Complement the décor of a room by adding a comfortable place to sit with our accent chair buying guide below.
Accent chair refers to many types of chairs. We set them all out below so that you get an idea as to your various options. While we don’t cover it here, if you’re looking for accent chairs with matching ottoman, click here.
Table of Contents
- Accent Chairs Buying Guide
- A. Chair Type
- B. Chair Style
- C. Other Design Options
- Accent Chair FAQ
- More Details
- Where to Buy Accent Chairs Online
Accent Chairs Buying Guide
The purpose of an accent chair is multifaceted.
First and most obvious, it provides an additional place to sit. In other words, it accents the room’s main piece of furniture (such as a sofa) as a secondary seating area.
Secondly, it adds a splash of color or texture to the room. The goal here is for the chair to supplement the rest of the room’s design, including other décor and furniture.
Accent chairs that accomplish both of these tasks come in a variety of types, styles, sizes, materials, and colors.
We look at each specific type, including arm chairs, slipper chairs, side chairs, and many more, below to help you find the right option for you.
A. Chair Type
Start your search for the perfect accent chair by narrowing down chair type.
Type refers to the basic design of the chair, including the look and construction of its legs, back, and seat. Select the option that works best for your needs, preferences, and overall design of the room you’re buying it for.
The type of chair you choose to accent your décor and other furniture dictates the additional design options that are available.
1. Arm Chair
An arm chair is arguably the most popular type of accent chair available.
Not only do they look great and add a touch of style to any room, but they’re also designed with comfort in mind. They typically consist of an upholstered material. The most common design incorporates two comfortable side supports to rest your arms on.
Arm chairs are available in a wide variety of materials, colors, and sizes to match your preferences.
See our guide to chair and sofa arm styles here.
2. Slipper Chair
Source: Jonathon Adler
Take an arm chair and cut off the arms. Now you have a slipper chair.
This type of furniture is notable for its sleek, streamlined design. They provide an extra place to sit without taking much space. With an upholstered top, your color and pattern options are nearly endless.
Slipper chairs are available in numerous colors and styles to suit everyone’s needs, whether that’s style, comfort, or a mixture of the two.
3. Side Chair
A side chair is high among the most versatile pieces of furniture ever created.
With a very petite profile, they’re sort of like an even slimmer version of the slipper variety. They don’t have arms but do have an upholstered top and a solid frame.
The slim design of this type of furniture is what makes it so versatile. It will fit into the smallest and most awkward places. It’s comfortable enough as a place to sit while reading or watching television, but it’s also straight enough to use at a dining room table.
You can buy a side chair in just about any design imaginable, from those that stick out to those that smoothly blend in.
4. Barrel Chair
A barrel chair is notable for its barrel-shaped design.
The back of the piece is rounded, looking almost like the back of a barrel. The front features a cutout area to sit, surrounded with a high back and high arms.
Comfort is key with this style of furniture. These pieces are created from the ground up with comfort in mind. Upholstery and plentiful padding make them a great place to sit and relax.
Given the vast variety of material and color options available, a barrel chair is a great piece that adds a natural and rustic feel to any room.
5. Lounge Chair
Source: Hive Modern
As the name implies, a lounge chair is created with lounging in mind.
Since they’re designed for lounging, every aspect of these pieces is constructed with the goal of comfort. Most feature a laid-back design with a slanted back and a place to rest your feet. This footrest can either be built-in to the piece or come as a separate piece.
This style of furniture is often used inside as a place to relax. Outdoor versions are also incredibly common on patios and near pools.
Dozens of versions of lounge chairs are available, ranging from formal to relaxed and everywhere in between.
6. Wingback Chair
Source: World Market
Few pieces of accent furniture are anywhere near as stylish as a wingback chair.
Used for centuries as a staple in libraries and other formal rooms, one of these pieces will bring a dose of classic style to any room. The tall back and winged sides are staples of its design.
Though traditionally used in a formal setting, modern versions look just as good in a laid back, relaxed living room. Place yours in front of a fireplace, in an entryway, or at a desk. You can even use them around a dining table.
Note that most of these pieces are quite bulky. They’re not the best option if you plan to move your seating around on a regular basis.
A variety of materials and colors make accent chairs a great addition to any room or area of your home.
7. Club Chair
Club chairs get their name from the type of seating commonly seen in traditional clubs of old.
They tend to feature deeper-than-normal seats, high arms, and comfortable upholstery. Indeed, the main purpose of this style of accent furniture is a comfortable place to sit.
These pieces make the perfect addition to a living room. Their cozy design makes them the ideal place to curl up with a book. Many people place theirs nearby a warm fireplace.
