We know that furniture is meant to be functional, but where's the fun if it doesn't align with your home's unique aesthetic? In our opinion, there's something so exciting about finding that unique piece that feels like a work of art — that you just know will make your guests say, "OMG, where did you get that from?" Accent chairs are no exception; they're perfect for styling in any room, whether complementing your bedroom furniture or leveling up your living room with extra seating.
As with all furniture, though, narrowing down thousands of accent-chair options to just one is challenging, to say the very least. To help decide what type of design is best for your space and unique style, we tapped Cameron Johnson, CEO and founder of the furniture rental company Nickson Living, along with Anita Yokota, a therapist turned interior designer and author of "Home Therapy." Keep reading for their expert insight.
What Is an Accent Chair?
With so many different types of chairs — two popular ones being accent chairs and lounge chairs — knowing their differences isn't exactly intuitive. Accent chairs are "generally more decorative with a straight back or narrow seat," Yokota tells POPSUGAR. "They're meant to be a spot to sit and talk or balance a space." Alternatively, lounge chairs often feature a "leaned-back posture and padded features, including a wider seat," she continues. "By design, they're meant to be comfortable — a place you could sit and relax." Take this with a grain of salt, though: there are plenty of comfy accent chairs, if that's what you're in the market for.
What to Look For in an Accent Chair
"In purchasing an accent chair for one's home, it's essential to consider location first and foremost," Johnson says. "Will the chair be used in an empty corner to create a reading nook? Or in the bedroom as a place to slip on shoes? There are so many different accent chairs that form should follow function to ensure a great fit."
Once you've identified your accent chair's ideal function, it's time to consider its style, he adds: "The other pieces in the home surrounding the accent chair should inform its overall aesthetic." For example, if you're an art-deco aficionado with a love for unique patterns and hues, you might want to invest in an accent chair with a pop of color. Or if you live and breathe Scandinavian-chic style, perhaps a cozy, textured design works best.
And lastly, Johnson warns that not all accent chairs are comfortable because they're "not typically intended to be used for extended periods," he says. That said, if comfort is a top priority, the pro recommends thinking about how much use it will actually get. (Will people sit in it often, or will it primarily function as a decor piece?) If you nodded your head at the latter, it might not be worth driving yourself wild trying to find a design that's perfectly plush.
What Materials to Look For in an Accent Chair
"The primary consideration regarding material comes in the form of wear and tear," Johnson explains. "If the chair isn't going to be used much, then less-resilient fabrics like cotton and linen can be used versus, say, microfiber or canvas that will be more durable. Also, how much sunlight the chair will receive is an important consideration so that one does not inadvertently select a fabric prone to fading. Lastly, comfort once again comes into play, as accent chairs made of natural materials such as wood and metal, depending on how the materials are incorporated, may be less comfortable than chairs overindexing on the use of fabric and stuffing."
Ahead, we curated a list of the best and chicest accent chairs that work in any room of your home. There are options for all interior styles and choices from various online furniture retailers at different price points. Not only will these add style to your space, but having extra places for guests to sit is always a plus. From cozy bouclé accent chairs to glamorous velvet accent chairs, we're confident you'll fall in love with at least one. Peruse our top 13 picks ahead.