Josh Brolin's chair skirts modernize a century-old trend – and they bring a sense of unique elegance to his dining room

The actor's dining room features patterned chair skirts, which bring a touch of elegance and tradition to his contemporary space

(Image credit: Photo by Joe Maher/Getty Images)

It's not unusual to see a dated trend make a surprising return hundreds (or even thousands) of years later. Design has a rich history, and as such, we are always intrigued when we see styles of yore make a comeback.

Dune and No Country For Old Men star Josh Brolin, whose work spans both past, present, and future timeframes, has adopted a vintage decor style in his home, and we are all for it. Photographer Michael Clifford posted a photo of his retro-inspired dining space, featuring skirted chairs and a round, wood table. The space is warm and refined and also has us contemplating chair skirts in our own dining spaces.

First used widely over 100 years ago, chair skirts have a practical usage to them in addition to looking extremely elegant.

'Chair skirts, or slipcovers, have a rich history dating back to the early 20th century, originally used to protect furniture from dust and wear,' says designer Nina Lichtenstein. 'Today, they are celebrated for their ability to transform the aesthetic of a dining room, offering a versatile way to introduce pattern, color, and texture.'

Lichtenstein is pro pattern when it comes to chair skirts, though she stresses that any prints must be thoughtfully added to existing design schemes.

'Incorporating patterned chair skirts, like the green and white ones in Brolin’s dining room, adds visual interest and depth,' she says. 'Patterns can range from subtle to bold, depending on the overall design scheme. When selecting a pattern, consider how it complements other elements in the room, such as rugs, drapes, and light fixtures.'

Lichtenstein says that another pro of chair skirts is their ability to introduce or restate an existing color palette.

'In Brolin’s dining room, the chair skirts tie into the colors of the rug, lamp shades, and even the walls, creating a unified look,' she says. 'For a cohesive design, choose colors that resonate with the existing decor, and don’t be afraid to play with shades and tones to add dimension.'

Finally, Lichtenstein says that texture choice on a chair skirt can have a massive impact on the appearance of a room.

'The choice of fabric for drapes and chair skirts can significantly impact the room's ambiance,' she states. 'Heavier, darker fabrics like the drapes in Brolin’s dining room contribute to an elegant, grounded feel, while lighter and lighter-colored fabrics like the chair skirts can make the space feel airy and casual. Consider the texture, weight, and color of the fabrics in relation to the overall design and desired atmosphere.'

Hannah Ziegler
News Editor

Hannah is Homes & Gardens’ News Editor, with a focus on celebrity style and entertainment content. She got her start in media as a digital editorial assistant at ELLE Canada, and has since written about lifestyle and culture for publications such as Nylon and i-D.

Her love of film is rivalled only by one with a great soundtrack, and she hopes to someday decorate a Nancy Meyers-worthy kitchen.