Recliners in Design: Yay or Nay?

February 13, 2013

The debate continues between husbands and wives about how to mix his and her tastes, and one of the common requests by husbands (yes I’m generalizing!) is the placement of a big ol’ recliner smack dab in front of a giant screen. I’ll admit, there’s something comforting about the feeling of certain cushioning recliners for the television and movie watching experience, but the look?  I’ll just say it: I’m not a fan. Raise your hand if you’re with me.

Kathy M. recently wrote to this to me. “How can I incorporate a leather recliner in a design plan for my main living area? My husband is insistent!” I invited contributing writer and interior designer Courtney of Courtney Out Loud to tackle this topic, please welcome him back with his thoughts on the issue of recliners in interior decorating. 

“I don’t think I have ever met anyone who has ever said they want their home to be an uncomfortable and uninviting place. Mind you, that everyone has a different concept of what that is, but I think I can safely say that home is where we all go at the end of the day to kick off your shoes, let down your hair, and relax.

So it comes as little surprise when clients come to me and ask for interiors that exemplify those ideals of comfort. Kate came to me with a question from one of her readers on how to integrate a recliner into her home, I had a moment of pause. To be honest, I still have flashbacks of the large, over-stuffed leather recliners that seemed to dominate the 70s and 80s living rooms. To me, they exemplify an overly relaxed way of addressing a client’s need for comfort.

However, I firmly believe you can still have a place to put up your feet without sacrificing style. Incorporating a recliner into your room is simple as these rules: Reimagine It, Scale It, or Forget It.

Reimagine It.   Canadian designer Meredith Heron, believes that recliners can work in any space but they shouldn’t look like recliners. "I use recliners in many of my rooms" states Heron. "But I do them all custom which allows me the greatest control." In the example below, Heron reimagined the traditional leather recliner as a pair of streamlined, velvet club chairs that flow effortlessly into her pale grey and cream palette. 

merideth heron recliners in living room

Meredith Heron Designs

Stephen Tomar and Stuart Lampert of Tomar Lampert Associates followed a similar approach to Heron in creating the pair of channel back recliners in the serene shade  that serves as the focal point in a monochromatic room.

Tomar Lampert Associates

Tomar Lampert Associates 

Takeaway: If budget allows, a custom upholstered recliner allows you to all the creature comforts of a recliner without sacrificing any style (see also some of Kate’s picks below).

Scale It.   Typically, I love big things. Huge things. The more oversized the better, as they relate to accessories, artwork and lighting. However, when it comes to furniture, pieces should always be balanced and in scale with the room, which is why I have a hard time with recliners. I find many to be bulky white elephants that clients try to shoehorn into a space. They are the furniture equivalent of bullies, forcing all the other furniture in the space to the edges of the room.

Fortunately, retailers have taken heed and are producing some fantastically sleek and deliciously modern takes on recliners. Mid-century modern lovers will undoubtedly love the classic lines of the Milo Baughman Recliner 74 by Design Within Reach. The walnut legs elevate the body of the chair making it less bulky than its current counterparts and the wispy arms along with the elongated back create a frame that is less ballerina than lumbering lumberjack. The sense of lightness and airiness of the piece isn’t overpowering and won’t overwhelm a room.

milo baughman recliner

Design Within Reach

 


For those of you who prefer a more traditional take on the recliner, I would suggest the Juno Recliner from Room and Board. The modified wing chair style of this recliner makes it the perfect transitional piece that can find itself equally comfortable in a traditional room as well as a contemporary room. Additionally, when the chair is in fully reclined position, it takes up marginal extra space which means it doesn’t need the "runway" that many of the traditional recliners needed in order to have proper access to fully recline.

Room and Board_Juno Recliner

Room & Board

Takeaway:  Just like any piece of furniture, a recliner needs to be in scale with the other objects in the room. A recliner too big can adversely affect not only the design but a room’s traffic flow.

Forget It.  Just like Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic, sometimes you just need to let go. Just take a deep breath and let the idea of a recliner go. Ahhhhh. Better? Good, because there are often times when a recliner just won’t work. Lack of floor space. Budget constraints. The fear of alienating your spouse and causing a divorce. You know…the little stuff. In these cases, I suggest that you break down what aspects of the recliner you found enjoyable and wanted to replicate in your own home.

david churchill recliner

David Churchill

In the case of this room from the portfolio of architectural photographer David Churchill, the designer made the deliberate choice to use a lounge chair and ottoman. This combo serves the function of allowing the home owner to put his/her feet up just as you would with a recliner. But they also get additional seating in a pinch, something that a recliner can’t offer. From a design stance, I like that the designer chose to inject a different chair silhouette into the room and not mimic the boxiness of the club chair in the far corner with a traditional recliner.

