How To Enjoy The Accent Chair


Growing up, I remember most living rooms were not complete without a three-piece suite. The suite consisted of two bulky arm chairs and a matching 3 seater sofa. Years later a combination of two-seater and three-seater sofas became the trend, with the arm chair quietly being done away with.

These days we see sofas and an odd, standalone chair. The accent chair.

The idea that a living room should have perfectly matching chairs was thrown out by Marty Crane of Frasier, arguably the best comedy the USA ever produced with ‘Everybody loves Raymond’ coming in at a close second. Frasier’s father, Marty, moved in with him and along came his tattered and battered recliner armchair. To say that it was ugly would be an underestimation. We’re talking stains and duct tape, dated green pattern in a forgotten fabric texture. Not surprisingly Marty loved that chair and it had to somehow fit in or rather stand out amongst Frasier’s perfectly furnished apartment. That chair was the source of many arguments for the entire first season and beyond. Eventually, Frasier was able to allow bigger issues to overshadow it and it became a part of the home.

Having an accent chair is not only practical, it is trendy and can add refinement to your space- something Marty’s comfortable chair was lacking. Here are some practical ways to enjoy this fashionable feature in your home.

By the Fireplace

FireplacePhoto Credit: Tad Davis Photography

The cosiest place in the home once upon a time was by the fire. Decades later the entire home is kept warm by central heating, but who can resist the warmth and crackle of a real fire? An accent chair positioned by the fire will be the most desired chair in the house. Be careful if you have a leather chair though as this can dry out and crack the hide.

For a quiet tête-à-tête

tête-à-têtePhoto Credit: For People design via Houzz

Position two chairs side by side and away from the general sitting area for intimate conversations. The tub chair is billed as the most comfortable for the back, to recreate this look go for brightly coloured chairs or simply throw matching throws over both chairs.

For Balance & Symmetry

balancePhoto Credit: Laura U Inc

Sometimes accent chairs are added to an overall design to strike a balance. This formal sitting room displays perfect symmetry by having two of every piece, down to the table and wall lamps. If you like order and formality this look is for you and it is very easy to achieve. It requires some additional thought and planning if you have an awkwardly shaped room so take that into consideration before going shopping.

In a Study Area

studyPhoto Credit: Usona via Houzz

Do away with the standard office chair and choose a comfortable upholstered chair instead. Office chairs belong in offices and accent chairs, at home. Make sure there is a comfortable balance between the heights of chair and desk to avoid posture problems. Choose a neutral or coordinating colour so the chair can be used in other rooms as well.

Keeping with Tradition

traditionPhoto credit: Design by Lisa via Houzz

This room appears to have stepped out from a bygone era; elegant, traditional and luxurious. Bespoke accent chairs in a fabric pattern that fits the era have been used to tie in the overall scheme. This gives a striking feature to the living room. Go bespoke if you are having a tough time finding just the right chairs to go with the rest of the room. You can have existing chairs reupholstered, or new ones covered. Dramatic prints on accent chairs look great against the backdrop of solid or plain designs. Often it is the entryway for colour or pattern into a room.

How do you use your accent chair? We would love to know!