3 Reasons You Need a Bergère Chair and Where to Find Them

Chances are you’ve seen Bergère chairs (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. Bergère chairs have these three characteristics:

  • A Tight upholstered back
  • An exposed wood frame including arms, legs and a back that is often carved
  • Closed upholstered sides below the arms

You’ve probably got upholstered chairs, but these are worth snapping up if you come across one even if the current upholstery is not your favorite.

3 Reasons To Own A Bergère Chair

  1. Versatility – These chairs have a smaller scale than most modern upholstered chairs. This means they 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.
  2. 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 scaled chairs, they are less expensive to reupholster. This means you can change out the fabric every few years for a completely different look.
  3. Adds Something Old – No matter what your design style is, 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 old feeling to them, even when they are new.

Affordable Bergère Chairs

Before you look at these chairs, ignore the fabric. I don’t know why they are all oatmeal, 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. 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 one that LOOKS old, there are a few options.

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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 arm is closed in a Bergere chair, there is no open space. 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 the type of chair that you pull your feet up into 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.

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  1. I appreciate that you offered the pronunciation for the Fauteuil chair, but I am still not sure I even know how to pronounce Bergere properly! But, I do know the style of chair and I do know I have been needing one! The oversized chair in our living room has GOT to be replaced! This might be what I needed to see to get me moving on this. It isn’t like putting in a swimming pool or building an addition…it is just picking out a new chair! Pinned!

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