Gardner Mohr Architects

Gardner Mohr Architects

Now if you truly wanted to recline, why not ditch the chair and get a chaise? A chaise, if you have the room, is a strong design statement that equal parts style and comfort. The cowhide chaise that Gardner Mohr Architects place into their above design serves as a beautiful focal point to their room but I can easily envision the clients lounging reading a magazine with a glass of coffee (or wine).

Takeaway: An ottoman or a chaise can easily up the comfort factor in a room and take the place of a recliner.

In closing, while I may never be a cheerleader for recliners, I am a huge proponent of creating spaces that are comfortable and livable. Your home should be a reflection of how you use the space, but remember a recliner isn’t the only way of having the luxury of propping your feet up at the end of a long day.”

I agree with Courtney, oversized recliners are not a favorite choice among many designers for the reasons he stated, but so many people remain a fan of them for comfort.  I think the key to successfully incorporating them into your room if they are an absolute “must” is to make a stylish modern choice. Skip the poufy overstuffed versions with skirts and choose the more tailored styles with visible legs for main living spaces in quality leather or neutral upholstery. Win win!

Seven Stylish Recliners

From the top: Milo Baughman at Design Within Reach; Juno at Room & Board; Riley from La-Z-Boy; Bentley by Ethan Allen; Flight recliner at Design Within Reach; Sinclair recliner at Crate + Barrel; Sedgwick by West Elm.

 

What are your thoughts on the recliner debate? Have you accepted or rejected them in your living space planning? 

*article by Courtney of Courtney Out Loud, interior designer and lifestyle blogger.

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71 Responses to “Recliners in Design: Yay or Nay?”

  1. Angela N says:

    So funny you posted this! I can’t stand recliners. The husband- loves them. We are in the market to buy new furniture for our family room soon and checked out the West Elm one for him. Not bad for the money! I wish they had more fabric choices though. I would put 2 of them together like the top pic. At least there are a couple more stream lined versions than in the past. I really like the C+B one, but it’s a bit pricy and leather.

  2. Paula says:

    I think a lot also depends on the area of the country in which one lives. I live in the mountainous East, so my decor is somewhat casual/rustic/lodgey/antique whereas someone who lives in, say, Miami would probably not have the same style. We have a HUGE family room with a 25-foot exposed brick wall fireplace. In that room, we have 2 giant oversized recliners and I LOVE them. I’d never have them in my living room, but that’s different. :)

  3. Paula says:

    I forgot to say – our recliners are leather. I hate fabric ones – too grandma.

  4. libby says:

    I started laughing when I saw this post. I have recently redone my living room and dining area.
    My husbands one request was a recliner and as hard as we searched and searched we could not
    find one that would fit into the decor, traditional more formal area, but still wanted comfort.
    we searched we were willing to forgo budget for this but could not find any.We ended up with two
    bergere chairs, very comfortable but not a recliner.

    So very glad to hear that there are others out there searching, and that I am not the only one.

    Love reading your blog daily. You are definitely been an inspiration.

  5. Jane says:

    Keep the recliners! Have you even sat in a recliner at the end of a very busy day? Try it sometimes, you’ll never let it go. For me, I won’t be without mine, have 2 in my living room – the rest of the decor can just fit in. They’re more comfortable than a bed.

  6. Chrisitne says:

    I am not usually a fan of recliners, but after three children (suffering severe foot/leg swelling and constant vomiting (morning sickness that lasted all day every day), I came to appreciate the comfort of a recliner. Towards the end of my pregnancies, I spent many a night (and day) sleeping comfortably.

  7. Jill Palumbo says:

    If I could get a distressed leather recliner from Pottery Barn or Restoration Hardware, heck yes! Otherwise, probably not. I love my comfort, but if it doesn’t work style wise, it would bother me too much.

