13 Wonderfully atypical home office chairs

Let's face it: Office chairs as we know them aren't going to win style points. Sure, they're functional and ergonomic enough to keep us going on deadlines and conference calls, but their attributes often end there. Uninspired shapes, drab upholstery and clunky bases make them utilitarian at best, eyesores at worst -- especially in a bedroom, kitchen or other office space that's hard to close off when work hours end.

It doesn't have to be that way. Dining chairs, wingbacks, Windsor chairs and other nontraditional seating can work just as well and look a whole lot better in the process. Here's a baker's dozen that establish a chic yet comfortable vibe in their surroundings.

Upholstered in a large-scale, modern floral, this dining room chair multitasks admirably for office work. Chairs such as this look even more appealing when paired with a table rather than a traditional desk.

A Chippendale-style bamboo chair painted in a bright color pulls together this kitchen office.

This cool vintage chair may have the same basic structure as classic office furniture, but the similarity ends there. It adds industrial moxie to this minimalist workspace.

A classic Eames side chair in this sewing workspace blends nicely with the parson's desk. Molded plastic chairs such as this one can be surprisingly comfortable, but before you commit to one, spend some time sitting in a similar model to get a feel for how well you'll like it.

How can you go wrong with a Louis Ghost Chair? Understated and elegant, this new classic works absolutely anywhere, including at a desk.

A Windsor chair lends a traditional touch to this kitchen desk area. If a plain wooden seat is hard on your rear, tie on a pretty cushion.

The Panton Chair adds sinuous curves among all the hard angles and sharp corners of this space.

To save space, swap the chair entirely for an upholstered ottoman or two. Because ottomans have no back support, you wouldn't want to use this solution for an office in which you spend all day working, but they're fine for paying bills, writing thank-you notes or dashing off emails.

A pair of ikat wingbacks and a contemporary take on the trestle table make this office feel more like a cozy breakfast nook.

A stately, formal wing chair sets a commanding tone in this space.

Upholstered in a playful fabric, this bergere gets a vibrant new personality that updates the old-fashioned desk.

A woven tropical-style slipper chair helps to set a casual tone in this kitchen work zone.

If your desk sits higher than is typical, consider a cushioned stool to provide the boost you need.


Houzz is the leading online platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish - online or from a mobile device. From decorating a room to building a custom home, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals around the world. Lisa Frederick is a contributor to Houzz.

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