Life Is Over. He NEEDS A Hideous Recliner Chair.



***WARNING*** This post contains graphic material that may cause vertigo and/or nausea in the aesthetically sensitive. In most cases, it passes quickly, but if the symptoms last more than 12 hours, please consult your physician, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.


Dear Laurel,

I’m beside myself. But what’s really freaky is that I just finished reading your post about the wife who was struggling with her husband’s love of heavy, dark furniture. Not to one-up her, but no, actually, I’m 100-upping her.

I’d be thrilled with that living room that she hates. Anything but the behemoth my husband just ordered.

He says that it’s the recliner chair he’s always dreamed of.

No, Laurel it’s a NIGHTMARE!

And it’s going splat in the middle of our family room.

Fine, I realize that this is a first world problem, but I’m actually sick to my stomach just thinking about it.

I was so upset that he said to find him another recliner that we both like and he’ll cancel the order. But it must be a comfortable recliner.

Oh, and he’ll be needing a new massage therapist to replace those whatever-they-are massaging things!

Yes, it’s one of those chairs!

Please, Laurel, I’m begging you!!!

Anais Chainjuvpace


Oh Anais,

I don’t want to make you feel any worse than you already do, but didn’t anyone ever tell you?

On your first date in between the bruschetta and the eggplant parmesan, you’re supposed to casually inquire of your hot date:


“How do you feel about recliner chairs?”


Here are the six most common responses. What one does with them, is not for me to say.


a. He looks confused because he’s trying to figure out if that means that he might get lucky later on?

b. He looks happy because he’s convinced that you mean that he will get lucky later on.

c. He’s desperately looking for clues on your poker face to know how to answer this to your liking.

d. He doesn’t look up but with a piece of parsley dangling from the corner of his mouth, he states that he can’t imagine watching the game on Sunday without one.

e. He’s been through this before and knows good and well why you’re asking him this question. It means that you like him enough that if he plays his cards right, he’ll eventually get lucky, especially if he blatantly lies that he doesn’t care much one way or the other.

f. He wipes his mouth and with a charming smile, says that he has never given it much thought. “How Do you feel Anais, about reclining chairs?


Obviously, you didn’t ask him this question. So, what did you talk about on your first date?

Oh, never mind. I don’t need to know.


However, thank God it’s 2017!


Gone are the days when the ONLY recliner chair one could find looked like a hippopotamus who mated with a shar pei and is about ready to give birth to septuplets.

You know the one


Or this one that looks like it’s about ready to roll into battle.

Oh man… Does that book really say ARSENAL? hahahaha! No kidding!

One Kings Lane Hartford Club Recliner Chair Blue Linen

Then, there’s the space walker recliner chair. I think this might be Anais’ nightmare.

(no complaining. you were warned!) :]

image via NASA

I prefer these in outer space. Ya know? Look ma, no tether. Yikes! That’s brave.

But fine if you need a bloody ugly chair that floats, massages your tired muscles and as a bonus works as an effective contraceptive device. But it is not to go in any of the communal living spaces. This requires its own room preferably in an underground secret bunker.


You didn’t discuss this before you went on the second date???


And then you went and had kids with him? Oh dear… don’t tell me he wants one for Father’s Day!!!

He does?

I dunno… call me crazy, but why are we expecting a chair to do all of that? I’m happy just to have a nice comfy spot to sit my tushy. It doesn’t need to do anything else except look pretty.


What happened to the pretty furniture?


Well… as it happens, a few wise manufacturers heard our collective grousing. And these days, there are recliners that not only are not ugly, they’re absolutely wonderful!

These are recliner chairs that have classic shapes. Some are more casual, some contemporary, some traditional. But all recline. If he needs more cushioning, well, that’s what throw pillows are for!


I’m going to just jump in with my favorite recliner chair.


This is the Hartford Club Recliner Chair which is exclusive at One King’s Lane.


Here it is in a classic saddle leather

This has the look of a Gentleman’s club chair– only it reclines. AND, it’s really pretty!


AND it comes in a bunch of cool colors


Below are another 14 recliner chairs.


To find out more, please click on the individual images.



And if you’re interested in pinning these chairs for reference, I made a graphic that makes it easy to pin.


16 fabulous recliner chairs that won

Some of these could be ordered in time for Father’s Day!

But if you don’t want to drop that kind of money or are not in need of such a chair, I’ve created a lovely list of 45 different gifts from a variety of sources.

You can access it here.(or in the top menu bar)


And I just got word that Nordstrom is having their half-yearly 40% off sale.

I should check it out too. I could use some new summer duds!


5th edition rolodex-post-graphic - November 2018 - A unique shopping guide with hundreds of sources created by Laurel Bern

  • Susie - June 1, 2017 - 12:57 AM

    Ha! My husband owned TWO LazyBoy recliners when I met him, and I made it my mission to move them out of the main living area. Once we had kids, there were many nights when I had a sick or croupy child that couldn’t sleep flat and the ugly recliners were perfect beds for me, holding the little one. Those recliners never wore out. When we bought a vacation home, I moved them there, we sold the place a year ago (furnished) and we all kind of miss those comfortable recliners.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - June 1, 2017 - 1:01 AM

      That’s a sweet story Susie. I miss the days when my kids were little. Well, some of the days. :]ReplyCancel

  • Libby - May 30, 2017 - 2:07 PM

    Love this OKL recliner. I want to buy it and add it to my stable (just one now) of recliners!

