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I Have This Thing with Chairs

Not to be all dramatic but accent chairs pretty much make the room. Well, lots of things make a room, like a rug, and well, walls… but a chair, a chair! The thing about an accent chair is that, while it provides a necessary function, it also easily can become the star. And sorry to be all basic, but I have to say it: I have this thing with chairs.

I think this thing with chairs first started when Daniel and I took our first trip together. We went to York and Ogunquit, Maine, for a long weekend and ended up going to a cool antique store. This was back when we lived in Brooklyn and didn’t have a car but we rented one for this trip and so we were able to carry back some goods. We bought two unmatching vintage bar stools that we used as end tables and actual seats in our old apartment, then brought with us to our house and they are currently the bar stools at Boss Bar. I love them and hope that, whenever we get to this theoretical renovation we keep talking about, we can bring them inside.

Ever since then, I’ve noticed chairs more and more. I snap photos of cool chairs wherever I go and either Pin them or dream about them for years to come. After we bought our house, we went to Houston for a week to visit family, and, in addition to salivating over every awesome vintage find there, we also really checked out these beautiful art deco chairs that wouldn’t fit our house or budget, but three years later I still think about them.

Instead, we bought these MCM chairs and I love them. They’re comfortable, attractive and fit our needs.

But I’m always thinking of chairs. Why? Because, in addition to providing a seat, they can be works of art, sculptures, or just a really vibrant color, pattern or material that you wouldn’t want to display in larger quantities in your house (like, let’s say, a full couch) but you do wish you had some of it.

Beautiful chairs at Hotel La Cayenne in Haiti

An accent chair allows you to bring in a different shape than what else is in that room. For example, just thinking of a typical living room, if you have a rectangular-shaped couch, a rectangular rug and maybe also artwork in rectangular frames and maybe even a rectangle or square coffee table – Get where I’m going here? A lot of straight lines and 90-degree angles – the accent chair allows you to go in a completely different direction. Take, for example, a wingback chair or a club chair. Even a typical dining room can have accent chairs by way of the captains chairs, the chairs at the ends of the table. Not all the chairs at a dining room table have to be the same. This works particularly well with a long, rectangular table. I’m also a fan of having a single chair in what may seem like random places, like in an entry, or in the corner of your bedroom, or at the landing of the stairs. In this way, an accent chair helps break up the elements of the room and may be, but doesn’t have to be, used as intended. We recently got a vintage Mid-Century Modern valet chair that lives in our bedroom corner and serves the sole purpose of looking pretty when not covered in clothes.

New thrift shop find

With recent clients, the chair, the chair! has been a major discussion. With Boston client hashtag, the discussion was about reupholstering beautiful vintage chairs they already have. For #ProjectConnecttheDots and #LivinglaLincolnCenter, there are a lot of elements at play, and one of them is a fantastic chair. I am working with another client right now and on the hunt for a beautiful accent chair. It’s all about the chair, folks!

Here are some examples of people who understand the power of an accent chair and are doing it well.
Photo credit: From Kim of Desire to Inspire

Blogger Kim of Desire to Inspire has such a romantic and dynamic and richly designed home, as you can see on her IG page @kim_dti. She knows how to use an accent chair, as seen here.

Remember what I said before about how an accent chair allows you to add different lines and shapes to a space? Designer Jenny Komenda of Little Green Notebook displays that well here:

Photo credit: Little Green Notebook

This next one is a pretty good example of just how much star power accent chairs have. Catherine Coe‘s living room is dynamic AF with all the different patterns, colors, textures and elements. And yet, your eye is still drawn to those chairs. Those chair legs are super duper cool.

Photo credit: Catherine Coe of @charcoalandteak on IG

Here’s another example of a room that has interesting pieces throughout, and yet, that chair, that chair!

Photo credit: Joy Prouty

Here’s an example courtesy of Natasha Haberman of how an accent chair can be neutral and still be striking. Your eye goes to the blue couch but is still drawn to the white accent chair.

Photo credit: Natasha Haberman

And now I’m going to bring this “I Have This Thing with Chairs” show to a close with a one-two punch of amazingness that has me wishing I could pull these off.

The first is courtesy of design duo AphroChic. While this beauty is technically a love seat and not a chair, it is all kinds of accent in this amazing space where everywhere you look, you have something beautiful to see.

And, secondly, this masterpiece of peach. Even though this space is beautiful and luxurious all together, that chair is ooh la la perfection on its own.

So there’s my essay on accent chairs. Do you agree with my thesis or do you think I’m being too dramatic about the accent chair situation?

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