What’s New? What’s Next?

Let’s talk Recliners, a designer’s worst nightmare! Recliners were primarily designed for comfort but typically not very attractive…

The recliner as we know it dates back to the mid-1800’s when the French developed a reclining device that functioned as a chair, bed, and chaise. Napoleon III owned the first one.  A late nineteenth-century wood version of the recliner known as the “Morris Chair” was designed by William Watt in 1883 and manufactured by the Morris and Company founded by William Morris which explains its name.

The design continued to evolve into the late 1920s when American cousins Edward Knabush and Edwin Shoemaker filed a patent application that trademarked the design of a simple, reclining wooden bench that later became the prototype for the traditional recliner that evolved into the chair’s next phase in 1927 with the formation of the La-Z-Boy Company which developed a patentable reclining chair mechanism. Originally catering to men, the Legend of La-Z-Boy even admits that their chair is highlighted in a book called “The Encyclopedia of Bad Taste.”

So what’s new in recliners? The puffy living room brute/upholstered man-womb/promoter of extreme laziness that was the original perception we all had of the recliner has given way to a more sleek & refined version that still retains a reputation for comfort. Today’s designs are compatible with contemporary to traditional interiors as shown below…

Sleek, transitional & very comfortable. This style can be done in leather (as shown) as well as traditional or contemporary textiles.

Contemporary styling with either wood accent on the arms or fully upholstered is available.

Two traditional options: The Westwood on the left ((that mimics a traditional leather lounge chair), and the Luxe sleek & tailored & the Greyson which is an edited wing chair style. Both can be upholstered in leather or fabric.

Additionally, examples of wood framed recliners that are reminiscent of the “Morris Chair”.

Styles range from Craftsman to Transitional & Contemporary…

Recliners have come a long way and as you can see new is definitely better! The humble recliner has been elevated to more stylish versions while retaining the desirable and comforting features. These updated styles would be perfect in any Forest Highlands home. So, if you have to do it pick one of these!

Gwen Connor
Wiseman and Gale Interiors, LLC 480.945.8447