Sure, there is the sofa with the two club chairs possibility, but for most of us, we want some spontaneity - inspiration of composition, not some boxy look that was taken home from the local department store.
Additionally, occasional chairs shake things up - they allow us to bring in another style, fabric and their best secret is because of their relative lightness, they can be easily moved to the sofa or table during a get together. Occasional chairs are the decorator's secret!
Go a bit nouveau victorian with the Kendall Bobbin chair from Martha Stewart from Bernhardt. Here it is shown with a leather seat which makes it a fun twist and could fit into any modern day parlor.
Inspired by a set of metal dining chairs once owned by Catherine The Great, fine furniture maker Theodore Alexander uses stainless steel and glass to create elegant seating with the look of authentic Tula metal (a silver and brass alloy found in Russia.) The metal and glasss chair is available through http://www.theodorealaxnder.com/
The "Regent" chair is a little bit of a 'rebel without a cause' type chair. And, then it is naughty and nice? This is perhaps too much to expect in one chair! Contact Jonathan Adler, 1-877-287-1910 for the 'Regent'.
Don't be afraid to mix a chair like this Gumps China-red lacquer chair with other styles - imagine this in the room shown above, in place of the Louis XV chair, it works wonderfully.
Or, again, imagine the sofa in the room above but upholstered in a silk stripe, say silvery and black stripe (a contemporary look, but on a traditional sofa), add throw pillows that have some red and black. Now we set the Chippendale reproduction chair in the room and that is hot!
The occasional chair is more than just a spare seat, it can offer a dramatic reprieve from a sea of upholstery - or simply inject some personality into a one-note room.
See more notes about the occasional chair in my article, "Decorate A DreamHouse Mallorca Island," click here.