Jennifer Aniston May Have Single-Handedly Brought Back This Dorm Room Staple

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Architectural Digest)

By now we’ve all heard the sad (but probably inevitable) news about the split between Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux, which isn’t so much the sort of thing a design junkie like me really dwells on. Sure, I wish they could have worked it out as much as the next person. But instead of wondering what went wrong between these two, I’m thinking about what went right, at least design-wise, in that just published Bel Air house of theirs that’s reportedly already on the market. Can we all just acknowledge what these two did to elevate the status of bean bag chairs everywhere?

It’s not everyday that these extremely comfy but otherwise amorphous blobs of furniture can look so cool, and for that, I thank J and J (or at least, their designer). So in honor of their former master bedroom bean bags, let’s look at some other examples of this trend done right (or maybe it’s still all wrong for you, and if so, tell us in the comments!) Bean bag chairs aren’t for everyone, but if you can manage to make them look good, you know they’ll be a hit with anyone who sits in them.

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Fireplaces and bean bag chairs are a natural pairing, I think, because both parties bring the cozy. This suede set of bean bags in a room by architect Kimberly Peck has that perfect, work-in look going on, and the rest of the room is equally homey.

(Image credit: Teri Lyn Fisher/Houzz)

Material choice is definitely one way to elevate bean bag seating, and leather is certainly another luxe option. It can go modern farmhouse, like the suede guys above, or be a little more eclectic, as in this living room in the 500-square-foot home of designer Francis Merrill of Reath Design seen on Houzz.

(Image credit: Touch Interiors)

I’d say the oversized trellis pattern bean bag in this bright, modern living room by Touch Interiors is holding its own. Points for pulling off this trend with a busy pattern and not having it read totally kiddie.

(Image credit: Stuart Nordin)

Of course, bean bag chairs are always at home in a children’s bedroom or playroom, but that doesn’t mean they have to be emblazoned with Frozen characters. You can find a bean bag chair that’s a little less childish design-wise—just take this little conversation pit created by Stuart Nordin Home & Design comprised of two-tone styles, for example. They’re a little more structured than the typical bean bag but still a great solution for a space that’s going to be used for playing games and watching TV. Sherpa or faux fur are two other more sophisticated kid options.

(Image credit: Dvelas via Design Milk)

The outdoors are another logical place to lounge. So the bean bag chair is a great solution for patios, porches and backyards. The ones on this covered deck (from a brand called Dvelas, via Design Milk, are made of recycled sails, but regular old indoor/outdoor fabric would work just as well.

(Image credit: Womanscape)

Would you fill a whole room with bean bags? It works in a commercial setting, like the waiting room of this New York meditation hotspot Inscape, (captured by WomanScape) and certainly could be an idea if you were lucky enough to have space for a meditation area in your home. But otherwise I think there’s not enough structure to a scheme that’s entirely without a hard furniture, save a coffee table. Unless we’re talking a play area like the one above, which is meant to be totally devoid of sharp edges and points.

Ready to give bean bag chairs a chance? Then check out our shopping guide. And if you still can’t behind the trend, that’s okay too. To each his own!