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Check out our useful hints and tips articles to help you get the best out of your home interiors projects.

How to choose the perfect chair: striking a balance between style and comfort

Teddy bear on chair. Photograph by brainloc

Among the many pieces of furniture that could normally catch your eye when stepping into a living room for the first time, chairs are hardly top of the list. Humble, mistreated or merely hiding in the shadows of more eloquent tables, they are far too often taken for granted.

Yet take away the chairs and even the coolest living room would be impossible to use, or live in. Not to speak of office spaces and dining areas: a good chair that's fit for the space surrounding it is a must-have in every part of the house. And let's not forget that chairs help us eat, read, work, relax.

But as with every other piece of furniture, when looking for chairs for a new house or simply looking to change your current ones, comfort should be the number one factor to drive your decision. After all, you wouldn't want your gripping new book ruined by an uncomfortable chair. That's why when looking for your perfect companion for a quiet Sunday afternoon you should first have a careful look at its features and, if possible, sit down and see how it feels before buying it.

A reading chair that's too soft will be unlikely to help you concentrate, so you will want to look for something that's comfy but still solid, providing good and sturdy support for your spine. And a chair's material is not all that matters when it comes to comfort.

Ergonomics neophytes will find it hard to believe, but chairs with adjustable backrests are in fact the best ones for your spine when reading or working in front of a computer. As demonstrated by the Radiological society of North America, sitting angles between 120° and 135° are in fact ideal as opposed to 90°.

So if you care about your spine and think of placing your chair in front of a desk, modern and adjustable swivel chairs make for the best option. If you are going to use your chair to read or watch TV instead, a fabric recliner blends adjustable features with higher levels of comfort. Among the models out there, many also come with a footstool.

But recliners don't fit everywhere, and they are not ideal for classy and minimal living rooms. For these kinds of areas, a stylish chaise longue - a Hollywood favourite - can turn out to be the perfect mix of comfort and glamour.

Finally, a good old-fashioned plastic or wooden chair with a 90° backrest will always do the trick for dining areas and if used over shorter periods of time. Just avoid sitting for more than an hour on one of these, or your spine will be begging you for mercy!

Photo credit: brainloc

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