The Alternative To A Bulky Recliner That'll Make Your Space Feel Bigger

Finding the perfect mix of comfortable and stylish seating pieces goes a long way toward creating cozy and adaptable rooms for you and your guests. Outfitting a small living room can be especially challenging, finding the right configuration that both provides comfort and maximizes the room's potential. The wrong seating can overwhelm (or underwhelm) a design scheme as well as interfere with optimal traffic flow and comfort. One particular type of seating, traditional recliners, can often be one of the hardest things to work a room around, which leads many design experts to suggest foregoing it in favor of more compact options like swivel chairs and convertibles.

Recliners have enjoyed a heyday as a comfy option for seating, with many American living rooms and family rooms employing one or two. They come in all varieties of materials and styles and provide a spacious spot to spend hours watching TV or reading. While they can be comfortable, they dominate the area, leaving little room for other pieces, which many designers say can impact a room's total design.

Same comfort, smaller seating

Designer Charmaine Wynter tells Apartment Therapy, that space and size are key elements when considering seating, "Recliners take up much more space than they offer for seating...By that I mean recliners typically only seat one person; however, a recliner requires square footage for clearance behind and in front of the actual chair. They [also] often have high backs — blocking the view to anything in its path line." In a small space, these faults can be magnified, making traditional recliners a bad choice.

There are many other options that provide the same comfort but take up less space, such as an accent chair, like a club or swivel design, paired with an ottoman or footstool for reclining, which can also be used as extra seating for guests. Other alternatives to a conventional recliner include reclining sofas, stylish convertibles that transform into a bed when needed, or chaise lounges that can double as additional seating for more than one person while still allowing you to occasionally put your feet up.