Here's Why HGTV's Emily Henderson Buys Chairs You Can't Actually Sit In

When designing a space, most people try to mix form and function whenever possible. This means choosing pieces that have both a clear purpose and a great appearance. Focusing on both these elements equally makes your home not only beautiful but also useful.

However, according to HGTV star Emily Henderson, there are certain times when form wins out over function. One instance where aesthetics could be the most important is when buying a chair for looks, not to sit in. This makes the furniture a piece of artwork instead of a functional element. Further, this decorative piece could be added to any room, including the living room, dining space, or bedroom. However, keep in mind that a chair that's only used for aesthetics probably can't be used in a home with limited square footage. But if you have the space, a beautiful chair could be the perfect element to finish a home's design and make it appear more put-together.

Why buy chairs for purely aesthetics?

Henderson talks about how using these chairs means choosing form over function on her blog, Style by Emily Henderson. "I call them 'looking at chairs,' not 'sitting in chairs.' It's a lot of people's nightmare and often the first thing new clients tell me when we talk about style — 'I don't want chairs people are afraid to sit in.' Well be very afraid, people. Function, schmuntion — I want to own these."

While this may seem pointless, Henderson says that she loves these pieces simply because of how they look. In her book, "The New Design Rules," she says, "I've been known to buy 'looking at' chairs. This might seem silly and a waste of space, but looking at them brings me a lot of joy." Therefore, you should think about these pieces just like you would consider a painting or sculpture — they're simply meant to bring your style into the space and improve your mood. According to Henderson, if you like looking at the furniture piece, that's enough reason to display it in your home.

Types of sculptural chairs

Perhaps you're wondering what kinds of chairs Henderson is referring to. In her blog, Style by Emily Henderson, she says that she has a chair that's shaped like a wooden hand, which could be purchased on Etsy. "Guests are constantly asking me 'can I sit on/in that?' and I say, 'Yes. You should be so lucky, it would be your pleasure.' No, not good for movie marathons, but [once] your tiny butt is in that large hand you feel as safe as a kangaroo baby in her mama's pouch."

For a modern option with soft edges and a unique shape, the Moma chair available on Wayfair comes in bright yellow. Or, you could consider Homary's, which is made out of cylindrical, upholstered pieces attached together. Finally, maybe you're searching for a wooden piece, in which case check out Perigold's smooth seats. Whatever you choose, ensure that it matches the rest of your style. In no time, the piece will start to stand out and become a conversation starter among guests.