How to choose an accent chair that stands out

Accent chairs for the living room are so much more than just an easy way to throw in a pop of colour. Done right, they should act as the standout element that ties the rest of the room together. Visually, accent furniture complements the rest of the décor but also introduces something a little different, an injection of texture or whimsical shape that adds a dose of drama to the space. It’s the first thing people will notice when they walk into the room, so make it count.

Set the mood

Like any decorating project, function comes first. Before choosing living room accent chairs, imagine how you’d like them to be used, whether it’s to create a cozy reading nook, a social space for relaxing with friends and family or just somewhere comfy to settle in for some binge watching. Do you want your accent chair to work with the rest of the room or are you using it to create a separate zone? Once you know that, it’s easier to choose lounge chairs that work.

Accent chairs with arms have a classic, stately presence with a vintage vibe, and they’re famously great for reading. Paired with a standing lamp and small side table, an armchair becomes an island of tranquility, a standalone private oasis to curl up and get lost in. Their closed sides make them feel less social, though, so this might not be the best design if you’re trying to create a communal space for entertaining. 

For a more group-oriented atmosphere, lounge chairs without arms feel modern and open, and they make it easy to engage with whoever’s around. Slipper chairs’ open structure places their texture and composition front and center to add visual intrigue, and their minimalist shape makes them the perfect staging ground for a dashing throw or playful cluster of patterned pillows.

Mix it up

Accent chairs are the perfect way to add an eclectic element to your furniture through strategically mixing and matching styles. The most dramatic results often involve an element of surprise, like something sophisticated and modern in a room of more traditional furniture, or vice versa.

Mixing styles effectively takes care, though. A living room accent chair should be a good companion piece to your main sofa, something that complements rather than clashes with it. Two different patterns might be too much, for example, while a solid accent chair can balance and enhance the impact of a printed couch. The best approach is to look for some thread of continuity between the elements — a shared fiber or hardware, a similar shape or curve — and, when in doubt, look to design blogs and magazines for inspiration.

Try texture

As with all living room furniture, the materials in your accent pieces totally matter. Chrome and other metals tend to create a hip sensibility that works well with leather finishes to create a clean, modern vibe, while real wood conjures a homier feel, especially when they’re paired with natural fabrics. Where comfort is key, opt for something that’s richly upholstered and pile on eye-catching decorative pillows to build a super-soft hideaway. 

For a look that amplifies any space, choose a piece with a strong profile that’s made from an attention-grabbing material like faux leather or textured fabric in a work-with-anything neutral. Striking and sophisticated, its surface adds intrigue while integrating seamlessly into the existing visual theme. Decorating with accent furniture takes a little thought, but the right piece creates a new living room centerpiece that can breathe new life into the look and feel of your home.

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