Everything You Need to Know About Accent Furniture

by Jane K on March 13, 2020

Living Room With Wood Accent Wall

Whether you’re decorating a living room, dining room, bedroom, or home office, accent furniture can help add flair to your home décor. In today’s blog, the interior design experts at Star Furniture discuss everything you need to know about accent furniture.

What is Accent Furniture?

In home design, accent furniture refers to furniture that stands out by adding character and personality to a room while complementing the general décor. Accent furniture is not generally chosen for its functionality. Instead, its role is mostly decorative, adding color, definition, texture, and drama to the room. While chairs and tables tend to be used most often as accent furniture, any type of furniture can be used in this way, including armoires, TV stands, couches, dressers, bar carts, and more.

What is an Accent Chair?

An accent chair is a seating piece that has a role beyond function. Typically, accent chairs complement the décor, create a focal point, add a splash of color or pattern, or add contrast to an otherwise bland room. Unlike other items in your living room set, accent chairs should not explicitly match the other furnishings in your living room. Instead, they should add a contrasting pattern, color, or silhouette to the room.

How to Choose an Accent Chair?

When choosing an accent chair, you’ll first want to consider where it might go. Not only will this help you decide what size chair to choose, but it can also help you determine the purpose of the chair.

While accent furniture is used, first and foremost, for a decorative, not functional purpose, that doesn’t mean you should ignore function completely. If, for example, you’re using the accent chair to soften an empty corner, you’ll want to make sure to choose a chair that fits the space and that might serve some additional function—like a comfortable wingback chair and ottoman you can sit on while catching up on the latest bestsellers.

That said, some of the most important decisions you’ll make about an accent chair have more to do with its appearance. Accent chairs come in a wide range of types and silhouettes, including club chairs, slipper chairs, and wingback chairs. Different chair styles will create a different look in your living room, bedroom, home office, or entryway.

You’ll also want to pay attention to color and pattern when choosing an accent chair. While living room sets often match, your accent chair should complement the other furniture in the room, while standing out as its own unique piece. If you’re stuck on what color accent chair to choose, try using a color wheel to find complementary colors. If you’re looking for a pattern, try to find one that incorporates the colors of the other furniture or décor in the room.

How to Match Accent Chairs with a Sofa?

While there is no special algorithm for how to match accent chairs with a sofa, there are certain interior design guidelines that can help. Generally, people choose their sofa first, so accent chairs are often chosen in relation to the sofa, rather than the other way around. Regardless of which item you buy first, here’s what you could consider.

Furniture Scale

When choosing an accent chair, you’ll want to consider the scale of the other furniture in the room. If, for example, you have a large, overstuffed sectional in your living room, you’ll want to choose an accent chair that’s on the larger size, otherwise it will be completely dwarfed by your sofa. In general, your furniture should be similar in scale and proportion, whether you’re decorating a bedroom, living room, dining room, or home office.

Fabrics

When choosing an accent chair, you’ll generally want to choose a different fabric than your sofa. If, for example, the rest of your living room set features leather upholstery, your accent chair should be a different but complementary fabric like linen or cotton. The same goes for furniture patterns. If your sofa features a prominent pattern, you might want to opt for a colorful but solid accent chair for your living room.

Seat Height

When choosing an accent chair for a living room, you’ll want to make sure that the seat height of your accent chair is within four inches of the seat height of your sofa. If, for example, your sofa has a seat height of 16 inches, your accent chair seat height should be between 13 and 19 inches. Not only will this create visual conformity, but it will also prevent your guests being at uncomfortable angles when seated across from each other.

Do Accent Chairs Have to Match?

We often get asked whether accent chairs have to match the furniture in the room they’re in. The answer depends on how you define the word “match.” It might help to think about clothes. Accent chairs should match the way an outfit matches, not the way the items in a three-piece seat match. You want the accent chair to complement the other décor of the room, but you don’t want it to be made of the same material or pattern.

How to Choose Accent Chair Color?

The easiest way to choose an accent chair color is to consult a color wheel. Determine the color of your sofa and use the color wheel to determine complementary colors. If you’re choosing an accent chair first, you can find complementary sofa colors by using a color wheel. If you’re working with a bold sofa pattern or color, you can also add visual interest by choosing a neutral colored accent chair with an interesting silhouette.

