“How do I use an accent chair?” is a common question for the beginner DIY interior designer. In our blog today we’re going to talk about the different styles of chairs that are out there and some common ways they are used. By the end, you should be ready to get creative with use of chairs in the design process.
A chair by any other name… is still a place to sit and should generally speaking, be comfortable. Let’s start by looking at some of our more common options and how they might be utilized in different ways.
They’re not just for Monday morning quarterbacks anymore. Arm chairs are easy to spot, as they are defined by the sides that come up and give us a place to rest our arms. Most often, we will find these to be a great companion piece to the couch in our main living areas. That doesn’t mean the arm chair must be confined to this. The only limit on the usefulness of the arm chair, as with so many other parts of interior design, is our imagination!
Derived from the armchair, a Slipper chair is generally similar but it will not have the same high sides. Place one in the bedroom and create a simple and relaxing sitting area with nothing more than a small end table next to it. Use this space to plan your day or quietly relax and the end of one. But please, we beg you, don’t use it as storage space for those clothes (not that we’ve ever done such a thing)!
If the armchair and the slipper chair had a child, it would be the wingback. The high back and armrest combination are what most easily signify the look of this chair. We can create the perfect reading nook in any corner by adding a floor lamp and bookshelf. This will add a touch of class to any room in the house we decide to set it up in. (Pro Tip: Set this up near a power outlet so you can charge your Kindle when you’re not reading it and your phone when you are reading. No one likes living on 1% battery.)
This chair’s unique design is easy to recognize in nearly any version. The high curving back that looks like, you guessed it, a barrel. Evoke the feelings of an old boudoir of comfort and luxury with a perfectly placed barrel chair. Study your French or just enjoy re-watching Moulin Rouge for the hundredth time, we won’t tell. While we do tend to stick with our rules about accent colors, both white and black can be employed in almost any design to create the desired effect.
Not much says comfort and luxury better than a club chair in our study or office. They are easy to spot by the distinctly low back and short height as well as the thick upholstery. Pair them up around a small table to create an intimate space for discussions with dear friends or important business contacts that have come to visit. Or we can just relax with a glass of our favorite beverage in comfort.
Some important things to consider when you are adding accent chairs to a room are the size and color of the chair. As we’ve stated in other blogs, use the percentage rule to determine how much of the area your chair takes up and if it is a secondary color or an accent color. It’s often the case with arm chairs that they are going to fall into the secondary color and that is not a bad thing. In the other cases, we want our chairs to be an accent color intentionally as this is one of the best ways we can add depth to the room.
We want to remember that a chair does so much more than provide a place to sit. It also adds a context to the room that can solidify the mood and feel. The right chair in the room is an open invitation to us to come in and let go of the burdens we’ve carried throughout the day. Properly arranged, our chairs become a tiny oasis for us and our guests, and what home doesn’t need a little more comfort added to it?