  8. Mary says:

    We had a big, puffy, red leather recliner in our family room for years. The hubs loved it & I hated it! But it was comfy.
    When I redecorated the room a couple of years ago, I sewed a slipcover for it. It worked for awhile but it was still too big for the new space I had created. One day, in a hissy fit I said it had to go. It was replaced with a new recliner that was much sleeker. The room looks much better now but it isn’ as comfortable as the old chair. He likes to mention that fact at least once a week.

  9. M says:

    I love recliners. Part of me says that because my father sold them for 42 yrs. I also like the ones that he sold for the reason that they are very comfortable. He has a chair that is from the 1950’s one of the first ones he ever sold. Not every space can fit a recliner design wise but I feel that there is room for a recliner in every house (it doesn’t need to be in the living or family rooms).

  10. Veronica says:

    In order to keep the peace.. I let it stay! Choose your battles.

  11. Kim says:

    I love this post because just the other day I was searching for an attractive recliner because I’m remembering this recliner we had growing up that was more comfortable than a bed and would love to have something like that. But my problem wasn’t actually finding a recliner with attractive lines – it was finding one with a fabric I’m willing to put in my home! Some day I might just buy one of the ugly ones and have it recovered. I don’t see why furniture stores can’t make attractive and comfortable recliners – it seems so simple.

  12. Nicki says:

    They aren’t pretty, but they are comfy. So I guess it depends on what matters more to the individual. I have a recliner in my living room. It is black leather and you really can’t tell it reclines unless you have it actually reclined.

  13. Audrey says:

    Am I weird for never finding them comfortable? I would take a sectional couch and ottoman any day over a recliner – I can wiggle around as much as I want! Maybe I was supposed to grow out of wiggling?…

  14. Alexandria says:

    I just bought a recliner this weekend. It looks like a “regular” chair, very simply styled. Nothing big or bulky. The fabric is a nice french blue suede.

    Biggest challenge? Color/pattern! I abhor earth tones. It’s amazingly hard to get reasonably priced, quality furniture without some beige or brown element.

  15. I’m on the forget it side of the debate. In our new TV room, we went with a huge sectional, and added a built-in chaise at one end and a cushy ottoman in the middle. Pretty much no matter where you sit, you can put your feet up–and everyone can at the same time. If you want to slouch down or lay back, there are pillows. It’s uber comfortable, very attractive and completely functional.

  16. Kelly Jo says:

    Keep the recliners!
    Home is for comfort- the stylish chairs are just that but when you’re not having company over or photographing your house for a style magazine, you want to cuddle up and get comfy….

  17. maureen says:

    Just bought a new house, kids are grown so we FINALLY dont have to worry about “kid proof, stain proof” but when it comes to aaahhhhhhh when you sit in a recliner, it can’t be beat. My parents ALWAYS had one, I thought it was so ugly. So strange the older I get the wiser my parents get. Making a room pretty takes a backseat to making it feel comfy.

  18. CentsationalGirl says:

    Maureen that sounds like the conversation I had with my MIL! They have fancy pieces in their formal living room but in their family room they have two big leather recliners in front of their TV and she always says, “I can’t stand how big they are but they’re soooooo comfortable I can give them up!” And that’s coming from an elegant lady with amazing design taste!

  19. AP says:

    Ah, the age-old debate… At least in my house! I oppose all things recliner.

    I once tried to compromise with a beautiful (!!) brown leather mid-century recliner from Storehouse (loved! RIP, Storehouse!). Went beautifully with my chenille mid-century sofa and leggy console (sigh)… Well apparently even that wasn’t “comfortable enough” for the likes of hubby’s sensitive derrière/back/ego. He needed overstuffed – yak!

    One of my saddest adult moments was watching that lovely furniture get packed onto some lucky craiglister’s truck and replacing the items with a HUGE (admittedly comfy) sectional with matching giant ottoman. I still mourn those pieces, which as it happens, went to another family who share my appreciation for Storehouse furniture. Of course, THAT family included a husband who seemed to have learned well the adage, “happy wife, happy life!”

    But I’m not bitter… ;)

  20. Shelia says:

    I’ve accommodated my husband’s desire to have a recliner. Now we have 3! 2 are wingbacks (1 is in dire need of reupholstery -which is tackle since it was given to us) one in tapestry. The third us in dark brown leather and has modern lines & matches (lines) of our leather sofa. The leather shop only had enough of my pick of red leather to do the sofa, so the dark brown recliner picks up a dark fleck in the red.

