A Guide to Choosing Accent Chairs


Choosing Accent Chairs

There are many types of furniture you can place in your living room. Accent chairs can add an extra flare to your living room by complementing the design and aesthetic of the overall space. With so many different materials, textures, styles, and colors, finding the right accent chair can be challenging. 

On top of the general features of accent chairs, there are also different types and constructions that distinguish one accent chair from the next. With all these factors to consider, you will want to be prepared before making a final decision on what accent chair you want for your living space. Keep reading this guide to find out what to look for and how to choose the best accent chair for your home. 

Choose a Type of Accent Chair 

Like with any piece of furniture, there are different types and variations that you can find with a distinct construction, shape, and design. To find the right accent chair, you should try to find a type of accent chair that complements your living room well and matches the aesthetic of your other pieces of furniture. 

Some examples of types of accent chairs you will come across include: 

  • Arm chair
  • Barrel chair
  • Club chair
  • Convertible chair
  • Side chair 
  • Slipper chair 
  • Wingback chair

Depending on the build and aesthetic you are looking for, any of these types of accent chairs may be a good fit for you. Choosing the right accent chair in many ways comes down to personal preference, so you will need to decide which type of accent chair best aligns with your furniture needs. 

Arm Chair 

Arm Chair
Arm Chair

One of the most well-known accent chairs is the arm chair. Arm chairs have a simple design, but come in many different materials, colors, sizes, and styles. Additionally, the side supports that arm chairs come with give you a convenient place to rest your arms.

Since most arm chairs are usually made with upholstered material. Upholstery fabrics have more durability and stain-resistance compared to other fabrics. If you are looking into adding an arm chair to your living space, then try to find one that is made with high-quality upholstery fabric to maximize its durability. 

Barrel Chair   

Barrel Chair
Barrel Chair

As a rustic piece of furniture, barrel chairs are a sure-fire way to add a more retro-look to your living space. Barrel chairs received their name because they are uniquely shaped like a barrel with a rounded back piece. Since the chair is designed like a barrel, the back and arm rests for these types of chair match the curvature of a barrel and as a result are high. 

Regarding comfortability, barrel chairs have good padding and are relaxing to sit in. The upholstery used in barrel chairs also makes them highly durable. 

Club Chair

Club Chair
Club Chair

Similar to barrel chairs, club chairs are rustic and have an extensive history of being placed in traditional clubs back in the 20th century. Unlike most accent chairs, club chairs have deeper seats in addition to higher arms and upholstery. Rather than built for aesthetic purposes, club chairs have a simple design and are built to provide you with maximal comfort. 

With their comfortable padding, club chairs are well-placed next to fireplaces or other areas where you want to get cozy. Like other accent chairs, club chairs come in many styles and colors that you will have to choose from. In the past, club chairs were typically made with leather upholstery, but you can find club chairs made with other kinds of upholstery as well. 

Convertible Chair 

Convertible Chair
Convertible Chair

Although convertible chairs are a type of chair, there are multiple variations of convertible chairs you will find as well. These chairs generally have foldable backs as their key feature, which allows you to lay on the chair more like a bed. Typically, a metal frame is used when constructing convertible chairs along with upholstered material. 

  • Unlike some accent chairs, convertible chairs usually do not come with arms for you to rest your arms on 
  • However, sometimes this is compensated by adding a footrest to make it easier to take a nap or sleep 

As with the other chairs, there are plenty of styles or variations you can find of convertible chairs. You will have to do some additional searching to find the right one even if you know you want a convertible chair. 

Side Chair 

Side Chair
Side Chair

A side chair, much like their name implies, is well placed at the side or corner of a room because of their slim design and smaller size. You can think of this chair as an armless version of the arm chair, but are also more stylish looking with upholstered material and a sturdy wooden frame. 


As previously mentioned, you can fit this chair almost anywhere, even the most unconventional or awkward places, because of the chair’s small width. This is a great chair to sit in while watching Netflix in the living room, or even eating dinner at the table because the chair is straight. There are many designs available for side chairs, so make sure to scout enough to find the right one. 

