There is nothing quite like the perfect arm chair in a living space. And of course, since I’m partial to French style in general, I just adore a good French chair! Bergère chairs are versatile, classic, and comfortable (which not all armchairs are).
For those of you not familiar with it, a Bergère is a chair designed in the Louis XV style, with an upholstered back and arms, and fitted with a loose tailored seat cushion. These antique French chairs typically featured wood frames that were either gilded or painted and were upholstered with fine fabrics.
And to me, that is key! Today, these chairs are often upholstered in simple fabrics, like linen, ticking, or even burlap. And that’s what I love! As I’ve shared before, I love French style, but my take on it is a bit more casual. I love the juxtaposition of a gilded armchair covered in simple linen. Or gold mirrors in a room with distressed furniture and a seagrass rug.
The high/low mix is what really speaks to me. Without that bit of casualness thrown in, for me it can feel too fussy. But that mix of styles, the casual with the ornate, the rustic with the elegant, is the essence of casual chic style!
Mine is not an antique French chair, unfortunately, but I do love the simplicity of it. It doesn’t have the floral carvings on the wood frame that many have which makes it a little less formal. And it’s covered in a simple white linen.
I bought this one at a local resale store. I own a pair actually, but they are currently split up with the second one living in my master bedroom. It’s also spent time in the family room! This chair is so versatile it really can play anywhere.
The Always Perfect, Always Versatile, French Bergère Chair!
This one is gilded, and is one of my all-time favorite images! This is utterly timeless – you truly can’t tell if this photo is ten years or ten days old. Design by Renea Abbott via Veranda magazine.
Via Alice Lane Home.
All the furniture in this living room is French! Room by Pamela Pierce, photograph by Peter Vitale.
Beautiful living room with a pale version of a Bergère chair. By Loi Thai of Tone on Tone.
My friend Sonja’s beautiful house with a white French chair. You can find more of her inspirational home here.
And Where to Find Them!
When I was looking for mine, they weren’t nearly as easy to find as they are now! I purchased them at a local resale store, but frankly, had I been able to find ones as pretty (and reasonable!) as now, I most likely would have bought new!
Below you’ll find some of my favorite French chairs; in different finishes and styles and at different price points. I’m telling you you won’t believe some of these prices! You can also look for a genuine vintage or antique (which I almost always prefer) but sometimes there just isn’t time to shop for those. They can also be more expensive than the reproductions are.
Some good sites online for antique French chairs are Etsy, Ebay, and 1st Dibs. I’ve also known designer friends to find them in thrift shops or Goodwill stores. But if you’re in a hurry, don’t want used, or simply don’t love the “chase,” then one of these might just fill the bill!
- I love the size and slightly updated version of this one.
- The straight back of this chair creates a modern silhouette and I love the pale wood.
- Leave it to Pottery Barn to make one that feels fresh and classic at the same time!
- This is the essence of a classic French bergère at an amazing price.
- Love the unusual back and the nail head trim on this chair!
- The pretty striped fabric on this one keeps it interesting.
- And this charmer is perfect for a smaller space – love the rounded back!
- This classic French accent chair is a steal!
- Probably my favorite one of the bunch – I love the caning and the color!
Click and scroll to shop these plus a few more!
*please note some affiliate links have been included for your convenience*
I hope this has inspired you to shop for your own French chair! Let me know if there are any great ones out there that I missed!
And for even more French inspiration, check out some of these other posts below!