How to Style a Bean Bag Chair So It Actually Looks Good: 7 Tips from Designers

bean bags

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News flash: bean bag chairs aren't just for play spaces and kids' rooms, and we're thrilled about it, as this type of seating is pretty darn comfy. Bean bag chairs can also look quite nice in bedrooms, living rooms, and dens—the key is all in the styling. We spoke with four designers who shared tips on how to incorporate a bean bag chair into a space so that it looks sophisticated and not like an afterthought. Read on for their key tips, then get ready to kick back and lounge.

Meet the Expert

1. Consider Your Color Palette

First things first: You'll want your bean bag to blend in so that it enhances your space. "Opt for a bean bag chair that goes with your home and decor," advised Karina Lameraner, senior creative stylist at Modsy. "Otherwise, no matter how you style it, it’ll stick out like a sore thumb." Fortunately, this process is pretty straightforward and simple. Stated Lameraner, "Try opting for a bean bag that is in your home’s color palette and compliments the textiles already in your space."



2. Use Bean Bags to Add Texture to a Space

Think about the goals you are trying to accomplish when incorporating a bean bag chair into your decor. Betsy Moyer, co-founder of Airbnb consulting and design company Retreat, considers bean bags to be an excellent way to add texture to a room. She offered an additional styling tip: "Treat the beanbag much like you would a pouf in your decor, or grab a pair as that repetition will have greater impact. They are the most coveted spot in the house among the teens and toddlers."

3. Get Creative With Shape

There's no reason that your bean bag needs to be circular; there are many styles on the market today. "If you’re going for a more sophisticated look, consider opting for a bean bag with a slight shape to it," Lameraner said. Some bean bags feature raised backs, which make lounging extra comfy.

bean bags

Mindy Gayer / Photo by Vanessa Lentine

4. Style Your Bean Bag To Match the Space

Treat your bean bag as you would any other side chair in the living room to ensure a cohesive look. Explained Lameraner, "If you style your sofa and side chairs with pillows, consider opting for a small throw pillow for the bean bag so that it will blend in and feel like part of the decor as opposed to an odd man out. 

5. Be Mindful of Fabric Choice

Because young ones do tend to gravitate toward bean bag chairs when lounging, you'll want to opt for material that is easy to clean, should any sticky hands leave a stain! Designer Malka Helft said that opting for washable fabrics is a must. She noted, "Kids have a tendency to eat while sitting on [bean bag chairs], and you want to be sure you can easily clean them!"

If your space is solely for the older set, you may wish to be a bit more adventurous with materials. Moyer is a fan of natural materials like leather, fur, or seagrass

beanbag living room


6. And Give It a Little Extra Love

"Give the bean bag a sense of purpose," Lameraner added. "If it's off on its own in a corner, give it a small, organic-shaped rug like a cowhide, a small side table, and maybe a throw blanket or small pillow." Lighting is another useful addition to the setup. "Lighting—whether it is a small lamp on a table or hanging lamp—will make the area look more inviting and aesthetically pleasing," designer Brianna Hill commented. Make the bean bag feel special, even if it isn't as grand as your tufted sofa or leather armchair.

7. Don't Forget About Wall Art

After taking the above steps, you'll want to address the walls surrounding the bean bag. There are plenty of ways in which you can get creative! "Add either hanging or potted plants near the bean bag chair to give the area some life," Hill suggested. "Wall art, such as tapestries and framed paintings, help complement the beanbag and further decorates the space," she added.