Choosing accent chairs for a small space

In a small space, chairs with rounded corners have a smaller visual footprint. PHOTO/

What you need to know:

Accent chairs are meant to stand out, without dominating the space. So, when looking for these furniture pieces, choose those that will not make your space look cluttered.

Accent chairs serve a dual purpose of offering more seating while also helping one express their personal style. Accent chairs are the jewellery of furniture; the items that elevate a room.  They come in handy especially when you live in a small apartment where the sitting room is a precious commodity.

Chances are your sitting room is already occupied by the sofa and this makes it the most natural place for an accent chair to cozy up.

You can also place an accent chair in the corner of your bedroom to create a place you can retire with your favourite book.

For apartment dwellers pressed for space, an accent chair helps create extra space at the dining table without cluttering the space.  But not every chair will do, find chairs that are cohesive with the rest of your decor.  After all with their plush cushioning, soft upholstery, and mid-century design, contemporary dining chairs are starting to look suspiciously like accent chairs.  Here are some types to consider for you space.

Open arms

In small spaces, you want to feel free, not confined and the armless chairs, offer just that.  Consider ottomans which, fortunately come in different sizes. 

According to Felix Leo, an interior designer at Danube Homes, Kampala, and the ottomans can also work as storage for bedding, among others.

“Most of them come with a fabric finish so they can even be used as a side table to hold a tray of eats and drinks, especially when you are having a conversation with a guest away from the main table,” Leo says.

You can style ottomans similarly to a bench but because of their smaller size, according to decor portal, these can fit virtually anywhere. At the foot of your bed, in front of your sofa (next to a coffee table), under a console table, next to a vanity, or even between two accent chairs.

Mind the curves

In a small space, chairs with rounded corners take up the same usable space as boxy pieces, but because of their curves they have a smaller visual footprint. Therefore, chairs such as poufs come in handy.  The great advantage of a pouf is that it can comfortably fit in the centre of the sitting room chairs where it can work as a coffee table, and at the same time as leg rest.

When one does not have a reclining sofa, a pouf helps one lay their feet comfortably in a relaxing manner.

They are on the smaller end so just like ottomans, you can play around with the placement of these little guys. And they are on the cheaper side which is always a bonus. 

Go low

Just as high ceilings create the illusion of more space, low furniture creates the illusion of higher ceilings. Thus, accent chairs that hang close to the ground economise rooms vertically.  For example, velvet or fabric benches are multipurpose without taking up too much space.  Because they are also colourful, they help accentuate the rest of the colour theme.

Leo says that some of them come with storage so one can store extra beddings among other items.

“With extra guests a bench can be added to the sitting room furniture to accommodate more people or even children and go on having a light moment without excluding anyone,” Leo says.

The same can also be transferred to a big window where one would want to read using natural light.

While benches technically fall into the boxy category, they could still work in a small space because they are short, stout, and do not consume space with a tall back.

Keep it light

Airy tones, pale neutrals, and soft naturals lighten up a room. And light equals space, which is precisely what a small space needs.  By choosing accent chairs in powdery hues, you can even break away from some of the other furniture.

 Another creative way to use colour to your advantage is to match your upholstery to the wall. Using this approach, the chair blends into its surroundings, blurring the line between wall and fabric.

Your small space is your petite castle and deserves embellishments that make it feel like home. And accent chairs are an easy way to elevate a space while meeting our utilitarian need for an extra seating. By striving for visual balance and exercising a touch of decor strategy, you can live your big design dreams without feeling boxed in by your small space.


There are so many ways to use consoles. You can put them to use for storage and decor, make a statement or keep it simple. Putting a narrow console table behind your couch give your home a modern look and helps you create a nook for activities such as reading and working. This is ideal in small rooms because it creates more usable space, without getting in the way.

These tables are the perfect place for decor items, seating or even a guest book. It is a perfect place to stash keys, bags and important documents.

No matter how you decide to put this table to use, it is one of the best ways to fill empty space in your entryway. All without making it difficult for you or your guests to make their way in.

There is a special consideration you should keep in mind before you buy one, however.  If you plan on using a narrow console table as a desk, make sure there are no lower shelves and/or bars. This way your legs and chair will fit underneath the table.

 Secondly, make sure that you find the right width and height for you. Not every console table is the same and you want to find one that will be the best fit for your space.


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