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The Ultimate Guide to Every Type of Accent Chair

First things first: What’s the difference between regular chairs and accent chairs? Glad you asked!

Accent chairs are stylish seats that “accentuate” your main sofa, bed, or furniture pieces in a room, but they can also easily be used alone as comfortable seating anywhere in the home. That means accent chairs can range from wingback chairs to more slender side chairs that can be pulled up next to a console in the entryway.

In short, there are many types of armchairs and accent chairs. And with so many options to choose from, it can easily feel overwhelming to find the right one for your space and needs.

So we’re here to help. Below, we’ve rounded up different types of chairs to help you find the perfect accent chair for your home. Read on for our full guide.

Also, see what furniture to mix with accent chairs in our living room checklist!

 

types of armchairs and accent chairs

Lounge Chair

The lounge chair is a common accent chair choice. How can you tell if a seat is a lounge chair? It often comes with a matching ottoman for you to prop up your feet. Lounge chairs also come in the widest range of design styles, from traditional to modern to rustic, so you’re sure to find one that suits your space and needs!

Stylist Tip: Make room for this chair! Since they’re typically longer and tilt back, they won’t work well in a cramped space.

It’s great for… lounging back, naps, reading—all making it perfect in an office!

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types of armchairs and accent chairs

Recliner

One of our most popular living room seating ideas, recliners come in many styles—from puffy lazy boy designs to sleek and refined seats. Try leather if you’re looking for something more durable or go with a neutral upholstered one if your room has a more traditional look.

Stylist Tip: Choose a recliner that goes with the rest of your room’s furniture and style. Recliners tend to stand out in a space, so you want to make sure it blends in nicely. We like to pair it with a small side table so we can put a drink or set down our remote without getting up.

It’s great for… TV watching, reading, naps, lounging

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types of armchairs and accent chairs

Chair-And-A-Half

When it comes to a seat that’s made for cozying up in, the chair-and-a-half is an all-around favorite. It provides deep seating and gives you a lot of room to snuggle up in. It does take up more space and width than most accent chairs, so make sure you have the room for it.

Stylist Tip: Our favorite reading nook design ideas feature chair-and-a-half. Place the chair in a living room corner, pull up a pouf, and pile on pillows and a throw blanket for a cozy little spot.

It’s great for… snuggling up with a book, a pet, or a little one

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types of armchairs and accent chairs

Loveseat

While we often think of the loveseat as a couch or sofa (it can act as one in small studio apartments), it’s really more of an accent chair! Loveseats are longer than chair-and-a-half, so you’ll need to make even more room to fit one. But it’s the perfect accent seat for two!

Stylist Tip: Loveseats come in all styles, from Mid-Century designs to classic ones with nailheads and tufting, so choose one that fits proportionally (and style-wise!) in your space.

It’s great for… curling and cuddling up in, laying back with a book

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types of armchairs and accent chairs

Club Chair

A classic and comfortable accent chair option, the club chair is defined by its plump, sink-in silhouette. You can comfortably sit in one for hours. It’s a chair that hugs your body when you’re sitting in it because the well-padded arms and back give you tons of support all around.

Stylist Tip: Club chairs come in many styles and upholstery (even tufted leather), so the options are far and wide. We love a matching pair for stylish extra seating in a living room.

It’s great for… relaxing, having a drink, conversation (for those long hangouts and gatherings!)

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types of armchairs and accent chairs

Wingback Chair

Wingback Chairs are characterized by a high back and “wings” that project out and usually extends down the armrests. While it has an upright silhouette, wingbacks make for extremely comfortable accent chairs and they add instant sophistication to a space.

Stylist Tip: Add a pair of wingback chairs to a reading nook to create a cozy and stylish spot. Pair each one with a footrest and you have the perfect hideaway for a lazy Sunday afternoon.

It’s great for… cozy wind-downs at night, morning coffee, curling up with a book

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types of armchairs and accent chairs

Swivel Armchair

These turnable chairs are one of our favorite living room design ideas for extra seating. Not only are they comfortable accent chairs, but they’re also typically lower to the ground, which makes them perfect pieces for casual seating.

