What is an Accent Chair?

Do you have a boring, bland and awkward space in your home? Don’t waste its potential. The easiest way to add an easily noticeable decoration and practical addition to space is to place an accent chair within a room.

An accent chair is an extra seating space that adds a dose of personality to your room. It is placed strategically in an area to complement or add an accent – that’s why it was called an accent chair. It is used as a focal point or a statement while it creates a particular look for the whole space. Usually, it breaks the overall look of your space to add variety and interest, but still must be in harmony with the décor of your interiors. In short, it keeps the balance with the rest of the furniture.

Accent chairs also allow you to express your personal style, and bring new touches of color, pattern, shape, and texture to your interior, since they come in many different designs you can ever imagine. For instance, adding a bright or neon accent chair to a neutral space creates a pop of color. A classic ornate chair can create a vintage feel to a room. A sleek, single couch gives a modern look.

Here are the most common types of accent chairs:

1. Armchair

Armchairs are the most basic and popular type of accent chair. Their styles are classic and straightforward and are designed to bring comfort. Usually found in living rooms, they may resemble the look of other seating pieces in the room, or they can add a statement by picking those with contrasting pattern or color. They are typically made of an upholstered material and has two armrests to support your arms and sides.

2. Slipper chair

Remove the arms from the armchair and you have a slipper chair. It doesn’t take much of space as an armchair and they are easier to place alongside your main sofa or loveseat because of their simple design. Slipper chairs are also frequently used as an extra seating next to a coffee table or in ladies’ bedrooms to help in getting dressed. They make your seat closer to the ground with its short legs. Like the armchair, slipper chairs are upholstered and are available in different designs, colors, material, and patterns to suit everyone’s needs.

3. Wingback chair

Wingback chairs make you feel like you’re sitting on a throne. For centuries, they are used in formal rooms since they bring a classic style. Although traditional, wingback chairs are now given a more contemporary flavor by interior designers to suit even the most non-formal and laid back rooms. With their signature winged sides and tall back, they can enclose the head and the torso of a person sitting on it. Wingback chairs are usually placed next to a fireplace in an entryway or opposite a desk. It also makes a perfect counterpart to a large sofa or even as an end chair on the head and foot of a dining table. However, it is most likely to stay put in its spot because of their weight and bulkiness.

4. Club chair

A club chair is like an armchair – cushy and upholstered but has a deeper than usual seats and higher arms. Its cozy seating design makes it an ideal spot to curl up with a book or snooze in a cold afternoon. Like wingback chairs, club chairs are traditional – they originated from gentlemen’s clubs in 19th century England (thus the name). They typically have leather upholstery and/or nail-head trim, but modern club chairs are now available from any upholstery type. Club chairs usually serve as a companion to a living room sofa or as a cozy reading nook placed near a window.

5. Lounge chair

As the name implies, lounge chairs are made for lounging purposes. These chairs usually have a slanted back and a pairing footrest that are either built-in to the chair or come separately. It is usually placed beside a window or opposite a TV in living rooms, bedrooms or in any low-traffic area where an occupant can relax. Lounge chairs also have a lot of outdoor versions perfect for patios and pool areas.

6. Side chair

Side chairs are like cushy slipper chairs, but usually taller and slimmer. They are solid, versatile pieces of furniture that can suit any type of room. They can fit in the smallest of places but are still comfortable enough to sit, read and watch TV on. They make an ideal addition to a hallway next to an entryway table or an additional seating in an awkward corner along with a small coffee table. They are also slim enough to serve as dining chairs.

7. Reclining chair

A lazy boy’s best friend, reclining chairs would never want you to stand up. By default, it looks like a plain armchair, but when you pull off the lever on the side, it lowers the back and raises the footrest to look like a lounge chair. Some recliners automatically extend when the seater reclines his back. It is usually placed in a living room in front of a TV since this type of seat makes the perfect place to sit, lie down and eat popcorn while watching your favorite show.

8. Chair and a Half

A chair and a half are wider than a regular chair but smaller than a loveseat. This piece of furniture is great for lounging and can work in a small living room or in a large bedroom. The width of the chair allows you to sit and lounge in any manner you like. It may come with a tight seat and back or may have loose cushions.