These pieces are available in a wide variety of colors and styles. Traditionally, they come with leather upholstery and nail trim.
8. Parsons Chair
Source: Pier 1 Imports
Select a parsons chair for a unique blend of style and functionality.
A highlight of this type of accent furniture is how well it goes with just about anything. No matter your style of décor, there’s an option that’s perfect for you.
Though they boast classic good looks, these pieces are relatively new. Developed only in the 1930s, the goal was to strip everything down to leave just the bare essentials.
These pieces work well just about anywhere, but look particularly good in the dining room. Their armless design and tall backs make sitting at a table comfortable.
Despite their sleek and streamlined looks, these pieces of furniture still retain a traditional, natural look.
Select from a variety of finishes, colors, and upholstery types to find the parsons chair that works best in your home.
9. Papasan Chair
Source: Pier 1 Imports
Few types of accent furniture are anywhere near as unique looking as a Papasan chair.
These pieces consist of a sturdy frame (usually made from rattan) and a comfortable cushion that fits inside. The overall design is a dish shape.
Though these pieces aren’t exactly as popular as they once were, they’re still a great choice for any area where comfort is key. They’re extremely comfortable and relaxing to sit in.
The high comfort of these pieces has made them popular in college dorm rooms. The latest styles make them a great choice for any home.
The mature patterns now offered even make Papasan chairs a decent choice for formal rooms in homes.
10. Convertible Chair
Source: Futon Land
Convertible chairs are, as their name implies, convertible to a variety of different types.
These versatile pieces tend to feature foldable backs. If you’re tired of sitting, simply pop down the back to create a comfortable area to lay.
Most of these pieces feature a sturdy metal frame. The sitting area tends to be upholstered, with leather one of the most common material choices.
This style of furniture commonly comes without arms. Sometimes a foot rest is also added to make it even more comfortable when converted to a bed.
The wide variety of styles of convertible chairs now offered means you’ll find something that works well for any room and décor type.
11. Balloon Chair
Another unique style of accent furniture is the balloon chair.
These pieces feature a rounded back that mimics the look of a balloon. They usually come with enclosed arms and a deep seat.
Some balloon models come with a footrest to let you kick back. Others don’t even have a frame and are mounted from the ceiling.
The color, style, and material options for balloon chairs are nearly endless.
12. Chesterfield Chair
The Chesterfield is a chair (also available as a sofa) that’s known for its formal looks and incredible comfort.
They bring classic good looks to the table with a mixture of leather materials, rolled arms, and nailhead trim.
Despite the fact that it was first created in the 18th century, the Chesterfield looks great in just about any room. Sure, they’re formal in style, but they work well with decidedly less formal furniture and décor.
Best of all, today’s modern Chesterfield chairs come in a wide variety of styles to suit just about any room in your home.
B. Chair Style
The style of your accent chair relates to its overall look and design.
Numerous factors must be taken into consideration including materials, color, and size. Most important of all, however, is the chair type.
Your main style options include modern, contemporary, traditional, transitional, rustic, cottage/country, glam, coastal, mid-century modern, industrial, Scandinavian, global-inspired, French country, bohemian, and tropical.
As you can see, your style options are numerous, allowing you to find a piece that perfectly accents the rest of your furniture and décor.
Source: All Modern
Modern style furniture takes its design elements from the modernist movement that started in the late 1800s.
Pieces created in the modern style tend to be simple and streamlined. Their emphasis is mostly on function over fashion. The colors used tend to be subdued and minimal.
Though it borrows some ideas from the modern style, contemporary style furniture is a completely different category of design.
Originating in the 1970s, pieces created in the contemporary style are known for their stark simplicity. Curves are another common design element. While the colors used on modern furniture are subdued and minimal, the contemporary style often incorporates bold colors and bold patterns.
Accent chairs created in the traditional style tend to be welcoming, relaxed, and quite ordinary.
The style uses elements that look classic and authentic. Sometimes traditional design even looks slightly outdated. Warm, traditional, earthy colors are often used. The emphasize of these pieces is on function over fashion.
Source: Coaster Furniture
Transitional style furniture is a blend of contemporary and traditional styles.
These pieces are popular in modern homes because they go well with just about every type of décor and furnishings. They bring together elegance, clean profiles, and an emphasis on comfort into a single package. Warm neutral colors and understated patterns rule.
Those that prefer a simple, laid back, completely unpretentious style of décor should look into rustic furniture.
These pieces are notable for their basic, rugged design that highlights natural beauty. Honest, warm, earthy colors are the hallmark of this style. Expect rustic pieces to look like they belong better in a log cabin than in a modern house.