Stylist Tip: Swivel armchairs are amazing for a multipurpose space, such as a library-and-office or an open living-dining room, where they can swivel around to face different areas as needed.

It’s great for… conversation, lounging, multipurpose spaces,

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types of armchairs and accent chairs

Barrel Chair

For an accent chair that cushions and cups your body comfortably for long periods, the barrel chair can be a stylish contemporary choice. Unlike the club chair, the barrel has a rounded design with padding that’ll support you for hours on end. And it’s kid-friendly!

Stylist Tip: The ‘barrel’ comes from the actual shape of a barrel, so there are no hard edges all around. We love it as extra seating for guests and it’s great for modern and transitional spaces.

It’s great for… child-friendly spaces, conversation, lounging, and entertaining

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types of armchairs and accent chairs

Slipper Chair

Slipper chairs are armless and low, which gives them an elegant silhouette that doesn’t take up a lot of room. They’re ideal for short sitting periods, which means they’re true accent chairs that are meant to complement other pieces.

Stylist Tip: These are perfect bedroom chairs to have alongside your bed. Pull one (or a pair) into your bedroom to use as a catchall for holding clothes, bags, pillows, and other accessories.

It’s great for… catchall seating in a bedroom, small areas, in a studio apartment

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types of armchairs and accent chairs

Side Chair

For accent chairs that work in any setting, side chairs are your answer. A side chair is the most multipurpose accent chair since it’s relatively slender and easy to move around. You can pull it into the dining room as an extra seat or use it as a desk chair. They’re endlessly versatile!

Stylist Tip: Use a pair of side chairs to frame a fireplace, a console table, or a sideboard. It’s an easy way to play up symmetry in a room, while also adding extra seating.

It’s great for… dining rooms, open living rooms, and any space in need of extra seating

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types of armchairs and accent chairs

Glider

Most commonly found in nurseries for rocking babies to sleep, gliders are similar to recliners and very comfortable to sit in for long periods of time. They’re also similar to rocking chairs, but instead of rocking back and forth, they glide—so you’ll surely want to nap in them.

Stylist Tip: While gliders are made for nurseries, they can easily be repurposed in other spaces when your baby outgrows them. Pair one with an ottoman to make it a cozy nap spot.

It’s great for… lounging, resting, long naps, in nurseries and family TV rooms

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types of armchairs and accent chairs

Rocking Chair

Accent chairs don’t get more tried-and-true than rocking chairs, which have been around for a very long time. From upholstered styles to rustic wood chairs to woven rockers, you’re sure to find one that matches your style and furniture. Just be sure to give it enough room to rock.

Stylist Tip: Rocking chairs are more functional than they get credit for. Place one near a bookcase, in front of a window, or next to the fireplace—somewhere you’ll use it often!

It’s great for… relaxing indoors or outdoors in, reading, conversation, entertaining

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Trend Spotlight: Traditional Wingback Chairs are Getting a New Twist

Traditional design is rising in popularity across the country, as people spend more time at home and are looking for a little more comfort and familiarity in their home’s design. The surge in popularity of traditional interior design is something that steadily grew in the second half of 2020, and one of our 2021 trend predictions is that it will continue to rise into the coming year.

With its rise in popularity, we’ve been exploring different traditional design ideas, with furniture, decor, and overall room designs that bring this style to life. One piece in particular that we’ve been seeing in a lot of traditional and modern spaces alike? The wingback chair.

wingback chair

What is a wingback chair?

A wingback chair—also known as a wing chair, a fireside chair, or an easy chair—is a style of upholstered accent chair with “wings” attached to the seatback. Wingback chairs generally feature a high back, and all but some of the more modern styles of this chair have armrests. (Traditionally, the wings connect all the way down to the armrest in one continuous piece.) They tend to be designed with wooden legs and a fully upholstered body—though some styles have wood side panels and backs, or scrolled wood frames along the edge of the chair design.

You’ll also sometimes see wingback details in settees (which are perfect for a dining nook) or in upholstered captain’s dining chairs. This will add a more formal, traditional vibe to your dining space.

