Three Reasons Why You Should Avoid “Decorator” Chairs in Your Home Office: When Pretty Must Take a Back Seat to Comfort

One of my clients had used a dining room chair as a desk chair for years. When she got a “real” office chair for her home office (at my urging), she was thrilled with how much more comfortable she was working at home.

A "decorator" chair is a poor choice for your home office

A “decorator” chair looks pretty, but is not designed to support you at a desk

After the deluge of catalogues for holiday gift giving, we now have a blip of catalogues encouraging us to organize and freshen our homes with new furniture and new décor. What I am seeing over and over in these catalogues are “decorator” chairs pulled up to a desk. These are frequently dining room chairs – some upholstered, some not. While these chairs are attractive they are NOT meant to be used as a desk chair.

Dining room chairs are not designed to:

  1. Support your back, especially your lower back
  2. Adjust in height for healthy ergonomics
  3. Swivel or move across a floor for easy access to files, phone or printer.

(Don’t be fooled by a “decorator” chair on a swivel base. They are not supportive and have limited adjustability.)

If you have a “decorator” chair in your home office, or are thinking of buying a new desk chair, get one that is designed for the purpose.

What do you think is most important in a desk chair? Share your thoughts and comments with The Smarter Home Office.

My next post will discuss how to buy a desk chair.

Photo by wonderlane


  1. Mary Gilbert says:

    For me the most important thing is to be able to get the chair low enough so that my feet are firmly on the floor, even barefoot. Lower back is supported, and the keyboard part of my computer table can be adjusted to 4 heights. Mine is set at the lowest. At times the arms of my chair get in the way, but I notice as I’m typing right now that they are supporting my elbows a bit, which must be reducing fatigue. I spend a lot of my day in this chair!