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Ultimate Accent Chair Buying Guide

An accent chair is a piece of furniture that is both functional and aesthetic. It's a standalone piece and can bring out other details and features in a room. An accent chair is also a great focal point for bigger rooms and provides a place for guest to sit.

Accent chairs that accomplish both of these tasks come in a variety of types, styles, sizes, materials, and colors. Let us take a look at each specific type, including arm chairs, slipper chairs, side chairs, and many more. The key is to have an accent piece that stands out while flowing with the original theme. When shopping for an accent chair, keep in mind what purpose it needs to serve for the entire room.


Type refers to the basic design of the chair which includes the look, and construction of the legs, back, and seat.

1. Arm Chair

Knowing the function of a chair can determine the right term to use. If a decorative chair has arms, it is both an accent chair and an armchair. Pieces without arms are just accent chairs. Because it doesn’t contrast or draw the eye, an armchair with the same upholstery and styling as the couch is not an accent chair.

2. Slipper Chair

With short legs, an armless body, and a high back, the compact shape of the slipper chair has made it an enduring design, great for small spaces and tight corner. Slipper chairs have become versatile in the accent chair family, used everywhere from bedrooms, dressing rooms to living rooms, offices and even foyers.

3.Wingback Chair

Wingback chair—also known as a fireside chair, or a chair—with “wings” attached to the seatback. In the past these were used near a fireplace and the purpose of the "wings" was to shield the occupants from the direct heat of the fire as well as from any drafts. Wingback chairs generally feature a high back and most of wing chairs are fully upholstered with exposed wood legs and some of the more modern styles of this chair have armrests.

4. Club Chair

Club chairs get their name from 19th-century England where gentlemen's clubs that had this type of chairs for relaxing. Leather is usually the covering of choice it features deeper-than-normal seats, high arms, and comfortable upholstery. Traditionally, they come with leather upholstery and nail trim.

Currently, Swivel club chairs are a popular modern invention and contemporary leather club chairs, on the other hand, have lower backs with heights the same as the arm rests.

5. Lounge Chair

A lounge chair is an armless recliner (built in a permanently reclined position that cannot be adjusted by the user), a place to rest your feet or paired with an ottoman, and designed for relaxing and leisure. They’re not designed for work or productivity. The subcategory are outdoor versions used on patios and near pools.

6. Chesterfield Chair

Chesterfield sofas are large couches with rolled arms the same height as the back, and typically with deep button tufting and nail-head trim. It was first created on the 18th century and have a formal style, but what makes the Chesterfield sofa distinct is the fact that it actually looks better as it ages. Its elegance and dignity, like wine, gets better with age, and this makes it a very great investment.

7. Side Chair

Side Chair is a chair without arms. Often used in the dining room as additional dining table seating, its armless silhouette makes it sleek to fit into small and awkward spaces – think table corners and dining nooks.Be sure to check the measurement of the table (length and height) and think about the colors and style of your dining room and living room when selecting a design. Side chair can be used for bedroom seating, home office chair or even as entryway seating.

8. Barrel Chair

The curved back and wraparound arms embrace you in comfort like none other. Barrel Chair generally have a semicircular back that usually curves around the sides into wings or armrests. Often referred to as a tub chair, the style was first popularized in the mid-20th century.

9. Parsons Chair

Parsons chair is developed in 1930 and named for the Parsons School of Design. The design striped everything down and leave to bare essential. The chair is armless, padding on the back and seat made the chairs very comfortable for sitting at a dining table.

10. Papasan Chair

Papasan chair looks like a baseball glove and makes you feel snug and secure. They originated from Asian and became popular in America during World War I. The upright frame traditionally made of rattan, it's slightly reclined. The round bowl shape of the chair provides a casual coziness for anyone who curls up in the seat.

11. Ballon Chair

Its a Victorian era staple and excellent statement piece for living rooms, bedrooms, even entryways. The term balloon refers to the rounded shoulders of the back and curved crosspiece. They usually come with enclosed arms and a deep seat.

12. Convertible Chair

This chair is ideal for small living spaces and easily converts to a lounge or bed, creating an extra bed. If you can fit a recliner, an armchair, or a seat and a half, you can probably fit a sleeper chair with convertible function.


