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Accent Chairs vs Armchairs
Accent chairs and armchairs are two pieces of furniture that provide two different types of functions. Also called statement or occasional chairs, an accent chair provides a focal point for a room through color, design or a fabric choice. It brings the look of the room together at the expense of other factors that may not be of as much importance, such as comfort, support, and durability. An armchair, however, offers to fulfill these needs. Comfort is most likely to be high up on your list of critical criteria if you are looking for an armchair, as is durability and color choice. You will most likely look for something to tie in with your overall color scheme with a fabric that stands the test of time.
What level of support do you need?
Consider what you want from your chair. If you want to sit comfortably with your back supported and something to rest your arm on when reading your book with a warming drink on a cold winter evening, an armchair is most likely what you are after. The chair should comfortably support your arms and back, and your feet should rest happily on the floor.
An accent chair typically offers little back and arm support and provides a more temporary seat rather than maximum comfort. A pair of Black Velour Accent Chairs set in the corner of a bedroom of a contrasting color would provide a sumptuous feast for the eyes, with their luxuriant black pile, button backs, and dark wooden legs.
Cost and looks
You should decide on your budget and stick to it, and neither style of chair is necessarily more expensive than the other. When it comes to materials, accent chairs are often made of wood and metal and feature upholstered elements. Size, frame, and internal upholstery all come at a cost, so it may be fair to assume that an armchair offering full arm, back, and neck support with springs, foam, and webbing, along with high-quality durable upholstery fabric, may come in with a higher price tag. An accent chair half its size that offers little support but cuts a stunning silhouette in the bay window and is made with dreamy, teal-colored velvet may well cost less in comparison. It is certainly worth considering the type of durability you are seeking from your chair. A chair that sees a lot of traffic will need a fabric that can withstand constant use. A delicate fabric that you might be able to get away with on a barely-used accent chair couldn’t cope in a well-used family room.
Arm and back support
Accent chairs do not usually offer full back support and armrests, although there are some, such as these Antique Champagne Arm Chairs which have decorative armrests. Accent chairs are predominantly used for aesthetic purposes in interior design rather than being purely practical. In contrast, an armchair would likely offer these supports. An armchair offers more support around the neck and arms, with a firm seat. The armrests should comfortably support your arms when you are seated. Carefully checking the height of the chair will tell you not only if it offers the neck and head support you are seeking but also whether it will fit the intended location.
Still can’t decide?
When it comes to which chair is best, it all depends on what you need the chair to do for you.
An accent chair does exactly what it states. Whether you call it a club chair, a wingback chair, or a bergère chair, it is a carefully chosen design piece that is used primarily as a visual point of focus in a room, bringing together a look through aspects of design, color, and form. Made from a vast array of materials and upholstery fabrics and placed in all manner of places around a home; an accent chair will create a strong visible impact from its position.
When looking to build on a theme in a room, color is always a good place to start. Selecting a chair in a strong, contrasting color will create an adventurous feel with immediate impact, while a color that is similar in shade or tone to your overall look will create a much more subtle feel. Armchairs come under other names - such as a recliner, a captain’s chair, and an elbow chair - but they all offer support and durability.
Choosing a chair that suits your style and interior is essential, and if you choose well, you’ll have made a friend for life.