Posted by Dan O'Malley in Home Design

You’re about to take your interior décor up a notch. You’ve chosen your decorating style, favorite pieces, and color scheme, but your room needs a stunning focal point!

That’s where accent furniture comes in, and we’ve got pointers to help you nail your accent pieces throughout your home.

Leather Accent Chair Set

Before you start to think about the pièce de résistance your room needs to be complete, we need to establish what is considered an accent furniture piece.

What Is Accent Furniture?

Accent furniture is a piece (or pair of pieces) that create a centralized focal point and appropriate contrast to the rest of a room’s décor.

Leather Accent Chair and Bench

Note that architectural features can be focal points, but accent furniture is the usable room décor that further accentuates your home’s layout or design.

Accent furniture can be a coffee table, seating such as a chair or ottoman or pouf, an area rug, a statement lamp, or other decorative element.

It’s important not to overdo it in accent furniture, since the very purpose of an accent is to provide a subtle enhancement and/or contrast to the rest of your room’s look.

If everything is an accent, nothing is.

Don’t go redecorating your entire home just to nail the accent look—instead, find a piece that brings out the already beautiful themes found throughout your design.

Dark Accent Chair With Light Living Room

Selecting the Right Accent Furniture

Think of your room as a functional area first. Whatever can further enhance the usability of a room is the key to a successful accent addition.

Accent Chairs

A chair is a great choice for living room and bedroom accent furniture, or any group sitting area in a home.

Blue Accent Chair With Red Throw Pillow

“Your first consideration in choosing any chair is comfort,” states the team at Matter Brothers Furniture.

You’ve probably visited a friend’s home at some point, plopped down on what appears to be a comfortable chair, and been sorely disappointed (pun intended!).

This is where reading online reviews are crucial to shopping online. But if you can’t find other purchasers’ comments detailing the comfort of a chair you’re interested in, our tip is to look for alternatives at furniture stores you can visit in person and try sitting in before purchasing. Otherwise, your accent chair is just another dust-collector that will never be used!

In addition to comfort, you obviously also want a striking visual component in an accent chair.

Patterned Accent Chair in Family Room

Interior décor experts at Design Depot offer advice for meshing colors: “It’s best that the room has a neutral color scheme, something that works with a wide variety of colors and patterns.”

Neutral Living Room With Wood Wicker Accent Chair

“When you’re ready to choose your accent chair, opt for a shade that’s bold and vibrant, yet blends in perfectly with the other colors in your room,” they continue.

Even if you’re not drawn to a bright color or a bold pattern in accent chairs, you can still make a statement and add a little drama through options like black, leather, or even white accent chairs.

Accent Tables

If you are finding that your guests are searching for a place to set down their drink, or your room is missing space for a few décor items, a coffee table or side table can also serve the accent furniture purpose in a room.

Gold Accent Tables

Beyond another surface to place beverages or books in between use, tables provide a dual use of housing a combination of decorative pieces as well as being decorative on their own.

Make sure to top your accent table with décor in odd-numbered combos—our favorite is three.

Loft With Accent Table

Other Accent Furniture

Since we’re focusing on functionality when choosing accent pieces, don’t disregard the roles of staple pieces such as a dining table or a vintage buffet.

Especially in open-concept layouts, these pieces create a focal point for the whole living area, while also providing multiple everyday functions for your household.

Open-Concept Living Area With Accent Table

Don’t shy away from large accents, either. It’s perfectly okay to take up quite a bit of space with your accent piece, as long as it doesn’t compromise maneuverability.

If you’re not quite ready to make a pricey commitment for a larger accent piece just yet, try focusing your accent pieces as merely decorative additions to your mantel or fireplace for a stunning focal point.

Where to Put Accent Furniture

Instead of feeling stuck with exactly how to work in a new accent such as an area rug or table of some kind, familiarize yourself with the rules of furniture placement before trying different layouts.

If you feel like you’ve lost space—or worst, your room’s focal point altogether—then your room needs a different accent.

Include a chair in the existing seating setup within a room for living room accent furniture to flow properly. Invite neighbors or friends over for coffee and pay attention to the social dynamic in your new setup.

Is everyone included in the conversation?
Is anyone craning his or her neck to see or hear others?

We’ll say it again: your accent piece should only add to the livability of your home!

If opting for an accent piece in a bedroom such as a bench at the end of the bed, this accent can still serve a purpose even if it only holds the bed’s throw pillows while you’re sleeping.

Owner's Bedroom With Accent Bench and Accent Chair

Remember, too, that just because you’re introducing a new furniture piece to act as an accent to a room doesn’t mean you can’t also use other decorative highlights such as pillows, books, or other pieces that make you happy.

Living Room With Accent Chairs and Throw Pillows

As long as everyone is comfortable, your guests are naturally drawn to the intended focal point, and you feel soothed and at peace in your space, your accents are performing their duties properly!

If you’re looking for even more of a design update, learn about creating an accent wall in your home!


Dan O'Malley
Dan O'Malley


Dan O’Malley is the Vice President of Product Development for M/I Homes.With over 30 years of expertise in residential architecture and design, Dan has been overseeing the product needs of the company's 16 divisions located throughout the Midwest, Southeast, Nashville and Texas for the past 12 years. Before joining M/I Homes, he was a partner in the Chicago office of BSB Design, a national residential architectural firm, for 14 years. Dan is an expert in all aspects of single-family and multifamily design and has received several awards for his successful projects. He is also a popular speaker at various industry events, including the International Builder’s Show, Midwest Builder’s Show, and Multi-Housing World.

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