    I refused to allow giant “puffy marshmallow” shaped recliners. U. G. L. Y.

    Honestly, for us, the challenge was finding a recliner that fit the owner. By that I mean the primary sitter. I’m tall (5’10”) and hubs is not (5’3″). All the difference is in our legs. So finding a chair that is comfy for the primary sitter was imperative. Not everyone’s challenge, but a biggie for us!

  21. Amanda S. says:

    I really enjoyed this guest! He is a great writer and had some wonderful tips!

  22. Nichole says:

    We have one that looks like a club chair. It’s from JC Penney. We wanted the C&B one, but it was too pricey. It’s comfortable, leather and has held up well. Also, made in the US. :)

  23. Susan says:

    We are recliner fans…if, IF they have some style – not the ones that look like they’re made for the Pillsbury Doughboy in blue plush fabric with cutouts for the remote and cupholders! When we visit our adult children we sometimes sit on their sectionals and think – this isn’t good. Nowhere to put your arms and a lot harder to climb out.

  24. tiara says:

    my parents have a “tailored” recliner and it works in their space. it was also custom made. you have to do what is right for you.

  25. One of all time favorite Craigslist buys is my soft, worn leather recliner that looks like a club chair! We only paid $100. My husband is head over heels for it, and I love that it’s the exact same worn leather color as my favorite purse! Win/ win for us. Now, you want to see some doozies, just type “recliner” in Craigslist and see what pops up! http://www.thehappyhomebodies.com/2012/10/time-to-recline.html?m=0

  26. Nicole says:

    What about rocker recliners? I have two that have been loved to death! Of course, we are in the baby days of rocking…and all that. I hate the look, but seriously can’t find a just as satisfactory solution. Must.rock.baby. LOL.

  27. The Gavin says:

    My husband wanted a reclining love seat and I was adamantly against it for style reasons. He has two of the Rileys by Lazyboy in a suede type fabric from before we were married that are pretty comfortable, and look nice. He found a dark brown leather Lazyboy love seat (The Gavin) exactly like he wanted on Craigslist in great shape for a great price. Well, the thing is dog ugly but so dang comfortable I am in love with it. I am waiting for it to break so I can get the same thing in a cream colored leather. (Well, maybe I could find a different style.) And I love the fact he wanted it so we could cuddle while we watch movies.

  28. This is one of those things where I put my foot down and told my husband that there is no way he’ll ever be getting a recliner when we got married. I HATE them and not only because most of them are oversized but because they are a hazard to our cats. They climb into everything and I don’t want them to get hurt in the mechanism of those chairs. Ottomans it is for us!

  29. Khadija says:

    I know recliners are oh -so -very comfortable, but I detest them. I personally think they are the ugliest type of furniture ever known to man. My friend told me this story: she was invited to dinner at a friend’s house. After dinner they all went to the living room. The man and the woman of the house got into their recliners and my friend stared at the bottom of their feet for the rest of the night! Maybe that poor lady could make a room for her husband in the attic or put the recliner in their bedroom.

  30. Andrea says:

    “and the wispy arms along with the elongated back create a frame that is less ballerina than lumbering lumberjack. ”

    I think you mean MORE ballerina than lumbering lumberjack? :) See, I’m actually paying attention to what you write!!! Great post!

  31. Cyndia Montgomery says:

    I used to hate recliners. It seems that so many men like the giant marshmallow recliners and I was absolutely determined one of those should never come into MY house. Then, you know what? My husband became ill. He has lymphoma which infiltrated his spleen and it began to grow so much the spleen was pressing on his lung. He couldn’t breathe lying down. I didn’t think he was going to make it. Talk about an attitude adjustment. We went out shopping and got a fantastic chocolate brown leather recliner that reminds me of an antique English library chair. There is no mistaking it as a recliner though. It’s pretty big. But it got my husband through months of recovery before and after surgery. Last year it got me through a knee replacement.
    Having a recliner isn’t such a bad thing. And I still have the most wonderful husband in the world!

  32. Cecilia says:

    This Post came just in time. We are redoing after Sandy and my husband wants a recliner have 2 in our other house and they are fabric and do not look like recliners can you give us some sources for fabric covered one. Is there such a thing as a recliner with a slipcovers? Love slipcovers at the shore! Oh, and reasonable price – we are one a budget because we are replacing everything.

