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Choose Your Reclining StyleRecline the Modern Way
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A timeless staple for the living room and bedroom, the recliner is a type of chair designed with the ability to adjust the positioning of the backrest. Often built with luxury materials like leather and high-performance fabric, many recliners today are designed to maximize comfort through both the feel of the upholstery and ergonomic positioning.
How to Operate a Recliner
Most manual recliners are either manual-operated or power-operated. While both types offer the ability for customized lumbar support, each comes with its own specific advantages:
Manual Recliners: Manual recliners are operated by hand, usually by the pull of a lever located underneath one armrest. Like power recliners, manual recliners are easy to operate – but may prove difficult for some when it comes to finding specific reclining angles. Manual recliners are often lighter and easier-to-move than power recliners.
Power Recliners: Power recliners are operated by a series of automated motors built into the recliner design, via a touch of the button (usually located at the top of one armrest or a wireless remote). Power recliners make it effortless to achieve precise angles for reclining the backrest – and often offer the option for footrest and headrest positioning, as well.
Three Health Benefits of Recliners
Recliner chairs offer the ability for customized lumbar and cervical support, making them a popular option for those with musculoskeletal-related problems. Here are just a few of the health benefits that can come from switching from a regular armchair to a recliner:
- Benefit #1: Spinal pressure relief. For people with orthopedic issues, being able to adjust the position of a chair’s backrest can do more than just instantly transform a living room seat into a cozy ‘naptime’ bed; by resting at an angle, the spine is gently stretched and weight is more evenly distributed, making it easier than ever to find the pressure relief needed to experience pain-free lounging.
- Benefit #2: Improved circulation. If you tend to sit for most of the day, and experience issues associated with poor circulation, consider the recliner chair – especially one with full-extension armrests and headrests. Compared to sitting in a tight 90-degree angle, routinely lounging in a stretched yet supported position can allow for easier blood flow and opening of the respiratory passageways – which can help make it easier to take deeper, longer breaths – and leave you feeling fully rested and rejuvenated on a regular basis.
- Benefit #3: Stress relief. If for nothing else, consider a recliner chair for its powerful stress-relieving benefits. To melt away stress and find your peace, there’s nothing like the feeling of sinking into an irresistibly luxurious recliner – and letting yourself fall into the precise position you need for perfect comfort!
A Note on Material
Recliners come in different materials, so choosing the best recliner for your space will depend on your preference for texture. While common materials include smooth leather and faux leather, fabric recliners made of softer, warmer materials such as microfiber or linen blends will add a new comfort dimension. Choose a material based on your lifestyle; for example, easier-to-clean materials such as faux leather will conform better to a household with kids.
Different Features of Recliners
Recliners come with features for every need and want. Here are some of the common ones designed to make the lounging better.
- Rocking recliners: Rocking recliners give a gentle motion, swaying back and forth while you lean back. This design is great for nursing babies or for adults who want a comforting place to nap. Note that the rocking feature is operated by shifting your weight.
- Wall hugger recliners: Wall hugger recliners are recliners that move the seat forward while the backrest moves back. This makes it possible to place the chair against the wall, as the backrest won’t bump into the wall thanks to the forward motion of the seat. Choose the wall hugging feature to save space – while enjoying the reclining feature.
- Remote control: A recliner operated by a remote control allows you the ease of buttons. Without levers or manual force required, the touch of a button on an easy-to-read panel minimizes the effort needed to relax. For the security of always knowing exactly where you last placed your remote, opt for a remote control with a wire attached to the recliner.
- Lumbar reclining position: Some recliners will feature a lumbar reclining position, which moves the lower back portion of the recliner forward to give you extra support. Great for those with weak muscles or who have trouble getting in and out of a chair, power lumbar goes a long way in ergonomic comfort. Choose power lumbar reclining for the orthopedic benefits.
