Today I thought I would share my thoughts on my new desk chair because it’s such a popular one, but I wasn’t able to find much information about it online before I bought mine. Here’s my Serena and Lily Sunwashed Riviera Chair review.
I don’t do official reviews of particular items often, in fact it’s possible that I may never have done one. Have I? I can’t remember. (Added later: Upon further thought yes I have. I definitely reviewed both our IKEA wood counters, and our IKEA farmhouse sink) Anyway, I thought that a proper review was in order for this new desk chair of mine because these chairs are very popular, but I wasn’t able to find a review online for my particular model. These chairs are also a bit of an investment when you compare the cost to a big box store option, and this is especially true if you’ll be ordering one in to Canada like I did. When you factor in duties, taxes, shipping, and the exchange rate, the chair is definitely significantly more expensive than what the price says on the website. A lot of people love these chairs though, so I wanted to provide some information that will allow them to decide if the cost is worth it. So let’s review the Serena and Lily Sunwashed Riviera Chair!
How comfortable is it?
Since this is my desk chair, the intention is that I’ll be sitting in it for a good chunk of the day on weekdays, so I definitely took a little bit of a risk ordering this chair without first trying it out. I’m so happy to report that it’s actually super comfortable to sit in, even for long periods of time. I actually find that I prefer sitting in it over sitting on the couch now because it’s just much easier to type and think clearly and feel productive when you’re sitting up properly. I like that the rattan is a bit softer than a plain wood chair, but still supportive, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that rattan is actually a lot warmer to sit on as well. I hadn’t put any consideration into the warmth of the chair, but it definitely makes a difference, especially if you’re someone who is always cold.
I do have to say that the scale of the chair is a bit on the smaller side. I’m 5’3″ and it’s only a tiny bit big for me. We have oversized Windsor chairs in the kitchen, so compared to those, this chair feels pretty tiny. This actually makes it more comfortable for me, but might not be a great option for someone really tall.
Does it look as nice in person as it does in the photos?
Oh my gosh. In terms of style, this chair does not disappoint. Every part of it is just beautiful. I love that every element of this chair is real and not plastic, so it looks like it could be something that you’ve had forever. The thing that I was really nervous about was the color of the chair. I loved the look of the “Coastal Blue” on the website, but I knew that it definitely wasn’t the “safe” choice. I considered getting the “natural” color for just a second because that’s definitely a classic in every way and something that I know I would use forever, but in the end I knew the happy blue chair would be the right choice for the cheerful desk nook I was trying to create. The “Coastal Blue” turned out to be the perfect, soft, powder blue and it’s one of those colors that seems happy sitting next to anything. I know it wouldn’t be everyone’s first choice, I’m so happy I went with my gut on this one. 🙂
I should also note that the “sunwashed” version of the Riviera chair, which is the one that I have has an all-rattan seat and back, unlike the regular Riviera, which has a combination of plastic and rattan. The regular one would probably be a little better in a situation where you might need to clean it more often, but for looks and comfort at a desk, the sunwashed is definitely my choice.
What else do I need to know about this chair?
Since this chair is natural rattan, it does make a bit of a noise when you sit in it or move around. I’d say they’ve really done a great job of minimizing that and it doesn’t make the same amount of noise a traditional wicker chair does, but the slight noise is still there. It doesn’t bother me at all, but the first couple of times I sat in it, before I realized how sturdy it is, it made me worried that I was breaking it.
The other big factors that I should mention are the cost and the shipping time. If you were to purchase this chair in store, or if you’re located in the US, this chair really isn’t that expensive. It’s a great deal, actually for what you’re getting. If you’re in Canada like I am though, the cost will definitely go up compared to the price that you see on the website. The shipping cost wasn’t bad at $35, but when you take into account the exchange rate, and then duties and taxes when the chair arrives in the country, the chair is significantly more expensive. I ended up paying an additional $48 in duties and taxes upon delivery. When you factor everything in, the chair cost me closer the $400 than the $248 listed on the website. I love it so much though so it still seems like a very fair price.
The other thing to take into account with this chair is the shipping time. I’ve really gotten used to things arriving within 2-7 days at most and this chair took three weeks to arrive, to the day. In the grand scheme of things, it didn’t kill me, but while I was waiting it felt like forever! If you’re planning on using these chairs for a project, especially if you’re in Canada, definitely order them a few weeks ahead of time.
And that’s my review of the Serena and Lily Sunwashed Riviera Chair! Let me know if you have any other questions that I haven’t yet answered!
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Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.