published Saturday, March 19th, 2011

9 accent chairs that can change the look of a room

Essentially Belgian offers a unique Liege Chair-Dove piece for $699 that can be used to add character to a room.
Staff Photo by Dan Henry/Chattanooga Times Free Press
Essentially Belgian offers a unique Liege Chair-Dove piece for $699 that can be used to add character to a room. Staff Photo by Dan Henry/Chattanooga Times Free Press

No matter the style, a chair can add character to a room. A chair also can help to create a separate area in a room for peace and seclusion. Knitting Mill Antiques, Smart Furniture and Essentially Belgian all offer attractive, and sometimes unusual, chairs to liven up any room.

1. Courting chair

Knitting Mill Antiques owner Lynn Short said this carved seat for two is most likely a reproduction inspired by Victorian-style courting chairs, which allowed two people to comfortably sit facing each other — or facing away from each other. “You call it a courting chair, but what about if you’re mad at each other?” Short said. This certain conversation piece would work well in the middle of a room or near a fireplace.

2. Rocking chairs

This Victorian-era rocking chair (front), with original red velvet, rocks on a solid base. This design allows the chair to be utilized in a smaller space than a chair with a curved base. Short said it would be a good conversation piece in the corner of a living room. In the background is a handmade Amish oak rocker, made with bent twigs. It would be well suited for a kitchen, breakfast room or front porch.

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    Staff photo by Dan Henry/Chattanooga Times Free Press - 3/15/11. The Knitting Mill Antiques, Smart Furniture and Essentially Belgian offer unique chairs that can be used to add character to a room.

3. Remi chair

Pictured here, the Remi wingback chair features a carved frame and a crisscross bottom for visual interest. Miracle suggested pairing it with a low settee to emphasize the chair’s elegant height. It also might be placed in a corner or by a floor lamp to create a secluded reading area.

4. Bed bench

Short said she herself has purchased this small bench, crafted from a twin bed. The back is created from a headboard and the footboard of the bed was cut in two to create the chair’s arms. With its pale green color and whimsical design, this piece is a natural for a child’s room.

5. “Mad Men” chair

“Think ‘Mad Men,’” the tag on this midcentury chair reads, and the turquoise blue leather seat does, indeed, evoke thoughts of the late ’50s and ’60s as embodied by the popular AMC television series. The chair pictured here has an orange-seated counterpart, which Short jokingly referred to as “Howard Johnson colors.” Place this chair against the wall in a hallway to add a pop of color, or surround a kitchen table with similar chairs with differently colored seats for a kitschy look.

6. Louis Ghost chair

Available at Smart Furniture, this Louis Ghost chair is the brainchild of French New Design artist Phillipe Starck. Designed in the style of the traditional Louis XV armchair, the Ghost chair uses translucent polycarbonate for a modern twist on a classic design. Try one by a bedroom vanity or a set around a table in an apartment dining alcove.

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    Essentially Belgian offers a unique leather chair for $899 that can be used to add character to a room. Staff Photo by Dan Henry/Chattanooga Times Free Press

7. Club chair

A leather club chair helps add a sense of masculine energy to any room, Miracle said this small version is ideal for a bedroom or to create a reading area. The two front legs feature small wheels, a style, she said, that is gaining popularity.

8. Organic chair

Inspired by the design of Finnish architect Eero Saarinen, the organic chair design was created in 1940 as part of New York’s Museum of Modern Arts’ “Organic Design in Home Furnishings” competition. The curved seat and back make this a stylish and comfortable reading chair. Find a place for it by a good lamp.

9. Liege chair

Designed in the style of English chesterfield sofas, this chair is named for Liege, the administrative capital of Wallonia, the French-speaking region of Belgium. Covered in dove-gray microfiber suede and accented with a nailhead trim, the Liege chair pairs well with a contemporary black or white leather sofa. Karen Miracle, manager of Essentially Belgian on Cherokee Avenue, said a brightly colored throw pillow would make this piece stand out even more.

about Holly Leber ...

Holly Leber is a reporter and columnist for the Life section. She has worked at the Times Free Press since March 2008. Holly covers “everything but the kitchen sink" when it comes to features: the arts, young adults, classical music, art, fitness, home, gardening and food. She writes the popular and sometimes-controversial column Love and Other Indoor Sports. Holly calls both New York City and Saratoga Springs, NY home. She earned a bachelor of arts ...

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