Transform Your Space: The Ultimate Guide to Accent Chairs

July 31, 2023

Hanging chair in Bedroom

When it comes to interior design, we believe accents make the heart grow fonder! And that’s certainly true of accent chairs – those unique and versatile pieces that can dramatically transform your living space depending on the style, color or fabrication you choose. If all that transformation sounds intimidating, don’t worry!

Like a good chair, this comprehensive guide has got your back! We’ll explore the wide variety of chair types, how to choose one based on your needs and how to seamlessly integrate your picks into your decor. So, pull up a chair and let’s get to it.

What is an Accent Chair?

As you may have gleaned from the name, an accent chair is a piece of seating furniture that stands out from the rest in a room. It’s a distinctive, characterful item that draws attention to itself and its surrounding space.

But accent chairs aren’t just showpieces; along with looking good, they also serve a practical purpose. When it comes to design, accent chairs can do a lot of heavy lifting. They can freshen a room and break the monotony of repeated elements.

Accent chairs are also the perfect way to experiment with different styles, textures or colors without undertaking a full-blown redecoration project. And then, of course, there’s functionality. A good chair can offer additional seating, create a cozy nook or extend your living space. A well-chosen accent chair can redefine the dynamics of a room, making it more inviting, more stylish and even more comfortable.

Common Accent Chair Types and Examples

Live Niu accent chairs

Source: Niu Urban Living

With a world of options to choose from, there’s an accent chair (or seven) for every personality – and every design aesthetic. Here are a few of the more common types:

  • Armchairs: When you think of accent chairs, you might picture an armchair. Generally large with armrests, armchairs make for comfortable seating in any living space.
  • Club Chairs: Club chairs are characterized by their deep, comfortable seats and are often upholstered in leather.
  • Wingback Chairs: Named after their 'winged' back design, these chairs offer a traditional appeal. The KOUBOO Rattan Wingback Chair is an excellent example that combines tradition with a touch of natural beauty.
  • Slipper Chairs: These armless, upholstered chairs usually tout shorter legs, making them ideal for small spaces.
  • Barrel Chairs: With their distinctive rounded back that wraps around to form the arms, these chairs can make a unique design statement.
  • Hanging Chairs: While they take a little more engineering, a hanging chair can add a unique design element and cozy functionality to any space.

Club Chair Home Designing

Understanding the Purpose of Your Chair

Choosing the right accent chair isn’t just about picking the most attractive piece; you also need to consider its purpose. For example, will it be used frequently for seating, or is it primarily meant to enhance the design of the room?

Primarily Functional

If the primary purpose of your accent chair is functional, comfort should be your top priority. Look for chairs with sturdy construction, spacious seating and high-quality upholstery that can withstand frequent use. Pay close attention to the height of the chair; for instance, if you intend to use it for reading, you might consider a higher back for neck support. Similarly, if it's a chair meant for lounging, a reclining chair or one with a wide seat and armrests could be ideal. KOUBOO's Club Rattan Chair, for instance, offers roomy comfort with a stylish design.

Primarily Aesthetic

When choosing a chair for its aesthetic appeal, your focus should be on its design and visual impact. Unusual shapes, unique patterns, striking colors or distinctive materials can make your accent chair a statement piece. It could be a vintage chair that adds a nostalgic touch, a vibrant-colored chair that pops against a neutral backdrop or one created from an unconventional material like rattan or metal that introduces a different texture into the space. As always, the design and look of the chair should complement your overall decor and reflect your personal style.

KOUBOO rattan chair nook

Source: KOUBOO

Evaluating Your Current Space and Its Decor

The Spruce Accent Chair

Source: The Spruce

When you’re choosing an accent chair, your space matters just as much as the potential chairs. The piece you choose should not only fit physically but also blend harmoniously with your existing décor.

Choosing the Area

Where do you need an accent chair? Well, in short: anywhere. Because of their versatility, accent chairs work in most any space, so don’t be afraid to be creative. That said, here are some areas where an accent chair can make a huge impact, both functionally and aesthetically:

  • Living Room: A pair of accent chairs can complement a sofa, providing ample seating while breaking the uniformity of the room.
  • Bedroom: An accent chair can transform a bedroom corner into a cozy reading nook or a spot for private relaxation.
  • Home Office: A stylish accent chair can add a touch of personality to a functional home office and make the entire room more inviting.
  • Hallway or Entryway: An accent chair can fill an empty spot in a large hallway or entryway, adding warmth and character.
  • Bathroom: If you have a spacious bathroom, an accent chair can give it a luxurious, spa-like vibe.

