Make Your Living Room Irresistibly Cozy With These Recliner Design Tips

There’s nothing better than coming home after a long day and sinking into a comfortable recliner to relax and unwind. But many homeowners shy away from incorporating recliners into their living rooms, worried that these ultra-comfy chairs will make their spaces look sloppy or dated.

However, with some thoughtful design choices, you can easily integrate recliners into your living room in a way that feels cohesive and stylish. The key is choosing the right recliners for your space and complementing them with other pieces that enhance both comfort and aesthetics.

living room ideas with recliners

Choosing the Right Recliners

With so many options on the market, it can be tricky to select the perfect recliners for your home. Consider the following factors to make the right choice:

Types of Recliners

Traditional recliners with plush upholstery and lever-activated footrests are a popular pick for many good reasons. But you also have great options like:

  • Contemporary leather or fabric recliners with clean, streamlined silhouettes
  • Rocker recliners that also sway back and forth
  • Wall-hugging recliners that can be positioned flush against walls
  • Power recliners with handy remotes for adjusting your position
  • Stylish reclining loveseats and sectionals for added seating

If possible, test out different types in person so you can find the features that best suit your needs.

Size Considerations

Before purchasing, measure your room as well as the space needed for a fully reclined position. Most recliners need 4-5 feet of clearance from walls or other furniture to fully recline. Loveseats and sectionals will require even more space. Consider traffic flow as you arrange furniture to prevent bottlenecks.

Upholstery and Color

Fabric and leather offer different benefits. Leather resists wear, wipes clean easily, and becomes more supple over time. Meanwhile, fabrics like microfiber provide exceptional softness and comfort. Choose neutral solid hues if your recliners will be focal points, or opt for patterns to complement your existing decor.

Arranging Your Recliners

Where and how you place your recliners will impact both aesthetics and function. Maximize comfort and style with these tips:

Layout Ideas

  • Float recliners in the center of the room to create a conversation area.
  • Position against a wall or tuck into a corner to save space.
  • Angle toward each other to facilitate conversation and interaction.

Placing recliners near windows allows you to enjoy views while reclining. Just avoid direct sun exposure that could fade upholstery over time.

Allowing Space to Recline

Measure the fully reclined length of your chairs and make sure there’s enough clearance in front, behind, and on both sides. Position recliners so the footrests extend into open floor space, not toward walkways.

Complementing Pieces

Anchor recliners by placing console tables, floor lamps or other shapely decor behind them. Trays and baskets for remote controls can add function beside recliners. Ottomans and poufs complement reclined positions, allowing you to prop up your feet.

Balance recliners with lighter accents like glass coffee tables or open etagere-style bookcases. Layering in some visually weightless elements prevents recliners from dominating the room.

Design Details

Elevate your living room with recliners using these styling tips:

Fabrics and Textures

Introduce cozy layers like knit or cotton-blend throws and an array of down-filled pillows. Contrasting fabrics and patterns add visual interest. Try pairing leather recliners with soft paisley pillows for an eclectic feel.

Accent Tables

Wood, metal or marble accent tables flanking recliners provide surface space while complementing the aesthetic. Go for classic wooden end tables or sleek glass ones depending on your style.

Additional Touches

Trays topped with flowers, books or candles make charming accessories near recliners. Add baskets for storage beside recliners or underneath to corral remotes, blankets and more when not in use.

Overall Aesthetic

If your living room leans traditional, choose classic rolled-arm recliners and ornate accent tables. For modern spaces, opt for streamlined leather recliners and metallic decor. Rustic designs can incorporate distressed leather recliners and reclaimed wood coffee tables.

Whatever your style, layer in personal touches like family photos, art prints and greenery to create a warm, welcoming environment.

Tips for Specific Design Styles

Not sure where to start when selecting recliners? Use these tips tailored to popular interior design styles:


For sleek, modern living rooms, choose low-profile recliners with metal frames and base. Opt for neutral-hued leather or microfiber upholstery. Add glass-topped accent tables and sculptural floor lamps behind each recliner.


