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How to Style Accent Chairs in Your Living Room

Castlery   |   Jun 28, 2023

Are you looking to add a touch of elegance and personality to your living room? Accent chairs are the perfect solution - these versatile pieces of furniture not only provide extra seating, but also serve as statement pieces that can elevate the overall aesthetics of your space.

Whether you want to create a cosy reading nook or a conversation area, styling accent chairs requires some thought and consideration. In this article, we'll take you through some tips on placement, design, and how to create a cohesive and inviting living room with accent chairs.

Select the perfect accent chair

Before you dive into styling your accent chairs, it's crucial to choose the right chair for your space.

Consider the overall design theme and colour palette of your living room. If you have a minimalist aesthetic, opt for a sleek and streamlined chair, like this Gable High Armchair and Ottoman Set. If you’re more into a classic and contemporary design, a leather accent chair like the Madison Leather Armchair would add a sophisticated touch to your space.

Don't forget to consider the chair's size, comfort, and durability. It should not only look great but also provide a cosy spot for relaxation.

Let’s take a look at some common types of accent chairs out there so you know your options:

Wingback

Wingback chairs like this Colette Swivel Armchair are characterized by their high backs and "wings" that extend from the armrests to the backrest. The tall back and wings provide a cosy and enclosed feel, which provides a sense of security and is perfect for curling up with a book or enjoying an afternoon snooze.

A person is sitting on a performance fabric armchair with a book in hand. The Colette Swivel Armchair has a wingback feature that creates a cosy cocoon. Picture credits: @absalz

Wingback chairs usually feature plush upholstery, making them a popular choice in many homes.

Swivel

Swivel accent chairs like this Amber Boucle Swivel Chair are a stylish and functional addition to your living room. These chairs are designed with a rotating base that allows them to swivel in a 360-degree motion. This makes them perfect for socialising or multitasking without having to physically move the chair.

A white performance fabric swivel chair with a cat on top. Even @paulpayasalad’s cat loves lounging on the Amber Boucle Swivel Chair!

They are a popular choice for any space in your home, providing mobility, comfort, and the ability to easily interact with others in the room.

Club

Club chairs like this Madison Leather Armchair are known for their deep, wide seats and plush cushioning. They offer a sense of relaxation and comfort, making them ideal for leisurely lounging.

A leather armchair with deep seats draped with a throw and cushion. The Madison Leather Armchair creates a cosy lounging spot in @linseywoods.home’s space.

Club chairs typically have a low backrest, wide armrests, and generous padding. Club chairs often evoke a classic or vintage aesthetic, working well in modern-contemporary homes.

Lounge

A lounge chair such as this Ingrid Sherpa Chair is designed with comfort in mind and is typically associated with relaxation and leisure.

A person fixes a plant while kneeling down on a lounge armchair. The Ingrid Sherpa Chair has a reclined back for extra lounging comfort. Picture credits: @movewithcarissa

These chairs often have a reclined backrest and deep seats. Some variations might even come integrated with a footrest for maximum relaxation. Lounge chairs are perfect for creating a cosy corner to unwind after a long day.

Chaise lounge

A chaise lounge is different from a lounge chair as it is usually a long chair with an extended seat, allowing you to stretch out and relax. They are often associated with luxury and relaxation, perfect for creating an inviting atmosphere in your living room.

A fabric right-facing side chaise sofa with a yellow cushion and blue throw. The Elias Side Chaise provides plenty of room to kick up your feet.

They are an excellent choice for those seeking a combination of comfort, style, and functionality.

Placement and arrangement

Now that you’ve chosen an accent chair, it's time to find the perfect spot for it in your living room. Here are some common accent chair arrangements you can explore:

Symmetrical placement

2 armchairs are facing a sofa and an ottoman. @brownstoneboys places two armchairs in the living room creates balance. Pictured: The Sacha Performance Bouclé Armchair.

