While an accent chair can be an armchair and an armchair can be an accent chair, the two are not the same. An armchair always has arms, but an accent chair may or may not.
Purpose of an Accent Chair
Accent chairs are seating pieces that have a role beyond function. They are meant to complement the decor, draw out a particular color, provide a focal point, or add contrast to spice up a boring, monotone space. In this way, an accent chair does not match the other furnishings in the room, it will have a different pattern, color or style than the other seating pieces. The most popular place for an accent chair is the living room, although they can also add flavor to the decor in dining rooms and bedrooms.
An armchair is simply a chair with arms. It can be part of a living room set that matches the sofa and loveseat, or it could have contrasting style designed to complement or accent the rest of the room.
Which Is It?
Knowing the function of a chair can determine the right term to use. If a decorative chair has arms, it is both an accent chair and an armchair. Pieces without arms are just accent chairs. Because it doesn’t contrast or draw the eye, an armchair with the same upholstery and styling as the couch is not an accent chair.
Choosing the Right Chair for You
Once you know the difference between an armchair and an accent chair, distinguishing them is easy. What might be more difficult is choosing just one.
Depending on whether you want furniture that draws attention or blends into the background, either piece may work well in a living room. In fact, most spaces utilize both dramatic and understated pieces to create visual balance, so you might find that both an armchair and an accent chair have a place in your decor.