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Buying Guide

Chairs are an important part of every room, but all the options can feel a little overwhelming! We’ll help you pick the perfect chairs for each space in your home, serve up inspiring styling ideas and give the lowdown on materials, care and points to consider before you buy.

Find your favourite

There are a huge range of chairs out there, but here’s a quick overview of the main styles:


Dining Chairs

Dining chairs are slightly more formal than armchairs - however, that doesn’t mean they won’t look great around a breakfast bar, or that you can’t use a more casual chair as a dining chair either.

You can buy these with or without arms. The former can be extra-comfy and allow for a bit more movement - if you’re looking for these, try the Eames-inspired designs in our Moda collection, our simple wooden Chic chairs or the effortlessly cool Flight chairs with their textured fabric finish.

If you’re aiming for a slightly more formal vibe, you might want to try the latter. Again, our Moda chairs are available with arms, and you might want to check out our Hipster armchairs and the iconic Ghost Louis armchair, a transparent version of a classic heritage style.

Office Chairs

We don’t need to tell you how to use these! Office chairs should be height-adjustable to allow you to get the best viewing position.

If you need extra back support, try a padded and/or adjustable chair, like our Charles Eames-inspired Executive versions, which are available with regular and tall backs depending on your height. If you need lower back support or have back problems, try adding a lumbar cushion, or check out our Soft Pad office chairs which have substantial pads to support your spine.

Armchairs and lounge chairs

These are the chairs you’ll be using in your living room, and usually come in textile finishes and with arms for chilling out and cosying up in.

You’ll find plenty at Cult Furniture, from upholstered, sofa-like designs such as our Sander armchairs to more statement-making pieces like the Magnus armchair, which wraps around with its tufted back for the cosiest feeling. Don’t think that armchairs always have to be padded though - our Moda chairs can work as a slightly more formal armchair option.


Stools are so versatile - you can stack them, move them from bathroom to bedroom and metal stools make good outdoor seating. As they’re smaller, they also tend to be more affordable so if you’ve got lots of guests they’re an ideal choice. The simple silhouettes also mean stools can be a bit more statement-y, such as our Hairpin leg designs in bright colours and our Xavier Pauchard-inspired Tolix stools in a spectrum of tones and two handy sizes.

Taller or height-adjustable stools like our Machinist stool, Toledo stools or our swivel bar stools are, as you’d guess, ideal if you’ve got a breakfast bar in your home, giving your space a cool, industrial feel.

We’ve even got kids’ stools like the Bella, which make great stackable options you can hide away when their playdate’s over. The lack of a back may make them uncomfortable for some guests and young children, however.

Outdoor Chairs

While there are plenty of outdoor-only chairs, many everyday metal chairs can look good in or out of the garden so it’s worth bearing this in mind!

Our Xavier Pauchard stools and side chairs are just made for this, as they can be stacked when the rain starts to pour and stashed away inside.

Really, any chair can be used as outdoor seating but the main qualities you’ll be looking for are that it’s durable and won’t fall apart if it’s left out in the rain. Because of that, the plastic seats on our Moda collection can work well outside (be careful of the wooden leg versions).


Every chair has its own comfort level. But don't assume firmness is a bad thing - many people prefer the fact that they can make you stand up straighter and that they feel more 'formal'. Elsewhere, many people love soft chairs that they can sink into, though you might only want these in your living room and not in a kitchen.

And just because a chair’s plastic, doesn’t mean it’s going to be firm - the ergonomic shape of our Moda chairs is incredibly comfortable, and you can add pads to customise the feel.


The choice of materials can really make a chair stand out, and it’s worth thinking about this before you take the plunge:


Darker woods are firmly in fashion right now but lighter woods can add a fresher, Scandi feel to a space. Wood is tactile and ages beautifully - it’s fairly easy to repair any scuffs or scratches and it can be customised with wood stains to create different colours.


Plastic is durable, able to stand up to all sorts of knocks, scrapes and spills. It’s easy to clean, too, which is a plus if you have children (or adults who are messy eaters!). If you’re a fan of bold brights, the depth of colours available in plastic chairs makes them a great option.


These are some of the most durable out there and dents and scratches can actually make them look better over time. Metal chairs can give an industrial vibe, and metal detailing can add a utilitarian element to wood and plastic chairs.


If you’re looking for softness, seek out textile chairs. Fabric dining, lounge and office chairs are cosy, though it’s worth noting that fabric chairs can be harder to clean than metal or plastic ones, so opt for a darker colour if you live in a messy household!


The amount of chair colours might seem overwhelming, but we’ve given a few tips below.

Pop Hot

Don’t shy away! Brightly-coloured chairs can make a room ‘pop’ - try bright yellow or orange against a neutral white or wood space for example. The unnatural feel of bright colours creates a stylish contrast against heritage styles and busy patterns, and brights look good against monochrome white or black chairs too.


Black, white and grey chairs will never fall out of style (we promise!). These often look best as stools or dining chairs than lounge chairs and it’s better to choose plastic rather than textile here as it can be difficult to get stains out of a bright white fabric chair!

Pastel Soft

Pastels aren’t just sweet and fresh: they can pack a real punch when contrasted against darker interiors. Try a pale pink chair against a dark turquoise wall or darker red wallpaper, for example.

Rich Darks

These moody shades are great if you prefer a more laid-back look. Think dark greens, rich turquoises, and quirky colours such as rich olives and burnt umber orange.


Chrome. Copper. Gold. These dazzling finishes appeal to those with an inner magpie - and will make any room feel glam. These finishes work best with dining and outdoor chairs - and, of course, those in metal.


Don’t just think about the top of the chair you’re buying - the legs can make just as much of an impression! Our Moda chair range comes with a range of leg options, from the Charles Eames-inspired DSW wooden legs (the ones that look a little bit like the base of the Eiffel tower) which have metal supports for solidity, or simpler pyramid legs.

Rocking chair legs (known as RAR legs) make a cosy, and quirky, choice for both an occasional armchair and also a desk chair. There’s no denying the fun aspect, but they also let you angle yourself to the right height and level - a handy extra to remember when you’re sitting in one and feeling like a kid again.




A cushion or two can add style and a tad more comfort. Patterns look great against plain chairs, and a stack of smaller cushions can look good on an armchair too.


These can add extra comfort and colour, too - handy if you get bored of a chair and fancy changing it up quickly. Leather versions can add a luxurious touch.