What is a Boudoir Chair?

Mary McMahon

A boudoir chair is a small chair which is designed to be utilized in limited space without taking up too much room. As the name implies, the design of a boudoir chair makes it well suited to use in dressing rooms, powder rooms, and bedrooms, where it may be both functional and decorative, depending on the taste of the user. Many furniture stores carry boudoir chairs in a range of styles to meet various needs. It is also possible to hand-make a boudoir chair, or to have one custom made for a specific application.

Woman with a flower
Woman with a flower

Many boudoir chairs are characterized by having rounded seats and low backs, typically with no armrests. In some case, the seat of a boudoir chair may also be lower than that of a conventional chair, though this is not always the case. These chairs are also typically somewhat smaller than ordinary chairs, with an emphasis on making a very small footprint in the rooms they are used in, although larger versions are not unheard of.

Some boudoir chairs are upholstered, and it is not uncommon to see them covered in chair slips, which are typically tailored to the chair so that they fall nicely to the floor. It is also possible to find hard boudoir chairs, which often have ornamental backs made from wood or metal in filigree designs. In some cases, the back of a boudoir chair is hard, while the seat itself is padded for comfort.

One can use a boudoir chair as a place to sit while applying or removing makeup and dealing with other beauty tasks at the beginning and the end of the day. In some cases, a dressing room has multiple boudoir chairs, allowing people to sit and talk while someone is seated at a vanity or makeup table. It is also not uncommon to see these chairs installed ornamentally in powder rooms, where they can be quite convenient as a space to put a purse and other small accessories while using the facilities.

The design of a boudoir chair can range from delicate and lacy for a very feminine bedroom to more heavy and solid, for use in a more masculine room. Like other chairs, boudoir chairs come in a range of finishes with an assortment of upholstery and slip patterns, so it should be possible to find one which meets your needs if you have a hankering for a boudoir chair. If you are in the market for such a chair, you may want to bring along reference objects such as swatches of the drapes and carpeting from the room the chair will be used in to ensure that it matches.

Discussion Comments


What a clear and concise description of boudoir chairs. Originally I didn't see the purpose of them, but after finding them on Frances Hunt, I had to know more.

They look great but they sound like they're more intended for use by women rather than guys.

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