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Furniture Trends 2019: Outlines On Chairs & Tables


This furniture trend is characterised by chairs with stand-out frames without upholstered backrests which create striking outlines and leave impressive shadows.

The outlines furniture trend for 2019 predominately features tubular metal frames but also clever bentwood constructions which are becoming more intricate and eye-catching. The Soul Armchair in particular, with its transparent seat is extremely expressive of this trend. Table bases can also feature an imposing outline, and they can be even more impactful if like the Wilma Table they are paired with glass tops so that the frames are more visible.

Pros and cons of chairs with frame-only backs

1. Chairs without upholstery on the back are easier to maintain. There won't be hand marks from customers moving the chair in and out from the table, like there would on an upholstered seat back. You can usually wipe clean these kind of frames a lot more easily than with upholstery, which often requires a deeper clean more regularly as stains become ingrained on the fabric overtime. 

2. Outlined frames add lightness. As well as being lighter in weight because they use less material, their cut-out nature also allows more light to flow around a space and can add an overall feeling of lightness to an interior.

3. Chairs with frame-only backs will often be less comfortable than fully upholstered chairs but this has its benefits. For hospitality venues such as cafes where you want to encourage a higher turnover having firmer chairs will facilitate this as customers will not linger as long as they would on a fully upholstered chair. However, it is worth noting that fully upholstered chairs will tend to muffle echoes which is particularly important if your restaurant has wooden floors. (Read our Restaurant Tables and Chairs Buyer's Guide for more tips.)

4. Chairs with outlined frames can add intricate detail for less. Many designers choose to add visual intrigue with patterned fabrics, or additional extras like capped feet, piping, fluting or metal edging but choosing a chair with an outlined frame can be an inexpensive alternative way of adding a little extra detail without adding any extras. This is because the detail is already incorporated in the design of the frame. 

5. Potential cost and time savings of fully non-upholstered chairs. Many chairs in this Outlines trend still have an upholstered seat pad but If you choose a design that is completely without upholstery there are potential cost and time savings. Consider the factors that can considerably add to lead time - waiting for your chosen fabric to be back in stock, sending a fabric to be treated to Crib 5 before it can be upholstered - these issues can't arise with chairs that are entirely without upholstery.

Furniture Trends 2019 : Outline Product Picks

gerla armchair

Gerla Armchair

uti side chair and armchair

Uti Side Chair

transparent soul armchair

Soul Armchair


Generic C Armchair

genoa met

Genoa Met Side Chair & Armchair

plum armchair

Plum Armchair


Sophia Chair

genea armchair

Genea Armchair

002 armchair

002 Armchair


Pippa Chairs


Pepper Side Chair

masters chairs gold

Masters Armchairs

masters barstool

Masters Barstool


Wilma Table

diapason dining table

DiapasonDining Table

Topics: Furniture trends,

By Paula Stanbridge-Faircloth Paula Stanbridge-Faircloth on 14/08/19 13:53
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furniture style guide summer 2019 arrow

Furniture Style Guide Summer 2019

Our biggest, most innovative trend guide yet, filled with brand new furniture from Europe's best designers.

65 furniture collections & four of our own projects which feature the following trends:

  • Divided Tables
  • Roll Cushions
  • Curved Hand-crafted Chairs
  • Tree Trunks
  • Outlines
  • Punchy Patterns

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