What Is An Accent Chair and How to Choose One?

Accent chairs serve as both functional furniture and stylish decor elements in a room. They add personality, flair, and a touch of sophistication to any space. 

Accent chairs or occasional chairs are chosen for their aesthetic appeal and often serve as a focal point or conversation piece in a living room, bedroom, or any other space where additional seating is desired.

But what exactly is an accent chair, and how do you choose the right one for your home? In this guide, we'll explore types of accent chairs and provide tips on selecting the ideal piece to complement your interior design.

bar chair

Pictured: Dutchbone Bar Vintage Brown Lounge Chair

What is an Accent Chair?

An accent chair is a standalone piece of furniture designed to complement the overall decor of a room. Unlike standard chairs, which primarily serve functional purposes like dining or lounging, accent chairs are chosen for their aesthetic appeal and ability to make a statement. 

They often feature unique designs, eye-catching patterns, or luxurious fabrics that draw attention and enhance the visual appeal of the space.

Accent chairs come in a variety of styles, ranging from traditional to modern and everything in between. They may feature distinctive shapes, such as wingback, barrel, or slipper chairs, adding visual interest to the room.

The upholstery of an accent chair plays a crucial role in its design. Bold colours, intricate patterns, or luxurious fabric textures can make a striking statement and become the focal point of the room.

leather chair

Pictured: Chill Black Leather and Acacia Wood Armchair

How to Choose the Perfect Accent Chair 

Choosing the right accent chair can enhance the style and functionality of your space. Here are some tips on how to make the right decision: 

Consider the Purpose

Determine the primary function of the chair. Will it be used for reading, lounging, or simply as a decorative piece? This will help you narrow down your options. 

If it’s primarily for decoration, you have more freedom with picking an aesthetic design in any material you want, whereas a high-traffic chair may need more consideration for the comfort level and hard-wearing fabric choices. 

Consider any additional features or functionality you may need, such as swivel or reclining mechanisms, adjustable height, or built-in storage.

Consider the Size 

Take measurements of the area where you plan to place the chair. Consider the scale of the room and how the chair will fit in relation to other furniture.

Ensure that the chair fits comfortably in the space without overwhelming or crowding the area. 

Complement Your Existing Decor Style 

When selecting an accent chair, consider the existing decor style of your room. Whether your space is traditional, contemporary, or eclectic, choose a chair that seamlessly complements the aesthetic. For instance, a sleek, minimalist chair may suit a modern interior, while a tufted, velvet chair could add a touch of luxury to a classic setting.

Select Suitable Upholstery 

Select upholstery and fabric that aligns with your design preferences but also suits the practical needs of the space. If the chair will be used frequently, opt for durable, stain-resistant fabrics like leather. For a bolder statement, experiment with vibrant colours, patterns, or luxurious textures, like velvet or boucle.

velvet sofa

Do Accent Chairs Have to Match the Sofa?

Accent chairs do not necessarily have to match the sofa. In fact, mixing and matching furniture pieces can often create a more interesting and dynamic look in a room. 

However, it's important to ensure that the accent chairs complement the overall style and colour scheme of the room and coordinate well with the sofa. 

This can be achieved through various factors such as coordinating colours, similar design styles, or complementary textures. Ultimately, the goal is to create a cohesive and visually appealing space rather than strictly adhering to matching furniture sets.


Pictured: Abe Deconstructed Velvet Armchair in Moss Green

What Accent Chairs Go With Leather Sofas?

Choosing accent chairs to complement a leather sofa can enhance the overall look and feel of your living space. Here are some suggestions for accent chairs that go well with leather sofas:

Neutral Colours 

One way to pair chairs with your sofa is to opt for accent chairs in neutral colours such as beige, cream, grey, or taupe. These colours can create a cohesive and balanced look when paired with a leather sofa, creating harmony in your living space. 

Complimentary Colours

You can also go the opposite way and choose an accent chair in a contrasting yet complimentary colour. If you’re looking for accent chairs that go with a brown leather couch, for example, colours such as burgundy, navy blue or deep green can add visual interest and create a striking focal point in the room.

Contrasting Colours 

Consider accent chairs with different textures to add visual interest to the space. For example, a leather sofa paired with a fabric accent chair or one with velvet or suede upholstery can create a stylish contrast.