9. Chaise lounge

Chaise lounge, or chaise longue in modern French, is a long and narrow reclining chair on which you can stretch your legs without needing an ottoman. Cushioned chaise lounge are usually found in living rooms or bedrooms. It’s also a perfect accessory for a home library where you can relax as you read. There are also outdoor versions of chaise lounge typically placed on patios and gardens.

10. Occasional chair

As the name suggests, an occasional chair is a chair that is used occasionally. Usually, it’s an extra seating you pull when you have guests over. There are a lot of shapes, styles, and designs of occasional chairs, but the one thing they have in common is that they’re lightweight, so they can be easy to move around. Most of them are harmless, but they have an eye-catching form or design that makes them worthy to be an accent chair.

11. Barrel chair

The back of a barrel chair is rounded, just like a barrel. The seating area on the front is straight, just like most chairs. The barrel chair does not literally look like a barrel; it got its name simply for its shape. It’s a comfortable piece of furniture that may be upholstered or padded, with arms and back that are almost of the same height. It is often used as an accessory chair along with the main sofa in the living room, or beside a magazine rack on a spacious hallway.

12. Convertible chair

This can be anything – a club chair, a slipper chair or a chair-sized futon that transforms into a bed. A convertible chair usually has a foldable back and a durable metal frame to support the expanding feature. It’s a great place to sit after a long, tiring day – you can simply pull up the bottom part of the arms and bring down the back part to make it a relaxing bed where you can lie down and rest. It’s also awesome must have if you do not have a guest room and you sometimes invite guests to a sleepover.  

Choosing an accent chair requires creativity and strategy. As an accessory, it completes the whole look and defines the personality of your space. But of course, you need to be practical with its function, too. Here are the things to consider when buying an accent chair:

1. Know what you need.

If you have a large room, it can house a pair of chairs or even another sofa. But if you have a small space, choose what type of one-seater chair you can add. Do you need a comfortable reading-and-watching-TV chair or just a style statement to attract guests to “come, sit here please”? Do you need extra comfort or are you fine with a club chair? Would your space look better with a large wingback or you just need a small slipper chair? It all depends on how you will use your chair, as well as who will use it.

2. Set your budget.

Streamline your choices by establishing a budget for the chair. And because you will set a budget, it will also lessen the stores, shops and showrooms you would visit when searching for a chair.

3. Measure your space.

The space available for the chair dictates the size of the chair you can place on it. It is one of the most important considerations when buying not just an accent chair, but any furniture. Buying a too large accent chair can make the room look crowded while picking a too small chair can make it awkward – and both of these situations make the chair uninviting.

Think of the vertical space, too. Make sure the height of the chair is in balance with other seating in the room. In short, make it proportional. If space is not appropriate, then the accent chair will not give your desired effect no matter how lovely and beautiful the chair is.

4. Observe proper placement.

Where you will place your accent chair depends on the layout of the space and the type of area where you would like to put it. Since it will create a sense of ambiance, it should make the place inviting and organized. Place your comfortable reclining chairs or those that pair with an ottoman on low-traffic areas. Place your reading chair or couch next to a window with a small table and lamp beside it for the perfect reading nook. Place your pairing chairs opposite your main sofa, or split them into both sides to create a conversational atmosphere.

5. Define your style.

Are you going for a sleek and contemporary, bold and vibrant, or a traditional style of chair? This depends on the design style of your home. It doesn’t always have to match. It doesn’t mean that if your home is contemporary, you must only pick modern-looking chairs. You have the choice if you want your chair to complement or contrast your home décor. Just make sure that when you mix and match styles, it still looks tasteful. Instincts will tell you if it looks awkward in a specific spot.

Also, the accent chair is a way to show your personality. Adding a unique chaise lounge chair can add a sophisticated look while providing a versatile space to lie down or sit. A comfortable recliner can show your chill, laid-back style. An oversized accent chair makes a cozy spot to display your welcoming attitude. It’s better to choose a chair with the design, style, pattern, material or fabric you will enjoy for the years to come.