Interiors Shopping Guides


Accent chairs are a fun way to add layers of color, texture, shape, and architectural detail to any space. Additionally, in this post, learn my tips for picking the perfect accent chair and browse over 60 accent chair ideas for your home!

Living room interior with vaulted white ceilings, and rustic credenza with black and white painting of a donkey. Chairs, coffee table, and ottomans.
Amber Interior Design

This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase something through the links in this post, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. This small commission allows me to review products and create new content to share on the Caitlin De Lay Blog.

A thoughtfully selected accent chair can elevate or enhance the look of a room. Recently, I shared that we are restyling our living room and part of this process is purchasing new furniture. Our sofa ended up being a splurge, so although I’m obsessed with quality furniture, we will likely find a cheaper option for the accent chair. 

So what’s the point of an accent chair?

Essentially, accent chairs are a functional way to add layers of texture and color to a room. You know me; I am all about functional beauty and style! 

Since they are meant to stand out, we can pick something less “safe” in design and have some fun! For example, you may not purchase a velvet, boucle, or shearling sofa, but an accent chair with these fabrics is a great statement piece. 

Cozy green room with vintage gallery wall and lounge slip cover chair
By Jenni Kayne

What Should I Look for When Buying an Accent Chair?

Function + Purpose

What purpose will this chair serve? This is always my first question, no matter the furniture or decor. Not all accent chairs are created equal, nor do they serve the same purpose.

Knowing the purpose of the chair can streamline the search. Ask yourself, will this chair work for my family? Is it mainly for aesthetics? How often will it be used? Is it for lounging or accessorizing a formal living room?

Be careful not to purchase something just because it looks good!

These answers will also inform what upholstery is necessary for your home. For example, you may need leather or performance material if it is a high-traffic area. 

bright and airy bakehouse family room with slingback chair and white sofa
By Jenni Kayne

Scale + Dimension

The scale of an object is a pillar of interior design. Scale goes beyond simple dimensions and includes how the chair appears within a space and with other objects in the room.

For example, a great room with vaulted ceilings calls for large, robust furniture, while a small room with low ceilings calls for small, modest furniture. Additionally, the chair should feel balanced compared to the other furniture in the room, especially the sofa.

Tips for Finding the Perfect Scale + Dimensions:

First, tape the chair dimensions on the floor where it will go.

Next, live with the taped dimensions for a few days to ensure it works for you.

A good rule of thumb is that the chair should have 6 inches of breathing room from the wall and 24 inches of walkway in front.

Lastly, if you are still unsure, another way to determine scale and dimension is to temporarily use a piece of furniture in similar dimensions as a placeholder.

Red music room with piano and mid-century modern reclining chair with ottoman
By Chris Loves Julia

Budget + Quality

Unfortunately, budgets are a reality of life, and we must work around them. The good news is that in the last ten years, beautiful, unique furniture has become highly accessible with online shopping.

On average, accent chairs are $300-$600, with higher quality options ranging from $1000-$5000. I always recommend buying the best quality you can afford, which looks different for everyone.

Also, consider the CPU (cost per use) to your lifestyle. Cheap furniture may seem economical at the time but can cost you more in the long run.

To get the most bang for your buck, shop for solid wood vs. veneer, MDF, or chipboard. Washable upholstery and performance material vs. non-removable covers, or even consider a second-hand chair and the cost to professionally reupholster.

Living room interior with vaulted white ceilings, and rustic credenza with black and white painting of a donkey. Chairs, coffee table, and ottomans.
Amber Interior Design

Definable Style

Lastly, choose a chair with a definable style. Basically, this means a chair with a unique look or silhouette.

In the book Cozy Minimalist Home, Myquillyn says that “definable style equals presence,” and an accent chair is meant to have a presence.

In general, definable chairs are timeless styles that never go out of vogue. They fluctuate in popularity but come back every few years with a new fabric or vibe. They include the Wingback, Chesterfield, Club Chair, Sling chair, Tub chair, Slipper Chair, and the Swivel Chair, to name a few.

Additionally, choosing a definable style will most of the time decrease buyer’s remorse and the chances of hating it six months later (we’ve all been there!) because it makes an impression.

Graphic with words and neutral blocks outlining how to select furniture

How do You Choose an Accent Chair for a Living Room? (Step-by-Step Guide)

  1. Measure the dimensions of the space where the chair will go. Keep the measurements in your notes on your phone, so it’s always handy.
  2. Determine the purpose of the chair. Formal or relaxed? Will it be used daily? Who will use this chair most? 
  3. Set your budget. Accent chairs range from $300 to $600, while quality designer options range from $1,000 to $5,000.
  4. Choose upholstery. This goes hand-in-hand with purpose and budget. Performance or leather material may be necessary if it is heavily used or in a kid’s room. However, your budget may dictate what options you have here.
  5. Pick the color/style. Although an accent chair is usually a bold color and different from your sofa, an accent chair can be neutral if it has a unique texture or shape.
  6. Tape chair outline on floor. Outline the selected chair’s dimensions using blue painter’s tape or scotch tape. Next, make sure the chair can sit about 6 inches from the wall and allow roughly 24 inches of walkway in front of it. Keep the outline for a few days to determine if the dimensions work for you. 
  7. Use a placeholder. If you have a similar-sized piece of furniture or object in your home, test it out in the space to get a feel for how the chair will scale with the other furniture in the room.
  8. Purchase chair. You know it fits your function, style, and dimensions, so don’t wait any longer! Congratulations on making a well-informed decision!