What is an Accent Table?

In home design, an accent table is a table chosen for its decorative, rather than functional use. Like accent chairs, accent tables tend to add visual interest to the room through its color, pattern, silhouette, etc.  While functionality is not the main purpose of accent tables, depending on their shape, size, and placement, accent tables can function as end tables or coffee tables.

How to Choose an Accent Table?

The first thing you’ll want to consider is the rest of the furniture in the room. If you’re looking for an accent table for your living room, for example, you’ll want to take stock of the style of the rest of the décor. Accent tables should draw the eye, and to do that, there will need to be some level of contrast. This contrast can be driven by color, shape, size, or material. A gold accent table mixed with white and black furniture, for example, can draw the eye.

Similarly, if the rest of the tables in the room are rectangular, you might consider round accent tables for visual contrast. To take advantage of a hot interior design trend, you can even try mixing metals when choosing materials for your accent tables.

While style is key when choosing an accent table, you do want to put some thought into function. To get started, consider where the table will be located in your room. Accent tables that are next to the sofa, for example, will likely function as end tables, while an accent table set up in the middle of a sectional sofa will likely function on as a coffee table. You can even use an accent table as a nightstand when decorating your bedroom.

Determine how big and tall the table needs to be to fit your functional needs and complement the rest of the furniture in the room. You’ll also want to consider your storage needs, as there are accent tables with storage for sale.

How to Decorate an Accent Table?

These home décor tips can help you decorate an accent table the right way. First, consider the lighting in your room. Stylish accent lamps can go a long way in decorating an accent table, especially if you need some additional task lighting in your room. Framed photographs, decorative baskets, meaningful trinkets, and sprawling plants can also add some visual interest to your décor. Remember, you’ll want to vary the heights of the objects on your accent table, as this will prevent the table from looking too one-dimensional.

What is an Accent Lamp?

An accent lamp is a specific type of lamp that can enhance your home décor and add light to the room. Generally, accent lamps tend to run shorter and more narrow than regular table lamps.

What is Accent Lighting?

Accent lighting is lighting that is deliberately directed at an item you want to illuminate, whether it be wall art, pottery, plants, or other décor. In general, accent lighting should be subtle, making the illuminated object more obvious than the light itself.

What is an Accent Wall?

In home design, an accent wall is a contrast wall that has a different look and feel than the rest of the walls in a given room. While accent walls might be painted a different color or have a different style of wallpaper, they can also be designed with a totally different material like a brick or wood. You can even create a gallery wall by curating different art groupings on your accent wall.

Which Wall Should be the Accent Wall?

It’s not always easy to choose which wall should be the accent wall, especially if you’re decorating a home with many potential options. These accent wall rules of thumb can help.

Find the Focal Point

One way to determine which wall should be the accent wall is to determine the focal point of the room. In a living room, for example, your eyes might naturally go to the wall holding a fireplace or television. Alternatively, in a bedroom, the focal point might be the headboard of your bed. If you’re using this determination, you’ll want to create an accent wall where your eyes are already naturally drawn.

Avoid Adornments

When considering which wall should be an accent wall, consider the placement of windows and doors in the room. Generally, a solid wall makes for the best accent wall. While you might think you want to accentuate the natural light that comes from a window, the accent color may distract rather than accentuate.

Choose an Inside Corner

While interior decorating rules can seem limiting, this rule is one to consider when choosing an accent wall. Interior designers recommend starting and stopping colors on an inside corner, rather than an outside corner. In general, the inside corner treatment creates a look that’s more intentional and stylish.

How to Create an Accent Wall?

Looking for accent wall tips to help you create a wall that stands out and adds visual interest in your room? The first thing you’ll want to do is choose the wall using one of the techniques above. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to consider whether you want to use bold colors, patterned wallpaper, or building materials like brick or stone to adorn your wall. If you want to go a different route, try creating a gallery wall with thematic art groupings carefully curated onto the wall. Remember, your accent wall should stand out, complement your décor, and showcase your personality, so don’t be afraid to be bold.

Ready to get started? Visit one of our furniture stores throughout Texas to find a wide selection of living room furnituredining room furniturebedroom furniture, and home décor. In the meantime, check out our interior design blog, were we cover everything from the velvet furniture trend to common interior design mistakes.

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