Porter's Chairs Carry Rooms Into Comfort

If you love the sensation of being cocooned and secure all the way round, then a porter’s seat may be the one for you. Personally, I find those fantastic for sitting while studying my favorite murder mystery because nobody could grab my neck to strangle me from behind. I understand vibrant of an imagination.

If murder isn’t in your mind but protection against cold drafts is, then we are still on the right track. Porter’s seats date back to medieval England and 16th-century France, where they were used near the front entrance of great halls and castles. They did not have doorbells in these days, but they didn’t have servants, and one of the biggest, burliest servants, a porter, would sit in those chairs all day waiting to answer the door, greet people and turn off the riffraff.

The sides of the seat come forward and up to make a hood overhead to screen out drafts — a fantastic idea since castles were not known for their HVAC systems. I’m sure they were a major hit with all the porters. Check out the upgraded versions below. They just may be a hit with you too.

Thom Filicia Inc..

Fast forward several hundred decades, and you wind up with beautiful porter’s chairs such as the set assembled here around a dining table. I would use these with a round table because it would be a little difficult to find folks sitting directly beside you. I believe these would make you feel really special, as if you had your own throne. I believe the large-scale print up the trunk and the middle of the front is very elegant paired with the contrasting double welt.

G Style LLC

This white porter’s seat gives only the barest nod to the whole protective-hood idea. The design probably would not keep a draft, but it is a lovely style. I believe this seat would operate in transitional spaces as well as traditional ones.

A set of zebra-stripe porter’s seats provides a fun way to cozy up to the fireplace. Facing them toward each other creates a romantic dialogue space for two.

Erica George Dines Photography

A crispy green cloth with white timber is a new look. This one can be near a door, so the domed design would be a nice choice to protect from breezes.

Donna DuFresne Interior Design

The scale of the chair makes it perfect for an accent seat worthy of its own corner. Leather or mohair are sumptuous choices for upholstery. Either would give a sense of richness and luxury.


Orkney Island Hooded Chair

These seats get called a lot of different things, such as dome seats and balloon seats. While I was reading one of the aforementioned murder mysteries, the story kept referring to various characters sitting at the Orkney seat. I hadn’t ever heard of it earlier, so thank goodness for the net. A quick search turned up these great-looking seats.

The Orkney Islands are a 45-minute ferry ride north of the mainland. As you can imagine, it is chilly and windy there. These seats were traditionally made from driftwood and woven sea grass, because there are not any trees on the Orkney Islands, and they became popular back until central heating was widely utilized. That was about all the history I could stand before I needed to return to my murder mystery.


Heywood Wakefield Beach Chair – $3,445

Taking the porter’s seat idea outside, this rattan variant protects from sun and wind. I love the little porthole detail on the sides to let you sneak a peek at the hot-looking beach bunnies and lifeguards.

Eclectic Armchairs – $6,300

And now for something entirely different. A print of skeletal remains adorns the back of the porter’s seat, giving it rock star cachet. It has an unexpected twist with this classic design.

Pangaea Interior Design, Portland, OR

Noir Ribcage Chair

Another exoskeleton thought, with wooden ribs surrounding the seat. All architecture on the exterior and cushioned, button-accented elegance inside.

Pangaea Interior Design, Portland, OR

Noir Portero Chair

This eye catcher features a squared-off hooded form and can be by Noir. Applying one cloth on the exterior and another on the inner ups the visual interest.


Cane Balloon Chair – $2,800

This pretty porter’s chair solves the issue of the side view with the dome part made out of cane. More for style than keeping the warmth in, it is a really appealing version.

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