In the most traditional approaches to this chair style, you’ll often see nailhead trim, roll arms, and scrolled or cabriole legs—a classic Queen Anne-style furniture detail. But more modern designs forego these details, creating a more streamlined look.

Where do wingback chairs come from?

A quick lesson in the history of wingback chairs. The first wingback chairs were made in England in the 1600s—but they didn’t rise in popularity until the 1720s. They were created as a way to help shield a person from drafts of cold air (something quite common in colonial homes!) and also to trap the heat from a fireplace. That’s actually why they’re sometimes called fireside chairs, as it was a popular style of chair to have pulled up in front of or flanking a fireplace. While the earliest wingback chair designs were made entirely of wood, with no cushioning or upholstery, today they make very comfortable chairs to cozy up in, whether they’re pulled up next to a fireplace or not!

How to Style a Wingback Chair

Want to see wingback chairs in action? We’ve rounded up a handful of our favorite wingback chair designs in the Modsy catalog. Keep scrolling for some wingback chair design ideas and how to integrate this style of chair into your home!

wingback chair

Darlene Accent Chair (Black), Nyla Home

This take on a wingback chair features sleek mid-century modern lines. The dark color is sophisticated and modern and allows this chair to work well across many different styles. Despite the chair’s sleek form, its soft fabric and traditionally inspired shape make it a cozy place to sit!

Shop This Lookwingback chair

Marilla Accent Chair (Khaki), Jofran

The combination of gingham-patterned upholstery and wingback styling give these chairs a very traditional look that’s perfect for modern farmhouse and traditional styles alike. With their padded seats, arms, and backs, these chairs are the perfect place to curl up with a good book.

Shop This Lookwingback chair

Iris Wingback Chair (Cathedral Slate), Ravine Home

The classic blue and white pattern found on this wingback chair—along with the tapered legs and clean-lined frame—make this a perfect choice for those looking to embrace New Traditional design style. This chair will give your space a comfy, traditional vibe with an updated feel.

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wingback chair

Paul Accent Chair (Pink), Nyla Home

This is a very modern take on a wingback chair. In fact, we may even say it’s wingback-inspired rather than sitting squarely in the camp of wingback chairs. With an hourglass shape and metal framing, it adds a striking look to any modern or eclectic space. But it’s the high, curved seat back, plus the spindles, that give a nod to both wingback and traditional Windsor styles. To make it comfortable, this chair features a plush seat cushion and free-floating back pillow, which come in many colors to suit different color schemes and styles.

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wingback chair

Modern Wing Accent Chair (Navy), Scout Home

An absolutely classical take on a wingback, this navy upholstered wingback chair has a traditional form, with a camelback top, nailhead trim, and rolled arms. However, its simple, streamlined legs give it a slightly modern twist. This is the perfect choice for a sophisticated reading nook.

Shop This Lookwingback chair

Iris Wingback Chair (Shibori Coral Cay), Ravine Home

Just because you want a chair with a traditional shape doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun with the upholstery! The fun Shibori-style print on the fabric is perfect for boho or eclectic spaces, giving your room a pop of color and global-inspired style.

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wingback chair

Malia Accent Chair (Grey), Nyla Home

This elegant and rustic chic wingback chair will add sophistication to any corner of your home. With a weathered wood frame featuring beautiful scrollwork, neutral exterior upholstery, and a crushed velvet seat, back, and accent pillow, this chair is full of vintage charm. All of its elegance makes it a great stand-alone statement piece or a perfect pairing for those interested in decorating with antiques.

Shop This Lookwingback chair

Palm Desert Wing Chair (White), Global Views

With button-tufted linen cushions and a wood frame, this modern wingback-style chair has boho and coastal written all over it. The frame’s sleek lines make it perfect for modern and Scandinavian spaces as well. We love how the caning on the sides adds texture and an unexpected element that you don’t typically see on a wingback chair!

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wingback chair

Marilla Accent Chair (Navy), Jofran

The plaid upholstery on this classic wingback chair adds a warm and traditional touch. But lighter wood of the tapered wooden legs adds a sleek, modern rustic feel. We love how this piece adds a pop of color and pattern to a space—great for those looking to dive into the Traditional Comfort design trend.

