Windsor Chair: A Timeless Beauty

The Windsor chair is a classic beauty and worthy of a seat at any dining table. This style of chair originated in England during the 18th century and was widely popular during the revolutionary period of America.  Windsor chairs were first used in gardens and were typically painted green and left to weather outside. Eventually they moved indoors and I like to think that they were a staple at most Thanksgiving tables in Colonial homes.

The Windsor Chair. A classic piece of furniture perfect for any home.Photo by Bret Franks Construction, Inc.

 

The Windsor chair was first produced in this country in the Philadelphia region. It’s rumored that Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence while sitting in one of these timeless beauties.

Windsor Chair in a Traditional Living RoomPhoto by Vincent Greene Architects

 

In the image below, you see the fan-back Windsor chair with a shield-shaped seat. Smaller than the high-back Windsor, these were typically sold in sets of six to be used as side chairs.

Windsor Chairs in Dining RoomPhoto by GIL WALSH INTERIORS

 

A beautiful powder blue gives spindle-back chairs a coastal vibe … a perfect complement to the ocean view outside.

Beach Style Dining RoomPhoto by Martha’s Vineyard Interior Design

 

If you don’t want an entire set of Windsors, cozy one up to a charming breakfast banquette.

Windsor Chair joins a charming breakfast nookPhoto by Uncommon Ranch

 

The Windsor chair makes a great seat at any dining table. They’re comfortable and I think that’s party due to the fact that the seat is typically larger with just the right slant to it.

Cozy Dining RoomPhoto by Frederick + Frederick Architects

 

A group of classic bow-back chairs gather round a sunny dining table. You can see how the curves of the chair seat mimics the shape of the human posterior. Maybe they knew more about ergonomics back in Colonial times than we give them credit for.

Traditional Dining Room with Windsor ChairsPhoto by Catalano Architects

 

A modern take on the fan-back Windsor chair populates a Scandinavian dining space.

Scandinavian Style Dining RoomPhoto by ANNA CARIN Design

 

Mustard-painted chairs carry their weight in this colorful home. I’ve seen dining rooms where each Windsor chair was painted a different color. The effect was actually quite charming.

Rustic Dining Room with Colorful Windsor ChairsPhoto by David Gillett Design

 

I shared this dining room in one of my Sunday home tours. Black is a popular color for Windsor chairs.

Farmhouse Dining Room feature the Windsor ChairPhoto by Tim Cuppett Architects

 

Shorter fan-backs take on a cottage vibe with white paint. This breakfast nook proves Windsor chairs aren’t restricted to Early American decorating styles.

Scandinavian Style Dining RoomPhoto by Terrat Elms Interior Design

 

Of course, the classic Windsor chair does look elegant and stylish in a rustic country setting. My first set of Windsors were similar to this dining set. I had two high-backs at the ends of the table, with bow-backs for side chairs.

Early American Dining RoomPhoto by Vincent Greene Architects

 

Of that dining set, I have one lone Windsor chair remaining and I hope to keep it for years to come.

Flea market finds decorate a circa 1875 farmhouse

Do you have a Windsor chair or two in your home? If not, what type of dining chair do you enjoy?

 

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Comments

  1. Alas, no Windsors here, but I love the style. Esp the high backs with arms.
    Early American/Colonial/Primitive is my thing, though my house currently doesn’t really
    show this. Country Sampler is my fave mag!

  2. I love Windsor Chairs. I have 6 fan back Windsors around my dining room farm table. Also , I have 2 bow back Windsors. Absolutely love them!!

  3. Marlene Stephenson says:

    Windsor chairs are something i wish i did have, they are a part of our history that we keep alive.

  4. Lannie Hagan says:

    I have no Windsor chairs but have 6 or 7 signed Robinson chairs, a chair maker form Rochester, NY, which are lovely also.

  5. I have loved Windsor chairs for years even though I have hanged chairs in my kitchen.I have Hitchcock chairs at my table now
    I have a high back comb chair sitting in my living room with the seat full of large coffee table books and I have a bow back windsor chair for home office chair and have another bow back chair in guest bedroom. My rooms are small and I have these chairs crowed in my rooms for safe keeping since I love them so much.

  6. Interesting history that they were once left outside to weather… We would not do that with these gems today! When you think about it back then they did not have the powder coated aluminum n Teflon sprayed etc pieces like we do these days. I would love to see a blog from you some day of pics of outdoor furniture like what they had a hundred yrs ago. I think generally indoor furniture they hauled outside as needed. I do feel like I got a 2 for 1 today thou as there are lots of nice light fixtures here too! Fun one is the one you talk about the seats being wider n a good slant!

  7. tres joli,, ça fait tres coté americain,

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