What to look for in a statement chair
Practical, versatile and superbly stylish, an accent chair adds wow to any space in your home.
Any space, small or large, upstairs or down, can benefit from the addition of an accent – or statement – chair. They’re the most versatile pieces of furniture in your home, looking great wherever you place them, and ready to leap (well, be pulled) into action when you need additional seating, at Christmas, say, when you’ve got lots of friends and family visiting.
The great thing about statement chairs is that they work literally anywhere, so if you’re short of space in the living room and can’t see how you can squeeze one in, why not pop one in the kitchen, or the hall, your bedroom, or the kids’ room (perfect for story time)… even the bathroom makes a perfect home for the perfect chair.
And don’t be afraid to mix things up when choosing your accent chair – it’s meant to be a statement piece, so the bolder the better, we say. It’s all about creating a centrepiece that sets off the rest of your décor, so if you’ve got a traditionally styled room, jazz it up with an ultra-modern chair in a bright shade or loud pattern to bring your home style bang up to date. If you veer more towards the contemporary in your decorating style, then a classic wing-back leather chair or a velvet button-back will add a corner of nostalgic calm, perfect for curling up with a good book and a glass of something delicious!
Choosing your accent chair
Statement chairs come in all shapes and sizes, and in a variety of fabrics, colours and patterns – giving you a world of style to choose from. So here’s our guide to the different types of accent chair out there, so you can find the perfect fit for you and your lifestyle…
The dictionary definition of armchair is ‘a large, comfortable chair with side supports for a person’s arms’ hence the name, arm-chair! With these statement pieces, more is definitely more so go for one in a bright colour or unforgettable pattern for a real show-stopper. This Voyage chair ticks all the boxes (comfy, well padded, stylish and functional), and it would be fab in the corner of a kitchen or in the bay window of a bedroom.
These chairs used to grace the rooms of gentlemen’s clubs in the 19th century. As you might expect from a seat that housed posher bottoms, they are supremely comfortable, well-cushioned, with a low back, and wide arms just made for resting on while holding a snifter of brandy! Wonderful in any fabric, but best served in rich brown leather, the Liberty club chair is a classic example that would look stunning in an entrance hallway or a corner of a living room.
The chaise longue – or daybed, in the vernacular – dates back to Ancient Rome (yes, Cleopatra probably did recline on one, eating grapes fed to her by Mark Anthony!). In these modern times, we don’t tend to lie around quite so much, but there’s no denying that a chaise in a vibrant print makes a wow statement in any room – and they don’t come more statement-y or vibrant than this beauty. You can see why we named it Shout! For max impact, place your chaise in an unusual setting, such as the bathroom or an upstairs hallway.
Originally the chair of choice for ladies’ bedrooms back in the 18th century (the lack of arms and the low legs made it easy for them to sit down in their voluminous dresses), slipper chairs are the perfect solution when you’re short on space as their narrow shape takes up much less room than a normal armchair. The sleek lines of the slipper means it can take bold prints and patterns without overpowering the rest of your room, so go for bold with something like the bright butterflies of this Gloss accent chair. Its compact size means it’s the perfect seat for a nook or alcove.
The wing chair is the archetypal fireside chair. Dating back hundreds of years, this is a deep, well-upholstered chair with classic protruding wings that were designed to keep draughts off your neck and back. Like many traditional chairs, wing chairs have developed over the years and, as well as the signature leather finish, they now come in an array of modern patterns and luxe fabrics, such as the Quant, with its striking patchwork finish and classic turned, low legs. A grand chair likes this demands a grand setting, so place it prominently in a hall or at the foot of the stairs.
For more autumn/winter style inspiration, including lots more on how to be individual with your choice of accent chair, check out our new Style Sourcebook, online now.
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