Slipper Chair 

Slipper Chair
Slipper Chair

Much like the side chair, the slipper chair can be thought of as an armless version of the arm chair, but much more similar compared to the side chair. Slipper chairs share the same general width of arm chairs, but are also known for their sleek design. These chairs are great places to sit in, while also not taking up too much space. 

Upholstered slipper chairs come in countless variations, so you are sure to find a color and pattern that stands out to you. 

Wingback Chair 

Wingback Chair
Wingback Chair

If you are looking for the epitome of stylish decor in one piece of furniture, then wingback chairs are a great choice for you. These chairs have a long history of prolonged use in libraries and formal settings while embodying a more classic style. The back of wingback chairs spread out like winds and are very tall, which makes this chair distinct and defined by a lot of curvature. 

Modern-day wingback chairs are not so different from their predecessors and share the same characteristics. This is a great chair to place in the living room, next to a desk, or even in a dining area. Keep in mind, however, that these chairs are bulky, spacious, and not a chair you want to be moving around a lot. 

Consider the Size of the Accent Chair 

There are many factors that play an important role in determining the best accent chair to complement your living space. Before you can think about adding an accent chair to a room, you will need to consider the size of the accent chair. Depending on the furniture currently in use and the size of your living room, a small or larger accent chair may work best. 

  • A small or slim accent chair like a side chair or slipper chair is better for less spacious rooms. Large accent chairs outsize and disrupt the uniformity of living rooms with smaller furniture and limited available space. 
  • Large to medium-sized accent chairs like wingback chairs are best placed alongside larger pieces of furniture within a spacious room. Small accent chairs do not do well in spacious rooms fitted with large pieces of furniture. 

Most accent chairs come in different sizes and styles, so if you know what type of accent chair it may just come down to finding the right size one. Specific types of accent chairs like side chairs are typically small, but it is still possible to find medium and large sized variation. Aside from this, you will need to think about which room you plan on placing the accent chair and the size of the room. 

Decide on a Room for the Accent Chair 

Whether you want an accent chair for the living room or for a home office, there are many places where you can use an accent chair. The size and overall aesthetic of the room you plan on using for an accent chair is an important consideration before choosing an accent chair. You may want an accent chair that could go anywhere in the home or one that is specifically catered to a few rooms. 

  • Living Room: The most conventional place to put accent chairs or other furniture is the living room. You can place accent chairs next to loveseats and sofas. Accent chairs can complete your seating arrangement or spice up your living room with a stylish design that complements the surrounding furniture. 
  • Dining Room: Although not all accent chairs are well placed in a dining room, some accent chairs fit right in and make excellent host chairs. Straight, upright chairs like side chairs make great dining chairs. Creative, sophisticated arrangements of accent chairs allow you to personalize your dining room. 
  • Bedroom: Although this is less conventional, accent chairs can be placed in more private areas such as your bedroom. You can place an accent chair in your bedroom to give you a comfortable place to sit, enjoy a good cup of coffee, or read a book. Accent chairs can also give you somewhere to sit when getting dressed for your workday. 
  • Family Room: For rooms or areas in your home that are frequently used by the family, accent chairs are an excellent choice given their high durability, comfortability, and quality compared to regular chairs. Since these rooms see more activity, it is useful to have an accent chair that can withstand this activity and still provide a comfy place to sit for the entire family.  
  • Office: Placing an accent chair in an office can give you or guests a comfortable place to sit while contributing to the overall aesthetic of the room. 
  • Corners: Accent chairs do not need to be at the focal point of every room—they also do well at the corners or edges of rooms. Small and slim accent chairs like the slipper chair can provide a comfy sitting area where you can have a conversation or read a book without being enveloped by the other parts of the room. 

There is no single room or area where accent chairs excel. The size, style and aesthetic of a room will be more compatible with certain accent chairs and not so much with others. In many cases, accent chairs fit into any room in a home and are versatile enough to be moved around to best fit the occasion. 

Consider the Fabric of the Accent Chair

When looking for an accent chair, you will need to consider the fabric and style of the accent chair. There are a number of fabrics used in upholstered accent chairs, each with their own unique characteristics, such as leather, polyester, soft velvets, and more. 

