Organic modern living room

How To Choose The Right Accent Chairs For Your Living Room

Accent chairs are one of my favorite decisions to make when redecorating a space. The proper accent chair can truly transform a space, but it’s often overlooked or overcomplicated in the design process. Although there are a few important factors to consider when deciding on the right accent chair, it isn’t as complicated of a process as one might be led to assume.


Selecting Your Accent Chair

Olive green pillow accent chairs in neutral farmhouse living room design

If you have read any of my previous blog posts, you will likely know that one of my biggest design pet peeves is matching sets. This is particularly true in the case of living room accent chairs. I feel that matching sets not only feel less designer and one-dimensional, but they also tend to not fit well in the space and end up looking clunky and cluttered. 

If you love your matching living room set, then by all means, keep it! However, if you’re looking to elevate your living room to feel more designer, then I’ve got a simple guide to help you choose the right accent chair for your space. Ready? Let’s dive into it!

Starting With Color

sage green accent chairs in neutral living room

Obviously, you don’t have to start with color, but I think it acts as an excellent starting place for most people. Oftentimes when designing a room or space, people feel overwhelmed by the limitless number of options that are available. Narrowing down your color will help provide some direction for selecting the right chair for your living room.

As you may already know, most designers and well-designed spaces follow a simple rule for their color palette. This is called the 60-30-10 rule. If you haven’t already heard of it, the premise is basically that sixty percent of your space should be one color, thirty percent should be your second color, and your other accents should consist of only about ten percent. This simple rule can help bring a space together to look more cohesive.

So, what does this have to do with your accent chairs? Great question! Your accent chairs should be your secondary color that accounts for thirty percent of your palette. Your couch (or couches) should be your primary color (with a few exceptions to that rule), which will nicely contrast with your accent chairs providing the perfect amount of contrast and visual intrigue in the space.

Selecting The Style

coastal farmhouse living room with blue accent chair with cane backing

I don’t know what it is about design and the rules of three, but it really is a thing. Your color palette is broken down into three sections, you should place objects in sets of three to look more desirable, and you should also limit your design styles within one space to three. You’re probably thinking “what about eclectic design?” While I would say that is somewhat of an exception to the rule, even then, most designers stay within that rule of three.

One unique feature of modern farmhouse design is that it truly encompasses a plethora of styles within its genre. That is also why it can be easy to go overboard in a space. I highly suggest only using two to three different styles in your living room furniture to keep the well-curated look. Currently, mid-century modern and rustic-chic style is very in and trendy, but you need to find the right accent chair style for your space.

If you are curious about what your style is, there are a ton of articles and quizzes posted online! Also, please comment below if you would like to read about how each style is incorporated into modern farmhouse design.

Leg Weight

Thick fabric sofa with dainty cane accent chairs in coastal farmhouse living room design

This might feel like a small detail but choosing the right leg weight for your chairs can make a big difference. Let’s say you have a big thick couch with very sturdy and wide legs. Now, say you also choose a couple of accent chairs that are thicker with heavily weighted legs. Unless you have an obscenely large living area, your space is not only going to feel closed in and cluttered, but it will also feel one-dimensional.

On the other hand, if you have a thick couch with broad wooden legs and two accent chairs with thin metal legs, the contrast of the two will make the space feel more curated and designer. That is in part why these metal-framed pillow accent chairs have become so popular in recent months. Ideally, you will want your couch and accent chairs to have the exact opposite weights which you can then balance out with other furniture pieces in your living room.

Finally… Fabric

leather accent chairs with green velvet couch in colorful farmhouse living room

Lastly, the right fabric selection can make or break your living room design. That may be slightly dramatic, but the proper selection will go a long way toward creating a more luxurious living space. You will want the fabric you choose for your accent chairs to starkly contrast that of your couch. Therefore if you have a leather couch, you may want to look at velvet or fabric accent chairs.

If you do decide to stay within the fabric family for your own reasons, at least vary the type of material slightly. This can be with color or, stitching, patterns, or other fabric type differences. Regardless, the goal is to create some visual intrigue in your living room by contrasting the fabric of your accent chairs with that of your sofa.

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