How to Choose the Right Recliner for You

Choosing a recliner isn't as simple as it sounds. There are so many technologies and features to consider when choosing the right recliner for you. Whether you're looking to add a reclining seat to your living room or a recliner set to an in-home theater or media room, choosing the right reclining features is an important decision. We've got some helpful things to consider when choosing the right recliner for you.

Which recliner is right for you?

Fabric vs Leather

One of the first things to think about is whether you'd like a fabric or leather recliner. There are some things to consider when making this decision. Bonded leather tends to be easier to clean than fabric, as you can simply wipe down spills. But fabric can be softer and retain heat much better than a leather feel. Before making your purchase, take a look at the type of fabric and the cleaning instructions. Some fabrics, like microfiber are great for pets and kids and are almost as easy to clean as bonded leather. 

Power Versus Manual

The difference between power and manual is the functionality of the reclining. With a manual recliner, your back moves the chair into the position you'd like. So there is more control in getting to your preferred reclining position. With a power recliner, there are several different positions you can recline into. However, you adjust the recliner using a level on the side or near the foot. Both style chairs allow you to recline easily, but in different ways. 

Cord Length

Every power recliner has a different cord length, and this can help you determine how far it needs to be from an outlet. If you're sofa isn't going up against a wall with an outlet, then the length of the cord (and a power recliner) is something to think about. You'll want to make sure that you can't trip over the cord if it has to be plugged-in across the room. And this may also affect the overall layout of your living room or home theater space. 

Comfort

The more padded a recliner is, the comfier it is. Many recliners offer a padding pillow-like headrest, and some headrests are even adjustable. Other recliners offer up pillow-top arms which are extra padding arms for maximum comfort. 

Cupholders and Storage

A recliner doesn't just have to be for sitting! Many recliners come with arm storage. So if you're looking for a place to store the TV remote or magazine, a recliner with storage might be perfect for you. Other recliners offer cupholders and even light-up cupholders for when you're watching a move in the dark. These types of features are perfect for an in-home theater. 

Positions

Some recliners offer unlimited positions, where as some offer 3-4. Think about how you like to sit when you watch TV or read a book. Do you find yourself moving around frequently, trying to find the right spot? Or, do you stay stationary? Answering this question will help you determine how many positions your chair should have and can help eliminate all the reclining choices out there. 

How to Maximize Seating During the Holidays

With Thanksgiving, football season, Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s, and other gatherings, you’ll be entertaining a lot more in the coming months. And most likely you’ll have guests gather in the living room to be near the fireplace, the tree, or a holiday movie. And with more entertaining, comes more guests – and a need to maximize seating. Your sectional for six or sofa and loveseat may be more than enough during the year, but now you’re scrambling to find seating for friends and family. We’ve got some tips to make sure everyone has a seat while your living room stays clutter-free.

Cocktail Ottoman

During the holidays, a larger ottoman becomes your best friend. The cocktail ottoman is usually square or rectangular and takes the place of the coffee table. When you need two to three extra seats, you’ll be able to use your ottoman. And, with the addition of a serving tray, you can still use your ottoman for food and drinks. Having an upholstered ottoman in the center of your room also adds coziness and luxury to any room. Like the Diamondback cocktail ottoman shown below. 

Cocktail Ottoman

Accent Chair

If you’ve got the space for it, invest in one or two accent chairs. For a larger space, invest in two wing chairs to add a statement of  elegance. For a smaller space, look for one or two slipper chairs in a fun color or fabric to add some pop. We love the sophisticated style of the Diamondback accent chair for some extra seating. 

Blog Accent Chiar

Small Ottoman

If you plan on keeping your main coffee table, then look for extra seating in smaller ottomans. These smaller ottomans are great because they tuck under furniture (for example a sofa table or coffee table). And they’ll add a bit more visual detail and color to your living room. Like the Ritz ottoman, which is perfect for someone in a much smaller space.

Small Ottoman

Bench

If you’ve got a long or narrow space, a bench is a great way to add a lot of extra seating (usually about three to four per bench!). Like the Avenue bench. And when the holidays are over, you can store your bench somewhere else – like the foot of your bed. It’s a great multi-purpose piece that you can use in any room of the house. And if your bench is high enough, you can use it in the dining room for extra seating. 

