One of the few incredibly sad things about having an apartment under 400 sqft (like mine) is that you are extremely limited on the number of accent chairs your “living room” can hold (and by limited I mean one very petite gal at most). Accent chairs are kind of an obsession around here. Often someone (that someone is usually me) will be perusing the web and then call over whoever will humor me in drooling over a truly beautiful chair. A great accent chair to us is nearly heartstopping and more so can bring real personality to a room. However, as much as a stunning sculptural accent chair is what we all dream of, the price tag can also be heartstopping…but not in the good way. Last year, our wonderful contributor Lauren Taylor wrote a post about the best accent chairs under $500. You all loved it so Arlyn thought we should do it again but maybe stretch the budget a little to $800 and should categorize by how we actually shop for them aka how we need them to function in our home. Don’t worry, there are still A TON of chairs under $500 but we thought we would mix it up a little, dream a little bigger and get even more functional. It’s our accent chair glow up.
But before we jump into the 78 chairs I have carefully selected, let’s go over the accent chair purchasing rules that Lauren laid out for us last year, as a reminder.
1. Pick a chair with similar arm height to the surrounding chairs and/or sofa in the room. Seat heights are allowed to vary a bit, and back heights will definitely vary, but keeping the arm height in line will do magic for the eye.
2. The size of the room will determine the size of the chair. Consider the room you are shopping for and ask yourself how would you describe its size: Sort of small? Pretty big? Comfortable, but not too roomy? Whatever your description, you want similar words to come to mind when you’re selecting the chair(s) for it. Granted, this isn’t a scientific approach, but it works (plus, all science ever got me was a C+). Another thing to keep in mind: are you using just one chair or a pair? If you’re going the pair route, you’ll want to be sure two of the chairs won’t totally consume your floor plan. When in doubt, look online for the dimensions and tape it out with painter’s tape (which is super easy to remove) before you buy.
3. If all else fails, just try before you buy! Either shop small and locally where you can literally take the product home and test it before you buy it (most local shops will be a-ok with you taking home a chair for 24-48 hours at no charge…though they’ll likely ask for some kind of deposit). Or, just shop online at places with stellar return policies. This way, you may test it out with the assurance that you can return it if you totally hate it. There are also a ton of bigger box retailers that have come out with augmented reality functionality. This means you can see a piece of furniture in your home via your mobile phone. The tough part about this is understanding an item’s dimensions in comparison to what you’re superimposing it against in your “virtual” home.
Thanks, Lauren! Okay, now that we have those down, let’s shop. Please note that a lot of these picks can are interchangeable within the categories. It really just depends on your individual room and style. Have fun because design should be fun.
The “Reading Corner” Chair
We define “the corner chair” as a larger statement chair that you could likely sit and read a book in…in a corner. Typically, an upholstered option is great because they tend to be cozier but ultimately it’s a chair that can hold its own visually and hold you comfortably. Here are 27 of our favorites.
1. Modern “Wassily” Style Chair | 2. Morpho Swivel Velvet Arm Chair | 3. Lita Chair | 4. Velvet Burnt Orange Accent Chair | 5. Quinn Striped Chair | 6. Isabella Rattan Barrel Arm Chair | 7. Modern Vassily Tube Chair | 8. 4040 Locust Leather Butterfly Chair Cover | 9. Boston Swivel Slip Cover Chair | 10. Iron Rattan Accent Chair | 11. Cheswold Wingback Chair | 12. Mod Blue Berry Armchair | 13. Chandra Swivel Chair | 14. Cognac Mid Century Huxley Chair | 15. Harlow Swivel Chair | 16. Galathea Leather Accent Chair | 17. Davis Upholstered Armchair | 18. Sven | 19. Myna Tufted Arm Chair with Brass Legs | 20. Cirrus Convertible Floor Chair | 21. Natural Rattan Fallon Cocoon Chair With Cushion | 22. Berwick Barrel Swivel Chair | 23. Nord | 24. Feather Filled Swivel Brynn Armchair | 25. Grey Foldover Arm Accent Chair | 26. Massey Faux Fur Metal Base Slipper Chair Nubby Ivory | 27. Black Leather Channel Barcelona Chair
The Side Chair With Wood Accents
Okay, the “wood accent” part is pretty specific but we needed to break up the side chair category so it wasn’t insanely big and overwhelming. BUT if you are looking for specifically a chair with natural wood elements to bring in warmth and texture then you are in the right place! By “side chair,” we mean a chair that maybe isn’t really big enough to stand on its own. It is however perfect for an adjacent seating area and would look great in a pair of two like Arlyn did in her living room or Emily has done with many variations in her LA living room. Again, size-wise it all depends on the size of your living room. These are more guidelines, not hard and fast rules and classifications. Let’s get into them shall we?
