Domestic bliss – the return of the dome chair


Also known as canopy chairs, porters chairs, balloon chairs or Versailles chairs, this mainstay of traditional design is finding a home in unexpected spaces. Let’s take a look at the reinvention of a striking style of furniture that can adapt to any space. There are a number a different methods for making the most of dome chairs in a room. Probably the most subtle and inclusive approach is to upholster in the lighter shade within your colour scheme. This will allow the dome chair to blend in and be seen as an interesting addition rather than the key focal piece.


Marrying the framework colour of your dome chair to your surrounding furniture may be a more traditional approach, but who said traditional needs to be bland? Select a pattern from your room’s Style Board and feature on the rear of your chair. It’s a subtle and personal way to include your dome chairs, while having the added benefit of drawing attention to lines and colours of your room’s framework.



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Of course, you can throw the whole idea of subtlety out the window by creating the most plush and ornate incarnation of the dome chair – a cozy yet flamboyant feature that would look at home in any palace. Adding butting and stud work creates a real eye catcher! Buttoning works in almost every style. It’s all about the fabric finish, colour and pattern that will bring your style to life.


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The addition of another material such as rattan and the use of ornate craftsmanship in the wood framework turns your dome chair into a perfect addition to a French Accent or Traditional Chic space. In an environment that draws the eye to fine detail rather than bold palettes and patterns, focusing on shape and texture is key.


If the last thing on your mind is allowing your beautiful dome chair to become a seamless part of the background, there are many ways to make a huge impact. Using block colour fabrics in brighter tones really adds some punch to this design. Pull a colour from your palette to create a more traditional and harmonised space, or select a completely juxtaposed colour to your palette for a more modern feel.


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Pattern is a very personal preference but when done right can truly show your personality and wild side. This chair has spunk! While the dome chair certainly adds flair, it’s not exclusive to feminine spaces. Notice how using leather on the external shell creates a more masculine feel.


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In fact, with the right materials and simplified colour scheme, the dome chair makes the short jump from ‘ornate’ to ‘stately’. Another benefit to leather is its durability, but remember comfort when it comes to internal surfaces. If you need more durability, opt for commercial grade fabrics and an aptly simplified pattern.

There’s no doubting the dome chair’s lasting appeal, and as you can see from the examples, it has a talent for being a chameleon or a showstopper, depending on your use of this boldly shaped furniture.

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