The word accent means “a distinct emphasis”, and in the case of an accent chair, this rings true.
Also known as an occasional chair or side chair, its role can be to be fancy or functional or both. It can add decoration, definition and drama to a space, or it can purely serve as a practical piece of furniture and a snug place to sit, wait, work, read or relax.
No matter what type of home you have - small or large, modern or old-fashioned, in the city or in the country - an accent chair really is a must-have. Even if you’re not sure whether you’ll use them regularly or not, you can at least appreciate and capitalise on the style qualities and possibilities it will bring to a space.
So, read on to learn more about these chairs and the 4 main reasons why one would suit your space…
1. It can go in any room
No matter where you put accent chairs, they will instantly become the focal point of a room. With a size and style that differs from the other, more traditional types of chairs you’d commonly find in the home (such as dining room chairs, living room couches, stools and ergonomic computer chairs), its presence is only eclipsed by its versatility.
In the lounge room, an occasional chair is the perfect piece of furniture to place next to your existing two or three seater sofa or modular couch. In the bedroom, you can prop it in a corner, and undertake everyday tasks, like sitting on it to put on stockings and shoes, or hanging clean clothes over it to wear the next day. In a child’s bedroom, it’s a fantastic place to put soft toys when they’re off the bed at night.
Speaking of little ones, a nursery is another spot where an occasional chair fits - aka a nursing chair. Mothers can use it for feeding and soothing their babies to sleep, as well as a place to stack swaddles, nappies, bibs, bonnets and other accessories.
Got a home office? Add an occasional chair, so when you need to collaborate with others or you want someone to read over / listen to your work, they’ll have a place to sit and interact. And if you’re lucky enough to have a reading nook or sunroom, placement of an armchair in there is a necessity.
If you run a business, they’re also great options for commercial office waiting rooms, medical receptions and hotel lobbies.
2. It provides additional seating
As mentioned above, armchairs & accent chairs are as much about adding functionality to a space as they are about injecting personality.
For example, whilst your current chair-to-table ratio and arrangements in the lounge room or dining room might be suitable for those already living in the house, when friends, family and visitors come around, it’s always good to have extra chairs on hand to accommodate everyone.
You can already have them out and ready, perhaps wedged in the corner or alongside the other, daily use chairs. Or you can keep them hidden away in a spare room or garage, waiting to be brought out and used for special occasions and guests.
3. It can compliment or contrast your decor
If you like to dabble in interior design, or just like making your mark creatively in your home, accent chairs can help you do that. Depending on your overall home decor style, you can use one to either match your surroundings, or stand-out and make a statement.
If your walls are painted in fairly common colours, like muted or plain palette of whites, greys, tans, creams, mint greens and pale peaches, a chair of the same or similar colour will blend in nicely, and give the illusion of a bigger, more spacious room. Alternatively, a chair in a bolder, darker colour, will pop against its backdrop and give the space a sense of cosiness.
The same design principle stands for a house that favours bright wall colours too, like red, pink and purple - in vivid or pastel varieties - or bold shades of blue, brown and even black.
If you have a feature wall (i.e. a wall that’s painted a different colour to the rest of the house or wallpapered / patterned / stencilled), a chair of a solid block, contrasting colour suits best. They’ll look especially good in matching pairs, but also bode well as stand-alone pieces of furniture.
Our collection of occasional chairs come in a wide range of colours, including brand new shades of snow and stone, ivory, white dune, silver grey and slate grey, olive, dark chocolate brown, chestnut / toffee brown and blue agave.
4. It adds texture and tone
If your rooms are lacking textural variety, an accent chair is a great way to introduce something new and different on a manageable scale. All are incredibly soft to sit on and dressed in different luxurious and durable materials - giving each type of chair the power to set the tone and mood of the room they’re in.
A chair upholstered in a boucle fabric oozes comfort, with a very tactile, fuzzy feel. A small-looped style will make for an elegant, modern and polished look, whereas a bigger, bolder boucle knit will give off a more natural, cushiony and eclectic vibe.
One made from the sensual and silky sheened short pile of velvet is almost impossible to stop stroking, and you know once you sink down into it you’ll never want to get up again.
Don’t underestimate the appeal of plush polyester! Although it’s a cheaper, synthetic fibre and often overlooked for more natural options, it’s very easy to keep dust and debris free (with the simple wipe of a damp cloth) making it ideal for the nursery or dining room - where spills and stains are aplenty - or for busy bees who don’t always have the time for a comprehensive clean.
Don’t forget, you can dress up armchairs & accent chairs however you wish too, by either draping a throw or blanket over the back of the chair or filling out the seat space with a comfy cushion to up the feel good factor.
Also, all chair legs come in two main types of materials: powder-coated black steel and solid oak.Shop our full range today!