Shop This Lookwingback chair

Iris Wingback Chair (Cathedral Blush), Ravine Home

If you’re looking for sleek and modern wingback chairs, this design in blush upholstery is the perfect choice. It offers an understated pop of color to your space and works perfectly on its own or in a pair. The subtle pattern on the fabric adds a fun, unexpected element to this chair—giving this classic chair style an updated look.

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wingback chair

Wingback Accent Chair (Beige), Jofran

This is a more simplified version of a wingback chair. With simple lines and a lower back, stylistically it’s almost a combination of a club chair and wingback style. But a pinstripe pattern and exposed nailheads give this chair a definite traditional bent. We love the idea of pairing it with a footstool for extra comfortable lounging.

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wingback chair

Erik Wing Chair (Burnt Sienna), West  Elm

This Scandinavian-inspired version of a wingback chair is great for adding classic flair to a modern space. The long, tapered legs in a dark oak finish add a definite mid-century modern touch, while the soft saddle-colored leather manages to be both trendy and timeless (and oh-so-comfortable).

Shop This Lookwingback chair

Drexel Arm Chair, Hyde Park

Add some sophistication to your dining room with wingback captain’s chairs. The nailhead trim gives it a striking look, and the espresso finish on the wood legs adds beautiful contrast to the light upholstery. A pair of these chairs is not only great for use at the head and foot of your dining table but would also look great flanking a fireplace.

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Tabitha Accent Chair (Beige), Nyla Home

These French country-inspired wingback chairs have a classic form with deep seats, which are perfect for lounging. With linen upholstery on the seat and back, burlap upholstery on the exterior, and a solid birch frame with carved feet, this chair is full of charming, elegant details. It’s perfect for Refined Rustic and Traditional spaces.

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15 Stylish Ways to Decorate With Leather in Any Room

We love incorporating leather elements into our furniture and decor. Why? Decorating with leather adds character, quality, and warmth to your space—not to mention it’s a beautiful natural material that brings in lovely texture and a rich color tone. And each leather piece is so unique. In terms of texture, leather furniture can be super glossy and smooth, highly textured, or matte and rustic—and just about anything in between. And there’s so much variance in leather color and tones, as well. Natural leathers range from light to dark, but you can also find leather in colors like black, white, and navy. Whatever the finish, a leather accent adds warmth or sophistication to a room because of the organic nature of the material.

We also love how durable leather is. When properly taken care of, a leather piece will last a very long time—and it ages beautifully, developing a natural patina that only gets better as time wears on. Small scuffs and scratches will develop over time, and the leather will likely wear down in certain spots. These “signs of aging” are called a patina, and it’s actually great if you love a weathered look or rustic decor ideas! This brings texture and depth to your space—and it’s great for homes with kids and pets! Any new scuffs or scratches will blend right in, and pet hair doesn’t cling to leather, so it’s easy to clean in that regard.

Leather also goes with almost all styles, so even if your style changes over time, it’s likely that a leather piece can flow with a new style. Leather furniture and accents go especially well with rustic, traditional, minimal, mid-century modern, eclectic, boho, and even contemporary styles. It’s all about how the leather is used, as well as the tone and patina of the piece. And if you aren’t comfortable with real leather, there are a ton of beautiful faux leather furniture options out there!

Curious how to incorporate leather design ideas into your home? Keep reading for 15 ways to decorate with leather, no matter your style!

leather sofa over vintage style rug

1. Leather Sofa

A leather sofa is a great way to make a stylish statement in your living room. Since a sofa is the focus of your living room, opting for one in leather will make the material really pop and help to define the space. Leather sofas have a distinct look and will have a different feel from upholstered options, as they’re more slippery and are cool to the touch.

Leather furniture comes in a variety of colors. Brown leather sofas, in a saddle or tobacco finish, are the most popular. But you can also find them in white, black grey, and even some dyed colors like blue, green, or red! Leather sofas are generally more expensive than upholstered ones, but they’re a quality option that will last for years!

Check out our guide to sofa materials to learn more about which is right for you!

