Design 101: Create Something Special with Accent Chairs

Free Tips on a well decorated home

It’s no surprise that most designers really hate sets, or suites, of matching furniture. Whether it’s part of a living room, dining room or even bedroom – having things all matchy-matchy is just plain boring. And honestly? It’s totally unnecessary! It doesn’t save money to buy everything altogether in all the same fabric or wood finish. What makes a room delightful are the special moments and there’s nothing special about a whole group of furniture that all looks the same. It also screams – I just picked all this stuff out at once from a catalogue or store!

The best spaces, the one’s that are the most stylish, IMHO, are those with something old in them. These don’t need to be fine antiques (though that’s nice too!), but vintage items such as accent chairs, case goods or accessories will add that something-something, that je ne sais quoi as it were, we all want to see in our spaces.

Vintage Accent Chairs

Linda Merrill design accent chairs nook cottage green velvet
Design: Linda Merrill | Photography: Michael J. Lee | Location: South Shore of Massachusetts

In my own home, above, I have this cute little antique desk that my Dad bought years ago (many, many years!) at a barn sale and refinished in my favorite shade of green. I bought the Louis-style armchair in the foreground at a thrift shop on Cape Cod and made the (temporary) slip covers to hide the grotty upholstery. I do plan on having this chair professionally reuphostered, but haven’t gotten around to it yet. (No judgement please!)

In the background on the right is an accent chair that my parents bought in the 60’s or 70’s from Hickory Chair (I think) which I had reupolstered when I moved to Nook Cottage  in Aerin Lauder for Lee Jofa’s Watersedge in Green, which is a gorgeous thick cut velvet. In the spirit of full disclosure, I also had my headboard upholstered in this same fabric – which IS a little matchy-matchy – but I looooove this fabric, so I broke my own rule! You have to know the rules in order to break them!

Linda Merrill nook cottage green bedroom lee jofa earin lauder watersedge accent chaira
(Any excuse to showcase my little RoyRoy!) Design: Linda Merrill | Photography: Michael J. Lee | Location: South Shore of Massachusetts

Accent-chairs-Linda-merrill-Lee-Jofa-watersedge-green-with-colorful-pillow-and-RoyRoy-dachshund

Also, I’ve since moved the chair to my living room. Accent chairs are flexible that way! (And, doesn’t RoyRoy look so handsome!).

Linda Merrill design vintage loft biedermeier accent chair
Designer: Linda Merrill | Photographer: Michael J. Lee | Location: Boston, MA

I created the above vignette in the showroom of my friends Diana and Scott Cooper of Trianon Antiques, when it was in the Boston Design Center. This is a great example of how pieces from different eras can work together. The biedermeier chair in the foreground is the perfect sculptural accent  against the huge carved and gilded sofa.

Vintage inspired Accent Chairs

Linda Merrill South End Boston living room formal accent chairs gold velvet
Design: Linda Merrill | Photography: Michael J. Lee | Location: Boston’s South End

In another interior design project I worked on a few years ago in Boston’s South End, I sourced these vintage inspired accent chairs from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams and had them custom covered in a durable and washable velvet. MG+BW no longer carries this chair, but I found a pair were sold for $1,250.00. I don’t recall what my client’s paid originally, but it was a lot more than this, even if you add the cost to reupholster in a new fabric.

Whether vintage inspired or actual vintage, accent chairs and other pieces add something special to an interior space. And, vintage items are usually a great bargain to boot! What do you think? Don’t you love finding great pieces at antiques or vintage shops either in person or online? What have you found that you love?

This is a sponsored post written in collaboration with Nakturnal
xoxo Linda Would you like my Favorite Tips for a Well-Decorated Home? Click here!

20 thoughts on “Design 101: Create Something Special with Accent Chairs

  1. I love antiques and great bargains regardless of where I find them. Accent chairs are great to have.

    Roy Roy is just adorable.

  2. I love the mix and matching of old and new styles/pieces. It really makes a room unique and one-of-a-kind; something that no one else has.

  3. An accent chair is exactly what can pull a room together! I love the idea of using a vintage piece in a more modern room!

  4. The biedermeier chair in the foreground is lovely against the gilded sofa. I have always loved to mix vintage furniture for a unique, one-of-a-kind look that feels rich..beautiful Linda!

  5. I just love me some Roy Roy, he is so precious! I also love a good accent chair! I have a black and white striped accent chair that I love to break up the all white space of my apartment and lounge back with a good book on a rainy day!

  6. I’ve been advocating having an accent chair for so long, and this is just the push I need to get my family onboard, haha. There’s a little antique shop down the street from my work, so I’ll have to go and see what I can find!

    Also, RoyRoy is the cutest little guy in the world 🙂

  7. Those chairs look absolutely fantastic. They really help tie the entire room together. The Beidermeier chair especially looks gorgeous in that showroom.

  8. Wow, my sister had an antique desk that looked exactly like that – she even had it painted a turquoise-green shade! Not sure if she has any accent chairs, but I definitely agree they are super flexible.

  9. Nothing adds character to a room like a few one of a kind vintage pieces. I appreciate the accent chairs, but I now need a “huge carved and gilded” sofa in my living room!

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