At the top of many homeowners’ wish lists are beautiful and functional accent chair ideas.
When choosing the best accent chair for your space, early planning is key to your home decor ideas. Think about how you want to use the space and what features you need most. If you have a lot of space, maybe that means adding a statement design or two that ties the whole scheme together, or simply curating a space around a unique, standout armchair.
Our accent chair ideas include desirable choices for any room in your home to make it a space you love to step into every day, along with expert advice on choosing the right designs. When you’re done, get inspired by our favorite interior design tips and home makeover ideas.
Accent chair ideas
Whether you are looking for a comfortable retreat for tired feet, spacious living room seating ideas for watching TV, functional home office seating that is aesthetically pleasing, kitchen island seating for a singing, dancing workspace, these accent chair ideas are sure to complement your next home remodel to inspire.
1. Let your accent chairs dictate the color scheme
“Don’t cover your living room sofa or chairs with plain fabrics,” says Kit Kemp, interior designer and founder of Firmdale Hotels. “Use color and texture to add dynamic interest and character to your accent chairs – let them dictate the rest of your design.
British fabric and wallpaper designer Charlotte Gaisford agrees: “I always choose my main fabric (usually for the chairs) first,” says Charlotte. “This is the main focal point of the room. I am often asked for help choosing fabrics for rooms that have already been painted. For me, that’s a big no-go as the fabric choices are immediately limited.
“It’s a lot harder to find a fabric that will blend into your space than paint, and it’s so easy to find a color that goes with a fabric because there are so many paint colors.”
2. Focus on furniture
Just because it’s a workspace doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take a utilitarian approach to your accent chair ideas, recommends interior decorator and fabric designer Flora Soames. “As we all spend more and more time working from home, it has to be comfortable and visually appealing – you don’t have to choose between practical and aesthetic.”
Nothing hampers creative thinking like being uncomfortable in a home office, says interior designer Joanna Wood. Ergonomic can also be elegant. “Buy a decent chair — your back will thank you — but something that looks like a discarded bank manager’s office won’t do.” Ways to tone down everyday objects include reupholstering chairs in a different fabric or refinishing them shiny chrome in patinated bronze.
3. Put luxury first
Careful consideration of materials for accent chairs – and their placement has the ability to transform your space into something truly spectacular.
“The living room of this Victorian home is anchored by the dramatic veining of the Calacatta Viola-framed doorway to the kitchen,” says interior designer Tamsin Johnson. “These materials add glamor but neither compete nor overwhelm a space of this size. The understated color scheme helps create a sense of luxurious simplicity and lets the sensuous velvet on the accent chairs sing.”
Make sure you arrange your accent chairs at an angle to add a sense of depth to the space, as shown here, to avoid a “bowling alley” look. This living room layout is great for intimate conversations, informal entertaining, and narrow, long living rooms.
4. Give a new update to a tired chair
Old or worn armchairs can be brought to new decorative life and become a place of honor in your home. When choosing which material to use, it’s important to consider how durable you want the fabric to be – will it be used all the time or is this more of an occasional seating item?
“Velvets are ideal upholstery fabrics because they’re heavy, tightly woven and durable,” advises Lee Clarke, director of Warner House. “Surprisingly, silk or mohair can wear well and even improve their appearance over time. For pieces like accent chairs and ottomans, you might opt for style over practicality.”
5. Use color to great effect
“One of the easiest ways to refresh a neutral or off-white kitchen is to add a vibrant accent color to the upholstery. Chairs, bar stools, blinds and benches are all perfect fodder for a splash of color and much easier to switch out than to repaint furniture when you feel like trying a fresh new hue,” says Sam Hart, Designer, Roundhouse.
Accent color can also act as a zoning tool, drawing attention to a specific area in larger spaces. In this open space, a strong accent color on the upholstery helps define the dining area and lets the kitchen take a backseat.
6. Set up tea for two
Not all accent chair ideas need to stand out from their background. In fact, some of the most successful programs are curated to fit beautifully and seamlessly.
Some might dismiss the bistro set as a cliché, but it has a timeless appeal. Here, designer Alexandra Noble drops one into a sheltered area surrounded by gentle planting. “The brief was to create a space connected to nature with minimal harsh landscaping,” she says.
7. Offer a seat in an entryway
“To create an inviting entryway, think about the impact the room will have when you first step into it,” says Birdie Fortescue, manufacturer of luxury home accessories. Take inspiration from this space by investing in an accent chair that commands attention and is layered with piles of pillows for warmth and beauty. “If you have space, a large accent chair or modern bench in the entryway is a great addition, especially when the rest of the space is minimal and understated,” says Birdie.
8. Go colorful with accent chairs
Design your schema around a key feature. If your living room doesn’t have a natural focal point – create one. A carefully considered color combination for your accent chairs can create a scheme that truly sings with joy. The living room is a place for socializing and retreat, so you want hues that both uplift and comfort you.
“Pink and green are two of my favorite room color combinations—they go really well together—using this color scheme for your living room furniture can really brighten up a small or dark living room,” says Lucy Barlow, Founder, Barlow & Barlow.
9. Invest in well-designed upholstered seats
We don’t compromise on comfortable seating, whether it’s new chairs or restoring antique pieces. It is worth taking the time to plan and there is a lot to consider: in which room should the seating be, what else is around it, who is using it and what for.
You can play around with the upholstery, for example by giving each accent chair a different color – great if you can’t decide! A more subtle version could be using different shades of one color or using complementary patterns.
“Introduce cushions and throws to your accent chair,” says designer Martin Brudnizki. “And why not add a tassel trim or fringed detail for a ‘tailored’ finish? Every object and space should contribute to the home – even a single accent chair can make a big and immediate difference.”
10. Invest in playful pieces
Inspired by artist Sonia Delaunay’s abstract exuberance, this accent chair idea is anything but dull or dreary. This imaginative dining room color idea pays homage to Delaunay’s ability to create rhythm and depth through overlapping vibrant hues.
Here, a striking table in lustrous petrol blue is paired with sleek dining chairs in complementary hues. A colorful yellow rug and red pendant complement the color story, all rendered in the abstract artworks that help pull the scheme together.
How do you arrange accent chairs?
Arranging seating accent chairs can be a daunting task. When faced with an empty space, filling it in a way that is both functional and beautiful can seem like an overwhelming challenge.
The first thing most interior design experts would recommend is to keep accent chairs and other seating off the walls. This is especially true for smaller rooms.
Another way to arrange accent chairs is to place them within reach of a side or coffee table or island. Can you imagine having to get up every time you – or your guest – wanted to reach for the remote control or sip on their drink?
How to choose an accent color for a chair?
Choosing the right accent chair color ideas is one of the most important decisions you can make for your space. Getting the right color choice is important as it can completely change the feel of a room.
Start your room color ideas by building a complementary palette of classic hues, then add accent colors to create a bold contrast. Think of it like cooking, with the colors of the accent chairs representing ingredients and flavors.
“Don’t be afraid to accent smaller spaces with dark colors and patterns,” says Nicola Harding, Interior Designer, Nicola Harding & Co. “Add drama with statement upholstery, which can help create transitions between zones with the home.” . Embrace every nook and cranny, but always be clear about how you will use the space.”