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mid-century style green sofa with leather poufs

2. Leather Ottoman

A leather ottoman is a great way to decorate with leather and add a statement piece in your space. Ottomans are durable pieces of furniture and make a great coffee table alternative for homes with kids and a soft place to rest your feet. Though they’re not easy to repair if they get damaged, like all high-quality leather, a leather ottoman will develop a patina over time. So, minor scuffs, scratches, and spills will only add to the storied look of a piece like this.

Leather ottomans come in a variety of colors, but we’re partial to a more natural brown leather finish, which will be the most versatile. Stylistically, they can go with a variety of sofas and chairs, so you don’t have to worry about matching a leather ottoman to your sofa. Instead, you can use the ottoman to create contrast and anchor the room.

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decorate with leather

3. Leather Armchair

A leather armchair is a statement piece of furniture and will add tons of style to your space. No matter the shape, a leather armchair is timeless. The soft material means a leather chair will be comfortable, and as a material it can go with a variety of interior design styles. If you take care of it, it’s a piece that will last for a very long time, and even look more beautiful years down the road due to the patina it will develop. Leather chairs look great with pillows in a variety of different textures and colors. So, find something that makes the leather pop and have fun accenting your leather chair!

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decorate with leather

4. Woven Leather Accent Chair

If you want to make even more of a statement than a leather armchair, try a woven leather accent chair. It’s a very high-style piece that will add a modern, trendy look to your space. A woven leather chair brings in texture through the weaving pattern, so it doesn’t need much to accent it. It’s a sculptural piece within itself! Woven leather chairs often lean very mid-century modern or rustic, but they can also go great with boho and eclectic styles! Over time, woven leather chairs will wear out and stretch (the seat bottom may bowl where people sit). But this is simply part of the chair’s character!

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decorate with leather

5. Leather Bench

A leather bench is a simple but impactful piece to add to your home. Since only the cushion is leather (and generally accented by metal or wooden legs) it’s a great way to dabble in decorating with leather. Leather benches are also durable (more so than a fabric upholstered bench) and can span many styles—so they are a versatile piece to buy.

And you can use them anywhere in your house—from a bench at the end of your bed or in your entryway to a coffee table alternative or extra dining room seating! You’ll want to consider the tone depending on where in your home you want to use it, so that it matches or contrasts with other elements in the room where you’re using the bench. If you want something extra unique, choose leather with stitching or ribbing, or look for a bench with cool legs!

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large dining room with white oblong dining table and leather dining chairs

6. Leather Dining Chairs

Leather dining chairs are a great way to bring a different texture into your dining room. They take a little while to break in, but they’ll get softer and more comfortable over time. The two most popular colors of leather dining chairs are black and saddle leathers.

Learn more about our favorite dining chair materials.

You can create a bold and stylish look with black leather dining chairs. Black leather is dramatic and bold, and will often give a masculine, edgy vibe to a space. Bonus: it’s also great at hiding spills and scuffs—making it a great option for households with pets and kids.

Saddle leather is a beautiful, rich, and warm tone of leather that is very trendy. It works across many styles, from rustic to modern, which makes saddle leather dining chairs versatile and great pieces to invest in.

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decorate with leather

7. Leather Desk Chair

A leather desk chair is a stylish addition to a home office. It adds texture and visual warmth to your space, making it a great accent piece while also being timeless and durable. They’re long-lasting investment pieces that will definitely prove their money’s worth over time. And the softness of leather upholstery will make long work hours much more comfortable. Leather comes in many colors and dyes, and leather office chairs come in a wide range of styles, so there’s likely a match for any style of office.

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narrow tv watching living room with a jute rug anchoring furniture

8. Leather Magazine Rack

A leather magazine rack is a simple way to add leather texture into a space. It adds a rich pop of natural color, along with an organic feel while being a very practical piece. Leather magazine racks make great compliments to other leather pieces of the same tone within your space—but they can also stand alone as a simple accent of leather in a room. With use, the leather will wear and patina, but it’s durable and will last a long while adding a stylish accent to your space.