Bench

Sources: Domicile Interior Design, Toby Fairly Interior DesignLDA Architecture and Interiors, and CWB Architects.

Talking Tufted Furniture

Tufted furniture – it’s a classic furniture style that has never quite gone away. Tufting happens during the upholstery process when layers of fabric are pulled inward (often with a button) to create the tuft, giving off a “buttoned-up” look. Tufted furniture originated in historic France and England (around the 1300s-1400s) and was one of the ways upper classmen would show off their money as tufting requires more fabric than other upholstery methods. Back then, these fabrics were usually rich velvets or silks but today tufted furniture comes in a variety of different fabrics with bright colors and fun patterns to combine old and new styles. You’ll often find the tufted look on the Chesterfield sofa, Barcelona chair, and classic chaise lounges and ottomans.

Tufted Furniture

Tufted furniture has the ability to upgrade any room with a more upscale look, for both traditional and contemporary rooms alike. The Brittney ottoman is a more traditional approach to tufting, with a neutral velvet and classic wooden legs. Whereas the Casino IV chair shows how even modern mid-century can be glammed up with bonded leather and metal legs. Almost every design style has its own version of tufted furniture – whether you love shabby chic, modern, and glam.

One of the key benefits to tufted furniture is its longevity. Since this furniture type is tightly upholstered with reinforcement every couple of inches (the tufts), it has less fabric sagging over time. So you can have an elegant look that lasts. We love these tufted rooms!  

Products and images (from left to right): Kim Scodro Interiors with the Montage Ottoman,  Martha O’Hara Interiors with the Classic Accent Chair, J. Scott Interiors with the Marilyn BedNiki Papadopoulos with Casino III Chair, and Distinctive Mantel Designs with the Brittney Ottoman.

4 Chairs to Perfect Your Living Room

An accent chair will help add something unique, colorful, and new to your current living room set. We've pulled together four of our favorite kinds of accent chairs - whether you have a traditional, eclectic, contemporary, or modern living room.

The Chair and a Half

The chair and a half is perfect if you're looking to relax and recline in your living room. It's a bit larger than an armchair but smaller than a loveseat, and they come in styles such as armchair or recliner. Some of them also have an area for storage or a folding twin-size bed. They're perfect for combining storage with comfort and can complete a living room set or live on their own as an accent chair. For example, the Radiance II chair and a half, that comes in purple and gray.

The Wing Chair

The wing chair is a classic piece that continues to stay current, year after year. The chair is known for its regal shape, with heightened arms, similar to the shape of wings. The chair was created to help women stay warm near the fireplace circa 1600 and the wing design originally helped protect from cold drafts. Today the chair works in both a more contemporary setting as well as a more regal, traditional setting and is often found with different options for colors, patterns, and nailhead trim. For example, in a bright blue with silver nailhead trim as seen in the Miata chair.

The Wing Chair

The Chaise Lounge

The chaise lounge is a long reclining chair used for relaxing, napping, and lounging. Originating from France hundreds of years ago, it combines the comfort of a bed with the style and elegance of an accent chair. Chaise lounges come in a variety of styles (with or without tufting, one arm, both arms, or armless), colors, and fabrics. And they're versatile. They can work in a more traditional room with a tufted back, to a extremely modern space without arms, like the Brittney Chaise or Maxim Chaise.

The Chaise Lounge

The Slipper Chair

The slipper chair: it's an armless chair that sits low to the ground. Since it's smaller than most accent chairs, the slipper chair will help you make the most of your space. Historically, slipper chairs functioned as extra seating in a dressing room or closet area but they've since made their way into other rooms. Back then, the armless design worked well for ladies in large skirts, dresses, and corsets. Today, the elegant, clean look in bright colors and patterns is perfect to add a pop to any space, like the Paris accent chair. Use two of them as accent chairs with a side table, or use it against a wall near an entryway or foyer. Or, place one in the corner across from a sectional.

slipper chair

Products (top to bottom): Radiance II Chair and a Half, Miata Accent Chair, Brittney Chaise, and Paris Accent Chair.

