interiors & styling: Sofa and Accent Chair Pairings

This blog post was a reader request after I shared coffee and side table pairings last month- and of course, I was happy to oblige! I’ll take any opportunity to shop for furniture and talk about design. In today’s post, I rounded up a BUNCH of beautiful sofa and accent chair pairings, but I’m also talking about the design “rules” that apply to combining these two staple seating pieces. Click through for my current favorites and to get my tips, if you’re working on your own seating layout…

My biggest piece of advice for pairing accent chairs with your sofa is to consider contrast. You want the pieces to feel like they compliment each other, but can stand alone. If you can achieve one of the following contrasting elements, you’ll have a beautiful outcome…

  • COLOR // Be intentional with color- I’m a fan of contrasting colors for depth, but you can also take the monochromatic look… just make sure they don’t clash.
  • SHAPE // The shape of your sofa in comparison with the shape of the chair is very important. I generally stay away from perfectly repeated shapes, but make sure the overall shape feels like it belongs to the same family (example: a modern sofa pairs well with a chair that has a geometric arm style).
  • MATERIAL // Another really nice contrast is the material in which the seating is constructed. A velvet sofa would look very dramatic next to an organic looking woven chair.
  • STYLE // Keep in mind the overall aesthetic of the room. If you’re going for a glam look, both pieces of furniture should embody that style.
  • FORM // Lastly, be mindful of form. For example, a skirted sofa (or a sofa without legs- or hidden ones) would look very nice with a chair that has an intricate or obvious leg style. A contrasting leg style between the sofa and a chair is a good indication form has been considered, and provides a nice balance of negative space.

My second piece of advice is to make sure the scale aligns. You want to make sure your sofa and accent chair is of a similar proportion that fits the scale of the room. For example, it would look visually “off” to see a smaller, apartment-sized sofa paired with a massive, oversized chair. You want to make sure the scale is consistent for all of the seating pieces in a space. Ready for my visual examples and the roundup?

Click directly on the sofas and chairs to be redirected to the source- or use the numbered links below each collage to shop…

01: magnolia chair // 02: ashby sofa // 03: silas chair // 04: everleigh sofa // 05: cane accent chair // 06: dries sofa // 07: colby chair // 08: harmony sofa // 09: slope arm swivel // 10: hoxton sofa // 11: rhea accent chair // 12: velvet sofa // 13: delaney chair // 14: slate sofa

So- that’s the first batch! We actually have the Harmony Sofa (#8) in our guest bedroom window nook. It’s very comfortable and comes in a bunch of colors and configurations. Do you have favorite pairings from the first roundup? Onto the next… clearly I found a LOT I liked.

01: bungalo armchair // 02: baxter sofa // 03: swivel rocker chair // 04: caroline love seat // 05: burn auburn chair // 06: bryant sofa // 07: zella chair // 08: ashby sofa // 09: chair with casters // 10: saguaro sofa // 11: swivel chair // 12: leather sofa // 13: bella swivel chair // 14: square arm sofa // 15: woven armchair // 16: moss sofa

Annnd- your favorites from this one are…?! We have the Baxter Sofa in our formal living room, pictured below. I love the subtle curve and petite size. It also very comfy, with down wrapped cushions.

Was that helpful? I hope so! As always, drop your questions and thoughts in the comment section below. This little exercise has me wanting to shop for more seating! I’m tempted to move the swivel chairs in our formal living room to my office, and find new chairs for the above vignette. I found so many beautiful options, it’s tempting. I think they’ll stay for now. I still love the way they look and function- plus they’re really comfortable. Happy Tuesday, friends!


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