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rustic bedroom with grey walls and spindle bed

9. Leather Stools

Foldable leather stools are a practical touch for a bedroom—or anywhere you want a small leather seat! Many leather stools, like the ones pictured above, have x-shaped iron legs that collapse for easy moving and storage. Leather and metal go hand in hand for a trendy but edgy industrial look. The leather seats on stools tend to be extra soft but will stand the test of time in durability and style. Leather stools go with many styles. Try pairing them with colors that contrast (like blue and black!) to make the leather really pop.

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large white sectional sofa over jute style rug

10. Leather Poufs

Leather poufs are a trendy and practical way to add leather into a space. They’re extremely versatile pieces for any home and can be easily moved and used for different purposes. They make a great simple seating option, can easily act as a comfy footrest, or—in a set of two—can make a toddler-friendly coffee table alternative! They don’t have hard edges or sharp corners and tend to be very durable for kids and pets. Some poufs will be more stiff than others—but even if they start stiff, they’ll get softer and patina over time. And those with a more structured, stiff shape may last longer too. They can come in a variety of colors—from saddle leather to white, black, or even some brighter dyed colors!

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decorate with leather

11. Leather-Front Credenza

We love a good unexpected leather accent on furniture. Credenzas are solid pieces that are versatile and practical, so adding a leather front just adds a fun pop of texture. Leather fronting is timeless in style, but needs some care—so be careful not to scratch the leather when cleaning or if you ever move the piece. Leather like this is often much thinner than true leather upholstery. Look for an option with a texturized or patina finish. This will be more durable and will hide any imperfections from scratches or stains.

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counter height bar table with leather stools

12. Leather Counter Stools

Leather counter stools add an edgy touch to a counter or bar table. They have a simple elegance while adding a trendy vibe to your dining space. Stools are sat on a lot and need to be durable—so leather makes the perfect material for them. However, there are a few things to consider. Leather comes in a variety of colors, so you’ll want to make sure to coordinate it with the table and the overall finish of the room. And it will wear over time, and dyes from pants can transfer to the leather, so make sure to be cautious when wearing brand new denim! But leather is pretty easy to clean if you spill food. If your leather counter stools have a glossy or matte finish, you can just wipe up the spill and use leather cleaner to get it back to perfect!

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south western style breakfast nook

13. Leather Cowhide Rug

A more unexpected way to incorporate leather? A cowhide rug. They’re irregularly shaped and each one is totally unique and can really make a statement in your space. We love using them on their own, or as an accent rug layered over other rugs, since they’re very thin and won’t add bulk to a layered look. Cowhide rugs are also very durable—they can easily last 20+ years with minimal fading and shedding if you take good care of them. Though, while soft to the touch, they’re pretty hard to clean if your pet or child spills or soils them. Hide rugs come in a variety of tones and sizes, and there are plenty of beautiful faux hide rugs available at lower price points.

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blue and grey bedroom with leather platform bed

14. Leather Bed Frame or Headboard

Whether it’s a fully upholstered leather bed or simply a leather headboard, leather beds add a cool touch to a bedroom. Leather is very soft but cool to the touch, making it a great material to use in all climates. And leather headboards tend to have some padding under the upholstery, which makes them comfortable for leaning against while reading or watching TV in bed. Leather also adds a unique material and texture to a bedroom while creating a timeless look. It’s a great material for accenting with either wood or metal. And since leather headboards and beds come in so many finishes, styles, shapes, and colors, they’re very versatile in terms of bedroom color palettes and styles!

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decorate with leather

15. Leather Pillows

Leather pillows are a simple way to introduce leather into your space. Pillows add just a splash of color and material, so this is perfect for those who just want a touch of leather—whether in a bedroom or living room. Leather pillows are soft to the touch but need broken in. So, while they may feel stiff at first, they’re great investment pieces that will last for many years. They come in a variety of finishes, styles, shapes, and colors—and look great mixed with other fabrics and materials. And, since it’s such a small piece, they can be integrated with many different design styles!

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Types of Dining Chairs: The Ultimate Guide to Finding the Right Dining Chairs for You

Even though we aren’t entertaining much these days, we still need to have a proper dining table and dining room chairs so that you can enjoy a proper meal! In fact, dining rooms are more important than ever because we are spending so much time at home! Along with a dining table, dining room chairs are an essential part of any dining space—peep this Guide to dining table styles if you need help picking out a table to start with.

