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The “Man-Chair” and the top 10 features for chairs with Man Appeal

Design Wise
By Shelagh Duncan

If you used to watch Frasier back in the day you will remember his impeccable sense of style.

“So what do you think of what I’ve done with the place?” Frasier asked his father, Martin, in the pilot episode. “You know, every item here was carefully selected. The lamp by Corbu, this chair by Eames, and this couch is an exact replica of the one Coco Chanel had in her Paris atelier.” 

Eames chairWell, as soon as his father moved in—with his grossly overstuffed and battered “Man Chair” I could feel his pain. For the 11 years that the show ran that hideous chair created an eyesore in the middle of his very elegant and tastefully decorated condo. He suffered greatly at the extreme ugliness of this monstrosity*.
However, the really painful part came in the series finale when Frasier’s father moves out and Frasier finally gets to put his beloved Eames recliner back in the living room. His father comes to visit, sits back in the Eames recliner and says “Hmmm … this is pretty comfortable. I would have been okay with this!”

So what makes a chair a “Man Chair?” Does it have to look like was a dumpster-diving find and over the years had moulded to his shape, or was it that the guy was just to lazy to go look for a new one? Or should it have all the bells and whistles of today because he is the ‘King of his domain’?

We women have our opinions on that, but there are certain key elements that set apart some chairs as being more appealing to a man. Some of these features could be considered as essentials in selecting the perfect Man Chair.


When choosing a chair, a man’s number-one concern is comfort. Give them a chair to fit their shape with a nice high back and you’ll have a winner.

Leather arm chairLeather

Men love leather. I’m a designer, not a psychologist, so I can’t tell you why—but there is something about the look, smell and feel of leather that is irresistible to most men. Maybe it’s just a ‘macho’ thing, or perhaps goes it goes all the way back to the cave-man days.

Arm rests

Men just don’t feel comfortable folding their hands in their laps—they need arm rests. Maybe that’s why Hans Wenger designed the Papa Bear Chair. Fun and funky, all in one.

Foot Rests

Naturally an upholstered foot rest is an essential part of the perfect “Man Chair”. They need somewhere to put their feet up after a hard day!

Generous Proportions

Even if your man isn’t over 6 feet tall, most men like a chair that feels roomy. If he is tall with long legs, then pay attention to seat depth. A tall man may appreciate a chair that is a couple inches deeper than average.
Bike chair

Rugged Good Looks

When looking at the style of a chair for a man, look for one that is just as ruggedly handsome as he is. Angular lines, distressed leather—you get the idea.

Make a Statement

A car-hood chair, a bike chair, or pilot ejector-seat chair perhaps make a statement about the man and his interests. Good luck finding those…but we know how inventive the Ticos are, so someone might just be able to make him one!

Chill reclinerA Place for Essentials

That would be reading material, remotes and beer—probably not in that order! A side pocket or two will fit the bill; or a built in beer cooler…?


Generally not very pretty, but recliners are big on comfort. This high-end Man Chair is appropriately named, “Chill”, but for more than just being a great place to chill out. This rocker, recliner also has a thermo-electric beer cooler built right in to the arm! Now there’s an essential! So, as he sits and enjoys its massage features, he may never want to get up.

Lether wingback library chairWingbacks

The library wing chair is a classic and came from England in the mid-1800s. It was the first type of chair to be upholstered in leather rather than fabric, and provided a convenient head rest—that could be wired for sound in future versions. What foresight! The ‘wings’ originally protected the user from chilly drafts. It’s still a popular style for its classic, masculine look, and is at home in almost any décor. Definitely the most elegant version of a Man Chair.

Computer gaming chairHowever the ultimate Man Chair these days, may have morphed into the ultimate Man Computing-Gaming-Chair Chair—if that makes sense…! My son, a confirmed bachelor, was actually looking to get one of these for his condo—no kidding!

So if, like Frasier, you’re putting up with a less than lovely chair that is the favorite of the man in your house, don’t wait 11 years to try luring him into a replacement. I’ll bet you’ll find one you would both be more than okay with.

Hope you enjoyed our peek into the world of Man Chairs.

*Fun “Frasier” fact:

The show’s set designers spent almost half a million dollars to give Frasier’s apartment its “eclectic” look. The Coco Chanel replica sofa was covered with 24 yards of Italian suede for an estimated cost of about $15,000. The Eames chair was rented, but the Pastoe curved sideboard was purchased for $3,200 and the Wassily chair had a $1,395 price tag. Martin’s eyesore of a recliner was also on the pricey side, since the prop department couldn’t find an appropriately ugly chair at any second-hand store. The chair was eventually covered with tape and upholstered with fabric purchased from an exclusive shop that specialized in deliberately tacky 1970s-era textiles.

Until next time

Shelagh, Royal Palm Interiors
Round the corner from BCR in UVITA – 2743-8323
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