Adding an accent chair into your space is one of the most practical ways to bring a design together. Not only do arm chairs and accent chairs offer a chance to play with color and texture, but they also offer functionality by adding another seat to your living space.
To choose the right piece for your room, first consider the style and materials. You can then narrow down what type of chair you need (and want) for your space. Use this guide to help you find the perfect match.
How to buy the right arm chairs and accent chairs
To begin, measure the space where you want the chair. A larger, more comfortable upholstered accent chair may fit in your living room, whereas an entryway may call for a slimmer option like a bench or armless chair.
Once you know the measurements of the space, you can block off the measurements of the chair with masking tape on the floor to get an idea of how it will fit.
The other factor to consider is how you’ll use the chair. For example, a home office will call for a different accent chair than a nursery. While dining chairs in comfortable materials like faux leather make great accent chairs or office chairs in small spaces, they may not be the best for a reading nook or somewhere that you want to lounge. Determining upfront how often your chair will be used and for what purpose will help you narrow down your search.
You also want to consider how often you’ll move the chair. A recliner is much heavier than many other arm chairs and accent chairs, so make sure it suits your space before investing.
If you like to rearrange your furniture or swap out pieces between rooms, choose a chair that will fit in multiple places. You’ll also want to be sure that the chair matches the style of your whole home rather than just one room.
Choosing the right style for your accent chair
Before you decide what type of chair you want, it’s helpful to determine the materials and shapes you prefer for your space.
For example, if the chair will see a lot of use, the material should be durable and comfortable. Upholstered chairs and leather chairs are great for a living space because of how comfortable they are. If you want a luxe look on a budget, faux leather chairs offer much of the same durability without the steep price tag.
Microfiber chairs are also a wonderful, hassle-free option for spaces that see a lot of traffic. While solid wood chairs make great accent pieces in a dining room or kitchen, they’re not the most comfortable option for long-term sitting or lounging.
Next, determine what style of furniture you prefer. If your home features boho design elements, a rattan chair will look great in your space. Mid-century modern chairs are a classic design choice that feature elements like tapered legs and richly colored upholstery.
Lastly, if you prefer traditional or farmhouse furniture, chairs with button tufting or nailhead trim go perfectly with the antique look.
8 different types of accent chairs and where to style them
When searching for arm chairs and accent chairs, knowing the different style names will help immensely. There’s some overlap between the different types of chairs, but most styles are distinctive enough to give you a starting point. After determining the size, materials, and designs you prefer, all that’s left to choose is the best match from this list.
1. Tufted chair
Tufted chairs typically come in leather or fabric with a good amount of cushioning sewn into a tufted pattern. Traditional styles will feature button tufting and nailhead trim, like the sumptuous Avonlea chair.
These types of arm chairs and accent chairs work wonderfully in a living room because they’re comfortable enough to sit in for long periods of time. A tufted chair may also fall into another category, but it’s a helpful term if you need a good amount of cushioning or like the look.
2. Wingback chair
A wingback chair features a high, curved back and arm rests. It’s a traditional design that looks great in a home office or living room. These upholstered chairs may be too large for smaller spaces, but they work great as a lounge chair for bigger rooms. Wingback chairs with matching ottomans like this button tufted back accent chair are perfect living room chairs that exude a classic look.
3. Armless chair
An armless chair gives away its style in the name: It doesn’t have armrests. Many dining chairs will be armless, but there are larger accent chairs that fall into this category as well.
Armless chairs pair well with accent tables, even in small spaces. They’re less bulky by design, so they can be moved around or placed in small corners of your home like the entryway. This armless upholstered accent chair is an ideal family room piece because it’s lightweight and can be easily moved around a coffee table for game night.
4. Club chair
Club chairs are deep-seated arm chairs that are usually made of leather, but have evolved to fabric coverings as well. Typically, club chairs have a low back and heavy sides and arms, but the category now includes a wider range of comfortable arm chairs.
These chairs — like the upholstered swivel brown chair — are meant to be well-used and comfortable, so they make a great addition to a modern family room. Most club chairs would probably be too large for an entryway or bedroom. If you have a smaller living room, opt for a club chair and a loveseat for a smaller furniture arrangement that doesn’t sacrifice comfort.
5. Office chair
Gone are the days of the one-style-fits-all office chair. You can now find office chairs to fit a variety of tastes and uses. This deep blue upholstered office chair with nailhead blue and brass will instantly glam up a makeup vanity as well as a desk. With the right chair, there’s no need to compromise on style. Even if you have to create a small home office in an awkward corner or entryway, a sleek accent chair can work.
6. Lounge chair
Lounge chair is a catch-all term that is meant for exactly what you think: lounging. These seats may feature a reclined back and matching ottoman. They’re another great pick for living room furniture as either a loveseat alternative or additional seating.
With a small accent table next to them, lounge chairs make the perfect addition to a reading nook in an office or bedroom. A chaise lounge like the eye-catching Dillon chaise will add some retro appeal to your space.
Meanwhile, an armless option like the Seanna cushion back chair can even be purchased in multiples for a custom sectional.
7. Recliners and gliders
Recliners and gliders are some of the most comfortable choices when it comes to arm chairs and accent chairs. They’re ideal for nurseries, living rooms, or any space where you’ll use them every day. If space allows, a modern recliner option like the Destino chair will bring an enjoyable seating experience to a room while adding a dash of style.
8. Barrel chair
A barrel chair has a high, round back and may feature high arms that slope down. The round shape is a versatile choice that goes with many different interior designs. You may opt for multicolored upholstery to draw attention to the accent piece. These chairs are usually smaller than larger lounge chairs or club chairs, so you can fit them in tighter corners of your home.
Not all swivel chairs are in a barrel shape, but many swivel arm chairs have a similar shape. Swivel chairs are on a base that allows you to spin them around as needed, making them ideal for a room with multiple focal points like a coffee table and television. The recessed arm tufted back swivel chair gives you the best of both worlds.
Love your arm chairs and accent chairs for years to come
When it comes to choosing the perfect chairs for your space, measure the area and think about the style and materials that speak to you. Although it may seem overwhelming with so many different options, knowing the most common chair types will help you on your search. Armchairs and accent chairs are a wonderful way to play with home decor without a huge investment, so be sure to check out the full selection of accent chairs from Coaster to find a piece you’ll enjoy for years to come.
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