How Tall Should an Accent Chair Be?

Whether you’re trying to make a style statement, increase your family room seating, or add a comfortable little reading nook to your home, accent chairs are a perfect solution. They can be a simple way to add comfort and gathering space to any part of your home. When deciding which accent chair to buy and how to incorporate it into your space you may ask yourself “How tall should they be?”.

Accent chairs follow the common rule of a 16-18 inch seat height. This is low enough to be comfortable, but not so low that it’s difficult to get back up. As for overall chair height, the style and theme of the chair will determine how tall the chair-back should be.

How Tall Should an Accent Chair Be?

There are so many choices of accent chair styles, heights, colors, and designs. Despite having so many choices, there are some elements that will help you make choices that elevate your home. Read on to find out more about picking the perfect accent chair. 

What is the Perfect Accent Chair Height? 

A 16-18 inch seat height is the common standard for accent chairs and most other types of seating. If you have a tray table or desk, there should be 12 inches of clearance from the seat to the tabletop to allow for a comfortable amount of legroom. As for the height of the chair-back, there is no standard height because it’s entirely based on the style and preferred comfort level of the individual design. 


Different Heights For Different Styles.

A cozy reading nook is a fantastic fixture that can be achieved by buying the right kind of accent chair. Traditional reading chairs have high backs that lean backward to comfortably accommodate long periods of reading and lounging. The high back of the chair also has a more regal and laid-back appearance that lends itself to mid-century modern looks.

Click here to see this product on Amazon.

A different approach would be a shorter, more squared-off lounging chair. These may have a lower seat height and are designed to be sat on upright for conversation and entertaining. These are more common than high-back chairs and look lovely in pairs added to a large sofa or end tables. These smaller, more communally focused accent chairs are sometimes used to fill up living spaces and increase capacity as a utility.

Click here to see this product on Amazon.

You can also decorate your halls or spaces with accent chairs for pure aesthetic. Even if they won't be used as often, accent chairs can help cement a design theme by using the same colors or textures in a corner or hall of a home. They can fit seamlessly in with other decorations, tables, shelves, and wall art. 

How Comfortable Should Accent Chairs Be?

Obviously you want every seat in your home to be comfortable and inviting. Accent chairs are no different, so you want to pick materials and upholstery that are soft, and easy to unwind into. You may want to take a different route, however, and have stiffer chairs to encourage people to stand or use the sofa or other chairs in the room. 

How Do You Decorate An Accent Chair?

Accent chairs are the perfect thing to adorn with decorations that suit the theme of your room. You can drape blankets or quilts over the back of the chair. These can then be used in the chair for extra warmth and comfort. You can place throw pillows on the seat of a chair to boost their appeal and add some color or a contrasting pattern. The upholstery and frame material of the chair itself could either fit seamlessly in a room design or create a point of tension and contrast to draw in attention. 

Should Accent Chairs Match Each Other’s Height?

It is not uncommon for accent chairs to be set up in a pair. You can put one on either side of an end table or have them create a corner with a vase or floor lamp. It’s also common to add two accent chairs to a living room in order to complete the seating arrangement alongside a sofa or loveseat. In a living room set-up, they can either face the sofa for use in conversational arrangements or face the television console for entertaining. 

Most of the time it’s best to match the accent chairs to one another. This will separate the additional seating and tie them together. You can add deep blue accent chairs to a more neutral room to add a burst of lively color. You can use lighter chairs to give your spaces more seating but keep things looking open and spacious. When two accent chairs don’t share the same space you can change the pattern to show that they are part of different living areas. When accent chairs are in the same space they should have matching heights.

What Should You Avoid When Picking Accent Chairs? 

One design tip when picking accent chairs is to avoid big and generic patterns. Sometimes a bossy or geometric patterned upholstery can be distracting and make your decorating look old and outdated. You should focus on simple, timeless designs and patterns. Instead of high contrast yellow and purple check pattern, you can opt for a white pattern with light polka dots, or a solid warm tone pattern. 

Mind Your Budget

There are a lot of details that go into designing an accent chair, and they can cost more than you were expecting. If you add on the fact that it’s likely you will buy two to create a pair, it’s easy to be blindsided by the cost. The reality though, is that chairs will last for just about as long as you’re willing to keep them. You can take these pieces along with you wherever it is you go in life. They are a sound investment, and there are many budget-friendly options available to you. 

Comfortable, Beautiful, and Enduring.

Accent chairs can be a gorgeous addition to the many spaces in your home that bring people together. Just remember to focus on a timeless and attractive simple design, look for a durable frame and materials, and find something comfortable. They will serve you for years and add beauty to your home. 

Done thinking about how Accent Chairs height must be? How about the arrangement of these chairs? You might be interested in reading What to Put Between Accent Chairs in order to maximize its capabilities.

Read more about Accent Chair designs and how to make any room Beautiful with it:

Is it Worth it to Reupholster Accent Chairs

21 Stunning leather Accent Chairs You need to See right now

17 Farmhouse Style Accent Chairs

How many Accent Chair should you have in a Living room?


  1. This was very helpfull information. I do have a question regarding height. I have found two leather accent chairs I love how ever they are shorter in height then my love seat and two other reclining chairs.. I just can’t visualize the effect. What would the recommended height difference be.

    • Hi Kathryn. We recommend using a tape measure to determine how tall these accent chairs will sit relative to the other furniture you mentioned. There isn’t a set rule in terms of height difference, but it’s perfectly normal for accent chairs to be somewhat shorter than other furniture. Hope this helps!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *