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5 Ways to Do Accent Furniture


A favourite of interior designers, accent furniture adds interest and focus to a space. (And it also disguises awkward or unsightly sections of the room.)

The word ‘accent’, as a verb, means to emphasise or accentuate. In terms of home decor then, accent pieces can be anything from chairs and tables to specific fabrics and wall colour.

What is accent furniture?

Accent furniture is that which goes beyond the functional. Perhaps it’s a grand, old chair commanding attention in the corner or an experimental floor lamp looming over the seating area. Either way, many items can serve as accent furniture, it all depends on the rest of the space.

It’s important to mention that accent furniture doesn’t have to be something necessarily bold in colour or zany in design. A piece of furniture can add accent simply by contrasting with its surroundings. For example, a navy velvet sofa in an earth-toned living room does exactly that.

Accent furniture can still serve a practical purpose – if you want it to. But the key here is that it does so much more than that.

How to use accent furniture in your home

There are a few ways to achieve harmony with accent furniture. Here are our top tips:

Start small

It’s tempting to think of accent furniture as one huge, bright red sofa, but in fact smaller items can make statements, too.

Cushions, lampshades or even unusual ornaments can all be accent items if they stand out from the rest of the room – and they’re perfect for experimenting with before you splurge on a huge piece.

Small, unique items that stand out – like our large glass bunny jars or cake stands – turn a section of your home into a point of interest (they also help to get it Easter-ready!).

Don’t neglect the hallway

As the first thing people encounter, the hallway is arguably one of the most important spaces in your home. Accent furniture in the hallway sets the tone for the rest of the house and dictates your guests’ impression of it.

A sumptuously shabby chic console table, interesting shelving or even a sofa can immediately change the vibe of your hallway.

(Check out our console table buyer’s guide and for more ways to decorate your hallway, click here.)

Chairs with flair

Yes, the accent chair, it’s the piece we think of when we talk about accent furniture. When choosing an accent chair, first think about its purpose: is it purely for decoration or will it be used for sitting? Will it become a platform for laying out clothes in the bedroom? Or will it end up getting drowned in them?

Next, consider the interior decor you already have. If it’s shabby chic, think about natural, rattan chairs (perhaps with an understated side stool to complement).

When choosing colour, use a colour wheel to find the shade that best contrasts (and complements) your existing decor.

Pops of colour

… And talking of colour, when it comes to accent furniture or walls, stick to the 60/30/10 rule. 60% of your room should be the main colour, 30% the accent colour and 10% a second accent colour.

Including the secondary accent colour helps everything blend and stops your accent colour looking too garish.

When done correctly accent colours bring dimension and definition to a room. Whether you choose to paint an accent wall or simply include it in smaller items is up to you.

Statement plants

Plants can be accents too you know. If you’re not particularly green-fingered, go for low-maintenance plants like dracaena or devil’s ivy (not as ominous as it sounds and beautiful in bathrooms.)

Remember, you don’t have to buy fully-grown, tall house plants – which are normally very expensive – you can buy them as babies and nurture them into the dramatic plant you’ve been dreaming of.

OR for seriously low maintenance plants, go faux! Gorgeous faux stems in rich tones against a neutral background makes for eye-popping focal points. We recommend our bright blue berry spray or burgundy eucalyptus stem.

On the fence about fake foliage? Here’s why it’s actually the best.

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Follow us on Instagram @pretty_little_home for more home decor tips and inspo.

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