How to choose an accent chair

Functional, decorative and eye-catching to boot, accents chairs blur the line between necessity and ornament. Want to know how to choose an accent chair and then style it in your home? Pull up a seat. We’ve answered five frequently asked questions about these statement seating styles.

What is an accent chair?

Usually more decorative than standard seating, accent chairs are used in interior design to create a visual point of difference within a room while pulling together the look and feel of the decor through their colour, shape, and material. Though they may on first glance stand out, a strategically placed chair will continue the room’s theme by picking up a certain colour, or using a specific material to create coherence within a space.

Sometimes called occasional chairs, accent chairs come in many different shapes, including wingback chairs, lounge chairs, tub chairs and more. They can be made in a range of different materials and finishes, and among the most common are upholstery fabrics (we love soft velvet), metal and wood, including mahogany, rattan and bamboo.

Where should I put an occasional chair?

From filling an awkward corner to creating room division in an open-plan space, you can put accent chairs in almost any area of your home. These are some of our favourite combinations: 
  • A loveseat in a bay window
  • A tub chair in a small space
  • An armchair next to a bookshelf
  • A scallop chair beside a sofa
  • Bar stools at a breakfast bar
    In your living room, place a pair of lounge chairs opposite your sofa to create an inviting and conversational seating area that’s perfect for entertaining guests or sitting with your family.

    In smaller spaces where footprint is a consideration, a single accent chair will create just as much visual impact as a pair. Add one to a corner of your living room or bedroom, or create a cosy reading nook in your home office.

    How do you choose an accent
    colour for a chair?

    If you’re looking for an accent chair to suit your current interiors scheme, you should start by assessing the room’s colour palette and identifying any recurring colours. Pick a secondary shade from existing home accessories in the room, it could be in a piece of wall art, woven into a cushion, or painted on a plant pot.

    If the colour already exists around the room, the accent chair will make an impactful visual statement, without looking out of place. Remember, the more contrasting the colour or pattern, the bolder the look, so if you don’t want the accent chair to stand out because of its colour, look for something more neutral with an interesting or unusual shape instead.

    Should my chairs match?

    Short answer, no! Accent chairs do not have to match, however they’ll create more visual impact if they differ from your existing furniture. If you’re looking to add more than one accent chair to a room, whether or not they should match will be down to the look and feel of the space. 

    In refined, minimalist homes, you’ll probably want to choose chairs that go together, while in houses with more eclectic or vintage-inspired themes, a mismatched set of chairs will look right at home.

    Could they work as a desk chair?

    We’re all working from home a little more these days, and using an accent chair is sure to make your office a more appealing environment to work in. If you’re not sitting at your desk for long periods of time, you can use a more statement chair as a desk chair, but opt for something upholstered and more comfortable. It should also sit at the right height under your desk. 

    Too low and you won’t be able to reach your laptop. Too high and your knees will be knocking against the edge of the desk.   Choose a style like our scalloped velvet Flora Chair or Tress Chair. Plush seats and high backrests make these the perfect accent chairs for your office and for you.