Reclining Renaissance

Image: Courtesy of Herman Miller

The thing about most sofas and chairs is they have to look good, even in an empty room, yet be comfortable enough to encourage guests to stay awhile. Not a recliner. It’s the one piece of furniture where comfort always trumped style in what might be the most personal piece in any room. The result, cozy as it is, was usually a puffy, frumpy chair that wasn’t exactly inviting to anyone who hadn’t spent years breaking it in.

Welcome the reclining renaissance. New designs are as pleasing to the eye as they’ve been to the back. From crisp, angular lines and woven texture to a fresh take on a casual kickback chair, the new age of reclining looks good enough for anyone to use. Get ready to share your chair.

Post Modern

Few pieces of furniture are as iconic as the mid-century Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman, designed by Charles and Ray Eames in 1956. They embody the fuss-free, friendly essence of simple lines. No fancy reclining mechanism here, simply a pivot point that tilts with an ottoman to raise the legs—comfort meets aesthetic purity. Structure comes from seven layers of molded veneer topped with six inches of foam and leather. “The chair is truly a timeless piece that lends itself to a clean and tailored design,” said Ruth Seidenberg of Ruth S. Interiors in Syosset. “It is an attractive and comfortable addition to a library or den, or can work well as a reading chair or to watch television.”
Starting at $4,560;


Image: Up and Down Sofa courtesy of Resource Furniture


Sleek, contemporary furniture that reclines is nothing short of a welcome contradiction and can easily become the focal point in a room. This Italian-made, 78-inch loveseat transforms into a sprawling chaise lounge in less than a minute using an under-mount motor and remote control. The gleaming, tubular frame is first chromed and then bathed in nickel so it won’t chip or rust in homes near saltwater. “The clean lines and polished angles of this piece in combination with the supple Italian leather and ribbing detail on the bolster pillows create a dynamic yet sophisticated look,” said Rosalba Campitiello of East End Interiors in St. James. “This piece can work seamlessly into modern décor or stand alone as a statement piece in a smaller space.”
Up and Down Sofa, starting at $6,675;


Image: Re-vive, Courtesy of Natuzzi

Easy Zero Gravity

Know what’s stressful? Piloting a spacecraft, which is why astronauts use zero gravity seats designed
to reduce the pressure on the spine and lift the feet to the same level as the heart. This recliner uses a compensating mechanism in the base to counter body weight, a seat back that twists and armrests that glide to melt the day’s stress away. It also brings a clean, streamlined sense of style and because it comes in several striking leathers, it is a high-functioning piece of furniture that looks like modern art. “Yes, a recliner can be sexy,” said Rose of Merrick’s Rose Ott Interiors. “This recliner is so versatile in its appearance, it can be used in a master bedroom, office or living room, creating a relaxing haven no matter where you are.”
Re-vive, starting at $3,200;


Image: Courtesy of Sammoore

Small Space Casual

The easy, transitional style of this recliner blends handsomely with relaxed Long Island décor and won’t dominate the room. Its rolled arms and tufted upholstery update the classic lines. Unlike a full-size wingback, this chair has scaled- down proportions for smaller spaces though it doesn’t lose cat-napability
(it’s just under 33 inches wide). “The chair would be perfectly at home in either a living room or bedroom. It offers an elegant yet informal style that works effortlessly with most other furnishings,” said Gail Gottlieb of Huntington-based GBG Interior Designs. “This chair becomes a go-to piece when designing a room that demands both form and function.”
Annick recliner chair, starting at $1,200;


Modern Rock

The sweeping arches beneath this rocking chaise lounge give it the feeling of motion even at a standstill. Most contemporary rocking chairs rely on hard lines and even harder materials to distance themselves from traditional designs, but this chair’s stained ash frame is paired with a suspended, woven backing for comfort. “Today’s interiors rely on clean lines and a sense of order and simplicity,” said Dee Manicone of D. Manicone Interior Designs of Port Jefferson Station. “Splash color on your cushion and accessories while the surrounding walls stay neutral, inviting a relaxing read or nap.”
837 Canapo, starting at $6250;

caroline wilkes

Caroline Sophia Wilkes is an interior designer who also writes about design trends. From Manhattan to Montauk, this native Long Islander derives inspiration from the dynamic forms and energy of the city to the organic serenity of our land- and seascapes.