Adding accent chairs to a room can take the design to the next level. These eye-catching chairs inject personality, color, and additional seating into any space. Choosing the right accent chairs may seem overwhelming with the many shapes, sizes, styles, and fabrics available today. But with some key considerations in mind, you’re sure to find the perfect chairs to showcase your personal taste and complement your existing living room furniture.
I’ll walk you through the step-by-step process I use when selecting accent chairs for my client projects or my own home. I’ll share tips on determining your style, choosing materials and patterns, finding the right scale, and mixing and matching patterns like a pro. You’ll learn some of my go-to places to shop for unique accent chairs that make for fabulous living room design.
Accent chairs have so much potential to elevate your design—follow this advice to pick ones tailored precisely to your needs and style.
Matching the Sofa
Should accent chairs match the sofa? Matching accent chairs to your sofa is one approach to creating a cohesive and coordinated look in your living room. However, it is not the only option, and there are different ways to approach the design depending on your preferences and the overall style you want to achieve. Here are a few considerations:
One way to create a unified look is by choosing accent chairs with the same upholstery as the sofa. This creates a cohesive and coordinated appearance, giving the room a sense of harmony. It works particularly well in traditional or formal settings where a more consistent and refined look is desired.
Complementary colors and patterns
Instead of matching the exact upholstery, you can opt for accent chairs that feature complementary colors or patterns. This approach adds beauty and allows the chairs to stand out as individual pieces while still harmonizing with the sofa and the overall color scheme of the room. For example, if your sofa is a solid color, you can choose accent chairs with patterned upholstery that incorporate the sofa’s color in its design.
Contrasting styles and materials
Another option is to deliberately choose accent chairs that contrast with the sofa in terms of style, material, or color. This creates a more eclectic and dynamic look in the living room. For example, if you have a modern sofa, you can pair it with vintage-inspired accent chairs or chairs upholstered in a different material like leather or velvet.
Cohesive design elements
Even if the accent chairs and sofa don’t match exactly, you can still create a sense of unity by incorporating other design elements that tie them together. This can include using similar throw pillows, coordinating the colors of accessories or rugs, or repeating certain design motifs throughout the space.
Accent Chair Height
Should accent chairs be the same height as the sofa? Accent chairs do not necessarily need to be the same height as the sofa. While matching the heights can create a sense of uniformity and symmetry, it’s not a hard and fast rule.
It’s important to maintain a sense of visual balance in your living room. If you have a taller sofa, pairing it with shorter accent chairs can create an interesting contrast and add visual appeal. Conversely, if you have a low-profile sofa, taller accent chairs can help create a more balanced and cohesive look.
Consider the proportions and scale of the furniture pieces in your living room. Aim for chairs that are proportionate to the other furniture items in terms of height, width, and depth. If the chairs are significantly taller or shorter than the sofa, it can create an imbalance and make the arrangement look off.
Accent Chair Legs
In addition to the style of the chair, you’ll also need to consider the chair legs. The majority of accent chairs you come across will have their legs exposed. Some will offer a fabric skirt (like slipcovered accent chairs) and others will be bare.
Modern and contemporary chairs will often feature sleek and straight legs. French, Farmhouse, and other types of Traditional chairs will most often offer a curved leg, sometimes made of carved or turned wood. These can be more interesting, but it all depends on your personal taste and decorative style!
The legs may or may not have casters at the bottom making them easier to move around and adding a charming old-school touch.
In summary, choosing the right accent chair involves a thoughtful balance of style, comfort, and functionality. Consider your space, preferences, and intended use to select a chair that not only complements your decor but also adds character and purpose to your home. With attention to these key factors, you’ll confidently bring home an accent chair that enhances both aesthetics and comfort in your living space. Next up, learn how to decorate your new accent chair!