Jenny Mendez Isenburg's Blog
Once meant only for elegant Victorian boudoirs, the slipper chair has come to its own as a design element for side chairs, cozy reading areas, even as a more stylish desk chair. So just what is a slipper chair?
Historic versus modern
In 18th-century European homes, the wide, low, armless chairs graced the rooms of ladies wearing heavy layers of petticoats, tightly laced corsets, and other constricting clothing. For a handmaid to reach their lady’s feet to put on a shoe or slipper became nearly impossible. So, the invention of the slipper chair was one of necessity, allowing ladies’ maids to help them don footwear.
In the 20th century, American designer Billy Baldwin brought the chair from the bedroom to the living room and now, variations on this iconic style appear in designs from the bedroom to the boardroom. Different from elaborately carved legs and tufted back, the modern versions are simple, unadorned pieces that play well with other furniture or work on their own to fill a quiet nook.
These days, slipper chairs come in all designs from tufted and buttoned to gusseted with bright piping to elaborately embroidered peplums. And, with a more masculine take on the modern look, some come with massive wooden platform bases or sleek metal legs.
- Turned and tufted: A throwback to the Victorian era, the tufted chair has extra padding and curved legs. More decorative than some, this chair fits well in a bedroom or reading nook.
- Skirting the issue: Pleated skirts give a casual look to this low chair with box pleats being most common.
- Tilted and low: An even squattier version of the slipper chair's already low profile, this chair leans toward the back slightly, offering up built-in relaxation. This adorable chair trimmed with piping, legs upholstered, fits in any room but is perfect for lazy days of book reading or enjoying a glass of wine.
- Bold and buff: Chrome, wood, Lucite and other Mid-Century Modern elements bring these chairs into the office or study.
- Casual and laid-back: The addition of rattan bases and indoor/outdoor fabric make island-inspired versions perfect for a sunroom or outdoor living area.
Whatever your version of the slipper chair, know its design is for modern living. Pair it with a comfy sofa or line up three sleek current versions instead of a couch for flexible seating. And if you have the ideal slipper chair but don't have the perfect place for it, maybe it's time that you find a new place, so check with your real estate professional to see that perfect home for your perfect chair.
When we decorate and organize our homes, few of us give more than a passing thought to the way our choices will affect our mood and behavior in our home. Most of us simply organize and decorate based on what we like on a whim.
There are, however, entire fields of study devoted to the way our environment affects us (environmental psychology), and ways we can engineer and design our environments to change our moods and behaviors.
If you’ve ever visited a big city like New York you will likely have noticed an example of this firsthand in city parks.
When you sit down on a park bench, you’ll likely find that it isn’t the most comfortable place to sit. There’s more than just a tight budget at play here. Many engineers who plan parks use the idea of “unpleasant design.” They create benches with the intention of dissuading people from lying down the benches by making them curved or putting arm rests in the middle of them.
In the same way that a city park can be designed to affect your behavior, your home can as well. In this article, we’ll give you some tips on how you can better arrange and decorate your home to have a positive impact on both your mood and behavior.
Organize to your advantage
Many of us think of our homes as the opposite of work--it’s a place we relax after a long day. However, there are a number of chores and tasks you’ll complete at home that can be optimally engineered to save you time.
One simple example is to think about the placement of the items you use in the kitchen. Is your trash can far from the countertop, requiring you to constantly walk away to toss out scraps?
A good way to find out the needless extra work you’re doing around the house is to take note of how you go about your daily routine. This will give you insight into areas where you might better use your time.
Declutter for productivity
Whether you work from home frequently or you just need a quiet place to do taxes or pay bills, a home office can be a good way to avoid distraction. That is, until you fill your home office with distractions.
When organizing your office, think about the content of it. For most people, a decluttered minimalist environment is most conducive to work. Leave out the television, keep your cell phone at bay, and don’t cover your desk in papers that you’ll constantly be rearranging.
Similarly, your computer needs to be tailored to productivity as well. We all know how tempting it is to head over to Facebook or Reddit when we should be focusing on work. A good way to help break this habit is to utilize a time tracking app that lets you know when it’s time for a break. Alternatively, you can use an extension or add-on for your browser that blocks sites like Facebook during the time you specify.
Colors matter more than you think
Each room in your home serves a different purpose. The kitchen is a place of activity and conversation, the bedroom is one of relaxation, and the home office one of focus.
Studies have shown that there is a correlation between the colors and brightness of the room we are in and our moods.
So, when you’re decorating a room in your home, think about the type of colors that fit how you would like to feel in that room.