Inspiration

Recliners in Design: Yay or Nay?

Wednesday, February 13th, 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

 

Read the rest of this entry »

Google BookmarksBookmark/FavoritesStumbleUponShare

Bunk Beds for a Girl

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

My daughter turned nine last week and the thing she’s asked for in her room are bunk beds. I confess they weren’t my first choice for a girl’s room but she’s entering that sleepover phase where she wants to invite friends over and a single twin won’t work anymore.

The thing that finally convinced us was when she said she’d “let her younger brother camp in there too.” When they’re not bickering one of their favorite things to do is tell each other spooky stories at night – lately it’s zombies and one-eyed rats that star in their tall tales but they always end up laughing in their attempt to outdo one another. The idea of them sleeping in the same room from time to time is charming (we eavesdrop on those spooky stories, it’s priceless) so we’ve agreed to make the investment and buy her some white bunk beds.  

The challenge for me is giving them a more feminine look but Pottery Barn Kids always makes it look easy.

lavender linens on white bunk beds pbkids

PB Kids

 

How gorgeous are these from Restoration Hardware?  They’re wicked expensive and way waaaaaaay too impractical for my artist daughter – she’s always got a marker in her hand and all it would take was one rogue stroke and they’d be ruined.

rh baby upholstered bunks

Restoration Hardware Baby & Child

  

I love the look of built ins but I’m not ready to commit to something so permanent – maybe someday in that dream vacation home when I’ve got grandkids, ha! 

coastal living bunks

Coastal Living

  white bunks pink accents coastal living

Coastal Living

 

Having a double bed underneath is an idea – especially since I have a habit of crashing with them after stories. Does that happen to you? I swear I fall asleep twice a week in my kid’s bed.

pink and green bunk beds for girls

House and Home

 

Read the rest of this entry »

Google BookmarksBookmark/FavoritesStumbleUponShare