The cottage style, also known as country style, is similar to the rustic style, but with more of a country twist.
Natural earth colors are paired with stripes, checks, and floral print. These pieces are basic and laid back but tend to incorporate a lot of bright colors. This is the style of furniture you’d expect to see in a farmhouse.
The classic glam furniture style is perfect for those that want a little more sparkle in their lives.
As glamorous as it gets, pieces created with this style have a lot of detail. Ornamental detail and elegance are central. Despite all of this, the colors used are subtle and used sparingly. When bold colors are used, it creates a big statement.
Furniture created with the coastal style is comfortable, relaxed, and welcoming.
Think of the furniture you’d expect in a beach house: that’s the coastal style. The unpretentious look combines natural materials with casual textures and colors. The most common colors draw from the sea – clear blues, sea greens, and creamy whites are the most popular.
9. Mid-Century Modern
The world has been obsessed with mid-century modern furniture as of late.
One of the most popular styles around, mid-century modern is notable for its blending of classic modern design with a slightly more updated feel. These are pieces with a look that harks back to the 1930s to 1960s. They have a classic, comfortable style that’s quite vintage in looks.
The raw, utilitarian design that highlights industrial style furniture is becoming increasingly popular as of late.
Pieces that utilize this style are incredibly functional and working class in design. Humble materials, which are often pre-aged, are a hallmark of this style. Industrial accent chairs can be as simple or complex as you want them to be.
The Scandinavian style of furniture design is yet another style that has roots in modern design.
With a focus on simplicity and functionality, Scandinavian furniture is most often constructed from natural materials, including wood and leather. Curved shapes and earth tone colors are common.
12. Global Inspired
Global-inspired furniture takes its inspiration from countries around the world for a wholly exotic look.
These pieces are not only exotic, but they’re also alluring and very personal. These pieces are authentic and blend bright and bold colors and patterns with neutral colors and patterns.
13. French Country
Furniture that utilizes the French country design is chief among the most charming available.
Pieces constructed in this style are bright, rustic, and laid-back. Think old world designs combined with modern splashes of color. The French country design is very similar to the cottage/country design except for its European twist.
Tap into your adventurous side with the Bohemian style furniture.
These pieces contain a whole lot of flair and creativity. Textures, colors, and patterns are all vibrant with a flair towards the artistic. Brightly upholstered seats and rustic wooden frames are prevalent.
The name says it all – this style of furniture is nothing short of tropical.
The tropical design reflects the style in tropical areas of the world. Pieces often have a laid-back, beach vibe. Tropical wood, woven textures, and a light atmosphere are common. Vibrant colors and patterns are also frequently utilized.
C. Other Design Options
Though type and style largely dictate what your accent furniture will look like, you still have several design options to choose from.
These include upholstery color and pattern, upholstery material, frame color and type, and arm type.
Not only do all these additional design factors influence the look of your accent chair, but they also relate directly to its overall functionality as a piece of useful furniture.
1. Upholstery Color and Pattern
The color and pattern of your upholstery depend largely on the style you choose.
As mentioned above, modern and contemporary styles tend to be minimalist shades of white and gray while tropical and global inspired styles tend to be much brighter and more vibrant.
However, within each particular style, you still have options. Choose a color and style that best accents the rest of your home décor and furniture.
2. Upholstery Material
Source: Pier 1 Imports
The types of material used for upholstery are just as vast as your color and pattern choices.
Commonly used upholstery materials include taffeta, damask, cotton, linen, wool, leather, faux leather, silk, chenille, and velvet.
Like color and pattern, choose a material whose texture matches the look and style of the rest of your room.
3. Frame Color and Type
Source: West Elm
Wood and metal are by far the most common materials used for the frames of chairs.
Sometimes these materials are bare. Other times they’re covered in upholstery. You can also find stained or painted frames in a variety of colors.
4. Arm Type
Each type of chair tends to come with a different arm type. The most common arm types include armless, track arms, round arms, recessed arms, flared arms, and pillow top arms.
Accent Chair FAQ
Below are answers to common questions about accent chairs.
What is an accent chair?
An accent chair is a piece of furniture that is both functional and aesthetic. Usually a standalone piece, an accent chair can bring out other details and features in a room. An accent chair is also a great focal points for bigger rooms. It also provides a place for a guest to sit, making an accent chair a great addition to any room. The key is to have an accent piece that stands out while flowing with the original theme. When shopping for an accent chair, keep in mind what purpose it needs to serve for the entire room.
Can an accent chair be reupholstered?
