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A couple of good accent chairs can be the lynchpin of a successful living room design, providing the interest and contrast to bring a decor scheme to life.
A statement living room chair also offers the perfect opportunity to embrace form, shape, and color, without having to worry quite so much about the same depths of practicality and comfort as you do when investing in one of the best couches for example.
Multidisciplinary creative and interior designer Athena Calderone suggests opting for two chairs of differing builds within a living room layout; a statement chair and an accent chair. As she explains, "a fun tip to help guide you is to play with proportion and scale and always think of how something connects to the floor. For example, if your statement chair is weightier at the base, the accent chair might want a more delicate, leggy base".
The key is to have fun and be brave, perhaps embracing a bold shot of color or texture you wouldn't necessarily consider on a larger piece of furniture.
To help inspire you, we've rounded up some of the Livingetc team's favorite accent chairs right now.
8 accent chairs you'll want on your radar
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1. Lulu & Georgia Celeste Accent Chair
Size: H30 x W39 x D29" | Upholstery options: 1
Contrasting textural boucle with a light honeyed oak finish frame, this curved wishbone accent chair is designed to take center stage in the living room. Pair two lounge chairs opposite each other to frame a low-to-the ground coffee table, or juxtapose with something hard, clean, and angular to really accentuate the curvaceous lozenge-shaped backrest.
2. Design Within Reach Lina Swivel Chair
Size: H29 x W30 x D31.5" | Upholstery options: 80+
Designed by Icelandic-born Hlynur Atlason, the Lina Swivel chair is all about flow, from the sinuous curves of the wrap-around backrest to the 360-degree swivel-action that means the sculptural form can be admired from all angles. A compact shape that works well for small space living, the Lina is cleverly designed to feel spacious when seated, with its deep cocooning frame set off by over eighty upholstery options, including fabric and leather.
3. Gubi Pacha Lounge Chair
Size: H26 x W30 x D33.5" | Upholstery options: 6
A design classic, the Pacha lounge chair was originally conceived in 1975 by French designer Pierre Paulin. Intended to counteract the austerity of post-war design, the Pacha lounge chair's fluid lines and whimsical organic shape delivered modernity and pioneered the new idea of low-level living. Looking just as contemporary today as it did when it was first launched, the rounded form provides the perfect contrast to a classical interior.
4. Knoll Barcelona Chair
Size: H30 x W29.5 x D30" | Upholstery options: 9
Co-designed by leading 20th Century architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and designer Lilly Reich, the iconic Barcelona chair was originally created with the king and queen of Spain in mind. Now an icon of modernism, the clean-lined and contemporary design is a much-loved favorite, whether placed in the living room or home office. The tufted design is crafted from individual panels of leather that are cut and upholstered by hand, and is now available in nine versatile colorways.
5. Urbia Blythe Accent Chair
Size: H30 x W35.5 x D30" | Upholstery options: 5
This contemporary lounge chair features a barrel-shaped backrest that cocoons the rounded seat. Five shades of boucle upholstery enhance the organic shape and help to add texture and depth to an interior scheme. We love the moss green or Icelandic blue colorway, but you can also opt for versatile neutrals to tone back the statement curves.
6. Menu Knitting Lounge Chair
Size: H36 x W28 x D26" | Upholstery options: 3
First launched as a limited edition in 1951, Kofod-Larsen’s Knitting Chair is meticulously handcrafted, merging traditional craftsmanship techniques with modern technology to create the timeless design. The sculptural form features distinctive cut-outs for resting the elbows when reading (or, of course, knitting), now updated with sheepskin upholstery to create a cozy and inviting place to retreat to.
7. Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman
Size: H33 x W33.5 x D38" | Upholstery options: 50+
Designed by Charles and Ray Eames, the eponymous Eames lounge chair began as a modern take on a traditional club chair, intended to deliver comfort, first and foremost. In continuous production since its launch in 1956, the lounge chair and ottoman set is widely considered to be one of the most significant, and instantly recognizable, designs of the 20th century. Now available in over fifty upholstery options, from classic leather to avant-garde fabrics, the chair can also be tailored with your choice of molded wood shell, with seven different finishes on offer.
8. Blu Dot Field Lounge Chair
Size: H36 x W36 x D38" | Upholstery options: 9
This modern lounge chair has curves in all the right places, with the mid-Century inspired design given a contemporary twist that sees nine color-popping shades of upholstery paired with a clean-lined powder-coated steel base. Opt for a statement tomato red, blush pink, or mustard yellow to add contrast, or let the focal-point form do all the taking by sticking with a neutral option.
Where to source a statement accent chair
Want to find more options? Here are a selection of our go-to retailers for sourcing a statement living room chair, whether you're looking for a tried-and-tested design icon, or a modern masterpiece in the making.
1stDibs aims to capture the magic of the Parisian flea market; an online treasure trove of vintage, antique, and contemporary furniture and home décor. Most pieces are one-of-a-kind, so you'll need to move quickly if you spot a piece you like, but the brand's ever-changing stock holds plenty of gems.
Home to a wide selection of contemporary furniture, including seating from Caracole, Ethnicraft, Gubi, Knoll, and many more, if you're looking for a modern accent chair this is a retailer you want on your radar.
Classic design with a contemporary twist, Arhaus has timeless accent chairs galore, including leather recliners and swivel chairs you'll be more than happy to give floor space to.
Design Within Reach showcases many of the biggest names in modern furniture design, including iconic seating from Herman Miller, Eames, and Carl Hansen & Søn, as well as its own collaborations with both established and up-and-coming new designers.
If you're all about Miami glamor, then Jonathan Adler's OTT style and luxe-look decor should be right up your street. Think Art Deco angles and delicate detailing with plenty of gold, chrome, and maximalist color thrown in.
For contemporary design at a more affordable price-point, Lulu & Georgia delivers its own interpretations of key shapes, forms, and colorways within its furniture collections, nailing the biggest trends with pieces that still offer plenty of longevity.
Want the Hamptons aesthetic? Serena & Lily is on hand to help with stylish wicker accent chairs, slipcovered lounge chairs, and beach-chic bobbin chairs. Yep, you read it right, and what's more, we think it works.
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For style leaders and design lovers.
Amy’s eye for colour, form and composition was honed in the design studio, creating surface patterns for the interiors industry. Here she developed her knowledge of key design principles and gained a deeper understanding of how a space can influence our sense of wellbeing.
Amy’s own style is considered, contemporary and timeless, with a strong interest in contemporary craft and homewares that champion collaboration between traditional makers and innovative technologies. A belief that design must exist in balance with the natural world fuels her interest in exploring sustainable, circular, and regenerative design processes and underpins her passion for natural materials and responsible craftsmanship.
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