Chances are you’ve seen a french Bergère chair (or as my husband calls them “burger chair”). These chairs are one of my favorites and I hope to convince you that you NEED at least one by telling you the five reasons they are so great.
First, let’s start with a little background. Bergère chairs are basically upholstered armchairs. But not ALL upholstered armchairs are Bergère chairs. This style of chair originated in France. They are a timeless piece of furniture that will add a touch of elegance to any room. The Bergère style armchair has these three characteristics:
- Tight upholstered back cushions and seat pad
- An exposed wooden frame including arms, legs and a back that is often carved
- Closed upholstered sides below the arms of the chair.
You’ve probably got upholstered chairs, but this french armchair is worth snapping up if you come across one even if the current upholstery is not your favorite.
3 Reasons To Own A Bergère Chair
- Versatility – These french chairs have a smaller scale than most modern upholstered chairs. This means this type of chair can fit into more spaces. I’ve used mine and in every room in my house, except the bathroom. They are small enough that if you have guests and you need extra seating that’s more comfortable than a dining chair, these fit the bill. The smaller scale makes them easy to move around.
- Reupholstering Is Like Magic – These don’t have to be upholstered in strictly traditional fabrics like toille (although I’ve had mine upholstered in toille and LOVED it). Using a modern fabric on a Bergère chair can really make the chair into a statement piece. In addition, because they are smaller in scale they are less expensive to reupholster. This means you can change out the fabric every few years for a completely different look that will coordinate with your interior design.
- Adds Something Old – No matter what your design style, having a mix of old and new things gives your home more of a sense of style. If everything in your home looks like it’s brand new it feels less homey. These chairs have an aged look with a classic design, even when they are new.
Affordable Bergère Chairs
Before you look at these chairs, ignore the fabric. I don’t know why they all have neutral beige upholstery, but you can get other colors.
- There are many older ones out there if you look. Facebook Marketplace can be a great place to find Bergère chairs. You can also find them at flea markets and estate sales. Try to look past the dated fabric and go for it if the price is reasonable and they are in very good condition. They can be transformed with newer fabric. Here’s an example of an older chair transformed with a new modern fabric. You can also find them on ETSY, like this cool one. If you want to get a new chair that LOOKS old, there are a few options.
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- Etsy Bergere find (Chairmyheart seller has lots of unique chairs)
- Wayfair Barn Bergère chair
- Ballard Bergère chair
- Wayfair Alto arm chair – this one comes in three different colors. It’s by Kelly Clarkson.
- Wayfair Bansford arm chair – this one is also Kelly Clarkson available in several colors
- Wayfair Fleur linen arm chair
- Walmart Bergere chair
- Amazon Bergere chair
What is the difference between a Bergère chair and a Fauteuil chair?
The difference between a Fauteuil (pronounced like foh toyuh) and Bergère is the arm. The arms in a Bergere chair are closed, whereas the Fauteuil chair has open arms. There is also typically an open space between the seat and the back of the chair. Bergere chairs are a bit more cozy feeling because of the enclosed arm.
Many times when you search for Bergère chair, what you are really seeing is a Fauteuil, just a fun fact.
Are Bergère chairs comfortable?
Bergère chairs are comfortable, but they ARE NOT lounge chairs where you pull up your feet and read a book. They are more comfortable than dining chairs, but less comfortable than an oversized club chair. Bergere chairs are not as deep as modern club chairs, but that’s one of the things that makes them so versatile.