Yes. Accent chairs can be upholstered like traditional chairs, and may benefit from a new look. Some chairs look completely different with new upholstery, giving life to an otherwise boring chair. While big furniture like sofas and loveseats usually require a professional upholsterer, smaller pieces like accent chairs can be done at home. There are many tutorials available online that show how to reupholster different styles of chairs. Old dining chairs make great accent pieces after being reupholstered and polished.
Can accent chairs be repaired?
Yes. Accent chairs, like traditional furniture, can be repaired if the damage isn’t extensive. Reupholstering only involves the material part of the chair, but repairing involves the entire chair structure. A furniture repair shop can tell if a chair can be repaired or not. Repairing a chair can become costly- it may be best to buy a new accent chair to save money.
What are the different types of accent chairs?
Accent chairs are a great addition to any house because they come in all shapes, styles, and designs. Most accent chairs are big armchairs found in living rooms, but they can be any kind of chair that fits your needs. Antique dining chairs and reupholstered kitchen chairs make great accent pieces. It’s best to pick a chair that offers functionality for the room. A dining room accent chair would work well in a kitchen, for instance. Choose an accent chair that fits the purpose of the room without taking away from the theme.
Are recliners accent chairs?
Recliners can be accent chairs, but not all accent chairs are recliners. A recliner is a popular choice for an accent chair, but it is not a requirement. It is a great accent chair option because it provides a comfortable statement to any room. While most recliners are sold in sets, they can be purchased separately.
Can accent chairs be used in bedrooms?
Yes! Accent chairs can be in any room, including bedrooms and guest rooms. Though they’re mostly found in more social rooms like living rooms and lounges, accent chairs can be found anywhere in the house. Bedrooms can instantly be improved with a nice accent chair, as well as providing a place to sit. Even kitchens and bathrooms can have an accent chair, depending on the size of the rooms.
There are a few important factors you should keep in mind behind the type, style, and design of your accent chair.
First up are additional considerations. These range from thinking of a flow plan of how the piece looks with the rest of your furniture/décor to comfort versus fashion.
Next up is how the chair will be used. Is it primarily for looks or will it regularly be sat in? Finally, we discuss how all of your decisions affect the final price you pay for your new piece of furniture.
A. Additional Considerations
You shouldn’t just buy an accent chair willy-nilly.
It’s essential to do your research to select a piece that you not only like, but also fits well with the overall design and décor of the room it will be located in.
Here are a few additional considerations to keep in mind while shopping:
- Look for Inspiration – Interior design is all about inspiration. Our posts on 50 attractive accent chairs for under $100 is as good a place to be inspired as any.
- Find Your Style – Use your inspiration to find the style you prefer. Build off this to find a piece that will complement the rest of your home décor.
- Create a Floor Plan – Don’t just throw down your new piece. Instead, brainstorm and create a floor plan that emphasizes its looks without interrupting the walking flow of the room.
B. Interior Design Options
As mentioned above, it’s essential to consider how your new accent chair will look with the rest of your room’s décor and furniture.
Not only does the piece itself need to complement the overall style of the room, but it must also be situated properly in the room. The feng shui of the room’s layout will create a more relaxing and welcoming space.
Another interior design consideration is how the chair will be used. Are you buying it primarily for style? Or will it be used often as well?
The use of your new piece of accent furniture will dictate the type and style that’s best for your home.
C. Cost and Budget
The cost of accent chairs varies wildly depending on numerous factors.
Chief among these is type and style. Certain types and styles are much more expensive than other types and styles.
Materials used also play a big role in overall cost. Expensive materials including real leather. A more affordable substitute is faux leather.
With that said, budget models are available for under $150. The majority of models, however, range between $150 and $500 in price. More expensive models are anywhere from $500 to $1,000.
Top of the line designer models cost well over $1,000. The most expensive models commonly available cost around $2,500.
Wayfair even has one designer model available that normally costs over $12,500!
Set your budget ahead of time to a price you feel comfortable with. The best online retailers have search tools that enable you to look only at products within your preferred price parameters.
Where to Buy Accent Chairs Online
There are so many places to buy accent chairs that the options can quickly become overwhelming.
We’ve done the legwork for you, narrowing down the options to the best of the best. These online retailers carry the widest selections at the best prices. Their intuitive search tools enable you to search for specific items based on type, color, price, and more.
Here are five of the best places to buy accent chairs online:
Home Stratosphere is an award-winning home and garden online publication that’s a result of our talented researchers and writers who work directly with hundreds of professional interior designers, furniture designers, landscape designers and architects from around the world to create helpful, informative, entertaining and inspiring articles and design galleries.