The Morris Chair - An Arts and Crafts Investment

By Bailiegh Basham · August 29, 2018

The Morris Chair - An Arts and Crafts Investment

History Of The Morris Chair​

Sturdy. Reliable. Unmistakable. Handcrafted.

Why is the Morris chair still relevant today? This popular chair design has come a long way since being named “the first recliner”. A staple of Arts and Crafts furniture style, the comfortable chair is equipped with an adjustable back and dates back to the 19th century. Since its inception in the 1860s, the Morris chair has changed the meaning of comfort making it one of the most widely loved and produced pieces of furniture in the modern era.

The Morris Chair Over the Decades

The prototype for the recliner chair was originally designed by a carpenter named Ephraim Colman in Sussex, England and later developed by Warrington Taylor. The details were then passed to Philip Webb, one of the founding members of Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Company (later to become Morris & Company). The Morris chair was popularized in the mid 19th century by the Morris & Company and later updated in the United States by Gustav Stickley, founder of the American Craftsman Movement (source).

Our Amish handcrafted Morris chairs most resemble Gustav Stickley's redesign, an updated classic for the modern home. Over the decades, this chair design has remained a favorite among chair enthusiasts, designers, and Craftsman and Mission homeowners alike.

Morris Chair Construction

An unmistakable design, the Morris Chair is crafted from real wood with both a seat and back cushion. Most commonly, this timeless chair is crafted from Quartersawn White Oak with a golden hardwood furniture finish (such as our Burnished Honey or Terra Cotta wood stains).

Several different interpretations have been created - some are bow-armed, flat-armed, and slant-armed models, even cushioned-armed versions.

The Morris Chair reclining mechanisms is delightfully low-tech. It is not equipped with any levers, springs, sensors; it functions with pegs inserted into holes in the arms. As the sitter, you must take yourself around to the back of the chair to make adjustments.

This sturdy solid wood chair with cushions is built along straight, spare lines – reflecting the essence of the Arts and Crafts movement and blending seamlessly with your existing furniture. The Morris chair was a simplified iteration of the traditional form, with a rectilinear shape, flat angled arms, thick leather cushions, and of course the reclining back. Today, Countryside Amish Furniture's Morris chairs can be seen in traditional Craftsman style houses to modern luxury lofts and everywhere in between.

Countryside's Morris Chair Offering

Below you will find some of our favorite Morris chairs offered at Countryside. We've also included footstools and ottomans designed to match your chair.

Most common questions about Morris chairs

What kind of chair is a Morris chair?

The Morris chair is a very early style of reclining chair developed in the 1860s. 

Are Morris chairs comfortable?

While seating comfort is subjective, the Morris chair has a number of elements designed to improve comfort. This includes the recline feature, as well as the cushioned seat and back.

How much does a Stickley Morris chair cost?

At Countryside Amish Furniture, our hardwood version of the Morris chair can range in cost depending on the type of wood and upholstery you select. Prices typically start between $1500 and $1700.

Who designed the Morris chair?

The chair was prototyped by Ephraim Colman and later adapated by William Morris' firm Morris & Company.

Is Stickley furniture still being made?

In name, yes. However, the company is no longer owned by the Stickley family. That said, many of the original designs are still being manufactured.