What Is an Accent Chair?


An accent chair can be used to pick up on a highlight color within the theme of a room adding visual interest and pulling a color scheme together. The accent chair is often a different style, is not part of a suite of furniture and is often upholstered in a different, patterned fabric than the rest of the furniture in the room.


  • Historically, an accent or occasional chair is meant for use every now and then. This means they can be upholstered in a more expensive or more delicate fabric. Although often used in living spaces to accommodate extra guests, they are also found in bedrooms, used as a place to put clothes. A contemporary approach sees accent chairs used for purely aesthetic purposes, to tie together a color scheme or add visual interest by introducing a sculptural aspect to a space.

A Different Style

  • Choose an accent chair that is a different style to the rest of your furniture, such as a wing chair or small armchair. A rocking chair or chaise would also make a good accent chair. An accent chair is a place for one person to sit and shouldn't be too big, or dominant within the space. A sculptural chair adds drama and interest to a space in the same way as a work of art does.


  • The upholstery should include the highlight color of the interior scheme -- the whole chair can be upholstered in it or the upholstery can be an interesting pattern that includes the highlight color. The accent chair can provide a chance to use a bolder fabric than would be used in a larger area -- so consider using loud, patterned fabrics like florals or stripes but remember that although the chair should stand out, it shouldn't look out of place.


  • An accent chair should be functional as well as attractive, so place yours somewhere you'd like to sit, such as by the fire, by the window or beside a much-loved artwork. Make sure the chair is big enough and comfortable enough to be used.

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