By Kelly O'Roark
If you want more seating in your living room or sitting room, but don’t want another couch in the mix, what are your other options? While there are multiple types of chairs and benches from which to choose, nothing exudes sophistication and elegance more than wingback accent chairs. Wingback chairs have been around since the 17th century and were created for optimal comfort and warmth. The wings on the chairs were not just an ornamental design but were also used for functional purposes, as they were built to protect people from drafts near their face and to keep heat enveloped around their bodies when they sat near their fireplaces.
Photos by Kelly O'Roark
Since most of us have built-in heating systems in our homes, that particular functional aspect is no longer needed, however, the back support and aesthetic appeal have never gone out of style. While antique wingback chairs tend to be ornate, modern wingback chairs are usually solid colored and look sleeker with their minimalist textures and subdued woodwork. If you love the look of these types of chairs as much as I do but aren’t sure how to use them to create an inviting sitting area, I’m here to help.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to create an inviting space with these spectacular chairs:
Choose a Color and Style That Matches Your Décor
When it comes to wingback accent chairs, there’s a color and fabric for every taste. Leather, linen, and suede are popular textiles, and you can find any color imaginable to match your room’s color palette. If you love a good statement piece, teal, mustard yellow, and violet can brighten up the space, but if you’re more of a traditionalist when it comes to furniture color, gray, white, and tan are good neutral options.
When it comes to style, traditional button-tufted chairs or studded detailing are great for a vintage vibe. For those looking for a modern accent, smooth leather or linen without any detailing is the way to go. In this particular room, a white wingback accent chair was chosen so that the color accents could be displayed in the décor instead of the furniture itself. A smooth linen fabric was chosen to create a soft, comfortable look, as opposed to the formal look of leather.
Pro Tip: While white linen wingback chairs create a crisp, refreshing look, they’re probably not the best option for homes with kids and pets. If you’re looking for something that hides dirt well, a chair with a subtle pattern and two or three colors may be a better option.
If Possible, Buy a Pair
Wingback chairs for bedrooms and reading nooks are usually solitary, but if you want to implement wingback chairs in a living room or sitting room, two chairs are ideal, as they send a message that the sitting area is meant for conversation. Having two chairs gives house guests the opportunity to sit and enjoy one another’s company if they prefer something other than the couch. As an added bonus, each chair can be slightly tilted to face one another to make conversation more comfortable.
If you have a blank wall, place the chairs in the middle, and leave room for an accent table in the middle (we’ll get to this next). This will not only create a polished look but also send an open invitation for those heart-to-heart talks over a good cup of coffee.
Decorate the Chairs
If you’ve chosen a more neutral palette for your chairs, this is where bold accents come into play. To create contrast, one plum-colored throw pillow was added to each chair, and a beautiful ombre knitted blanket was gracefully draped over one of the chair backs. When it comes to decorating with throw pillows and blankets, it’s important to mix patterns with solids and create dark and light contrast with color to avoid a monotone look, and this combination achieves just that.
These two items alone completely transform these chairs, as the various purple tones provide the perfect contrast to the pure white linen. In addition to the color, the throw pillows and blankets have a plush feel to them, which again, adds to the coziness factor of the seating area.
Add an Accent Table
To complete this look, place an accent table in between the two chairs that will provide another color contrast. Since these wingback chairs are white, a gray marble top table with black frame adds the perfect amount of visual interest. To keep it simple, a mauve-colored floral arrangement adds a natural element while complementing the purple hues of the throw pillows and blanket.
Decorate the Wall
To keep the focus on the comfortable wingback chairs, the wall art should complement the chairs and table without overpowering the space. This beautiful sunburst mirror adds some architectural flair while providing a classic look with the muted gold finish. The black picture frames add contrast to the round shape of the sunburst mirror and also tie the black frame of the accent table together nicely. Additionally, the “blank canvas” in each picture frame provides an extremely modern, artsy touch, and is appealing to both the artistic and minimalist homeowner.
Implementing wingback accent chairs is a great way to provide a creative seating option when a couch just won’t do. The mix-and-match possibilities are endless when it comes to the chairs, throw pillows, and surrounding décor, so whenever you’re ready to start, let your imagination take the lead!