  33. Thirkellgirl says:

    We have a 20 year old recliner that we call The Blue Chair of Death, because when you sit in it in the sunshine you fall asleep. Never fails. There are just times when the only good place to sit is the BCOD, like when you’ve got back problems or you’re congested or you just need a good afternoon nap. My husband “lets” me do anything I want with this house, and he’s the one working long hours to pay for everything, and if he had one request for a recliner, of course I would accomodate him. It’s not just my house, it’s our house.

  34. Dawn says:

    I recently emailed with the same type of question. My husband and I are looking for a new sofa and he wants a big lay z boy sectional (Griffin model) with multiple recliners….stick a hot poker in my eye! On the other hand, it’s the ONLY thing in the house (decorating wise) that he has an opinion about so I’m trying to compromise, it’s so difficult!!!!! We have a 16’x20′ family room (no living room) and as soon as you open our front door you look right smack at our couch. I’m just hoping that changing the fabric of the sectional to a more modern fabric will give it a much needed updated look. Big sigh…..

  35. Sara says:

    I will always choose comfort over style. 95% percent of the time we’re the only ones in the house, and if our guests have an issue with our particular style, screw ‘em. You put what you want in your house, I’ll put what I want in mine. At the end of the day I don’t want to perch on the edge of the sofa with my ankles crossed sipping tea. I want to flop into something comfortable with a blanket and the remote.

  36. Donna says:

    Exactly. I agree that it is my husband’s house too and we had his recliner for years – he’s tall and it was big. I secretly hated it but was glad he was happy. I even bought a streamed lined model for me but found it uncomfortable. Last time around buying chairs he decided he wanted a swivel and a ottoman. I was very happy. Our room is finally the way I wanted it and this time he wanted it too.

  37. Emmie says:

    Everyone in my husband’s family has recliners in their living rooms, and they are just horrendous, but oh so comfortable. So of course my husband really wants one too. I told him once we have a finished basement with a family room he can have his recliners.

    What really drives me crazy is that my sister-in-law (who is young and single btw) wants one for her tiny apartment living room. I’ve showed her so many cute accent chairs but she is stuck on getting a recliner. Maybe I can get her to compromise on an upholstered la-z boy option.

  38. LEISA says:

    They still U G L Y! No matter how “pretty and custom” they may they are still UGLY. My father in law gave us his when we first married and as always stated that it was to be returned to him if we didn’t want it. We still felt we had to take it. I simply relocated it to the dump. I was afraid little fingers or little bodies could be caught up in it’s mechanism. He felt that he had given us the family inheritance.
    Husbands love them but this wife despises them. I hate what they call in the industry, motion furniture and don’t get me started on the sofas with remotes and cup holder in them. I feel that the television should be hidden and won’t even have a large screen in my living room. Basements and family rooms are fine for all that.

  39. Paula says:

    Thank you for posting this article and for addressing this issue. I am also encouraged to find that it is a challenge for other people, too. My husband has very little preference about anything else in our home, but he really does love a recliner and one that fits his 6’4″ frame well enough for him to snooze in. So far, the only ones I can find that make us both happy are out of my price range, so the ugly 80’s hunter green chair lives on…..I will keep up the search!

  40. Maude says:

    Not a recliner fan, but definitely love the function. Our recliner in our TV room is about to die, and I will replace it instead with a trim, modern reclining chair and ottoman. The sofa we have is a sectional with a chaise, in white leather, currently the recliner is a dark leather chunky guy. The new chair will be more modern and work better with the sofa. Just waiting… tick tick tick for that thing to kick the bucket…

  41. Maggie says:

    We bought two ‘pub / wing-back’ style recliners in tufted, distressed leather for our great room. (My husband slept in his chair after his back surgery.)
    The room is very large with a 23′ vaulted ceiling, so I was lucky not to have to fight the scale of them.
    I bought a muted oriental print 10×12′ rug to anchor the recliners, the chenille sofa and the other pieces in the room. The chairs face the mandatory big screen.
    It’s become our most used room in the house. I confess to loving them now – I have convinced myself they make my behind look smaller!
    It never fails when have family gatherings or casual parties – those chairs are The FIRST place the men head for. Sorry gents, there can be only two winners.