Create balance by placing identical accent chairs on either side of a sofa, coffee table, or sideboard. This is a common placement option as it creates a visually appealing and balanced arrangement.

Corner placement

An armchair is placed beside a window and a small side table. @graceinmagnolias utilises the dead space beside a window to place the Wayne Armchair.

Utilise any awkward corners in the room by adding a single accent chair to the space. Create a cosy reading nook by adding a side table and a floor lamp.

Grouping

Two performance fabric armchairs are positioned infront of a fireplace with a side table inbetween. @dawnpdarnell positions the Paloma Bouclé Armchairs in Snow infront of the fireplace for a cosy lounging spot.

Arrange two or more accent chairs with a small table in between. This acts as a secondary seating area to your sofa and creates an intimate atmosphere. If you have a small living room, the accent chairs can even serve as your main seating area.

Statement piece

A fabric swivel chair in a muted yellow colour. The Amber Swivel Chair in Meadow Yellow.

If you have a striking or unique accent chair, make it the focal point of your living room by placing it in direct line of sight from the entrance. This allows the eye to be automatically drawn to it when you walk in.

Pair with existing furniture

You want your accent chair to create a beautiful contrast, not stick out like a sore thumb. That’s why it’s important for your accent chair to be well-coordinated with the existing furniture in the living room.

If you have a neutral-coloured sofa, introduce an accent chair in a complementary shade to ensure it gels well.

For a bolder approach, don't be afraid to combine styles and materials. For example, pair a mid-century modern accent chair like this Desmond Leather Armchair with a rustic coffee table like this Seb Round Coffee Table. This mismatch in the sofas and accent chairs can still look stylish if you strike a balance between cohesion and diversity.

Play with textures and fabrics

Texture and fabric selection can make a significant difference in the overall look and feel of your living room. Consider the texture of your accent chair and how it complements or contrasts with the surrounding furniture.

A leather sofa and two fabric armchairs in a living room. @a.freckled.fawn.design creates visual interest by pairing the Madison Leather Sofa with two Madison Armchairs from the same collection.

If you have a leather sofa, pair it with a fabric accent chair to add warmth and softness. For velvet accent chairs, you can balance it out with a sleek and minimalistic side table like the Harper Side Table, or a metallic accent piece.

Incorporate different textures through rugs, curtains, or artwork to create depth in the room.

Introduce colours and patterns

Accent chairs provide an excellent opportunity to introduce pops of colour and patterns into your living room. Here are some ideas to help you incorporate colours and patterns effectively:

  • Bold and vibrant: Make a statement in your living room with an accent chair in a vibrant colour, such as electric blue, emerald green, or fiery red. Pair it with neutral furniture and surroundings to allow the chair to steal the spotlight.
  • Subtle elegance: Choose a chair in a soft, pastel hue or a muted tone to create a calming and sophisticated ambiance. These chairs work well in minimalist or Scandinavian-inspired spaces. You can then add pops of colour and patterns to the cushions or throws.
  • Patterned designs: Opt for eye-catching accent chairs, such as using floral or geometric shapes. Use these chairs as focal points in the room and complement them with solid-coloured accessories and decor.

Accessorise the accent chair

Enhance the accent chair’s appeal by adding some accessories to it. For example, you could add a cosy throw draped over the back of the chair for an inviting touch. Consider placing some cushions to make the chair more comfortable to lounge on for longer periods.

An armchair with a matching ottoman is placed by a window. @jessmaple_ decorates around the Gable High Armchair and Ottoman Set to create a cosy sitting corner.

A small side table with a lamp or a potted plant can also provide functional and decorative elements. Remember to keep the scale and proportion of the accessories in mind to maintain balance within the space.

Now that you’ve learned how to go about styling your accent chairs, it's time to put this knowledge into practice to transform your space. Let your creativity flow and experiment with different arrangements, colours, and textures until you achieve the perfect look for your living room.

Remember, accent chairs are not just functional furniture; they are statement pieces that can elevate the entire aesthetic of your space.

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