It may appear an insignificant detail, but the type of legs a chair has can make all the difference in the look and feel of your space. From elegant to funky, there’s a leg for every style and purpose.
But then, with the wide array of options available in the market lies the perplexing affair of choosing the right one that suits both your aesthetic and practical needs.
But not any longer!
In this blog post, I’ll review 11 of the most popular chair leg types to help you make the right decision.
Whether you are looking to give your dining area a luxe upgrade or just want to redo the living room, I’ve got you covered.
- Reeded legs are similar to Fluted legs but feature convex grooves, unlike the former comes with concave grooves.
- These chair leg designs are versatile enough to serve in other pieces of furniture, depending on the design you’re looking for.
- You can combine different characteristics from various chair leg designs to come up with something unique.
11 Common Chair Leg Designs Explained
Some of these furniture legs are modern, classic, and downright quirky.
Marlborough Leg Style
Remember the basic four-legged chairs you used to have in your childhood home?
Well, Marlborough legs are those!
Sturdy with no finesse, these are perfect for everyday use. Plus, they are usually the most budget-friendly choice out of all the types.
The design has a block foot, so you won’t even incur the additional cost of getting a decorative foot.
They’re the go-to solution for various chairs, from simple dining to lounge and café seating.
But then, if you don’t want the straight legs so plain, you can also have them a bit tapered! Either way, it’s one of the furniture leg styles that offers much-needed stability to your furniture piece.
Fluted Leg Design
This furniture leg style dates to somewhere between the mid to late 18th century. It was often seen in the Hepplewhite furniture.
It hasn’t been a popular chair leg design from the onset of the 20th century. So, if you need something that will bring a touch of antiquity to your home, a fluted leg can bring back the regal charm of yesteryears.
For this design, the legs come with concave grooves or flutes that often end with a simply turned toe.
Trumpet Leg Style
If you were to guess what this leg style looks like, you’d most probably give the right answer!
The trumpet legs are just that, only that the trumpet appears upturned. In fact, that’s why they’re also called trumpet-turned legs.
That’s to say, this leg style begins narrow at the base and then gets wider towards the top.
The top is often capped with a dome, while the bottom features a ball, bun, or Spanish foot.
Of course, there are a multitude of curves here, so it’s worth trying if you don’t want the “boring” look of square legs.
I’d recommend this style if you have Mediterranean, Baroque, William and Mary, English Restoration, or classic designs. The piece will fit right in!
If you want a touch of drama and grandeur for your space, you may try pulling it off with the spiral leg style, a spiral twist, or a barley-twist leg.
The legs in this style are carved into a twist from top to bottom, resembling a twisted rope.
The design is believed to have its roots in India. However, it spread across Europe and enjoyed fame in Portugal, England, and Holland from around the 1660s to the onset of the 18th century.
They’re a favorite style for Restoration and William and Mary furniture, although the design lost its fame for a while before making a healthy comeback a century later.
It’s the go-to chair leg style if you have classic, Victorian, and traditional themes! It will also bring a sense of luxury to any space.
She was also known as the “splayed legs” or “sabre legs” saber furniture leg styles extend at an outward angle right from top to bottom.
The design looks like a saber or a curved sword – hence the name.
The shape of the splayed furniture leg can be round or square and will more often taper with the piece beginning thicker at the top and more slender at the bottom.
Saber leg design originated in ancient Greece and was celebrated in Regency, Sheraton, Empire, and other 18th-century furniture.
Spider Leg Style
Want to add some scrawny yet stylish legs to your chair? Spider legs are the perfect way to do that!
It’s one style that has successfully fought to keep its relevance over the centuries. That’s to tell you that this design isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
This style features three or four thin curved legs that extend down the furniture piece. The design began in the late 18th century. It had gained popularity by the early 19th century, often coming in round tables, candlestands, and other portable pieces.
Not all the legs end in feet, but more often than not, they do, with most of these pieces coming with spade furniture feet.
Go for it if you have Mediterranean, modern farmhouse, or traditional themes.
Interesting Read: Why Are Peacock Chairs So Expensive?
The Shaker style is known for its simplicity and functionality. So it’s not surprising that this applies to their chair legs.
Shaker furniture often comes with flat, rectangularly shaped legs thicker at the top and taper towards the bottom.
This style began in the late 18th century. It was popularized by the Shakers, a religious community who valued furniture that could be crafted quickly and simply but was still solid and sturdy.
This versatile style fits into many design themes, such as Rustic, Country, and Farmhouse.
The reeded leg style is so similar to the fluted design, the reason the two are often mistaken for each other.
However, there’s a significant difference between the two as long as you know what goes in each style.
Like fluted legs, the reeded design features vertically-shaped grooves with even spacing. However, what sets the two designs apart is the design of these grooves.
In reeded legs, the grooves or raised, or come in a convex shape, unlike on the counterpart where they’re dug in, or in other words, come in a concave shape.
Ancient Greek and Roman furniture was often seen with this style, but it later flourished in Empire, Regency, and Neoclassical furniture in the mid-19th century.
It’s apparently one of the most popular leg styles in the furniture industry. The leg, in this case, has a knee protruding outwards while the ankle curves inwards, with the leg often terminating to an ornamental foot.
It’s a design that looks much similar to a horse’s rear legs.
This chair leg style was popular in Queen Anne and Chippendale furniture, although how the leg terminated differed slightly in the two styles.
In Queen Anne, the cabriole leg would end in a pad foot. As for Chippendale styles, there were no pad feet. Instead, it would terminate in a ball-and-claw foot.
The design of the cabriole leg style later attracted interest from Edwardian furniture and French Louis XV style. Use it for your dining chairs, side tables, dining cabinets, or just any other piece that you think will look great with it.
I guess we all know how hairpins look, don’t we? Well, this style borrows inspiration from that.
Hairpin legs feature a single metal rod – often steel or iron – bent in a U shape to give the furniture a sturdy yet delicate look.
This design was inspired by mid-century modern furniture, giving the pieces a light and airy look.
These legs are also incredibly popular in DIYs as they’re easy to install. It can be made to fit any size, making them perfect for anyone looking to add a bit of fun to their furniture pieces.
More often, hairpin legs are used for chairs, bar stools, and coffee tables. Of course, that’s not the end of it, as you can also use them for benches and other pieces.
The tapered leg design is very simple to understand. The rectangular straight leg begins wide at the top and then gently narrows down to the bottom, where it usually ends with a block foot.
You’ll find it in some Hepplewhite pieces, and it works great for desks, chairs, or even table legs.
This style is best for modern or contemporary designs as its simple look will fit perfectly with the theme.
But if you don’t want the plain look, you can still borrow a few characteristics in other leg designs and end up with a piece that’s tapered but with the extra flair of other more intricate designs as opposed to a barebone look.
Well, there you have it; 11 chair leg designs that are sure to add character and personality to your furniture pieces.
No matter the particular style of design you’re looking for, whether it’s traditional or modern, there’s a chair leg for every kind of interior design.