- Electric recliner: An electric recliner operated by power, while a manual recliner does not connect to any power and requires you to move the backrest yourself. Choose an electric recliner if you want to operate the reclining function by touching a button. Just keep in mind that you will need to place a power recliner near a wall socket for it to work!
Recliner chairs can fit into any of today’s styles thanks to a variety of designs. From mid century modern to classic comfy styles, recliner designs designs match any personality. Think about the vision you have for your space and how your recliner chair will fit into it!
One feature of recliner styles is the armrest design. Track arms create a more modern look, while rolled arms a more traditional look. If you find yourself stuck in between the two, try half-roll, which feels sleek and modern – without losing the touch of traditional flair.
Another feature that makes a recliner pop is the backrest design. No need to choose a grandpa-style recliner! From wingback to tufted to patterned, the styles are fresh. Choose a backrest that speaks to your own personal style!
If you really want to make sure every detail of your new recliner is up to par with your decorating standards, pay attention to the base of the recliner. Some recliners will feature small feet or peg-like supports, while others will feature longer legs for a taller look. You can also find recliners that sit directly on the floor without any space left under the base. Each design brings its own look and feel that can affect the feel of the overall room.
Finally, look to the fabric of the recliner. Leather works well in country, cottage and traditional styles and fabric works well in all styles. And while you observe the fabric choices, also note how the fabric lays – smooth upholstery is clean and simple, while tufted adds detail.
Remember, recliners are no longer something used for function only. From tufted backs to tapered legs to flared arms, the design options open up the use of recliners to a world of style. Choose one that will keep you comfortable – in looks and feel!
The Modern Recliner: What’s Trending in Living Room Furniture
Modern living room trends are wide and varied, and to say that one certain look is trending over everything else would be inaccurate. The most popular trend truly depends on the person you ask; while there are patterns that arise from year to year, it is difficult (if not impossible) to pinpoint one as trending over the other. This is, in part, due to the way trends arise in today’s age of media: following internet and social media apps, it is incredibly easy to discover a wealth of different, often opposite, styles – each with its own mass following.
However, there are the “top few” trends (not just one!) that can be safely said to be the year’s most popular looks for living rooms.
Biophilic home décor, a style that favors greenery and nature, is one of them. Try incorporating a recliner into this look by choosing a neutral color fabric, such as beige, white, light brown, light blue or light grey. Because biophilia favors lightness and space, you’ll want to make sure the recliner you choose is simple: bypass fancy tufting or wingbacks and embrace minimalism.
Another living room trend is maximalism, which asks the decorator to go all out; as many patterns, fabrics and details as possible are what this look is all about! In terms of choosing a recliner for this type of space, keep an eye out for any and all add-ons, whether through tapered legs, tufted backs, rolled arms and patterned upholstery. (To really up the ante on maximalism, pair a patterned recliner with a matching patterned ottoman.)
The third living room trend in which a recliner can blend in seamlessly is, in opposition to maximalism, minimalism! Clean, spacious, minimal: this style favors absence, so it makes sense that the best recliner for it is one that doesn’t contain a pattern (whether through tufting or printed fabric) and doesn’t contain legs or feet. Color in a minimalist style is okay, just make sure that it’s part of a one-color room palette; a blue recliner should only be chosen, for example, if the rest of the room is blue.
Scandinavian design has seen a rise in followers this year as well, thanks to its cozy and homey feel. Try a recliner in this type of space that contains a soft upholstery – microfiber or fabric will keep the vibes cozy, especially when paired with a sherpa or boucle accent pillow. Scandinavian is all about the cozy details, so throw a blanket over one of the recliner’s armrests to seal in the Scandi vibes.
The fifth and final trend to watch for living rooms this year is rustic style, a style that has been around for a long time but is trending even more so now. Fit a recliner into the look by choosing dark fabric or leather, a simple silhouette (steer away from flaring, tapering and too much tufting) and wooden legs. As a general rule, rustic style veers vintage, so repurposing or thrifting an old recliner may work just as well as buying a new one!