Choosing the right fabric will depend on the type of fabric, since some fabrics are softer and more comfortable while others are more durable and able to withstand stainage. For example, leather is highly durable, but is much more rough compared to a soft polyester or velvets. Some questions you will need to sort through before deciding on a fabric include: 

  • Are there pets or children in the house? 
  • How much activity happens in the room that the accent chair will be placed in? 
  • Is the accent chair going to be used as a place to comfortably relax or as a functional piece of furniture? 

Once you answer these questions, you should have a better idea of what kind of fabric is best suited for your accent chair. If you are prioritizing softness and comfort over durability, then softer fabrics are the best choice. Conversely, if you are prioritizing durability over softness and comfortability, then a sturdier, durable fabric like leather is the right choice. 

Choose a Style for the Accent Chair 

There are various styles for accent chairs that may or may not blend in with the rest of the furniture you use. The most common styles of accent chair you will see include: 

  • Modern
  • Contemporary
  • Traditional 
  • Rustic 
  • Industrial 

When looking for an accent chair, you will probably encounter one or more of these styles. Depending on your home or room interior, one or more of these styles might be viable options when choosing a style for an accent chair. 

Modern 

Modern Chair
Modern Chair

Modern style furniture originates from a modernist movement that started back in the late 1800s. This type of furniture is one of the most common because of their simple design and emphasis on functional utility rather than fashionability. The minimalist design of modern-styled furniture and accent chairs makes them an appealing option. 

Common colors you will see in modern accent chairs are grays, beige, white, and other subdued colors. 

Contemporary 

Contemporary Chair
Contemporary Chair

Although contemporary styled furniture borrows some elements of the modern style, contemporary is a separate and distinct style. 

The contemporary style began much later than the modern style, starting in the 1970s. This style is also very simplistic, but also features curves as one of its central features. Unlike modern style furniture, contemporary opts for bold colors and patterns that are eye-catching and assert more of a presence within a living space. 

Traditional 

Traditional Chair
Traditional Chair

Traditional style has a classic look that looks outdated compared to other styles of furniture. Accent chairs with a traditional style have earthy colors such as brown and beige, which are often paired with a wooden exterior. 

Much like the previous styles, traditional accent chairs prioritize functionality over fashionability. 

Rustic

Rustic Chair
Rustic Chair

If you are looking for an unapologetically rough, simple, and laid-back style of furniture, then rustic is the choice for you. The most notable characteristic of rustic accent chairs and furniture is their rugged design, which emphasizes the appeal of honest and natural-looking furniture. 

Much like traditional furniture, rustic furniture relies on a blend of earthy colors to highlight their natural beauty. Rustic style furniture is the kind of furniture that you typically imagine when you think of log cabins out in the woods, side-by-side with nature. 

Industrial 

Industrial Chair
Industrial Chair

The utilitarian design of industrial style furniture is something that has grown in popularity over the years. Much like the other styles, industrial style pieces completely focus on functionality, but offer more flexibility design-wise. Industrial accent chairs can look simple, but also can be highly complex in design. 

Industrial style accent chairs typically use less expensive and more moderate materials, which makes them a more affordable option compared to other styles of accent chairs. 

How Tall Should Accent Chairs Be? 

The last thing you should consider when choosing an accent chair is the height of the chair. Depending on where you want to place the chair, it may be beneficial to have a shorter or taller accent chair. However, there is a standard height for accent chairs that your accent chair should be for a fully functional piece of furniture. 

The standard height of an accent chair is 16 to 18 inch seat height, so this is the height you should try to look for when selecting an accent chair. You may also want to consider the height of the chair-back for your accent chair as well. For example, if you plan on using an accent chair in a dining room, then you will want a taller, straight chair-back to make it easier to sit upright. 

Sources:
www.homfurniture.com/info/buying-guides/accent-chair-buying-guide
www.onekingslane.com/live-love-home/guide-to-accent-chairs-by-style/
www.homestratosphere.com/types-accent-chairs/
www.designerliving.com/get-inspired/buying-guide/accent-chairs/58
www.housely.com/accent-chairs-perfect-living-room/

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