What is a Morris Chair?

A Morris Chair is an early type of reclining chair.


A Morris Chair is distinguished by its adjustable backrest which provides varying degrees of comfort and anatomical support. The design of the Morris Chair dates back to the 19th century and is closely associated with the Arts and Crafts movement, making it a symbol of simplicity, quality craftsmanship, and functional beauty.

The frame of a Morris Chair is typically made from solid wood, featuring thick, padded cushions for the seat and back. One of the chair's key features is its unique adjustment system. Rather than a modern mechanical recline function, the Morris Chair often uses a peg system that fits into a series of holes in the chair's sides to adjust the recline angle. This manual adjustment system adds to the chair's charm and vintage appeal.

In addition to its functional design, the Morris Chair often incorporates stylistic elements typical of the Arts and Crafts era, including exposed joinery, and sometimes, decorative inlays or carvings, making each piece not just a piece of furniture, but a work of art.


The Morris Chair has seen various adaptations and styles over the years but remains popular among collectors and those who appreciate the aesthetic and principles of the Arts and Crafts movement. It is often found in homes that feature historical or traditional interiors, as well as those that aspire to a more timeless or artisanal ambiance.


  • Who invented the Morris Chair?

    The Morris Chair was first introduced by the English designer Philip Webb for Morris & Co., led by William Morris, an influential figure in the Arts and Crafts movement.

  • Can the Morris Chair be considered comfortable by today’s standards?

    Yes, with its adjustable backrest and thick padded cushions, the Morris Chair can still be considered very comfortable, even by today's standards.

  • Are all Morris Chairs antiques?

    Not necessarily. While original Morris Chairs from the 19th and early 20th centuries are considered antiques, modern versions are still produced, honoring the original design principles but possibly utilizing more contemporary materials and techniques.

Practical Application

When incorporating a Morris Chair into your interior design, consider its historical significance and unique features. It's best suited to spaces that evoke a sense of timelessness or craftsmanship. Pair it with other pieces that reflect the Arts and Crafts movement for a cohesive look, or let it stand as a statement piece in a more modern setting. Regardless of your overall design style, the Morris Chair can add a touch of artisanal charm and comfort to your space.