A New Year, a New Look for Your Home

As you set your new year’s resolutions for 2013, don’t forget about your home. No matter where you live, 2013 should be the year you turn your space into a home you love! Whether you’re looking to refurnish every room or just want to freshen things up, these expert tips will help you get started:

Take Stock of What You Have

Walk through your home and consider your current furnishings and accessories. Even if you’re planning to buy an entire new set of living room furniture, it doesn’t mean everything in your living room has to go. Perhaps the end tables can find new life as nightstands in your guest room or the overstuffed accent chair would be perfect for creating a reading nook by your bedroom window. Create a list of the pieces you want to continue to use as you do today, those you would like to repurpose and those you want to remove altogether. Then create a list by room of other furnishings you might need. This will be important for prioritizing whether you want to shop for a new sofa or a new bedroom set first.

Rearrange Your Furniture

Sometimes what your home needs is some reorganization to give it the feel of a makeover. For example, your bedroom could be completely transformed by relocating your bed or even placing furnishings on a pleasing angle. This will create an artful look and completely refresh any tired configurations you’ve set up in your home.

Revisit Lighting and Window Treatments

Don’t force your beautiful decor to hide behind bad lighting. Consider how you use each space and then light it appropriately. Play around with different pieces of lighting and bulbs to find the right brightness for each space. A dimmer, for example, could be the perfect upgrade to take your dining room furniture to the next level for entertaining. And while you’re at it, be sure your windows are dressed in a way to accentuate your decor while also letting in or obscuring light as needed.

Consider Color

Color can dramatically change the look of any room. Whether you choose to paint the wall or bring in colorful new accent furniture, you will enjoy instant results. Don’t be afraid to go bold, but experiment slowly if this is something new for you and your home.

Remember: You Can Start Small

Rome wasn’t built in one day and neither will a new look for your home. But if you take it one room and step at a time, perhaps rearranging furniture today and adding a new accent table to your foyer tomorrow, you’ll be living in your dream home before you know it!

10 Tips for Decorating Your Home on a Budget

Nothing turns a space into a home like filling it with items and furnishings you love, assembled in a style that is truly your own. Whether you’re moving into a new home or redecorating the one you already have, this is a very exciting time that can really improve your quality of life. But it’s also a time when your wants may not align with what your wallet can allow.

But don’t worry – you can have a beautiful home without breaking your budget. Our 10 tips cover everything from setting your spending limits to multifuctional pieces to help you get the most for your money. So get started!

Tip #1: Create a budget, either for the entire living space or by individual room. Then make a list of what you have, what you need and what you’d like to upgrade. This will help you to prioritize the project and may shed light on the fact that you could repurpose your nightstand as an end table for the time being.

Tip #2: Brainstorm on how you would like to decorate each room, and then narrow down each space to one or two solid ideas. This way, all of your furniture and accessories can work toward these primary themes for a cohesive look.

Tip #3: You don’t have to furnish your entire home at once. Versatile pieces, such as dining chairs, can float between rooms -- from dining to the home office, to the living room when you’re entertaining guests.

Tip #4: Look for a beautiful bed to be your bedroom’s centerpiece and make the room feel complete. You can add everything else-- dressers, chests and nightstands -- over time. And don’t be afraid to mix and match -- an eclectic mix will make your home cozy and unique.

Tip #5: Think outside the house when it comes to decorative accents. You’ll bring unique style to your home by decorating with garden ornaments, architectural elements and old building parts. They’re often cheap and always distinctive. Check salvage yards and antique stores for great finds.

Tip #6: Use a bookcase in your dining room to store and display china and serving pieces. Later, when you upgrade to a china cabinet or sideboard, you can easily use the bookcase in another area of your home.

Tip #7: Create your own artwork. You can frame anything, from a beautiful leaf to a photo from last year’s wall calendar, and voila, you have art! For inexpensive frames, look in discount stores for framed prints. Remove the back (needle-nose pliers are terrific for pulling out large staples) and replace what was in the frame with your own masterpiece.

Tip #8: Choose a dining room table that will give you choices down the line. For example, choosing a smaller scale table or one with a removable expansion leaf might allow you to use the table in your kitchen or another room should you decide to replace it.

Tip #9: Go ahead and accept hand-me-down furnishings, but only if you really like them. An unwanted dinosaur won’t inspire your imagination the way an empty room can. Don’t be afraid to live with the open space for a while and consider the room you’d really like to create.

Tip #10: Sell furnishings you don’t like or no longer have a need for at a consignment shop or online. Then you can use the money you make for the furniture you really want!