Types of Accent Chairs

Accent chairs can bring new life to any room, including a pop of color, new patterns, or a cool, fresh design. They can be both functional and aesthetic – just make sure the chair flows with the room's theme. From mid-century modern to rustic to contemporary and everything in between, there's an accent chair that will meet your style and budget.

If you're in the market for an accent chair or are simply browsing, here's all you need to know about accent chairs.


Not all chairs are created equal, and that's no truer than when you're talking about accent chairs. The type you choose will set the tone of your room, immediately drawing your eye. Before picking an armchair, think about what you want it to say about you. There are many different types, but let's explore the six most common.

Arm Chair

Essential for any living room.

Armchairs are trendy and with good reason. They are meant to be used often, making them functional and comfortable. Some will even recline for added comfort. Armchairs are mostly fabric with wooden legs, but they can come in different styles, patterns, etc.


Considered a more luxurious piece.

The chaise lounge has a more extended seat, so you can lay on the chair or sit on it comfortably in various ways. It can feature a straight or curved back, and unlike other chairs, there are no armrests. It's also called the slipper chair or a lounge chair, and it can be fabric, leather, and other colors and styles to fit in any room.

Barrel Chair

For some extra privacy.

Barrel chairs are rounded with a high back and high arms. They use plenty of padding to make them extra comfortable. Typically leather with detailing, barrel chairs add a rustic look and feel to any room.

Wingback Chair

With a flair for the dramatic.

Wingback chairs were traditionally used in more formal rooms, bringing an elegant, stylish touch to any room. They tend to be heavy, so wingback chairs are not the best if you plan to move them from room to room.

Chesterfield Chair

More spacious than most.

Another sturdy option, the Chesterfield chair, has roots in the 18th century. It has endured so long thanks to its comfort and classic style. Chesterfield chairs are typically leather-made and feature a decorative nailhead trim. They are similar to club chairs, which found their way into old clubs.

Parsons Chair

A slightly more modern touch.

Parsons chairs are typically used for the dining room, but they make excellent accent chairs too! They have a high back and no arms, coming in several colors, patterns, and styles to dress up any room. Parsons chairs can also be side chairs, fitting into the most narrow spaces.

Papasan Chair

Welcoming many different ways to sit.

The papasan chair has a bucket set with no arms, shaped almost like a dish. It has a sturdy frame with a giant cushion made with comfort in mind. The papasan chair is similar to balloon chairs, but where balloon chairs are enclosed, papasan chairs are open.


The chair type needs to mesh with your room, and there are different styles to choose from.


Function over form, but still with a touch of style.

Modern chairs have a simple, subdued design. They are streamlined and focus on function over fashion.


The centre of attention.

Contemporary accent chairs are simple but feature a lot of curves. They come in bold colors, making a statement rather than blending in.


Traditional accent chairs are more classic, often with a mix of carved, intricate wood and fabric. They are welcoming and relaxed and fit well in any room.


Transitional accent chairs sit in the middle, with hints of traditional and contemporary styles.


Cozy and hip.

Rustic accent chairs have a more worn look, great for cabins or man caves with mixes of wood and leather. It's a very laid-back look and feel.

Cottage and French Country

When the focus is on the hominess factor.

Cottage accent chairs have a more country, southern charm with bold patterns and comfortable designs. French country chairs are charming and rustic. They harken back to the old world but stay modern with their pops of color. These two types of accent chairs are very similar in design.

Glam and Bohemian

Glam accent chairs are the most ornate chairs, with tons of flair to stand out in any room. They can even have global prints, including animal, to make a room feel luxurious. Much like bohemian accent chairs, they have a flair about them. Check out the bold patterns, textures, and colors available in these chairs.

Coastal and Tropical

Light and breezy.

Coastal accent chairs are great for beach houses, designed to be comfortable, relaxing, and welcoming. Look for nautical patterns to complete your coastal look. They are different than tropical, primarily due to the prints. Both use cotton and linen fabrics to make them more accessible.

Midcentury Modern

Midcentury modern blends classic design with the contemporary world, giving it a comfortable vintage look and feel.


This style sports a focus on raw materials.

Industrial furniture has more rigid lines, focused on function over comfort. It's very trendy and works in more sparse rooms.


Scandinavian accent chairs are modern and airy, using natural materials and earth tones to add to their simple design. They value function over design.


Now that you've picked the type of chair you want, you need to consider the style of fabric you'd like to choose. What the chair is made of will impact the tone of any room and the price.


Customizable comfort.

Fabric is often the most affordable covering choice for your accent chair, and it gives you the most freedom. You can choose from any color or pattern as long as it's available with the type of chair you want.

Next, you want to consider the fibers. Cotton and linen are the most affordable, breathable, and comfortable. Wool is another popular choice. It feels luxurious and is resistant to stains; however, it tends to be warmer.

Velvet, silk, tweed, and more are other options, though the more formal the material, the less functional the chair becomes. They become more expensive and a chair to look at, not to sit in.


For an elegant touch.

Leather is very popular for accent chairs. This sturdy material is easy to clean and cool to the touch, though it tends to be more expensive. You can also get faux leather, which can be more affordable.

Leather comes in different colors, but not as many as fabrics. It can have different styles, each looking and feeling differently, but it's not naturally patterned.


The frame adds additional character to the chair, so it's essential to consider what type you want and how it matches your house's other pieces of furniture.


Keeping it simple.

Depending on the style of the chair, the legs and arms can be made of wood. Keep an eye on the type of wood that's being used. Bamboo will lend a tropical feel to a chair, while more standard wood will make it feel classic.


A common choice with modern styles.

Metal will bring a more modern, industrial feel to the chair. It can come in different colors, though typically, you'll choose from silver, gold, and bronze. It will be cool to the touch.


Different chairs can have other features that you'll want to consider when buying one. Accent chairs can recline for added comfort. The reclining mechanism can be manual, powered, or use other means to recline. Recliners are often more expensive than traditional accent chairs.

Cup holders add a touch of functionality to an accent chair, so the more informal chairs with arms may include them. Some accent chairs even massage you while you sit in them, though keep in mind the more features you have, the more expensive the chair will be. Some, like massage and electric reclining functions, will also mean you need to connect the chair to power.


Accent chairs vary in price, so set your budget before setting your heart on an accent chair. Leather recliners will be more expensive than a standard fabric armchair. Depending on what you would like, you could get a chair for less than $100 or far more than $1,000.

Test your accent chair before buying to ensure it is sturdy enough for daily use if you can sit in it. There are many different options, but buying an accent chair doesn't have to be overwhelming. Consider your budget, style, and fabric. Make a list of all your must-haves. After you have a clear vision in mind, the fun can begin!

Posted by Melissa Jackson

Melissa is passionate about all things home and garden, helping others to fashion their dream home one space at a time. An avid reader, when she’s not writing, you can find her nose deep in a book, cuddling with her two dogs.