The style of accent chair relates to its overall look and design.

Options are numerous and allowing you the rest of your to find a piece that suit your like and fit right in to the rest of your furniture decoration.

1. Traditional

Traditional style uses elements to make it look classic and original and sometimes even old- fashioned. Color palate usually are warm, earthy, homely, and natural. The chair focuses on functionality over trend.

2. Contemporary

Contemporary design style is best suited for people who are willing to change with the times. And it's best for those who like the stark contrasts and curved lines that are often found in contemporary design. Contemporary style is for those who find form and ornament more important than function.

3. Mid-Century Modern

Modern style evolved into mid-century modern (1950s and '60s) and postmodernism (1970s and '80s). Mid-century modern design usually with splashes of bright color added strategically. Postmodernism is bold, breaks all rules of tradition, and has a certain irony about it. Both are more about the form than the function, which is the exact opposite of the classic modern design.

Mid-Century have a classic, comfortable style that’s quite vintage in looks.

4. Transitional

A combination of contemporary and traditional styles. They go well with every type of décor and furnishings. The design are simple yet sophisticated, curved furnishings with straight lines, lacquered finishes or rounded profiles. They are the marriage between elegance, clean profiles and emphasis on comfort with neutral colors and basic patterns rule.

5. Rustic

Rustic features a simple, informal and homely style of décor. The design are basic, coarse that highlights natural beauty in the materials. Color palette are warm and earthy.

7. Cottage & Country

Country style generally depicted by primitive furniture, muted colors, milk-paint finishes and vintage fabrics. The natural earth colors fabrics often joined with floral, checked and striped patterns printed on calico fabric. If you like farmhouse style this furniture is a perfect fit.

8. Industrial

Inspired by the warehouse, factories and rugged structures, the timeless industrial metal furnitures have evokes, many of them are made from reclaimed materials and pre- aged and the rustic style can stand up to regular wear and tear.

9. Scandinavian

Design is characterized by minimalism, simplicity, and functionality. Scandinavian furniture is often influenced from nature and combines natural shapes, abstraction, and the use of natural elements such as leather, wood, and hemp with curved shapes and earthy colors. The recent trend also combines the use of metallic in the design elements.

C. Decision-making process : how to choose the right upholstery for a space?

Let's listen to these designers how they choose the upholstery for their clients.

  • Functionality

"Functionality is key. Assessing the level of abuse the upholstered piece will endure over its lifetime is critical in determining the right type of fabric for a commercial or residential project. Most upholstery fabrics come with ratings to help narrow down this decision. Additionally, the hand of stain-resistant fabrics are much improved these days, giving us greater options. Once we answer the functionality question, then it is onto the fun stuff - colors, textures, patterns - all of which are dependent on our design concept.” - Anishka + Niya, from Ishka Designs.

  • Tone & Texture

"After considering the function, pay close attention to tone and texture. I find that to achieve an airy feel, it is best to stick with light textures like linen or cotton. For a more collected look, mix various textures together in one space - look for velvet, wool, and leather to pair with your light pieces. Upholstery is an investment, so I tend to prefer solids on the big pieces and will incorporate prints on accents like ottomans or chairs." Shea McGee, from Studio McGee.

  • Color and Print

"When you’re choosing upholstery for a large piece of furniture, such as a sofa, it can be an investment so I always recommend sticking with a solid fabric in a color you’ll never tire of. Prints tend to be trend-driven and although that bold print you love might look awesome now, there’s a good chance it will feel dated in a few years, whereas solids are always timeless. Plus, you can always accent your sofa with a mix of pillows in fun prints or patterns to give it some personality." Nicole Gibbons, from Nicole Gibbons Style.

  • Cost & Budget

The cost of accent chairs varies depending on numerous factors such as type and style. Materials used play a big role in overall cost. Expensive materials including metal leg and real leather. Chair structure and workmanship also has an important part in the price mark up.

Set your budget ahead of time to a price you feel comfortable with. Hope this guide helps you in making the purchase and gaining some understanding of the different types of accent chair.

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