  42. Caroline says:

    http://www.ballarddesigns.com/brook-recliner/chairs/recliner-chairs/224070?defattrib=&defattribvalue=&listIndex=0

    This is our compromise. You can supply your own fabric or choose from one of theirs…I think it is pretty nice for a recliner:)

  43. Evelyn says:

    After my in-laws purchased a recliner, my husband thought it was the best thing ever and kept telling me how he wanted one “sooooo bad.” I told him flat-out no. Not only would it not fit our decor (I’m an interior designer and after spending a year selling La-Z-Boys after college I refuse to have one in my home), but also we have a small house and the scale would be horrific. I found a vintage Plycraft Eames-inspired lounge chair and ottoman on Craigslist and snatched it up for $65. It is the perfect compromise. He loves lounging in it while watching the game or reading, and I love looking at it (and taking the occasional nap in it).

  44. CentsationalGirl says:

    Wow great find Evelyn, and great compromise too!

  45. CentsationalGirl says:

    Thanks Caroline for sharing the link to the Ballard version!

  46. CentsationalGirl says:

    I love that you call it the Blue Chair of Death Thirkelfan – good point, “it’s our house” :)

  47. CentsationalGirl says:

    Glad to hear your husband recovered Cyndia, and there are some really nice tufted leather library style versions, the Restoration Hardware model comes to mind. :)

  48. I’ve never been a fan…but the custom tailored look is pretty great! The catch is you have to have the money to do it. Great visuals and resources for sure Courtney.
    xo,
    Shannon

  49. I think the problem with most recliners is that the affordable ones that the husbands are attracted are bulky and ugly. If we could get the retailers to burn all those puffy recliners and come out with stylish affordable ones like you have shown a lot of marriages would have less stress :)

  50. vel says:

    I have learned to compromise on this issue with my hubby. No recliner in the formal living room, but yes to reclinerS in our basement movie room and YES to a nice recliner in our master bedroom. In fact I even gave it to him as a xmas gift – that way I get to choose the fabric and design of the recliner. I got this http://www.southernmotion.com/group/141.aspx, in a soft grey color and I and my hubby couldn’t be happier – it’s super comfy and easy on the eye too. :-) Good luck!

  51. Shannon says:

    We finally found the perfect tailored leather recliner. Most people don’t even realize the chair reclines! I can’t live without it!

  52. Jesse says:

    I definitely think you can incorporate recliners! My favorites are the ones with the wooden arms, they are so sleek you wouldn’t expect them to pop open.

  53. Tara G. says:

    We have a leather tailored recliner (Paloma) from Ethan Allen that we really like. It’s comfortable, but not bulky.

  54. Here’s my dilemma, as a mother of 6 children and maybe more I need a ROCKING recliner. I’ve yet to find an attractive rocker that is also comfortable. Ideally the back would recline without the footrest up and the chair would still rock. Anyone who has been up with a newborn at 2am knows what I’m talking about. And even though my baby is almost 2, it would still be a great feature to have. Lay-Z-boy is one of the few rocker/recliner manufactures that allows the upper part of the chair to recline while still rocking, but all the design choices are hideous! They have just recliners that are nice and stylish, but none of these rock. Anyone know of a stylish rocker option?

  55. jana says:

    Sorry to say, but all of the photo’s with custom recliners look like, well… recliners. Brings to mind the expression about putting lipstick on a pig(sorry, recliner folks). Put me in the not-a-fan camp. Fortunately my husband is happy just to elevate his feet on an ottoman. To each his own.

  56. Sue in Fl says:

    In amlmost 44 years of marriage, I can only remember one time when my husband told me I could not put something in our house. I was a mirror with a plastic frame, made to look like wood, that I’d ordered from one of those home parties. Looking back, he was defintely right. I feel the husband should be able to enjoy his recliner. His matches our brown leather couch and love seat (chosen because of our dog) which all go in our only living room/great room area. I have recently added my own recliner in a small, more feminine style. Everything I read these days says “do what you love, what makes you comfortable – don’t worry about the trends”. So that’s what we do and I don’t think the recliner makes our home look any less cozy and beautiful.

  57. Linda Kay says:

    I have two Lane recliners with legs that look

  58. Linda Kay says:

    I have two Lane recliners with legs that look like chairs. I love them! They are comfy and attractive. Wouldn’t want to be without them!

  59. Patti-Ann says:

    All of the reimagined, scaled and tailored recliners above look like chairs that I lived/slept on at various times when one or the other of my family members were in hospitals. Not a single one looks “movie of the week” or “game of the century” comfortable.

