaration of Independence in 1776. What was obvious to our founding father a few hundred years ago is equally obvious today: desk work can be hard work without the opportunity to move around a little. For those who put in long hours behind a screen, an upright, high-backed style such as Lindsay Swivel Chair or Hayward Swivel Chair offers the flexibility to work even when there’s no desk in sight, providing enough support for anyone needing to comfortably work on a laptop or tablet. Need to make a statement? The mod, retro-chic lines of the Pate Swivel Chair and Nash Chairs make either of them a stylish choice for a client-facing office–bold and businesslike, but still comfortable.
The classic rocking chair has been a nursery design staple for centuries. New parents have almost always soothed their babies to sleep while seated in some form of moving chair, allowing the fluid motion to work its magic on fussy infants. In the twenty-first century, a swivel glider provides the modern update that sleepy parents and babies both need, offering rhythmic back-and-forth and rotating motion that helps to make bedtime an easier time. There’s a swivel glider to suit every taste in the Rowe and Robin Bruce lines, but the most popular styles include plenty of cushioned support and generously padded arms (such as can be seen in our Sophie Glider and Sully Glider), creating the perfect spot to cuddle, feed or read to a little one.
Moving beyond the office and nursery, one of our favorite spots to see a swivel is actually in the living room! Swivels are the perfect tool to create an invisible sense of flow between two seating areas in an oversized living or great room, since guests can simply rotate from one conversation to another and back again. Rotating chairs are also a natural pick for any room with a television, allowing viewers to find the perfect angle for cozy movie nights in or during the big game. When it’s time to infuse the space with a sense of high-end style, leather options such as the Evan Swivel Chair and Allie Swivel Chair provide an eye-catching focal point that blends comfort with luxury.
Another fun placement for swivels is in the high-traffic areas of a home, where life moves at maximum speed and rotating chairs add to the fun! The welcoming, rounded contours of a barrel chair like Baldwin Swivel Chair or Wrenn Swivel Chair are perfect for a family room that sees a bit of every kind of action–whether it’s a space for playful toddlers, lively conversation, or video game marathons–especially in combination with our Kid-Proof fabrics. In a game room that’s geared towards adults, a relatively compact swivel like Carlyn Swivel Chair can cluster around a card table or coffee table with ease. In smaller spaces, styles with low arm height offer maneuverability and the option of “tucking in” just about anywhere. Or, for the ultimate in versatility, try a grouping of Gigi Swivel Ottomans for low-profile seating that spins to fit the occasion!
Finally, our favorite “unexpected” place to use swivels is in the dining room. It may seem like an unconventional choice, but there are some brilliant reasons to embrace this idea. Swivel chairs in a dining space reduce the problem of chairs constantly scraping across the dining room floor. Guests can simply rotate to one side to leave or join the table, or to lean into a conversation with the person next to them, making swivels a welcome addition to any dining room! No matter what room you’re selecting furnishings for, we think there are a million great reasons to put swivel chairs “in rotation”!
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