8 of the Most Stylish Accent Chairs I saw at Milan Design Week 2024

State of the art accent chairs were presented at this year’s Salone del Mobile and they were all about comfort, color, sculptural shapes, and interesting details

Milan Design Week Minotti 2 accent chairs, green and white in large living room with bookshelves
(Image credit: Minotti)

There’s something of an art about designing an accent chair just right. It needs to make a statement and have a distinct character of its own, but also be comfortable and pleasant to sit on for longer stretches of time. You don’t want it to be too matchy matchy with the rest of your furniture, but equally it needs to be versatile enough that it makes sense in the overall design scheme. All in all, not the easiest pieces of furniture to find.

However, at this year’s Milan Design Week I was pleasantly surprised to find numerous accent chairs that tick all the boxes. As we’re currently celebrating the best of Italian design with our Italian Issue for Spring 24, it was pure joy to see so many iterations of this staple piece at Salone del Mobile, and I struggled to pick favorites (even after sitting in most of them to check they truly were as comfortable as they looked – verdict: yes, they are!). Here are eight of the most exciting accent chairs I saw and loved.

1. Minotti's comfortable Vivienne

Milan Design Week Minotti Vivienne white accent chair with foot stool

(Image credit: Minotti)

You see this chair showcased at Milan Design Week and you immediately want to sit down and put your feet up. This colorway makes it easy to incorporate in any interior scheme, but it has such a beautiful shape that it will be a feature in itself. I love how the armrests are shaped like a hug, which makes you feel cozy and held, and the foot stool looks charming in its rounded shape. 

2. B&B Italia's origami-like Narinari

Milan Design Week B&B Italia Narinari orange origami-like chair

(Image credit: B&B Italia)

This beautiful origami-like shape was inspired by the sea eagle, an aquatic animal that is also capable of flight. The two shapes (backrest and seat) look almost like they're chasing each other, creating two interesting volumes that support you. A truly stand-out piece in a modern living room, make sure you showcase it to full effect and avoid mixing it with other pieces of furniture in the same, or a too similar color. 

'Two surfaces chasing each other as if in a continuous game, and as a pure expression of a mother nature ready to welcome us in an enveloping embrace,' explain the designers Tiziano Guardini and Luigi Ciuffreda. 

3. The minimalist-chic Mara from Calligaris

Milan Design Week Calligaris Mara white boucle armchair

(Image credit: Calligaris)

We've been talking about the new pretty trend recently, and this fits right in. This accent chair is simply perfect in its pure form, in a soft, comfortable fabric, and would look lovely in any interior, be that a living room or a bedroom. You can even get two and place them under a window, or facing your sofa. 

I love the subtle wood detail at the back, that looks almost like it's the spine supporting the backrest. And the plump, marshmallow shape gives it a friendly and inviting feel too.  

4. Perfect for lounging, Minotti's Kendall

Milan Design Week Minotti Kendal leather lounge chair with foot stool

(Image credit: Minotti)

You can sense the mid-century inspiration that's behind this chair, and it's giving it real presence. A slightly masculine mix of shape, color, and fabric, it is a classic piece that will look good now, and in many years to come. The leather will age well and give it even more character. Perfect as an accent chair in a home office

5. Baxter's joyful Stig

Milan Design Week Baxter Stig armchair in terracotta

(Image credit: Baxter)

This made me smile straight away. I would definitely get two of these, and place a small coffee table in between. The Stig is inspired by the shapes and colors of the 70s, which is an interior trend we've seen a lot of at Salone. 

'I imagine it upholstered in teddy bear plush, inside a Danish space, with snow outside, in front of a blazing fireplace, or upholstered in leather in the colonial colour and coffee-coloured legs, inside a riad in Marrakech,' says designer Roberto Lazzeroni.

6. Porada's detailed and sophisticated Ginkgo

Milan Design Week Porada Ginkgo accent chair in wood, leather and grey seat

(Image credit: Porada)

There's so much detail that went into this chair's design and it's all adding up to an elegant shape that makes you want to lean in and get a closer look at every seam and texture. 

To start, we have the simple frame in solid canaletta walnut which contrasts to the smooth brown leather shell. This has a beautiful curved shape and at the back, I love the V shaped seams, and slight cut into the fabric to give a glimpse of the backrest cushion, creating another element of contrast, in a subtle way. Simply perfect. 

7. Sculpture-like H2O from Gallotti & Radice

Milan Design Week Gallotti & Radice H2O armchair in terracotta color

(Image credit: Gallotti & Radice)

How interesting is this chair? The smooth material works perfectly with the subtle tan color and it's a testament to Gallotti & Radice's commitment to creating a collection that is all about harmony, and feels like it's 'caressing' our sight. 

I can imagine the H2O chair looking great in a hosting setting, maybe a cocktail party at home, with a drinks cabinet somewhere in the background, and a brass floor lamp next to it. And a marble side table with a crystal tumbler on top. And a tall plant. I think I've painted the picture for you. This accent chair will definitely make your home (and you) feel very sophisticated. 

8. Poliform's elegant Kaori

Milan design Week Poliform Kaori chairs in black with black seat, and wood with white seat

(Image credit: Poliform)

Soft lines, enveloping shapes and even more generous volumes. It's what Poliform wanted to express with the design of this chair, and I think they achieved that. The high backrest is tilted at just the right angle to make it very comfortable, and there's also a matching foot stool to go with it. It looks great too. You can pick from a variety of different combinations for the outer shell and seat, to really make it fit perfectly into your home's scheme. 

Pip Rich

The editor of Livingetc, Pip Rich (formerly Pip McCormac) is a lifestyle journalist of almost 20 years experience working for some of the UK's biggest titles. As well as holding staff positions at Sunday Times Style, Red and Grazia he has written for the Guardian, The Telegraph, The Times and ES Magazine. The host of Livingetc's podcast Home Truths, Pip has also published three books - his most recent, A New Leaf, was released in December 2021 and is about the homes of architects who have filled their spaces with houseplants.  He has recently moved out of London - and a home that ELLE Decoration called one of the ten best small spaces in the world - to start a new renovation project in Somerset.