  60. Brenda J. M says:

    I’m a big YAY to the recliners of today. You can get them as chick as you want, as you have already indicated. Not only that….as someone who lives in chronic pain, I look forward to the day when I can afford to buy one for myself; on sleepless, painful nights they are a wonderful way to catch 40 winks.

  61. Jennifer says:

    If someone really wants one I don’t think the tailored recliners look that bad. I’m just not a fan of recliners. I feel like I’m sinking in a giant chair that might fall over at any moment!

  62. Pippa says:

    My husband and I are currently having this argument. Unfortunately everything available in Australia is circa 70/80’s all ugly and overstuffed! I’m jealous of all the choices available for a modern/sleek recliner in the US.

  63. Katrina says:

    I don’t really mind recliners. My boyfriend has a really stylish one that is sooooo comfortable. Also, both sets of my parents have those reclining couches and I’ve fallen asleep in them numerous times! They’re just so warm and cozy and you can get very neutral ones with visible legs that go with any decor.

  64. Paula says:

    I love my big overstuffed Big Boy recliners that sit in my living room. My husband has lived in his for the past two months. I refuse to let decorating my home take over our comfort. If you love recliners then put them in your house. Be unafraid to NOT follow the rules. My house is all about our COMFORT not to look like a showroom. Just saying

  65. Jennifer L says:

    I love this post!! Right now I am looking at our leather recliner which is sitting in our bedroom because I wanted it out of the living room. It was from my in laws so I hate to get rid of it but I hate it!! I think it is on its way to the garage. While I agree there are styles which can go with most decor the one we have in not one of the more stylish options! Thanks for the post.

  66. Shebolt says:

    I hadn’t really thought about it but we ditched my husband’s recliner years ago, and neither of us misses it. He now has a modern sectional sofa in his room (don’t call it a man-cave), in front of our only TV. He loves it.

    Our living room has a sofa and two of the IKEA Poang chairs with matching footstools. They are super-comfy, but I’d like to eventually replace them with one of the more minimal recliners you featured. The footstools tend to get in the way when we have several friends visiting.

  67. Stacy says:

    I have always HATED the look of recliners. Big, bulky and just not attractive in my opinion. My husband had a really ugly one that he wanted to keep and I finally talked him into getting rid of it when we moved. When I was pregnant with my daughter we went to Lazyboy and I bought a chair that looks nothing like a recliner for my living room and my husband got a big bulky ugly recliner that matches my decor but is currently up in my daughters room. I’m still not a huge fan of them, but if they don’t look like recliners I’m more of a fan.

  68. Suzanne says:

    My parents live with me and my father is fairly disabled after 2 strokes, so a recliner is a necessity. We found a nice pair at an Ethan Allen clearance sale, they are a little like the Milo Baughman style, with wood arms. They look like chairs unless they are reclined. If I ever get to redecorate, I’ll probably keep them and just refinish/reupholster.

  69. Carolyn says:

    I have just gone through this….it is the only piece of furniture my husband insists on so I really had to accommodate him. The problem is he is tall and although we have had a few of the recliners that don’t look like recliners (push back, legs, etc.) they never do the trick for him. I finally decided the new recliner would be brown leather and it would be better to get two for a grouping. We got two Astor recliners from Lazy Boy in chocolate leather. Ironically the Astor is the style of his old, broken down recliner. They rock and turn and passed his sit down, recline test. I will still never like recliners but upgrading the material and buying both has helped, they don’t look too bad and they really are comfy!

  70. Kim says:

    Wow! We must be on the same wave length or something. I’ve been coping with this issue with several clients lately . . . and their bulky, recliner-like sectional sofas. I don’t know whether I’m relieved or not to know that it’s a problem all over the country. At any rate, thanks so much for addressing it!

  71. "Lucy" says:

    Well, I’m thankful to know there are stylish recliners out there. I, too, thought mainly of the monstrosities of the 80’s, those big bulky leather-ish things that are offensive to my eyes. My husband and I frequently discuss things such as this, so I’m sure he thanks you, too. :D

    Budget is still an issue, I just can’t fathom laying down a couple thousand dollars on one chair, in this economy. Hopefully there is something I really like with the price to match. So far, I think I will stick with my idea to use the ikea chaise lounges.

    Anyways, I truly appreciate this article!

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