Laura Jane Williams is the author of The Love Square (Avon, HarperCollins) which publishes on 9 July.
When my friend Anna posts a product on Instagram, I swipe up. Anna runs a social-media marketing business pairing influencers and brands, and I trust her recommendations the way I trust my skin to get a cystic spot right before a big event: it’s a surefire thing.
So when she Insta-Storied her new office I envied her aesthetic — it was all textures and dusty hues, a Pinterest dream that looked so luxe I wasn’t even going to bother asking where it was all from. Except, a few slides later, she tagged her office chairs as Amazon. I DM’d her immediately: “Are you joking? Those velvet bucket chairs are Amazon?” Her response was arch: “You’re welcome,” she said, adding in the smirk-emoji face. I investigated immediately.
Anna had them as desk chairs, but at £99 for a pair I instantly ordered four for my dining room table, and after they came I loved them so much I ordered two more (so I had a full set). I had to screw in the legs myself, and the instructions were a bit confusing because the back legs are longer than the front legs, but once I figured that out it made me feel like a handywoman on DIY SOS. You just use the provided Allen key to screw them in.
Deep enough to fit my admittedly very generous bum, but compact enough that they slide all the way to the table to save space when not in use, these chairs are both a focal point in my living room, and fit in seamlessly with the rest of my Ikea-meets-Soho-House vibe. There’s something about an abundance of texture in a room that adds warmth and automatically feels sexy and grown-up. I throw mismatched pillows and sheepskin rugs on them, collected from TK Maxx, Elizabeth Scarlett and, weirdly, my local farm shop. When the table is set for lunches or family get togethers I’m so proud of how adult it feels.
Every single guest I have asks where they’re from, and every single one is as shocked as I am by the answer. Since I posted them on my own Instagram, I’ve had about 30 people tag me in photos of their own velvet bucket chairs. Now, I’m on the lookout for a mid-century table to upgrade my space, and when I find one I’ll keep the chairs and just stain the legs darker to match.
Some other Strategist-approved chairs
These deep blue chairs have a diamond latticed design and are made from high-quality velvet.
A moss-green option, with a more curved design on the backrest.
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