Would you choose to sit in an accent chair? On occasion. These accent chairs or occasional chairs blur the line between functional furniture and ornamental home accessory. Stylish, elegant and sophisticated, they can be handy extra seating at large gatherings, or a gorgeous finishing touch to your space, either complementing or contrasting a chosen theme.
You can find an occasional chair to suit every taste at Furniture Village. There are modern recliner armchairs, classic velvet tub styles, and wingback chairs, as well as a huge choice of leather armchairs and fabric armchairs that fall into the accent chair category.
Why choose an accent chair or occasional chair?
Deciding to buy an accent chair or occasional chair is more about channelling your inner interior designer than it is about bringing home extra seating. Accent chairs, while undeniably comfortable, are intended to be an eye-catching living room style note and pull the look and feel of the room together through colour and design.
For example, the colour of your accent chair might be carried over to the cushions on the sofa, or a vase on a shelf. Or your occasional chair’s pale wooden legs might contribute to the calm neutral tones of your overall Scandi-themed living space.
For more about accent chairs, take a look at our sofa and armchair buying guide.
How to use an accent chair
You can use an occasional chair to fill an awkward corner or create a natural division in a much larger space. Place one next to your living room sofa, in a bay window, or in the corner of your bedroom or home office.
An accent chair can work in a hallway, as somewhere to sit briefly to put on shoes, or it can be used to create its own specific area and function, like a handy reading space. A standing lamp next to your occasional chair can add more focus and drama.
Of course, the intended use and placement of occasional chairs will affect the style and colour you go for. Choose wisely and carry out your research.
Choosing the right colour for your accent chair
The colour is an important factor when deciding on an accent chair. Ideally, it needs to coordinate with an existing shade in the room to bring the look together.
Look at the room itself and try to identify any recurring colours. A trick can be to look to something small, such as a piece of wall art, or a vase or cushion. See a lot of blue? Then try a blue accent chair. Black-and-white images on the wall? A grey accent chair it is.
A good trick is to settle on the colour of the occasional chair first, rather than the style, as this should make your choice easier. But you can also try matching your accent chair through its wood finish, even if it just has wooden legs, as this tends to work in most rooms.
You can control how much the chair stands out by opting for a neutral colour, such as a brown accent chair, with an interesting design. Or if the setting is neutral, try a brightly coloured accent chair for a vibrant pop that feels warm and inviting.
Choosing the right material for your accent chair
In terms of the upholstery on your accent chair, you need to think about it in the same way as the colour. It might be leather or a particular fabric, but is there a complementary texture elsewhere in the room?
You might have scatter cushions finished in a similar material, or if there’s plenty of texture in the room already, with leather sofas and thick rugs for example, choose an accent chair or occasional chair that is clean-lined and with a silk-smooth finish to provide interesting contrast. Similarly, if the room is mainly smooth, with tile or wood flooring, a chair with texture adds depth.
There are lots of leathers and fabrics to choose from when it comes to accent chairs and occasional chairs. Fabric accent chairs in soft velvet or chenille add a feeling of luxury, while leather accent chairs are right on trend, as well as being hard-wearing and easy to clean.
Caring for your new accent chair
Find out how to look after your new accent chair or occasional chair in our upholstery care guide. After all, if you’ve taken time and trouble to find the perfect one to complement your space and your other living room furniture, be sure to take good care of it.
The finishing touches
An accent chair is there to bring the room together, but there are other pieces that might help it do so. For example, make sure that the other seating in the room differs enough to make the occasional chair stand out, so a larger sofa should not necessarily match in terms of colour or texture. Instead, coordinate your accent chair with the cushions decorating your sofa.
Then it may not be the upholstery on the occasional chair that complements the other items in the space. If it has wooden legs, this will help it to sit alongside other oak furniture, such as sideboards or shelving. And how about introducing a second accent chair to the space, contrasting with the first?
You can also make an accent chair or occasional chair work harder through your choice of accessories. Smaller trinkets, from vases to picture frames, each in a colour that matches, can help to create a more cohesive look.