What is a Fauteuil?

A fauteuil is a style of open-arm chair with a primarily wooden frame.


A fauteuil is a type of armchair that originated in France during the early 17th century. Unlike its cousin, the closed-arm bergère, the fauteuil features open sides with its frame predominantly made of wood. The exposed wooden frame usually exhibits intricate carvings, reflecting the craftsmanship and decorative arts of the time period in which it was made.

Fauteuils are well-loved not only for their historical significance but also for the blend of formality and comfort they provide. The upholstered back and seat, along with the armrests, often feature luxurious fabrics like silk, velvet, or damask, adorned with patterns that range from the classical to the ornate. The open sides of the fauteuil contribute to a feeling of spaciousness and elegance in any room.

Throughout history, the design of fauteuils has evolved, adapting to various design styles and periods. From the opulent patterns of the Louis XIV era to the simpler lines of the Neoclassical period, fauteuils have found their place in a myriad of interior settings. Modern interpretations continue to honor the chair’s storied past while incorporating contemporary design elements, making fauteuils a timeless choice for both traditional and modern interiors.


Fauteuils are commonly found in formal living rooms, sitting areas, and occasionally in bedrooms, offering a touch of elegance and a nod to classic design. They are particularly favored in settings that aim to combine comfort with an air of sophistication. In modern times, fauteuils can also be seen complementing contemporary spaces, where a singular piece can serve as a statement of luxury or a bridge between modern and traditional elements.


  • How do fauteuils differ from other armchairs?

    Fauteuils distinguish themselves from other armchairs by their open sides and the extensive use of a wood frame, often elaborately carved, exposing more of the chair’s structure than other styles. They typically feature high-quality upholstery on the back, seat, and armrests.

  • Can fauteuils be integrated into contemporary interior designs?

    Yes, modern interpretations of fauteuils blend their classic elements with contemporary design features, making them versatile pieces that can enhance both traditional and modern interiors. Their timeless elegance and detailed craftsmanship can serve as focal points in any room.

  • Are there specific care instructions for fauteuils?

    Care for fauteuils involves regular dusting of the wooden frame and gentle cleaning of the upholstery according to the fabric’s specific care instructions. It’s important to avoid placing them in direct sunlight to prevent fading, and to maintain the wood’s finish with appropriate wood care products.

Practical Application

When integrating a fauteuil into your interior design, consider its historical context and craftsmanship as part of the room's overall theme. Pairing a fauteuil with complementary pieces, such as a side table or decorative lamp, can enhance its aesthetic appeal. Pay attention to the upholstery’s texture and color to ensure it harmonizes with the room’s color scheme. Additionally, placing a fauteuil in a spot where it can be appreciated from different angles lets its unique features stand out, making it more than just a piece of furniture, but a work of art in your space.