Warming Up: Heat Features in Recliners
Did you know that some recliners come with heating capabilities? Warming up the seat and backrest isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, especially those who live in already humid climates. But if you live in a place that sees cold winters, or if you yourself tend to run cold throughout the day, choosing a recliner with a warming feature will make your seat cozier (without needing an extra blanket, jacket or socks!) – as comfortable as possible for your temperature needs.
Recliner and Home Décor
Recliners can be big and bulky, but that doesn’t mean they can’t bring out your decor (and vice versa). Matching is best. if your recliner is brown, choose a brown coffee table; if your recliner is black, choose a black coffee table. Matchy-matchy isn’t a thing (many people avoid matching for fear of looking like they are overdoing it – but in reality, a cohesive color palette is easier on the eyes and brings the room together).
Contrast should also be incorporated, but be wary of contrast in color and stick mainly to contrast of texture. For example, if your rug is shaggy, choose a leather recliner; if your coffee table surface and decorations are smooth and glossy, choose a tufted fabric recliner. Difference in materials will call attention to the feel, making your home tactile, approachable and cozier.
Why You Need a New Recliner
If all of this sounds great but you are not persuaded to take the plunge and purchase that new recliner chair you’ve been eyeing, consider the fact that a quality, ergonomic recliner can affect your life in more ways than style: it can help you relax more deeply. As opposed to a sofa or chair, a recliner is designed to move to your form, gently stretch your spine and ease achy muscles. Whether you walk all day or sit at an office job, your posture is precious – without a good one, pain, weakness and achiness are almost certain to come. This is where a quality recliner comes in; consider a recliner not as a “right-now” purchase but as an investment in your future self and wellbeing.
On a more superficial level, consider as well that recliners make a living room feel like a home theater! If entertaining guests for movie night is your idea of a fun time, a new recliner or two will be sure to keep the vibes immaculate. Just add popcorn, a big screen TV and a lights dimmer – and the latest theatrical release will transform your living room into a cineplex.
Finally, a third reason to make buy a new recliner: it’s extra seating. Whether you host parties or gatherings for game night, family get-togethers or birthdays, making sure everyone has a seat and is comfortable isn’t always as easy as it seems – especially when more people show up than you accounted for. Even if you might not need the extra seating right now, having it on hand can only help!
(We should note: while recliners are often used and talked about in regards to living rooms, they also make great bedside seating. Try placing a recliner in a bedroom for an easy way to wind down before sleeping – and the perfect spot to wake up with coffee and the daily news! Power lumber, extendable footrests and reclining backrests can help improve circulation as opposed to a regular chair; better circulation in the morning and evening can boost mood and wellbeing for the day ahead – and make it easier to fall asleep at nights.)
Recliner Chairs: A Wrap-Up
Decades ago, recliners were hard to style around. Back in the day, they were bulky, came in exactly one shade of dark brown and felt overstuffed; now, recliners are just as stylish as any décor piece. With features such as wingbacks, wood or metal legs, track arms, tufting and a variety of fabrics and patterns, the recliner chair is making a name for itself as an interior decorating must-have – never mind that it also functions as ergonomic seating!
Whether you need a recliner for yourself or as seating for guests, and however you use your recliner (for naps, watching TV or spending time with family), the style options are designed to blend into your style personality. Choose a recliner for its aesthetic; keep a recliner for its comfort!
On the topic of comfort, every recliner is, first and foremost, designed to help you relax fully and deeply. With tech features like motion backrests, footrests and power lumbar, every inch of your body will melt in the confines of a recliner – allowing the custom positions to contour to your lower back, mid back, neck and even legs, gently stretching as they go.
In a power recliner, each of the reclining positions is operated by the touch of a button: an especially helpful feature for those who have difficulty with the reaching involved in manual operation.Words can only say so much; to truly know the rejuvenating benefits of a recliner, one must feel them for oneself!