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Slipper Chair Secrets: How to Use Chairs as Room Accents


A room’s accents, accessories and final flourishes are the key to good design. This takes on many forms but often, an accent chair is a chance for upholstery to really earn its keep and play into the details that make a room feel special.

From filling dead corners, showcasing special fabrics and bespoke designs, or even framing the focal point in the space, accent chairs are an opportunity to have some real fun. In this post we share our insider secrets to make the most of your accent chairs.

BREATHE LIFE TO A CORNER

When you look at a space faced with corners that feel lifeless or in need of some dressing up, accent chairs are a wonderful way to get around this.

This kitchen corner, without the chair, lacked a layer, a texture and a dash of something special. We used this tall backed wing as an accent chair, designed with a bespoke floral applique to make the space feel full and generous. The kitchen is a hub of any home, and any excuse to encourage people to gather and take a seat is worth investing in.

This space in Ham Yard’s Dive Bar is almost an in-between space just before you reach the bar. To give gravitas to this little enclave, we used a pair of arm chairs with a bespoke appliqué design, paired with fun and wacky neon lights.

THE BEST DRESSED

We all have those antique textiles or expensive embroideries which we dare not use anywhere that might attract unwanted spills or constant bottom traffic. For this reason, our accent chairs, which act as a sculptural feature in a room or placed in a less used seating area, are often the best dressed.They are the perfect place to display beautiful painterly linens, such as ‘Harlequin’ by Edit on this antique chair in our drawing room at Charlotte Street Hotel.

Showing off embroideries, like this little corner chair adorned with my Chelsea Textiles fabric, is another perfect example. Tucked into a bedroom reading area, a special fabric like ‘Tiny Suzani’ can be used without the risk of being damaged. It also freshens up this area, playing beautifully with the co-ordinated curtain fabric in ‘Large Suzani’.

Here, we have quilted ‘Tiny Suzani’ which adds a lovely extra detail. Quilting a delicate fabric is a great way to make the fabric more durable so it can stand the test of time.

FRAMING A ROOM

We often stress the importance of symmetry in a room but this doesn’t mean there has to be a rigid layout that never deviates from a mirror image of itself, quite the opposite in fact.

A sense of balance and symmetry is important to create a harmonious space. One way to obtain that harmony is with an accent chair.

Framing a central fireplace with a pair of chairs is a great way to play into symmetry.

The Drawing Room at Number Sixteen is a cosy and communal room. The slipper chairs that sit either side of the sofa aren’t part of the foundations for this seating area, but instead act as a little accent to the central sofa that they sit beside. We dressed them up with a soft check and a punchy yellow top third of leather to ensure they stand out nonetheless.

CHAIRS BELONG EVERYWHERE

Accent chairs are a wonderful way to make a bathroom feel more special and layered. A bathroom isn’t the first place you might add an upholstered chair, but it can add a beautiful pop of fun.

This little chair is a bespoke embroidered design by my daughter Minnie and it really makes the bathroom a more joyful space to be in.

DEVILS IN THE DETAIL

And finally, giving an accent chair special flourishes and embellishments is always a must. For our last tip, we’ve rounded up our studio favourites for dressing up a chair.

A rope trim along the arms is a fun ‘twist’ which gives this arm chair a new dimension and texture.

We love adding leather tassels to our Stewart tips for a tailored detail.

Why not create your own applique designs. This detail is a fail safe way to make a chair feel special. By using a combination of wools, you can create a design totally bespoke to your space.

Giving a chair a handy little pocket is a fun way to store your morning paper, or perhaps a spare pair of reading glasses.

Antique textiles are always a favourite of mine. Read our Found Fabrics post for more on using vintage fabrics for upholstery.

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