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Accent chair ideas: 9 ways to use solo seating

  • Accent chairs
  • Occasional chairs
  • Ottomans
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Olivia Lowry
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The clue’s in the name when it comes to accent chairs. These perches are made for relaxing, whilst holding the fort as a stand-out piece of furniture no matter where they’re placed. 

In this blog, we’ve rounded up some of the best occasional chair inspiration and guidance - from under-stair reading nooks, to pairing them with sofas. Sitting comfortably? Great stuff.

Idea 1 - create a book corner

If you're struggling to figure out how to incorporate an accent chair into your space, a reading corner is a no-brainer. In this look, we’ve paired a Model 01 armchair in the velvet shade Paprika, to contrast with the cool yet cosy blue behind.

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When creating your own reading corner with an accent chair, be mindful of obstructing any cabinets or doors. Instead, opt for shelving above the chair for your favourite reads. To make the reading experience even better, ensure there's enough light with an arched floor lamp that sits close by. Now all you’ve got to do is choose what book to get lost in.

Idea 2 - ditch the idea of matching

When it comes to furnishing your living room making fabric decisions can be tricky. Want to make your space more visually interesting? Choose a different fabric than your sofa when you’re picking an accent chair. Avoid too much matching and choose contrasting colours for a more effortless look. Neutral colours are a popular choice, but don't be afraid to experiment with bolder shades as well. And remember, it's not just about the colour - texture plays a crucial role too.

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In this look, our stylist created the perfect combination with a Model 02 sofa in soft, short-pile suede and a Model 02 accent chair in tactile wool fabric. Take direction on what fabrics to combine by looking at the room as a whole. In this space, organic textures of birch wood and plenty of natural light lend themselves to the on-trend Scandi feel.

Idea 3 - take it to the bedroom 

There's nothing better than having a dedicated space to unwind, which is why we’re big fans of accent chairs in bedrooms. Create a sense of harmony in your room by matching your accent chair colour with other fabric elements like bed linen and curtains.

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In this look, we’ve combined Chair 01 in Vine with a splash of deep green in the duvet cover. This makes a great spot to chill out right before bedtime, or on lazy Sunday mornings with a mug of coffee in hand. It's the perfect place to read a book, binge a podcast, or simply take a few moments to yourself. Style and function? Sorted.

Idea 4 - create home zones

Interior zoning is the practice of creating distinct areas within a room that serve different purposes. One way to create a defined zone in your living room is to position an accent chair between two windows, using the windows as 'frames' to give it a focal point. In this look, we’ve added a Model 05 loveseat in Chestnut Faux Leather which contrasts well with other materials in the room.

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To really solidify your own zone, try placing some artwork above the chair to draw the eye and create a sense of purpose for the space. By zoning your living room with an accent chair, you can create a space that feels more intentional and functional.

Idea 5 - be brave with colour

The clue’s in the name with accent chairs - they're meant to stand out and make a statement. One way to instantly upgrade your living space is by playing around with bold colours. Choose an accent chair in fabrics like velvet and chenille - these fabrics have a slight sheen that reflects the light, making the colour of your chair even more vibrant.

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In this look, our Model 06 armchair in Navy adds an unexpected pop of colour when paired with matte walls and toned-down soft furnishings. This creates a contemporary feel in what is a pretty traditional, period feature-full home. In short, don't be afraid to make a statement with your accent chair - it's an easy and effective way to inject some personality into your place.

Idea 6 - create depth with a backdrop

Add to the concept of zones by pairing your accent chair with a feature wall. In this look, slatted wood bannisters that run floor to ceiling make the ideal textured backdrop for a statement piece like the Model 01 armchair in Mustard. Feeling adventurous? Experiment with colour-blocking trends by painting only the corner of your living room to draw attention to your accent chair.

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For a more traditional and subtle look, try decorative panelling behind the chair to give it a classic, sophisticated feel. By creating a feature wall behind your accent chair, you’ll elevate its impact and make it even more of a focal point. Be guided by the overall style of your home, whether it’s modern in design, or you’ve got period features to work with.

Idea 7 - repurpose small spaces

Accent chairs don't have to be confined to just living rooms. In a lot of houses, hallways and under-stair spaces go unused, or even end up being more of a messy ‘drop zone’ for shoes, bags and coats. Create a more calm feel in transitional spaces with a well-placed, comfortable accent chair. This makes the perfect place to chill and take a break, or can be used as a more inviting alternative to entrance benches.

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In this space, the light from the window behind lent itself to a darker colour, so we used a Model 06 armchair in Teal blue.  If you're working with a space that has less natural light, it's best to stay lighter in colour to help brighten the area. The concept here is all about not overlooking under-utilised areas of your home.

Idea 8 - try out a new interior trend

The retro/70s interior takeover is in full swing this year, and we're absolutely loving it. It's the perfect evolution of the mid-century modern trend, with its bold colours, geometric patterns, and playful shapes. Use accent chairs to create retro-style corners that complement the rest of your decor.

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The Model 01 armchair in Vine seals the deal in this look, with its rich green colour and sleek, classic outline. We’ve paired it with a thrifted floor lamp and Bauhaus-inspired artwork for a versatile, relaxed look that can be easily switched up. Use accent chairs to experiment with bolder, playful trends like this one, without too much commitment.

Idea 9 - prioritise feet-up comfort

When it comes to accent chairs, it's important to remember that they're not just about looks - they should feel great to sit on too. To up the comfort level and add some extra functionality, consider adding an ottoman to your accent chair setup. In this corner, our stylist has combined a Model 05 Boucle loveseat in a neutral colour with an ottoman in bold blue Velvet. This way, a contrasting pop of colour is added, which doubles up as a comfortable place to put feet up.

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If you're in need of a little extra storage in your home, think about swapping out footstools for storage ottomans. These are a great addition to accent chairs that allow you to tidy away books, throws, TV remotes, and anything else you might need close by in your living room.

How do you pick an accent chair colour?

Pick an accent chair colour based on the rest of the room you’re putting it in. When pairing an accent chair with bold-coloured walls, choose lighter neutrals or contrasting dark bold colours. To choose an accent chair colour that goes with neutral walls, most colourful tones will work, or another neutral that’s darker in shade.

Do accent chairs have to match your sofa?

Accent chairs don’t have to match your sofa, and can look better if they don’t. For a cohesive look, try to stick to one darker colour and one lighter colour when pairing an accent chair and a sofa. If you’re not sure they’ll go together, experiment with layering fabric swatches.

What is an accent chair?

An accent chair is a single seat or armchair that’s styled as a feature of it’s own in interiors. Accent chairs come in various shapes, sizes and colours to compliment any home decor style.

What are accent chairs used for?

Accent chairs are used for extra seating and adding more visual interest to interiors.


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