How an accent chair can transform your living room

Colourful armchairs in a living room
Jennifer Morgan,-Interiors Editor

From soft velvet to abstract florals, this season’s accent chairs are just the thing to refresh your living space 

What makes an accent chair? For Elizabeth Sladen, Partner & Buyer, Upholstery, it’s ‘all about a strong silhouette – a contrasting shape that makes a real style statement next to the rest of your furniture.’ And if you’re looking for your own standout chair, here are the new fabrics, shapes and styles you need to look out for.

Pink velvet armchair

Go for a tactile fabric

‘We’ve seen a huge surge in swatch requests for velvet with the launch of our Belgrave sofa and Meghan chair,’ says Elizabeth. ‘Another new fabric launching is Hatton, which is a soft, brushed-style material – it’s super-comfortable to sit on.’ It’s also hard-wearing enough to withstand all of the challenges of modern-day family living, making it the perfect choice for a kitchen-living space.

One chair in Hatton fabric which is likely to be a hot favourite? ‘We’ve launched a new armchair into our House brand called Scoop,’ says Elizabeth. ‘It’s perfectly compact and stylish and comes in millennial pink [pictured above] or dove grey.’ 

Blue and orange armchairs

Choose a standout shape

‘Shop for a shape that contrasts with the rest of your furniture for a real statement,’ advises Elizabeth. ‘That could be a rounded cocoon style with an angular sofa or something with show-wood arms against a more relaxed sofa. If you’re looking for a standout piece, then be brave and go for a bold colour or pattern.’

You don’t need to worry about compromising on comfort to make your style statement. ‘You can absolutely have both,’ says Elizabeth. ‘You should be able to cosy up with a cup of tea, whatever your style taste.’

Take a look at the new Design Project No.192 armchair, which has a comfortable foam filling to create the softness of real feather. ‘It’s well-proportioned too, with a wrap-around high back to achieve a cocoon-like shape for comfort,’ Elizabeth adds. ‘Sitting in it is like getting a big hug.’

printed armchair

Be creative with pattern

When it comes to patterns, the accent chair that has been causing quite a stir is ‘the much-adored Hendricks chair in our brand-new Amaryllis fabric,’ says Elizabeth. ‘The fabric was designed in-house by our Home Design Studio – the vibrant abstract florals look striking against the Hendricks’ dark-wood frame.’

If you’re feeling creative and want to customise your own accent chair, check out the Design Your Own feature, available on most of John Lewis & Partners’ chairs. ‘We have more than 200 fabrics to choose from – whether you want grey cotton or pink velvet, we will have the fabric for you,’ explains Elizabeth. ‘And you can order a free fabric swatch first.’

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