One Chair—Three Accents

We asked expert interior designer Elaine Griffin to share three ways to upholster and style an accent chair. The results are merveilleux!

When most of us picture a piece of furniture, such as a sofa, we see its form and maybe a fabric and color. But when an interior designer imagines a piece of furniture, they see a Technicolor composition that tells a story about the piece and the space where it might reside. And because they keep a library of upholstery patterns, hardware and trims, dressmaker details, and wood finishes, each designer has a distinct point of view on their application and combinations.

We’re asking designers to share their takes on a piece of furniture and reveal three possibilities we might not have considered. We provided a selection of furniture pieces and asked that one design include a botanical (we are FLOWER after all). And we’re starting with chairs. After all, if the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that we spend 6-8 hours a day sitting, we should do so in comfort and style.

The Challenge: An Accent Chair

The Designer: Elaine Griffin

Portrait of Elaine Griffin

Photo courtesy of Elaine Griffin

Elaine Griffin: interior designer, founder of Elaine Griffin at Home, and FLOWER magazine contributing editor.

Based in the Golden Isles of Coastal Georgia—St. Simons Island, Sea Island, Jekyll Island, and Brunswick—and in New York City, Elaine brings decades of experience and a lifetime of style to create richly-textured, timeless, and classic interiors that unequivocally look like the people who live in them.

The Chair: Sherrill’s 1424 Accent Chair

A white chair with a high upholstered back.

Photo courtesy of Sherrill Furniture.

  • Sherrill’s 1424 accent chair’s sleek, classicPhoto courtesy of Sherrill Furniture.ally-inspired silhouette is an upholstery LBD (little black dress)—it adds flair wherever it sits.
  • At 28″ wide x 31″ deep, it’s a relatively small-footprint chair. Just slightly larger than a diminutive slipper chair, this cutie scoots almost anywhere.
  • Take note that its 42-inch height means this chair rises over most sofas by 6 to 9 inches, meaning placement in the room is important for visual balance.
  • Elegantly statuesque, it’s perfect for floating in pairs in front of fireplaces, sitting in large bedrooms, flanking bookcases, and welcoming guests in foyers. The chair’s tight back leaves max depth for its seat, making it a comfy, lingering option for tête-à-têtes. Station an ottoman between the pair to prop up your feet and lollygag.
Sherrill Furniture lounge chair with light, windowpane upholstery, and throw over arm. Gray sofa with rolled arm.

Sherrill Furniture is known for having the greatest fabric selection and flow-matching in the industry. With meticulous attention to detail, Sherrill ensures durability and comfort while allowing you to tailor pieces to your unique style preferences. With Sherrill’s rich history of quality craftsmanship, you can trust you’re getting both value and sophistication. Why compromise? Choose furniture that fits your budget, reflects your personality, and offers the best fabric options available. Happy lounging!

Sponsored by Sherrill Furniture

The Fabrics

Its supermodel height makes this a statement chair that deserves truly statement-making fabrics. Even in the most neutral rooms, wallflower should never be an adjective used to describe her. Let’s aim for bold, bright and bewitching instead.

A blue chinoiserie setting on a fabric

Pagoda Trees fabric in Lavender and Blue by Thibaut.

A teal colored floral patterned fabric swatch.

Lauris Print by Brunschwig & Fils in Aqua through Kravet.

Tie dye inspired dark blue pattern swatch.

Dark Vines in Indigo by St. Frank.

The Trims

These accents complement the fabrics, making a bold, one-of-a-kind chair.

Blue fringe tassels for furniture.

Samuel & Sons Astrid Bullion Fringe in Rain.

A brass nailhead

Photo courtesy of Sherrill Furniture

Nailhead in Old Brass from Sherrill Furniture.

The Inspiration: Blue

Blue is the color of summer. Whatever the tint, shade, or tone, blue proclaims summer’s here more than any other color in the rainbow—and I’m here for it!

Look 1: Thibaut Pagoda Trees with Samuel & Sons Bullion Fringe

An illustration of a colorful jungle print chair.

Illustration by Diane Carnevale.

I’m wild about Thibaut’s vintage-inspired Chinoiserie print in a hand-painted design that just begs the eye to stop, linger, and love every detail. This pattern is so dense that it almost reads as a neutral. It’s perfect for making a dramatic style statement without shouting in a living room or den, either as part of the main seating area or—my fave—as a standalone pair in front of a fireplace. Perfect for solo “me time moments or gossiping with a girlfriend. 

Style Bonus: The multi-hued color palette means this pattern works with every shade of blue, green and violet known to humanity. Grand-millennialize the look with lavish bullion fringe at the base.

Look 2: Brunschwig & Fils’ Lauris Print with Old Brass Nailheads 

A striped floral pattern illustrated rendering of a chair.

Illustration by Diane Carnevale.

How merveilleux would a pair of chairs in this classic rayure à l’Indienne floral stripe look for a primary bedroom’s seating group? Put a side table between them so they can face either each other or your bed. Who wouldn’t love waking up to this crisp French/Indian-inspired Coromandel pattern every summer morning? C’est fabuleux! J’adore!

Look 3: St. Frank’s Dark Vines Indigo 

A dark blue indigo pattern illustrated on a high back chair.

Illustration by Diane Carnevale

I’m a sucker for alluring, hand-done prints, and St. Frank’s entire collection is nothing short of pure intoxication for me. I love the supremely sophisticated, effortless-chic look of tossing a batik-inspired indigo into an otherwise conservative room. This one is so super hip that I’d want it to be one of the first things seen upon walking into your house to immediately establish your impeccable chic and innate coolness. So, off to the foyer she goes! I’d flank a fancy chest or groovy console table with a pair of these beauties, then plan an even more dramatic visual moment (hello, oversized art?) around the corner to continue the fun and games. SO Billy Baldwin loves Babe Paley!  This print says summer in five languages—super fun. Aperol spritz, please!

By Elaine Griffin | Illustrations by Diane Carnevale