Long gone are the days when a chair was merely somewhere to park your rear end. This classic piece of furniture has gone multifunctional for 2022, marrying utility with fun, contemporary shapes that will jazz up your space in a big way. Meet: the best modern accent chairs. These gorgeous pieces not only serve as comfy seating, they double as décor, making them a major investment piece.
How to Pick an Accent Chair
Since you'll likely be sitting in your accent chair for years to come, the one you choose should be durable enough to withstand heavy use. You'll want to look for options with sturdy frames, legs or bases (wood and metal are great options). To keep things simple and straightforward, we’ve broken down several other things to consider before buying your modern accent chair below.
Style: A tufted velvet accent chair may not be your vibe if you gravitate toward clean lines and minimalist- or industrial-inspired pieces. Not sure where to start? Take our handy home décor quiz to help take the guesswork out of things and narrow down your desired aesthetic.
Size: Thought it may seem obvious, it's important to consider how much space you actually have to play with before pressing that “buy now” button. Trust us when we say that a big, clunky accent chair will look out of place in a small space, no matter how good it looks online. Instead, you'd do well to opt for an armless option or a barrel-shaped design, which are typically compact enough to easily to fit in a corner. (I type this while sitting on my own purple-colored barrel chair, which is tucked near the window of the one-bedroom apartment I share with my husband.) On the other hand, a large, high-backed chair will help to fill out an oversized room. Be realistic about what you need.
Comfort: Since it is, first and foremost, a seat, your accent chair should be every bit as comfortable as it is stylish. Those who prefer firm seats over soft ones should steer clear of pieces with pillowy, padded cushions. Alternately, if a plush, fluffy spot to relax is your jam, it's best to avoid accent chairs without much stuffing.
Color: Before you start shopping for an accent chair, think about the color scheme of your room. Depending on which shade you choose, you can create a new focal point for the space. Alternately, something with less of a contrast may help to give you a more pulled-together living area.
Fabric: The fabric of an accent chair is another critical factor to take into account. While leather, microfiber and canvas will be your most durable options, each has its own pros and cons. Leather can cost you some serious coin, for instance, while microfiber requires a bit more care. Canvas, meanwhile, will last you a while, but has larger fibers, which make it slightly less cushy and comfortable. A chair's fabric can also have a big impact on your aesthetic. If your space is breezy, beachy and airy, a rich, velvet seat may not be the best choice to fill it with, while a woven leather or rattan option can help to complete the look.
Budget: Believe it or not, there’s no need for you to shell out $1,000-plus on an accent chair when your price limit is $500 (or even $300). In fact, you can find excellent, high-quality accent chair options for as low as $100. Don't believe us? Keep scrolling for the best modern accent chairs to enhance your living space.
The Best Modern Accent Chairs at a Glance
Most Modern Glam Accent Chair: Christopher Knight Home McDonough Accent Chair
Best Modern Rocking Accent Chair: Sauder Cottage Road Accent Chair
Best Modern Accent Chair With Ottoman: Mercury Row Blakeley Accent Chair and Ottoman
Best Modern Velvet Accent Chair: Artechworks Velvet Modern Accent Chair
Best Modern Leather Accent Chair: Zuri Furniture Heidi Leather Accent Chair
Best Modern Farmhouse Accent Chair: HomeFare Farmhouse Accent Chair
Best Extra-Wide Modern Accent Chair: Latitude Run Stanton Drew Accent Chair
Best Modern High-Back Accent Chair: Yaheetech Faux Leather Accent Chair
Best Hanging Modern Accent Chair: Meridian Furniture Luna Accent Chair
Best Modern Reclining Accent Chair: West Elm Lewis Recliner
Best Modern Cheap Accent Chair: Milliard Accent Chair
Best Barrel Modern Accent Chair: Threshold with Studio MgGee Vernon Accent Chair
Best Modern Sling Accent Chair: Anthropologie Stanton Chair
Best Open-Back Modern Accent Chair: Duhome Velvet Accent Chair
Best Modern Rustic Accent Chair: Anthropologie Chunky Petite Accent Chair
Best Modern Swivel Accent Chair: AllModern Bennett Accent Chair
Best Modern Faux Leather Accent Chair: Art Leon Faux Leather Accent Chair
Best Modern Rattan Accent Chair: Safavieh Suncoast Rattan Accent Chair
Best Modern Glam Accent Chair
If you're going for glam, it doesn't get much better than this beautiful emerald green velvet number with tufted detailing. The distinct, U-shaped base adds contemporary flair with its clean lines and minimalist-inspired design. Better yet, since the gold-painted legs are made of iron, it will be nice and sturdy, too.
Best Modern Rocking Accent Chair
Rocking chairs are often associated with old school whimsy. For an elevated pick that brings the staple into the 21st century, spring for this Sauder Cottage Road design. The faux leather cushioned seat lends an industrial-inspired edge to its otherwise rustic wooden touches for a modern, mixed media look. It does have a lighter weight limit, however (150 pounds), so it may not be the ideal pick if you've got a larger frame.