Complementary Styles

Choose accent chairs that complement the style of your leather sofa. For instance, if you have a traditional or classic leather sofa, opt for accent chairs with similar design elements, such as rolled arms, button tufting, or wooden legs. If your leather sofa has a more contemporary or modern design, look for accent chairs with clean lines and sleek finishes.

plaid armchair

What Accent Chairs Go With a Beige Sofa?

When choosing accent chairs to complement a beige sofa, you have various options depending on the style and vibe you want to achieve in your space. Here are some ways you can pair an accent chair with a beige sofa: 

Neutral Tones or Contrasting Colors

Stick with a similar neutral palette to the beige sofa for a cohesive look. Choose accent chairs in shades like taupe, cream, or light grey. These colours will blend well with the beige sofa without overpowering the space.

Alternatively, opt for accent chairs in colours that contrast with beige to create visual interest. For example, brighter jewel tones can add a pop of colour while still harmonising with the sofa. This can be particularly useful if you’re using an accent chair with a richer fabric, such as velvet. 

Patterns and Textures

Introduce patterned or textured accent chairs to add depth and personality to the room. Consider chairs with subtle patterns like stripes, geometric designs, or floral prints. Alternatively, textured fabrics such as velvet, tweed, or linen can provide visual intrigue.

Wooden Accents

If you prefer a more natural or rustic look, wooden accent chairs can be an excellent choice. Opt for chairs with wooden frames in finishes that coordinate with the sofa, such as oak, walnut, or mahogany. The warmth of the wood can complement the neutral tones of the beige sofa.

rattan dining chair

Pictured: Cuun Natural Rattan Dining Chair

Can You Use a Dining Chair as an Accent Chair?

While dining chairs are typically designed for use at a dining table, many styles can also work well as accent chairs in other areas of your home, such as the living room, bedroom, or home office. Dining chairs with arms or made with materials such as leather or velvet can work quite effectively as accent chairs. 

You will need to choose a dining chair with a design and style that complements the decor of the room where you intend to use it as an accent chair. Look for features such as the shape of the backrest, the material, and the colour or pattern of the upholstery.

Experiment with different placements within the room to find the best spot for the dining chair to serve as an accent piece. It could be placed near a window, in a reading nook, or alongside a side table.

Dutchbone armchair

Pictured: Dutchbone Amaron Lounge Chair

How to Style an Accent Chair

Styling an accent chair can help transform it from just a chair into a focal point in your room that shows your personality and adds flair to any room.

Cushions and Throw Blankets 

Cushions and throw blankets are excellent for doing this. They not only add comfort but also contribute to the chair's visual appeal by adding texture and pattern. Textured fabrics like knit, faux fur, or velvet can enhance the chair's appeal and make it more inviting.

Select cushions and throw blankets that complement the colour and style of the accent chair. You can either match them to the chair's upholstery for a cohesive look or choose contrasting colours and patterns to make the chair stand out even more.

Experiment with layering cushions and throw blankets to add depth and dimension to the chair. Start with a larger cushion against the back of the chair, followed by smaller cushions in front. Then drape a throw blanket over the arm or back of the chair for a cosy finishing touch. Larger cushions can provide support, while smaller ones add decorative flair.

Storage Baskets and Ottomans 

Consider incorporating storage solutions like a woven basket or a decorative storage ottoman near the chair to store extra cushions and throw blankets when not in use. This keeps the area tidy while still having them easily accessible for when you want to cosy up in the chair.

Accent Chair Lighting 

If the accent chair is in a reading nook or a cosy corner, ensure there's adequate lighting nearby. A floor lamp or a table lamp can provide both functionality and ambience.

pink sofa and chair

Do Accent Chairs Have to Match?

Accent chairs don't necessarily have to match perfectly with each other or with other furniture pieces in a room. In fact, mixing and matching different styles, colours, and patterns can often create a more interesting and dynamic look in interior design.

However, it's still important to consider elements such as overall colour scheme, style, and proportion when selecting accent chairs to ensure they complement each other and the rest of the space. 

You might aim for a cohesive look by choosing chairs that share a common design element or colour palette, or you could intentionally contrast styles for a more eclectic vibe. 

Can You Have Two Different Accent Chairs?

Absolutely! Mixing and matching accent chairs can add visual interest and personality to a room. Choosing two different accent chairs allows you to play with textures, colours, patterns, and styles to create a unique and eclectic look. 

Just be mindful of how the chairs complement each other and the overall aesthetic of the space. 

Ready to pick your accent chair now? Check out our full range of accent chairs and occasional chairs at Accessories for the Home. 

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