Interview: Exploring the world of recliner chairs with Karen Miller

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Moving on with our series of interviews with the very talented interior designer, Karen Miller, we received quite a lot of queries from you guys about recliner chairs, how to find the perfect one for your living space, what kind is best for you, how to repair them, and maintain them for longevity. As mentioned in the previous interviews, Karen runs a successful blog dedicated to recliner chairs and all related information on ReclinerAdvice. We thought it would be a great idea to sit down with Karen over some tea and discuss all recliner-related issues. Recliners are one of the most searched pieces of furniture because people find it difficult to shop for them. Today, we hope this interview clarifies some of your confusion and makes shopping for recliners easier.

UlricHome: Welcome back, Karen! We are so glad to be doing this with you again. Are you looking forward to answering some recliner-related questions?

Karen: Oh, I am so ready! I am actually super thrilled to be talking about recliners because I mostly write about them on my blog. So, thank you for giving me the chance to talk about them in this interview. Obviously, I might not be able to cover every aspect of recliners within a single interview, so do check out the blog if you are interested to know more.

UlricHome: Definitely check out Karen’s blog! So, Karen, the first question is a very general one, and it usually comes to mind because people get anxious shopping for recliners. Why is it that recliners are one of the most difficult pieces of furniture to shop for?

Karen: The simplest way I can put this: it is because there are too many categories and subcategories of recliners, each performing a different functionality. The basic two recliner categories consist of manual and power recliners. Both these categories are then further divided into subcategories, each having at least ten subcategories. Each recliner from every subcategory is manufactured by many different companies and offers different functionalities overall. So you see, there is a lot of information about recliners out there; however, someone who is not experienced or new to furniture shopping might feel overwhelmed with the amount of information and end up choosing the wrong recliner.

UlricHome: That totally makes sense. So as you mentioned earlier, there are two main categories of recliners. The first category is manual recliners, and the second is power recliners. Could you explain to the audience how they’re different from each other?

Karen: Well, as the name suggests, a power recliner is powered by electricity and needs to be plugged into a wall socket. It allows you to recline with the easy touch of a button and consists of many other functionalities depending on the kind of power recliner it is. Using your body weight and

the leverage of the armrests, a manual recliner, also known as a push arm recliner, allows you to lean back and recline the chair. Because they have mechanical components and an internal motor, power recliners are heavier and more bulky than manual ones. This implies that moving power recliners about your home will be more difficult. Particularly when climbing or descending stairs with your power recliner. Since they are more costly to manufacture, power recliners are often more expensive than manual recliners.

UlricHome: Wonderful! Thank you for elaborating on the differences for our audience. Karen, another thing we wanted to ask you, and this is a question that is most frequently asked, is that are recliners good for our backs?

Karen: Nothing beats kicking back in a recliner chair after a hard day, but is it healthy for your back? This is a question I am frequently asked as well. In summary, if a recliner offers suitable lumbar support, properly lifts your feet, and has the ideal form and hardness for your body, it is really helpful for your back. The lumbar support of any couch, chair, or other pieces of seating furniture is crucial to consider. When seated, lumbar support aids in supporting the lower back. It aids in maintaining your spine’s proper alignment with respect to its natural structure, protecting muscles from being overused. When used for extended durations, seating furniture without lumbar support can lead to a number of concerns, such as stiffness and muscle disorders.

UlricHome: That sounds amazing! We often ignore whether or not a piece of seating furniture offers adequate support for our backs, but it is one of the most crucial aspects to consider. Another interesting question people often ask regarding recliners is whether they can sleep in them. Could you shed some light on this?

Karen: What I find funny about this question is that people ask it so often that it concerns me why they want to sleep on a recliner instead of their mattress (chuckles). Although a bed with a good mattress is usually the greatest place to sleep, recliners are a great alternative for people who have trouble falling asleep in a regular bed. To begin with, many pregnant women who find it difficult to sleep on a conventional bed have observed that a recliner has been helpful in getting them much-needed rest. Similar to individuals with acid reflux, folks who have just undergone surgery may find it more comfortable to sleep slightly inclined position, and thus a recliner can be a great help in such a case. The majority of individuals can sleep in a chair quite well; however, it isn’t advised as a long-term alternative to a bed since a recliner restricts movement for long periods, which can result in muscle strain.

UlricHome: Karen, our next question about recliners is with respect to interior design. Most people struggle to find the right recliner for smaller living spaces. What is the right approach to choosing a recliner that will look best in a room with limited space?

Karen: Before making a purchase, measuring the seating space can assist you in establishing what size recliner will fit in it. There is no perfect size for recliners. In general, the recliner’s breadth, along with its height and depth, provides the largest space for relaxation. People who want to buy a recliner for square-shaped rooms struggle more because these rooms have limited space. The number of square feet, layout, doors and windows in the room may limit your possibilities for furniture arrangement. It is important to arrange the furniture in square-shaped rooms such that one side doesn’t seem heavy or imbalanced because these shapes are always balanced and symmetrical.

UlricHome: And do you believe the material of the recliner impacts the overall aesthetic of the room? Is leather the best option for recliners?

Karen: It should complement the other room decor pieces effectively. The majority of recliners today come in leather or a broad range of upholstery. Before you spend money on a new chair, it’s crucial to weigh the pros and downsides of both materials. For recliners, leather is a relatively common finish. The leather’s deep color and silky texture are well-liked by most consumers. Leather is quite robust and works well for recliners. It is effortlessly cleanable and generally stain-resistant.

Moreover, it deters water. However, when utilized in a tropical setting, the leather may begin to feel warm, slick, or greasy to the touch. Additionally, pets and young children have a tendency to scratch the leather.

UlricHome: There is no doubt about leather being a classical choice for most customers; however, people have started looking into different upholstery options for their recliners. What are the advantages and disadvantages of choosing a fabric for a recliner’s cover?

Karen: Recliner upholstery comes in a huge variety of fabrics. Among the fabrics that are available are cotton, corduroy, suede, and chenille. In addition, fabric-covered recliners provide a far wider range of color and pattern possibilities. One’s living area gets additional texture by using diverse fabric varieties. The recliner may be matched up with other pieces of furniture in the space much more easily as well. The space seems more pleasant as a whole, thanks to the soft fabric recliners. The fabric does require maintenance, which is a drawback. Recliners made of fabric are more susceptible to stains, although they are less costly than leather ones. The recliner will continue to look excellent for a long time with routine vacuuming and spill cleanup.

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