Best Modern Accent Chair With Ottoman
This all-white modern accent chair comes with a chic matching ottoman for next-level comfort. (Go ahead and put your feet up—you’ve earned it.) The steel frame offers sturdiness, while the foam padding provides plenty of cushy support.
Best Modern Farmhouse Accent Chair
Farmhouse décor is timeless, but with a few key updates, it can also be plenty current. Case in point? This ever-so-stylish studded accent chair from HomeFare. Its pastoral exposed wood frame with an oak finish is juxtaposed by the brushed nickel nailhead trim. It's also got a neutral cream hue that will blend in seamlessly with any home style.
Best Extra-Wide Modern Accent Chair
Looking for a spot to catch up on your latest true crime novel? Or maybe just to take a cat nap? This modern accent chair from Latitude Run performs double (or more like triple) duty as a sleeper sofa and a chaise lounge, since it reclines by a full 180 degrees. Its wide enough for you to spread out or seat extra company, and the bold color choices will make for an eye-catching accent piece.
Best Modern Reclining Accent Chair
Reclining chairs are super comfy, but it can be tricky to find ones that are as fashionable as they are functional. Enter the Lewis Recliner from West Elm. This piece boasts contemporary features in the form of its slim, rounded armrests and beautiful upholstery. At the same time, it's got a push-back mechanism with three different reclining levels (upright, semi-reclined and fully reclined) that will allow you to kick back and relax to the fullest.
Best Barrel Modern Accent Chair
Barrel chairs, such as this one, have distinct, semicircular-shaped backs, with the ends (or curves) of the semicircle serving as armrests. This one from Target features soft upholstery and a compressed frame that will suit a smaller apartment Its minimalist design will also match just about any décor style you've got going on in your abode.
Best Modern Sling Accent Chair
Though this sling chair may not look as cozy as some of the fabric options on this list, it's "surprisingly comfortable"—this according to the buyers who love it. It's also made with a high-quality leather and a kiln-dried hardwood frame that won't be junky a year from now. The cushions are also removable, so you can pop them over to the cleaner's when need be.
Best Modern Rustic Accent Chair
Rustic is far from boring—especially when it's married with modern detailing, like the chunky woven pattern and textured, pom-pom-like back that this one provides. Its foam- and fiber-filled seat ensures comfort, while the dark hardwood frame and legs complete the warm vibe. Choose from two hues: cream or black-and-white.
Best Modern Swivel Accent Chair
With a 360-degree swivel base and dark, wooden accents for a sleek and sophisticated appearance, this barrel chair will be great for those who don't like sitting still for too long. Its got thick, soft padding that will feel. like a dream to to sink into, and you can choose from four neutral hues to best match your home's aesthetic.
Best Modern Rattan Accent Chair
These rattan modern accent chairs, which come in a set of two, are perfect for those who prefer rigid, more firm support. They'll also be just the thing for getting an Instagram-worthy boho aesthetic in your front room.
How to Style an Accent Chair
Accent chairs are unique in that they serve as seating and décor. They're also on the larger side, meaning that they have the power to completely change a room. A few tips? Consider the space you're buying it for. Its size can help you determine placement, while its color scheme can help you choose a great accent shade (or a neutral one, if you're not looking to make a statement). Once you've got the one you want, where you want it, you can add your favorite throw blanket or decorative pillow to help zhuzh it up a bit.
How to Clean an Accent Chair
Since accent chairs come in all different types of fabrics, the best way to clean yours will really depend on its specific material. Some, like leather, are spot-clean only, while others, including those made with rattan, may only require a weekly dusting. Keep reading for instructions on how to clean a few of the most popular styles.
Leather: Cleaning your leather accent chair may seem intimidating, but it's actually quite simple. The easiest way is to use a mix of one part vinegar and one part water. Gently rub the mixture into the fabric using a microfiber cloth, and voila!
Faux Leather: Faux leather is even easier to clean. (Read: no vinegar required). Instead, make a mixture of soap and water (detergent also works), and use a microfiber cloth to lightly scrub.
Velvet: To clean your velvet accent chair, you'll need a good vacuum, which can help to eliminate and absorb dirt. If you happen to spill something on the chair, however, you'll want to spot-clean the stain as quickly as possible. Simply blot the area with a cloth or paper towel until the mess is fully absorbed. If the damage is already done, you may use a DIY solution of dish soap and water to get it out. Regular steam cleaning is also a good idea.
Upholstery: A vacuum with an upholstery attachment will be your best bet for cleaning upholstered furniture, since it removes dust, hairs and other not-so-nice gunk. The dish soap trick above can help on small stains, but anything larger may need require the help of a professional, as different upholstery requires different cleaning solution.
Rattan: Due to its unique construction, rattan chairs can collect dirt rather easily. As such, it's important to dust them regularly (about once per week). New stains should be cleaned ASAP, while stubborn, older stains may be able to be lifted or loosened using a microfiber cloth or toothbrush. Add a small amount of dishwashing detergent, wipe the area down with a wet cloth and let it air-dry.