We finally got a chance to review the Crescent Swivel Chair which West Elm recently released and has been advertising like crazy, and boy were we disappointed.

A slightly modern take on the Barrel (or Tub) Chair, we liked what we saw in pictures and were initially excited to take a spin in it (literally). So what went wrong?


For starters, the in person visual experience doesn’t quite do the photos justice. The chair looks small and stubby. The sort of “floating” back just comes across as a regular old back. The fabric (this review is for a teal Twill version) wears poorly and dirties easily — perhaps a different fabric would suit the chair better.

We do love the way it looks in photos and maybe all dressed up and tucked into a corner this chair will provide the same sort of visual appeal, but as a standout item in a room it frankly looks a bit cheap and confused and we wouldn’t want it being a centerpiece.


The construction of the chair seems sound enough. Given its bulky, blocky design there doesn’t seem to be much room for something to go wrong and the swivel works as intended with no obvious issues. We wouldn’t expect anything to go wrong over time here.

Ok so, not so sexy, decent construction, but how does it feel? If this was one of those cozy, comfy, love to plop down in it chairs we probably would have given the design let downs a pass. But it isn’t.

The back is stiff and thin feeling, almost firm cardboard-like. The seat is super low to the ground, so for tall people this would probably be an automatic sloucher or a knee compressor, take your pick though we’d choose knee compressor since slouching against hard cardboard seems worse. The seat cushion is not supportive. Barrel chairs can be hit or miss with how functional the arm rests are, and this one is a big miss. They’re thin, awkwardly positioned, and downright not a place you can put your arms, forcing you to kind of squeeze into what is likely to become a little swivel cage.


In the end, at $599-$799 even with a nice fabric we don’t think we’d ever be recommending this chair. For the money there are way better options which we think will hold up longer & provide more sophisticated and generally better style.

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