Swatch Pop Entryway Chair

Source: Swatch Pop!

Assessing Lighting

If you’re a follower of our blog, you already know that lighting can transform a design – and it should certainly be considered when you’re selecting an accent chair. For example, a well-lit spot, like a breakfast nook or bay window, can highlight your chair, making it a focal point. Additionally, the type of lighting in a room can also affect the way your chair looks. Natural light can bring out the chair’s true color, while artificial light might alter it slightly. If the chair is in a darker area, consider choosing lighter-colored materials to make it stand out.

Working with Current Color Schemes and Styles

While it’s meant to provide a unique “accent” to your space, your accent chair should still fit well with the room's color scheme and design style. With that in mind, It could either complement or contrast with the existing palette. For example, a blue accent chair can harmonize with a room featuring various shades of blue.

Alternatively, a red chair in a neutral room can provide a vibrant contrast. Consider the room's design style too. A modern accent chair will look out of place in a room with traditional decor, and vice versa. The chair doesn't have to (and probably shouldn’t!) be an exact match, but it should blend well with the room's aesthetic.

Mixing and Matching Colors

House Beautiful Accent Chairs

Source: House Beautiful

Experimenting with colors can give your space a unique personality. Here are some strategies to consider:

Matching Colors with the Interior

Matching the color of your accent chair with the room's color scheme creates a harmonious and balanced look. It's a safe choice that can make the room feel peaceful and coordinated.

Mixing Colors for an Eclectic Look

For a more dynamic and energetic vibe, opt for an accent chair in a color that contrasts with the rest of the room. A brightly colored chair in a neutral room or a patterned chair in a room with solid colors can make a strong style statement.

Pairing Accent Chair Colors with Sofas

Pairing your accent chair with your sofa can bring a sense of unity to your living room. You could either match the chair with the sofa for a coordinated look or choose a contrasting color to make the chair stand out. For example, a grey sofa could be paired with a bright yellow accent chair, while a brown leather sofa might look great with a cream or beige accent chair.

Choosing Materials

CNN Accent Chair

Source: CNN

The material of your accent chair can significantly influence its comfort, durability and, of course, its overall look. When selecting a fabrication, you’ll want to consider factors like maintenance, durability and usage.

For example, leather can be a great choice for a frequently used chair because it’s durable and easy to clean, while a plush velvet chair might be perfect for a bedroom where comfort is key. Rattan or wicker chairs, like those in KOUBOO's collection, can add an interesting, low-maintenance texture and a natural element to a room.

Placement and Arrangement

To make the most of your accent chair, you’ll want to be thoughtful about placement. The chair should never obstruct pathways or crowd other furniture. When deciding where to place your chair, remember a few key tips:

  • Pairing with a sofa: Place the accent chair opposite the sofa to create a balanced look.
  • Creating a cozy corner: Place the accent chair in a corner with a side table and a lamp to create a comfortable reading nook.
  • Framing a fireplace: Placing a pair of accent chairs on either side of a fireplace or other focal point can create a symmetrical, formal arrangement.

House by Hoff

Source: House by Hoff

Avoiding Common Accent Chair Mistakes

Even with the best intentions, it's possible to make mistakes when choosing and placing your accent chair. Try to avoid these common design pitfalls:

Mistake 1: Ignoring Scale

The size of your accent chair should be proportionate to the other furniture in the room. An oversized chair might overpower a small space, while a chair that's too small might look out of place. Measure your space and consider the size of the other furniture pieces before choosing your accent chair.

Mistake 2: Overdoing It

While it can be tempting to add more than one accent piece, too many statement pieces can make the room look chaotic and disjointed. Stick to one or two accent chairs per room, depending on the size of the room.

Mistake 3: Neglecting Comfort

An accent chair that only looks good is doing you (and your sitting parts) a disservice. If the chair is meant for regular use, don't compromise on comfort for the sake of aesthetics. If you can, visit a showroom to test the chair before buying to make sure it’s supportive and comfy along with aesthetically pleasing.

Happy Chair Hunting

KOUBOO Rattan Chair

Source: KOUBOO

An accent chair is the perfect way to enhance a room – both functionally and aesthetically – particularly with careful consideration of the factors in this guide! And while we’re on the topic of stylish accent chairs, be sure to check out KOUBOO’s wide range of options. Created in unique, natural rattan, these chairs are sure to give your space the impact – and functionality – it deserves.