How to Choose a Home Office Chair to Suit Your Style
Although it may not have its own room, a home office is an essential space in most Australian homes. It’s a place where you can take care of household business like paying the bills, balancing your chequebook, and checking homework.
Whether you spend a few minutes at your desk paying bills or hours at your computer, you should have a comfortable chair that won’t make your bum go numb. Of course, a home office chair should mesh well with the home’s décor and your own sense of style.
Practical Chair Features
Although there are some similarities between chair designs for a business office and those for a home office, there are also distinct differences. While most commercial office chairs are ergonomically designed with several adjustments, home office chairs often have fewer adjustments.
Ergonomics is important because it allows you to adjust a chair to support your body. By keeping the body in alignment, it prevents fatigue and injuries to the musculoskeletal system, especially to the lower back.
Chair AdjustmentsThe chair in your home office needs to be adjustable, so you are comfortable while working at your desk. Look for a chair with adjustments for:
- Chair Height
- Arm Height
- Seatback Height
- Tilt Control
These adjustments can help support your body by helping it maintain good posture, so your back and shoulders don’t ache if you need to spend several hours working at your desk.
Chair BaseThere are usually two types of chair bases available to choose from: a four or five-pronged base. Most smaller chairs, such as task chairs, may only have four prongs. Heavier chairs, like an executive style chair, normally have five-pronged bases.
While both bases can serve their purpose, a four-pronged base is less stable, and the chair can tip over if you lean back too far.
A fifth prong at the back of the base provides for more stability because it gives the chair more support. A five-prong chair is also less likely to tip over when leaning back in the chair.
Lumbar SupportAnother important consideration when choosing between a commercial and a home office chair is lower back, or lumbar, support. A good office chair will support the lumbar region to prevent the user from slumping while their working at their desks. In the long term, that will prevent aches, pain, and damage to the spine.
A visual inspection of an office chair will reveal whether it has lumbar support as there will be a slight curve in the chair design, so it meets and supports the back. However, if you do decide to buy a chair without lumbar support, you can purchase a lumbar seat cushion to provide extra back support.
Chair SizeWhen shopping for chairs for your home office, you should consider the available chair sizes. If you have a dedicated home office, then you can buy a larger chair, like an executive chair since you’ll have room for it.
However, if your home office is a small space in the kitchen or living room, a smaller chair may be the appropriate size for your needs.
The size of the chair will also depend on the amount of weight it needs to hold. If you are a bit larger, you should select a heavy-duty frame, which is often larger, with a five-prong base to support your body. If you’re petite, a task chair with arms may be suitable for your needs.
As long as the chair can hold your weight, provide support for your body, and fits in the space you have, you can choose any size chair you wish.
Choosing a Chair Style
Now that you’ve addressed the practical aspects of a choosing a home office chair, you can consider the fun part of choosing a chair design and colour.
Consider Home DécorWhen you’re shopping for an office chair, consider the décor of your house - and particularly your office desk! If it has a Victorian aesthetic, a sleek looking modern chair with a metal frame will look out of place. Instead, you should be able to find wood chairs or wood-framed office chairs specifically made with a Victorian design.
Of course, there are several modern-style office chairs with metal frames, leather, faux leather, or fabric upholstery in almost every colour imaginable available from online office furniture retailers. When selecting one, consider fabric durability as well when choosing a chair style.
When you’re working at home, consider an upholstery which will wear well and hold up to pets and children climbing into your chair when you’re not in it.
If you choose a fabric, it can be treated to prevent stains. But if your desk is in a more active living space, leather or faux leather upholstery, like vinyl, is easier to clean.
Picking a ColourWhile most chairs in business offices are in neutral colours like grey, blue, black, or red, there is a wide variety of colours and patterns available for home office chairs.
White is a trendy upholstery colour at the moment, which works well for kitchen desk areas or in homes with modern designs.
Black or brown leather chairs are also popular for home offices, especially for executive or high-backed chairs. However, if you decide to special order an office chair, you should be able to choose upholstery in almost any colour or a wide array of patterns.
It is important to consider your décor when choosing a colour or pattern, so it doesn't clash with the colours in your kitchen, living room, or the home office.
If your room is painted a neutral colour, you can choose bold upholstery. If your room is painted a specific colour, like blue, you may wish to choose a contrasting shade of blue or a neutral colour.
When shopping for a chair, the practical aspects of the design, like its ergonomic features, should be the first consideration for choosing a chair to support your body.
Then, consider the creative design elements of colour and style for the chair you’ll sit in to take care of household matters.