Shopping for Stylish Off-the-Rack Accent Chairs

Shopping for Stylish Off-the-Rack Accent Chairsfeatured

We spend hours each day sourcing finds for clients, our noses buried in stacks of line sheets and lookbooks or perusing the latest launches in person. Some of our clients simply have us help select a pair of new nightstands or fabric for drapes, while others enlist us to design their entire homes. So needless to say, we are endlessly hunting, which means we come across some pretty amazing pieces.

I have a deep and abiding love for unusual accent chairs and custom upholstered pieces (like the fab chairs from Emily Ruddo pictured at top).  So whenever we’re hired to redo a living space, I am always looking to make a big statement with seating. While most clients are hesitant to upholster an entire sofa in something punchy, they’re usually open to dressing up a chair or two.

We always go custom when we can, but we’ve also found a ton of incredible accent chairs that are like-custom, but without the added expense and lengthy lead-times.

I love this botanical print – it’s got some Palm Beach panache but it also feels contemporary thanks to its oversize scale. And when its draped on extra-tall wingbacks, it makes such a cool statement. At $200+ per yard, the Quadrille Fern Uni fabric alone would run north of $2400 to upholster a pair of chairs, so at $2850 for both, I think you’re walking away ahead of the game.

mexican-zarape-armchairI’m half-tempted to buy this armchair and stow it until I can find a home for it. I just love this – it could work equally well as a focal point in a rustic, California-cool living room or used as a surprise pop in a more formal setting. The beautiful Mexican Zarape fabric is so vibrant and it has a beautiful natural texture to it. This thing sings…especially at under $750.

michael-thomas-blue-leopard-club-chairBecause blue and white is always right… This Michael Thomas blue leopard club chair ($1,999) is the type of classic pattern that’ll survive a lifetime of renovations.

sundance-zem-zem-club-chairNormally I don’t give unsolicited snail-mail catalogues more than a passing glance, but I just happened to stumble across this surprisingly cool Moroccan-rug “Zem-zem” club chair in Sundance ($2,995). As it turns out, they have a whole host of earthy-chic accent chairs that are ready to ship.

antoinette-traditional-classic-antiqued-french-pink-accent-chair-e45e4c77-be18-445a-b5ca-ae76e6088e18_600If you’re willing to do some digging, you can often unearth a real gem on Case in point: this hot-pink Bergere chair ($690). It’s a natural fit in a little girl’s room, but it’d add a fun pop almost anywhere.

anthropologie-neve-wingback-chairBlack and white and chic all over…this Neve Wingback ($1698) from Anthropologie would look amazing as a host chair, situated at either end of a reclaimed wood dining table.

kim-salmela-eastwood-club-chairGenerously proportioned, I picture this color-blocked club chair from Kim Salmela ($1,399) in a country home in Litchfield, perched atop wide-plank pine floors.

massoud-floral-armchairI can see this Massoud “Wild Oasis” wingback chair ($1,799) in so many different settings: as a host chair in a trellised Chinoiserie dining room, nestled on either side of a lovely limed oak mantle in a Swedish-style living room, or tucked next to a bedside table in the master. It also reminds me a bit of a Josef Frank fern fabric I’ve always adored and I love that its palette of colors offers so many options to work with. I find it oddly inspiring and this is the type of piece I’ll often end up using to dictate the direction of an entire room. I saved the best for last.

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About the author


A lifestyle magazine writer by trade, Mariel swapped her laptop for a hardhat after spending four years (and counting) renovating turn-of-the-century homes in Westchester, NY.

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