Side chairs are no longer for the stodgy. They can be fun places to make an unexpected statement. Rather than buying your furniture as a matched set, purchase your side chair with the element of surprise in mind. Bring in a bold print or unexpected texture with this accent piece.
The upholstery on a side chair can add a new color or pattern to your room’s palette. If you have a leather sofa, buy a tailored reading chair covered in a brightly colored floral. If you have a traditionally tailored sofa, bring in an overstuffed leather chair with scuffs and signs of wear. A deep, sea grass armchair with a plush cushion adds a novel texture to a room full of fabric-covered furniture.
Don’t just consider the coverings on your chair; also think about the chair’s form. If your room’s furniture is mostly modern, buy a curving Queen Anne settee. If you like the feel of traditional furniture, get the same settee, but upholster it in a contemporary print like a zebra stripe or playful polka dot. Or enliven a sitting area in a classically designed space with a Mid-Century modern replica. Better yet, buy a set of matched chairs and upholster them in different prints that are in the same color family.
A common mistake homeowners make is assuming that the ottoman needs to match their occasional chair. A square-shaped reading chair looks sharp with a round footstool covered in contrasting upholstery. Or put a dark leather ottoman at the base of a curving, feminine lounger.
A side chair is the perfect place to add an element of whimsy to your room. Be sure that your choice adds something new and fresh to the space. Whether you have traditional or modern sensibilities, the selection of a side chair should take you outside of your comfort zone.
— Betsy Head