63 Best Living Room Accent Chairs Ideas (For Every Budget!)

Accent Chairs Ideas Under $500

In case you are on the hunt for a budget-friendly accent chair, check out these chairs for under $500.

graphic with cursive and block lettering and clippings of accent furniture

Leather Chairs

Since leather is exceptionally durable, it is an excellent option for high-traffic furniture or kids and pets. Also, depending on the color and texture, it can work for any style –Rustic, Modern, Classic, Scandinavian, and so much more!

Graphic with cursive, block lettering, and leather chairs.
  1. The Hayes Chair | 2. Waldorf Chair | 3. The Bond Chair | 4 Pokorny Swivel | 5.Suzy Leather Chair | 6.Alfie Palermo | 7.Wide Leather Chair | 8.Amily Wide | 9.Marla

Velvet Chairs

If you need a touch of sophistication, velvet (or faux velvet) is a great way to do this. If velvet is too polished for you, many stores, such as West Elm, offer distressed velvet, which creates a time-worn, lived-in feel.

graphic with cursive script, block lettering, and velvet accent chairs

1. Alex Bordeaux Velvet | 2.Eufaula Upholstered | 3.Roar + Rabbit | 4.Tortona Ocher Velvet Swivel | 5.HOMEFUN Pink Morden | 6.Kearney Upholstered Barrel Chair | 7.Lucia Wing Chair | 8.Spires Upholstered Barrel Chair | 9.Rae Upholstered Armchair

Sherpa + Shearling Chairs

Warm, textured, and eye-catching, go with shearling or sherpa for a natural yet elevated look. Shearling is authentic sheepskin, while Sherpa is the synthetic version and much more affordable. My dream chair is the Shearling Perry Chair from Maiden Home in Mushroom or Toffee, but oh my, that price tag! Since most of us can’t throw money at authentic shearling, sherpa still achieves the look. The best dupes for the Perry chair are the Hart Upholstered Arm Chair from Pottery Barn or the Sneed Armchair from Wayfair.

graphic with script and block letting and nine various shearling and sherpa styled chairs

1.Hart Upholstered | 2.Merax Light Brown | 3.Harper Shearling | 4.Elishah Wide | 5.Perry Chair | 6.Homefun Sherpa | 7.Bozzi Mongolian Sheepskin | 8.Ojai Shearling | 9.Willa Arlo Sneed

Boucle Chairs

Currently, boucle is having a moment, and I’m here for it! Believe it or not, this isn’t a new trend. As I said, timeless styles and fabrics always come back in vogue. Although boucle was invented in the 1940s, it remains a beautiful, timeless accent today.

collage graphic with script, block lettering, and pictures of nine boucle chairs
  1. Elroy Accent Chair | 2. Kadon Chair | 3. Round Wood Swivel | 4. Pacific Palisades | 5. Pasadina Swivel | 6. Harper Boucle | 7. Sleepytime Rocker | 8. Arc Accent Chair | 9. Bozzi Boucle Chair

Swivel Chairs

Swivel chairs have been around for a while but are now having a “moment”. They are versatile for any room, but especially small spaces. Additionally, they are great for entertaining because you can easily be a part of the conversation from anywhere in the room!

collage graphic with script, block letting, and collage of swivel chairs

1.Round Wood Swivel | 2. Quinton Velvet Swivel | 3.Overstuffed Swivel | 4. Hart Swivel | 5. Platform Swivel | 6. Wells Tufted Chair | 7. Arc Accent Chairs | 8. Tortona Ocher Velvet Swivel | 9. Gertrude Swivel

Wingback Chair

Ah, the classic wingback chair! This shape is absolutely stunning and, as you can see, comes in so many variations. The wingback is a total statement piece and a good option, especially if you prefer a neutral accent chair.

collage graphic with script, letting, and collage of wingback chairs

1.Perry Chair | 2. Overstuffer Swivel | 3. Hart Upholstered | 4. Lucia Wing Chair | 5. Kadon Chair | 6. Willa Arlo | 7. Donald Wide | 8. Alex Bordeaux Velvet | 9. Erik Leather

Indeed, an accent chair is a fun way to add layers of color, texture, shape, and architectural detail to any space. I hope you find a chair you love in this *slightly* exhaustive list! Comment below and tell me your favorite style accent chair!


Leave a Reply