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Tips on Choosing an Accent Chair

Accent chairs add both visual interest and function to a room. These standalone single seats spice up existing bedroom, hallway, or living room furniture by adding new touches of colour, texture, and shape to the décor. They also can provide additional seating for family and guests or separate functions within the room, such as a reading nook created independently of main seating areas. But it can be tricky to find just the right chair or chairs for a space without a few careful considerations.

1. Consider the space

Available floor space is the first filter to sift potential selections through before purchase. Whether you’d like to flank your loveseat with two armchairs or place one accent chair alone at an angle by a sofa, it will be crucial to measure the dimensions of the free space that exists for a chair to fill, keeping in mind both traffic flow and allowance for people’s legs to stretch out while seated. Placing a masking tape outline or paper cutout on the floor helps to visualize dimensions.

2. Consider the style

Accent chairs and armchairs come in a variety of styles that can either take your existing décor to a new level of boldness or tone down the room by offsetting furniture that is already bright and vibrant. Pair a deep espresso brown sofa and minimalist coffee table with a brilliantly patterned high-back armchair, or complement a bright red loveseat and oversized ottoman with a slick leather accent chair in creamy beige. Always consider your existing palette, as the shape, fabric and colour of an accent chair work together to enhance the style of all the other furniture in the room.

3. Consider the use

Intended use determines both how comfortable and how durable your chosen chair should be. Accent chairs used infrequently as extra seating can be firm and sturdy, and should align with your other chairs in terms of height if they’re to be pulled up to the dining room table during dinner parties. Rec room and casual living room chairs can be softer, more plush, and versatile in size, and should be covered in a stain- and wear-resistant material, like microfiber or leather. Chairs placed in hallways and bedrooms can be chosen first for style, and second for comfort.

4. Consider the size

It is not only the size of the chair itself, but the way its size relates to the scale of the room, that matters. Whether shopping for a family room, hallway, or bedroom accent chair, one that sits in proportion to the space and other furniture within it should be sought out in order to not diminish it, or be diminished by it. Step back to envision your accent chair next to your modern loveseat or large, traditional coffee table. Ensure the chair’s seat height lies in balance with other seating in the room to create a more streamlined visual flow.

5. Consider the quantity

Choosing one, two, or many accent chairs to enhance a space changes it significantly. Making a big style statement works best with less, letting a few chairs truly stand out as a focal point in the room, while choosing a group helps them blend into surroundings similarly to a sofa. Pairs of accent chairs can flank an occasional table, fireplace or hall console table, or act as a loveseat when placed opposite a sofa. One accent chair or armchair alone next to a window with a small table and lamp creates a cozy, separated nook ideal for reading or daydreaming about your next decorative mission.