The sky’s the limit when it comes to dining chair styles—you can find wood chair styles, side chairs with upholstered seats, Art Deco dining chairs, traditional dining chairs, rustic style side chairs….you get the picture. Dining room decor comes in all kinds of options and it’s easy to get overwhelmed with how many types of dining chairs are out there.

If you’re finding it hard to know which types of dining chairs will work for your dining space, we’ve got you covered! This dining chairs guide breaks down all the major shapes, sizes and types of dining chairs to help you find a solution that works.

And if you need a little extra interior design help in bringing your dining room to life, Modsy is here for you! Even though the holidays might look a little different this year, a well-designed dining room can help make the time at home feel special.

Armchair

One of our favorite dining room chair types is the classic armchair.  Often used as a side chair, their larger size adds depth and character to dining room tables. They make a super elegant option and definitely complement a more formal look—but they fit well with more casual styles, too. Dining chairs like this usually have upholstered seats, which makes them more comfortable than hard materials. We love dining chairs that bring both comfort and class to your dining space!

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Side Chair

The classic side chair is one of the most traditional types of dining chairs. Known as a “dinnertime staple,” they take their name from the fact that they sit along the “side” of the table. These types of dining chairs can be more casual in style or super formal, depending on the type of dining room table you have. (Check out our guide to dining table sizes, shapes, and materials if you’re in the market for a dining room table, too!) These types of dining chairs come in all kinds of looks, so you can be sure to find one to match any style you like.

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Parsons Chair

The Parsons dining chair is another dining room classic. It gets its name from Paris’ Parsons School of Design and the dining chair features lean, simple lines and an upholstered seat. This type of dining chair comes in every fabric you can think of so there is an excellent variety to choose from. We love these dining room chairs because they can work for many styles—rustic, transitional, contemporary, modern, traditional mid-century modern—you name it! Dining chairs like this are also comfy to sit on and can fit in smaller dining rooms because they don’t have bulky arms to take up space.

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Wingback Chair

If you want a cozy, but sophisticated look for your dining chairs, the wingback chair might be just right! This dining chair has “wings” along the side of the chair to create a distinctive silhouette—they are often used just at the heads of the table. They are usually upholstered and stuffed with nailheads for a more traditional and sophisticated look. These dining chairs aren’t ideal for kids who make a mess—they are fully upholstered so they do require a lot of cleaning.

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types of dining chairsLadder Back Chair

The ladder back dining chair features horizontal slats spaced along the back of the chair, which is usually made of wood. They are great casual dining chairs and the slats create a light and open look. They work best in more rustic and traditional styles and make a great option for a kitchen table.

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types of dining chairsSlat back chair

Slat back dining chairs feature evenly spaced vertical slats, for a laid-back, quaint appeal. This look works for a variety of styles—traditional, rustic, mission, etc. and the dining chairs can be dressed up for formal settings or toned down for a casual look. They are practical and come in both solid or upholstered seating—a great choice for casual dining and households with kids!

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types of dining chairsWindsor chair

The Windsor Dining chair takes inspiration from early English designs. These types of dining chairs feature a half-circle back supported by vertical slats or rods, along with spindle legs. These dining chairs look great with rustic, traditional, and vintage styles!

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types of dining chairsCross back (X) chair

The Cross Back Chair has an X-shape on the back side of the chair that adds a light and airy look. These dining chairs range in styles from cafe chairs to rustic to contemporary. It’s a perfect choice for a casual dining room with a more stylistic approach. And these dining chairs are usually all wood, so they are kid-friendly and easy to clean!

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types of dining chairsSlope Dining Chair

The Slope dining chair is cool and sleek with a simple silhouette. This type of dining chair features a comfortable upholstered seat, usually in leather or faux leather. They can have a swanky, factory-style feel, making them great for modern rustic to industrial style. Bonus: the faux leather can be wiped down easily, making them super kid-friendly and pet friendly.

