Everything I have ever written has been in the same chair, in the same room - Alan Garner
Accent chairs are the stuff that interiors designers’ dreams are made of. Rather than being a particular style of chair, accent chairs are beloved for their decorative aspect and charm rather than being cherished for comfort.
That doesn’t, of course, mean that they can’t be comfortable, they can and when they are, they kill two interior design birds with one stone and serve a double purpose.
They make a room look good and they provide a comfortable space in which to relax and while away the hours of the day.
In short, the way an accent chair looks is far more important than how comfortable it may or may not be. They are mainly used to highlight, or “accent” a specific point of interest within a room and to draw attention to that area by creating an additional point of visual interest.
They can also be used to pull the look of a room together through their style and shape and provide the missing link that interior designers and homeowners often find themselves desperately searching for in order to complete, and put the finishing cap on a room that needs that elusive something extra.
While one accent chair can often add a finishing touch to a room, two accent chairs are a preferred way of highlighting and accentuating a room. And the best place to put them? That would be in a living room, usually next to a coffee table, a bookcase, in close proximity to a lamp, or situated at the end of a small accent or feature table.
Even though the perfect number of chairs for any living room is, according to popular interior design consensus, between four and six, most designers recommend and prefer to use two accent chairs in any living room that they have a hand in creating.
Can I Have Two Accent Chairs?
Absolutely. In fact, in a standard living room, almost every interior designer would insist that you have, and use two accent chairs.
As we’ve already discussed the bare requirements for any living room (the rule of chairs is four is the minimum, and six is the ideal), you’ll already be aware that you can and should, have at least two accent chairs.
It isn’t necessary to have more than one in any other room of your house, except for maybe a larger study or dining room, but you should have two in your living room.
Most designers are aware that living rooms need to be comfortable, practical family spaces and are usually occupied by a couch, but that couch provides a perfect medium for using two accent chairs, as they can be used to highlight, and break up space, and any furniture, on the opposite side of the room to your couch.
Just remember that distance is everything when it comes to situating and placing the accent chairs in your living room, and as long as they’re not too close to each other, they should fit the design aesthetic and the look that you’re hoping to achieve, perfectly.
And, despite what you might have heard to the contrary, the two accent chairs don’t have to match, and they don’t have to be a perfect pair.
As long as there’s a linking motif or feature that the accent chairs can, and will fit in with in the room, then they’ll highlight the space that you want them to and do exactly what you need them to.
The causality doesn’t have to be obvious either, and as long as you know what it is, then the chairs will work. At the end of the day, the only person you need to please is yourself, and if you know the chairs work, then the chairs work.
Do People Sit In Accent Chairs?
This is another of those old interior design myths that never seem to go away or disappear, regardless of how many times it’s been dismissed and disparaged. Accent chairs can be functional as well as being aesthetically pleasing and finishing the look and feel of a room.
Having said that, depending on the sort of chairs that you use to accentuate the finish of a room or their purpose, they might not always be the most comfortable chairs to sit in.
That doesn’t mean that people can’t, and don’t sit in them. They do, as having a number of chairs that can’t be used in the main room of your home where your family and guests gather, is highly impractical.
If you’re using an accent chair in another room, it can serve as a standalone design feature, but the necessity of having seating in a living room that can, and should, be used means that yes, people can, do, and will sit in accent chairs.
How Do You Choose An Accent Chair?
Choosing an accent chair is all about finding the right chair to fit within an already existing theme, or one that you’re planning to create, in a room.
That means that the single most important factor that you should consider when you’re for the right chair, or chairs, is color. Will the color of the chair blend in with and fit the color scheme of your living room or the room that it’s intended to be a part of?
Stylistically, the type of chair is also important, as its height and width can also play an important role in how well it will or won’t fit in with the rest of the room.
And surprisingly, the material that an accent chair is made from can also form an important part of the decision-making process, as some materials (such as leather) don’t suit certain themes, and aren't a universal fit.
As long as you remember the golden rules - color, style, and material, you should be able to find the perfect accent chair, or chairs, to complement and finish the room that you need and want them for.
How Do You Dress An Accent Chair?
When it comes to dressing an accent chair, there are no clearly defined rules, and there isn’t a set rule book or handbook that you should defer to or follow.
If you feel like going a little crazy and using big, bold colors you can, and as long as the rest of the room is fairly neutral, it’ll help your chair or chairs to stand out and accentuate what you need it to without overpowering the room that it’s located in.
And it would end up looking too messy or cluttered and won’t stand out like a sore thumb.
And with the use of the right throws and cushions you can also change and adapt your accent chair(s) to fit the dynamic of the room they’re in if you want to alter the color scheme or the look of said room.
Throws are a good way of maintaining the balance that an accent chair adds and can also transform a not quite right chair into a perfect chair.
Cushions are also one of the design tricks that can, with a little thought, completely change the way a chair looks and the position that it assumes, and the way it looks within a room.
It might seem like it’s a relatively simple way of doing things, but then the best tricks, as any magician will tell you if you ply them with a few drinks, are the easiest ones to perform.
Less is more and the simpler and more straightforward your dress and decoration idea, the easier it will be to execute and the better your chairs, whatever room they’re in, will look.
Should I Get An Accent Chair?
The question that you really need to ask isn’t “Should I get an accent chair?”, it should be “Do I need an accent chair?” As we’ve already said, every ideal living room should have two accent chairs, and if yours doesn’t, then it’s a fairly safe bet that you need to get at least one, and possibly two accent chairs.
Trust us, if you do they’ll add that extra something to the room that you’ve always known was missing, but haven’t quite been able to identify or put your finger on. Just remember the do’s and don’ts of choosing your chair, or chairs and you should be absolutely fine.
It isn’t just living rooms that can and do benefit from the addition of an accent chair, as they can be used to create a perfect alcove, or niche in any room that you feel can, and will benefit from it.
Accent chairs are an ideal way to break up and transform the more traditional aspects, and conventional look of a bedroom, study, or dining room and can make your home, feel more like it belongs to you by helping you add your own sense of identity to any room they’re situated in
What Color Should An Accent Chair Be?
The color of an accent chair is vitally important. It needs to blend in with and fit the design aesthetic, scheme, and plan of the room that it’s going to be a part of.
Ideally, the color of an accent chair should match the predominant color used in the room, or at the very least should complement it and conform to the theories and rules of the color wheel. If it doesn’t, the chair won’t accent a room and it could end up being an eyesore.
There is however, a simple rule of thumb that’ll allow you to go as crazy as you want when choosing an accent chair based solely on its color.
As long as the room that you’re going to place the chair in has been decorated using completely neutral colors, and is built around a neutral color scheme, then you can reach for the rainbow and include the most garish and ostentatious accent chairs you can find.
The choice of color, as long as it doesn’t clash with the colors that you have chosen for the rest of the room, is entirely up to you.
What Is The Point Of An Accent Chair?
Unlike a lot of furniture that finds its way into a living space, an accent chair has a clearly defined purpose.
Its point is, quite simply, to add visual interest to a room and either highlight or accentuate a specific point in a room, such as a bookcase or a table, or to become a point of interest in its own right.
Style, color, and shape are all important factors that can change a normal chair into one that accents the space it occupies and draw attention to it, highlighting the furniture around it and its surroundings, or can ensure that it becomes the focal and central point of the room in which it has been placed.
And a perfect accent chair should be as functional as well as aesthetically pleasing.