Last week I talked about how to finish a room with those smaller decorative items such as vases, artwork, throws and cushions, candles and plants. However I thought it was important to talk about accent furniture in your space. An accent piece is a smaller piece of furniture that generally has a function and purpose but can quite often add decoration, colour and style to your overall design. Without accent furniture a room can seem a little sparse and unresolved. Here are some ideas and tips on accent furniture that should be considered for your living room.
Occasional chairs should be light enough to offer flexibility and when needed (i.e. for social gatherings) easily repositioned within the room. If your room is big enough for two occasional chairs this is ideal. Placing one or two into your seating configuration will help make conversation easy when you have guests. Make this chair a statement piece by choosing a pattered fabric with a defined style such as a contemporary wing chair or French Provincial Louis chair.
Side tables are a must have for any living room. Unlike larger coffee tables they can be extremely flexible in terms of placement enabling you to reposition depending on how you are using space at any one time. Also many side tables can double up as stools creating extra seating for when you have more guests than usual. If you don’t have room for a large coffee table why not cluster two small side tables together in front of your sofa or chairs. This will give the same effect and functionality that a coffee table does, but also gives you flexibility to move the tables when needed.
Rugs can pull furniture placement together defining a space, and add colour, pattern and texture to an otherwise bland room. I use rugs as a signature item in my designs, often custom making specifying size and colour to bring my design to life. General things to think about when choosing a rug includes: shape; size; material; and style. You can’t go wrong with a rectangular rug, most spaces support this shape. However don’t discount square or round if the room can hold these. When defining a seating area it’s ideal to have at least the front legs of the sofa and chairs on the rug, this will make the rug feel generous and ground the room, but if you don’t like your flooring then go oversized taking it up to foot from the wall. If you’ve already got a lot of pattern and colour present in your room choose something more textural with a neutral colour. If your room is fairly neutral go for a colour and be bold with pattern. Flat weaves and intricate designs are good for high traffic areas and pets as they hide dirt. Whereas a shag, cut pile and loop piles are better for low traffic areas and are really comfy underfoot.
Personally I love using ottomans in a living room, often replacing a coffee table with a round ottoman covered in a beautiful fabric. This is such a simple and easy way to continue your pattern and colour theme into other pieces in the room. To enable items to be placed on the cushioned top add a wooden tray or two creating a more even surface making the ottoman a functional table. Smaller ottomans can also be used to sit on, or placed in front of your occasional chair as a foot stool. To maximise storage potential go for one that opens up with storage inside.
Now you’re ready to accent your living room, be brave and push the boundaries. Try something new and see what a difference it can make.