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Barrel Back Chair

Barrel back dining chairs have a bowl-like backrest that you can sink into when you sit down. These dining chairs are super versatile—some can swivel back and forth and make great desk chairs too. The upholstered seats are super comfortable for longer sitting, and they are style-forward but not stuffy. We love these dining chairs for mid-century modern, minimal, contemporary, and industrial looks.

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types of dining chairsSplat back chair

“Splat back” refers to the centrally placed, vertical column on the back of these dining chairs. These are usually found in metal, but historically they had a more gothic and English design. The metal chairs tend to be lightweight, making them versatile for indoor/outdoor dining. If you want dining chairs with a cool, industrial-chic look, these are perfect—plus they are super low-maintenance when it comes to cleaning.

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Wishbone Chair

The Wishbone Dining Chair is an iconic Danish design that’s usually made with a wood base and woven or upholstered seating. The elegant, curved frame forms a wishbone shape on the back and they are both comfortable and decorative pieces. This style of dining chair works well in eclectic, mid-century modern, rustic, minimalist, and boho styles.

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types of dining chairs

Cantilever Chair

The Cantilever Dining chair is one of the most unique looking options for dining rooms.  It gained popularity in the 70s and design enthusiasts still love it today! These dining chairs have a flexible form that makes them a little bit “bendy.” They can be upholstered or solid—caning is popular material, too. They work great with many styles, from industrial to mid-century modern

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types of dining chairsSlipcovered

For a more formal look, consider the slipcovered chair—it can add instant sophistication to a space. Slipcovered chairs can be bought as is or you enhance dining chairs like the Parsons chair by adding a slipcover over the frame. They make cleanup easy because the cover is easily removed and washed. This helps these dining chairs last over time—which is great because they tend to be a bit more expensive! They fit perfectly into classic and traditional styles.

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Plastic molded

For a trendy and funky look, try these plastic molded side chairs inspired by the Eames chair! These chairs for dining rooms are lightweight and airy looking—classic Scandinavian style. You can easily wipe the chair clean, so they are perfect for households with kids. And the dining chairs usually come in a solid color with metal or wood legs, making them super versatile and great with minimalist and modern styles!

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Design History: Get to Know the Stories Behind 3 Iconic Chairs

When it comes to the world of furniture, no category has as many “iconic” designs as the chair. Don’t get us wrong, there are plenty of bed, sofa, and even coffee table designs we love. But when we think “iconic furniture” it’s a chair that comes to mind.

Today we’re sharing the stories behind three of our favorite iconic chairs that are all having a resurgence in popularity today. So have a seat, and get to know the histories behind the Wishbone, Cesca, and Jeanneret chairs.

iconic chair design wishboneIconic Chair #1: The Wishbone Chair

This mid-century chair has been popular for a few years, but we’re seeing it enjoy a newfound popularity. You’ve probably seen the Wishbone chair on display in rooms with a Modern Rustic or Modern Farmhouse style.

The chair was originally designed in 1949 by Danish designer Hans Wegner. Wegner was inspired by Ming Dynasty chairs, and used a similar form for the back and armrests of his Wishbone chair. Wishbone chairs are made of a bentwood frame and a paper cord seat, and their sleek shape beautifully mixes traditional design with a modern form.

iconic chair design cescaIconic Chair #2: The Cesca Chair

First designed in 1928 by Marcel Breuer and named after his daughter Francesca, the Cesca chair is a perfect specimen of minimalist furniture. The caned back and seat add a warm edge to the cool vibe of the chair.

Repopularized in the mid-century, and again in the 1980s, this chair is having a major moment thanks to its blend of a minimal form and and organic materials.

Jeanneret iconic chair designIconic Chair #3: The Jeanneret Chair

These chairs were originally designed by Pierre Jeanneret in the 1950s for a government building in Chandigarh, India. A couple decades later, the building underwent a revamp and the chairs were put into storage or even tossed out completely.

Fast-forward to today, when the mid-century modern trend is starting to run its course, and the Jeanneret chair is poised to step into the spotlight. It’s got a design that feels trendy but a little more edgy than some of the pieces we’ve been seeing in the spotlight (looking at you, Eames chairs) for the last few years.

 

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