1. Oskar Lounge Chair | 2. Lucy Chair | 3. Round Natural Chair | 4. Larabee Arm Chair | 5. Thurlow Wood Base Slipper Chair Cream | 6. Lento | 7. Mid Century CH25 Lounge Chair | 8. Ingrid Chair | 9. Jeanneret Lounge Chair | 10. Thetis | 11. Armless Chair in Maze Gesso White | 12. Modern Lounge Chair | 13. Charcoal Gray And Ivory Dash Print Noemi Tub Chair | 14. Couture Dilan Leather Safari Chair | 15. Jeanneret Kangaroo Lounge Chair | 16. Latta Armless Club Chair | 17. Marte Lounge Chair | 18. Esters Wood Arm Chair
The Side Chair Without Wood Accents
Great, we already have the definition of a “side chair” down so for those of you looking for a more modern and “less wood” look, then here are 18 of my favorite picks.
1. Plume Lounge Chair | 2. Addie Chair | 3. Jessa Chair | 4. 1950s Vintage Objekto Paulistano Armchair | 5. Arlette Velvet Retro Mid Century Accent Chair | 6. Ulriksberg | 7. Wesley Lounge Chair | 8. Cupa Leather Chair | 9. Chloe Accent Chair | 10. Jean Lounge Chair | 11. Welton Arm Chair | 12. Yates Chair | 13. Woven Camel Suede Chair | 14. Effie Tripod Chair | 15. Hew Lounge Chair | 16. Tierman Swivel Chair | 17. Axle Lounge Chair | 18. Crescent Swivel Chair
The Small and Special Chair
This might be my favorite category because this is where things can get real sculptural and funky without (totally?) breaking the bank. Take the chair that the design team used in the Portland living room above. That wall needed a little something that was extremely cool and sculptural. Is it a chair that you would want to sit in for a long period of time? No, probably not. But it does add a ton of character to the space. I have a similar type of chair (because it’s the only type that will fit) I got for only $100 at the Rose Bowl and while I sit in it hardly ever, it brings that necessary “cool” factor I wanted. All I am saying is that it’s worth the purchase…in the name of a “design moment.” Plus, in this under $800 price range for this category, you can actually find VERY awesome vintage options. I found a bunch on Chairish (plus the EXACT chair from the photo) if you need an online place to start your search.
1. Crafted Cubist Wood Accent Chair | 2. Kendel Accent Chair | 3. Nadia Cane Chair | 4. Tejido Dining Chair | 5. Vaermer | 6. Modern David Kawecki Puzzle Chair Vintage | 7. Ibis Dining Chair | 8. Mid-Century Minimalist Industrial Side Chair | 9. Pierce Wicker Chair | 10. New York Contemporary Glam Metal Accent Chair | 11. Enid Chair | 12. Julie Chair | 13. Modern Wood Chair | 14. Zig Zag Accent Chair in Black | 15. Vintage School Chair
I hope this was helpful. I hope you find the accent chair you’ve been dreaming of and I hope you have a great week. 🙂
As always, if any of you can give a yay or nay on any of these chairs, we want to know. Real feedback is always wanted and appreciated. Any suggestions of what you would want to see next? Let us know!
Love you, mean it.
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