Create cozy farmhouse style with weathered leather recliners flanked by antique side tables. Soft woven blankets and lumbar pillows enhance comfort. Rustic woods, baskets, and greens bring nature indoors.


This in-between style benefits from letting your recliners contrast slightly against other furnishings. Pair traditional padded recliners with midcentury-inspired tulip chairs or sleek coffee tables. Use gold or silver accents and textured pillows to tie the look together.


For an urban loft vibe, choose leather or canvas recliners with exposed metal frames. Opt for reclaimed wood or concrete accent tables and play with mixed metals–think copper pendant lights, silver floor lamps. Add pops of color with pillows or rug.


Incorporate global, eclectic details alongside cozy recliners. Try patterned or brightly hued fabric on your recliners, complemented by Persian-style rugs, rattan side tables, and exotic decor. Don’t be afraid to layer in color and texture.

Midcentury Modern

Midcentury style requires clean, angular lines. Select recliners with tapered wooden legs or metallic bases. Opt for minimalist shapes for accompanying furnishings like oval coffee tables or teak media cabinets. Use decor like bold art prints, geometric pillows, and potted succulents.


For formal elegance, look for classically styled padded recliners with rolled arms, plush cushions, and nailhead trim detailing. Pair with subtly patterned upholstery and rich wood accent tables or curio cabinets housing decorative items like vases, framed photos, and books.

Shabby Chic

Create a lightly distressed, vintage look with slip-covered recliners in airy, floral fabrics mixed with painted wood side tables. White painted frames, thrifted candleholders, and delicate details like lace tablecloths or embroidery embellish the relaxed shabby chic vibe.

Additional Tips for a Cohesive Space

Utilize Wall Art to Enhance the Space

Wall art is an effective way to add personality and style to a living room with a recliner. By choosing art that complements the color scheme of the recliner and other decor elements, you can create a cohesive and visually appealing space. Additionally, large-scale wall art can help draw the eye to the recliner and make it a focal point in the room.

Incorporate a Plant or Two

Plants not only add life and color to a living room but also help purify the air. By placing a plant next to a recliner, you can create a calming and serene atmosphere that encourages relaxation and unwinding. Additionally, plants can help soften the edges of a living room and make it feel more inviting and welcoming.

Add a Rug Runner

A rug runner can help define the space around a recliner and add texture and depth to the room. By choosing a rug runner that complements the color and style of the recliner, you can create a cohesive and harmonious space. Additionally, a rug runner offers the practical benefit of protecting carpets or floors from foot traffic and potential damage from recliners’ moving parts.

Include Side or Accent Tables

The addition of side or accent tables near a recliner provides convenient storage and surfaces for drinks, books, remotes, and other items. An accent table behind a recliner also makes a handy anchor point to position a floor lamp. Matching side tables create symmetry, while mismatched ones lend an eclectic flair.

Add Ambient Lighting

Thoughtful lighting is key for promoting relaxation and comfort in a living room. Placing floor lamps behind recliners or on adjacent side tables provides both task lighting and soft ambient illumination. Wall sconces can also offer inviting low-level lighting on areas surrounding recliners.

Incorporate Throws and Blankets

Include cozy throws and folded blankets on or near your recliners. Not only do they allow easy bundling while relaxing, but they also provide opportunities to incorporate color, pattern, and texture to your room. Seasonal throws can be swapped out to refresh your space.

You can easily create a living room that maximizes comfort without sacrificing style with the right recliner choices. Whether you want an inviting reading nook, a laid-back TV watching spot or just an ultra-cozy place to unwind, incorporating recliners can help make your living room irresistibly comfy and chic. Use these tips to find your perfect recliners, arrange them thoughtfully, and add those finishing touches for a space your whole family will adore.

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