Accent chairs are a great addition to any living space. They add style and functionality, all while tying the room together. If you have looked into buying an accent chair recently, you may have noticed that this single piece of furniture can cost over $1,000. Why is that?
Accent chairs are so expensive because they are designed to be a piece of art. They use the best materials and are curated by top designers to add style and comfort to any home. Choosing the right accent chair takes a balance of budget and impact.
In this article, we will take a deeper look into the materials and factors that cause accent chairs to be so expensive. Additionally, we will cover some basic tips on how to save money without sacrificing quality when choosing an accent chair.
Quality of the Accent Chair vs. Price
While the price of an accent chair does not always indicate the quality of an accent chair it is an indicator. You likely will not find a well-made accent chair for less than $300. High-quality materials cost a lot of money. If you add the cost of labor and designer it costs the manufacturer a pretty penny.
Of course, you can find cheaply made furniture at a discount furniture or big box store. However, if you’re buying an accent chair for less than $300 it likely won’t last more than a few years. Expensive accent chairs will last longer and typically look nicer. Therefore, when you purchase an expensive accent chair you buying quality materials that will likely last you at least a decade.
One of the biggest determining factors in the price of an accent chair is the materials that make up the chair. The three sections that make up the accent chair are the frame, cushion, and upholstery.
The Frame Significantly Impacts the Price
The frame of accent chairs is typically made out of wood or metal. Wooden accent chairs will give a more rustic natural vibe, while metal chairs will give your space a modern and chic look.
Wooden Frames offer Variety
The expense of a wooden framed accent chair comes from the type of wood used, stain, and intricacy of the design. With wooden frames three types of wood can be used are:
- Hardwood – denser wood that comes from deciduous trees, which grow slowly. These types of woods include maple, beech, walnut, teak, and mahogany.
- Softwood – less dense wood that comes from evergreen trees that grow quickly. These types of wood include fur, pine, and spruce.
- Manufactured wood – a combination of various woods usually made from small slivers of wood or wood chips.
As you may have noticed, the more expensive, high-end accent chairs are made with hardwood. Some of the most expensive pieces are made from maple or mahogany. Accent chairs that you can purchase from discount stores like Walmart or Target are usually made of manufactured wood.
The expense of a wooden accent chair can also be impacted by the stain. The darker the stain, the more expensive the piece is. Discount furniture stores tend to sell unstained or painted furniture, while higher-end furniture stores will sell beautifully darkly stained chairs.
Finally, an accent chair with an intricate design in the frame really elevates the piece. This intricacy usually requires expensive machinery or even the services of a woodworker. Cheaper accent chairs usually will be pre-fabricated wood with no design.
Metal Frames are Less Expensive
Accent chairs with metal frames are typically less expensive than wooden framed accent chairs. They give your space a more modern look at a more affordable price. There are five types of metals that accent chairs are made out of:
- Aluminum – A lightweight, dull silver metal.
- Stainless Steel – looks a lot like aluminum, but is stronger and does not oxidize.
- Brass – comes in a variety of colors, is antimicrobial, and is commonly used in antique pieces.
- Copper – a reddish-orange color that will brighten up the room.
- Wrought iron – a frame that has been hammered into place rather than cast, giving it a rough look.
The most expensive and highest quality metal accent chairs are made of solid brass. Less expensive accent chairs are made with aluminum. As with wooden chairs, if you are purchasing a more expensive metal then you are paying for the higher-quality chair. You can express a brass chair to last a lifetime, while an aluminum chair may bend or break within a year or two.
The Cushion Impacts the Comfort
Most people are buying an accent chair for its design and style. However, if you do not have a lot of seating in the area that you are putting your chair, the comfort of the accent chair is important.
A chair with a thicker cushion is more expensive than a chair with a thinner cushion as it uses more filler. If you are looking for a chair that makes a statement and serves as a seat, you are going to have to pay more. A thicker cushion will also protect the frame of the chair from wear and provide extra durability.
Upholstery Makes the Design
While the frame of the chair adds to the overall aesthetic of an accent chair, the focal point of the look is the upholstery. The type of upholstery that you use can severely impact the overall price of the chair.
Cheaper accent chairs are upholstered with a cotton lining that has a printed design. The covering of the chair can be mass-produced. It’s cheap, but the design can get smudged easily. A simple spill will ruin the chair forever.
More expensive accent chairs are made with leather or a woven design. These pieces often look better and withstand the wear and tear of being used as an actual seat. The price of leather as a material, compared to cotton, increases the expense of the chair. Woven pieces aren’t necessarily made with more expensive materials, but the cost of machinery and the time it takes to make the upholstery increases the price.
Other Price Considerations
While the materials of an accent chair can play a huge factor in determining the cost of the piece, there are other influencing factors.
The Designer Who Curates the Piece
Accent chairs are meant to be a piece of art and really stand out in your room. As a result, they are treated like clothing or art itself. If you are purchasing a piece from a famous designer or a recognizable brand, the piece is more expensive. Just like with clothing, you have to consider if you like the piece for the design itself or if you are just buying it for the name brand or designer.
The Time Required to Make the Accent Chair
Labor can be expensive. If the accent chair that you are looking at is hand-crafted or required a lot of time to make, then it is likely to be more expensive. If you are paying for the time involved to produce the chair, then you are essentially paying for quality.
The Popularity of the Piece
Like art and clothing, the popularity of certain styles and designs wax and wane over time. If a particular style is in demand, then the price of a piece may go up. Similarly, retro and antique accent chairs can go for $100s over face value.
Choosing a Quality Accent Chair for the Best Price
As mentioned earlier, it is hard to find a quality accent chair for under $300. If you are paying less than that, you are probably sacrificing the quality of the materials for a cheaper chair. If you are looking at chairs that are $300 or more here are a few tips to choose a chair that will fit within your budget:
- Choose the design over the designer – find a piece that you like rather than a piece by a specific designer.
- Opt for cheaper materials when possible – if you are not planning on sitting on the chair often, choose a cheaper frame since the supportability does not matter.
- Choose solid materials when necessary – If you want a piece that will last your lifetime or at least a decade pay the extra money for good materials. You’ll save money in the long run, because you won’t have to pay for a replacement chair.
While these tips may save you money you shouldn’t skimp when buying an accent chair. The chair is supposed to be the focal point of your room and draw the attention of your guests. Therefore, if you are choosing a piece of furniture to splurge on, choose this statement piece.