Furniture Glossary: Types of Chair Backs

When choosing dining room furniture, you will want to consider what kind of chairs you want. There are many styles to choose from, and one main component of how wooden chairs look and feel is the design of the furnishing. While many chair bases are the same, there are many types of chair backs. Learn the basics in this furniture glossary, and decide which of the types of chair backs is your favorite!

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Types of Chair Backs: Slat Back

The slat back chair is one of the most traditional types of chair backs. Very indicative of mission styling, this classic design features a rectilinear form and vertical slats. The slatted look is timeless and is often found in casual dining rooms or kitchen nooks. The Mission II Side Chair has thin slats with arts and crafts inspired styling.

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Types of Chair Backs: X-Back

Graceful and contemporary, the X-back chair (also known as the criss-cross back chair) is simple and neutral. This versatile design allows it to work in a variety of room styles. Not only for the dining room, this is one of the types of chairs that looks nice in a home office or as an accent piece throughout the home. The Belle Manor Side Chair features the classic shape of the X-back chair.

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Types of Chair Backs: Windsor

Furniture makers use steam bending to create the iconic bow of the windsor chair. Vertical spindles support the back of the person sitting in this furnishing. Traditional and versatile, there are many variations of this type of chair including sack back (or double windsor), fan back, and comb back. Below, the Manchester Side Chair is an example of this classic chair type.

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Types of Chair Backs: Splat Back

Splat back chairs have a bit of a more formal feel to them than other more traditional chair types. The splat refers to the vertical central element of the chair back, and can be very simple or extremely decorative. Often incorporating the themes of different furniture periods, there are a variety of splat back chairs with English, French, Gothic, and Chinese details. The West End Side Chair has this design (below) and is elegant and sophisticated.

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Types of Chair Backs: Fiddle Back

A type of splat back chair, the fiddle back chair is usually a Queen Anne style of seat. The back splat is shaped like a violin, giving this chair back type its name. A fiddle back chair can be simple and quaint or ornate and formal.

Types of Chair Backs: Ladder Back

Traditional and classic, the ladder back chair is a very popular design. Featuring horizontal slats that resemble the rungs of a ladder, this furnishing was made in the Middle Ages. It was very fashionable in American colonial homes and remains in high demand today. The Bellaire Side Chair spotlights a ladder back and an upholstered seat.

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2 Comments

  • Reply February 23, 2017

    Matt from Modern Accord

    This is a great guide! Very helpful! Thanks for defining these styles!

    • Reply February 24, 2017

      Courtni Vecchiarelli

      No problem Matt! We are glad that you enjoyed this article! Thanks for visiting the Front Door!
      – Front Door Team

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