    From my experience a chair and ottoman are not equivalent/interchangeable with the features of a recliner.

    For the commenters on here characterizing people who have recliners, the reason they may own one, the ‘tragedy’, what their homes must be like, etc…….Wow.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - May 30, 2017 - 3:40 PM

      Hi Libby,

      It’s true that you can’t lie back with a chair and ottoman.

      That OKL chair is simply stunning. It does not look like a recliner at all! Gorgeous design. So clever.ReplyCancel

  • Carol - May 29, 2017 - 1:55 PM

    oh my oh my…so funny it got me out of my funk mood this morning. Only wish this had been on the blog a few months ago. I can’t stand recliners for all the reasons others have mentioned. But I do understand the reasons why some need them, as my husbands pains, surgeries it is comfortable for him. I found the most streamline one I could find. But after a year of the most annoying noises it made every time he moved in it, Mathis Bros let us exchange it. At least it’s in our bedroom so out of sight. Speaking of THE Sofa things, I once saw a sofa setup that had a console between the 2 recliner chair seats with cupholders & a compartment, like an ice bucket and trays. Unbelievable!! Thanks Laurel for the chuckleReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - May 29, 2017 - 2:03 PM

      Glad that you enjoyed Carol. It’s a pretty dreary Memorial Day in NY. Yeah… it’s pretty amazing the stuff that they dream up and then put on the market for sale.

      They might as well include a mini fridge and a (padded, of course) bed pan and then we’d be all set!ReplyCancel

  • MH - May 27, 2017 - 7:41 PM

    Ummmmm.NO.Just. No.ReplyCancel

  • Wilson - May 26, 2017 - 3:22 PM

    I was trying to be kind. My husband had back surgery and couldn’t sleep in a bed.
    I asked our decorator to find an acceptable recliner for him. The problem was it was too short. So we found one that was long enough for him. It is cognac leather(?). Three years later it has a huge grease spot on the head rest.
    Short of learning to crochet, what can be done. Is there some kind of cleaner I can use? I don’t suppose Room and Board would take it back. Any thoughts? ThanksReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - May 26, 2017 - 9:36 PM

      Hi Wilson,

      Sorry that happened. I don’t know how to get a grease stain out of leather. But there’s probably something out there on the internet. ReplyCancel

  • Rebecca - May 26, 2017 - 11:09 AM

    We farm and the days are long, hard, and physically active. I’ve never been able to find it in my heart to deny my husband a recliner, but as soon as we could afford it we upgraded to a Lee Industries leather recliner, with matching ottoman, from Crate and Barrel. It helped a lot that we bought during their annual upholstery sale (15 percent off, I think?). A lot of friends and family who come over are surprised to find out it’s a recliner, which is what I had hoped : ) .

    What I find truly horrific are the sharpei/hippo recliner sectional sofas complete with cupholders. Oy. I’m actually related to several people who own such a set-up. I can’t imagine what anyone was thinking.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - May 26, 2017 - 9:34 PM

      Hi Rebecca,

      Oh, that’s cool that you’re farmers and with Lee furniture. love that! I have a very good friend who owns a dairy farm with her husband. He has a passion for cheese. It’s a hard life but they are quite resourceful.ReplyCancel

  • Cyndi J - May 26, 2017 - 9:54 AM

    AKA bubba furniture! I don’t understand the need to recline. I like my feet up, too, so that’s why I have an ottoman. Men! So glad I don’t have one.ReplyCancel

  • Jenn - May 25, 2017 - 1:44 PM

    Hi Laurel,

    You are so right! I’m so glad my husband is not a recliner guy. Thankfully I have a beautiful English roll arm sofa and some MCM chairs that are not going anywhere! But I must say, even worse than the dreaded recliner is the recliner sectional. Have you seen one of those monstrosities? It’s absolutely the ugliest piece of furniture you can imagine. Basically they take a horrid looking puffy recliner, multiply it and attach five of the monsters together in an L shape complete with cup holders and typically in a fabric color resembling poo. I’m sad to say that my folks own one of these hideous looking sectionals. What a tragedy! I am in mourning for what their living room could have been. I think they spent a good bit of money on that thing too. And you know what the real kicker is, my mother picked it out! I love her and I sure hope she is happy, but I have to fight the gag reflex every time I see that beast.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - May 25, 2017 - 5:26 PM

      Hi Jenn,

      Oh my. I have seen them and one time in person and it’s everything you said. ReplyCancel

  • sandra - May 25, 2017 - 1:18 PM

    This is too funny. I told my (second) husband “the day the recliner comes in is the day I leave”. Well . . . He had knee replacement surgery and I relented and have had the least hideous recliner I could find in my living room. Your post gives me some nice options as it is time to replace.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - May 25, 2017 - 1:21 PM

      Hi Sandra,

      So glad to be of help. And if it is only a matter of propping up the ol’ leg, a chair and ottoman can work too. ReplyCancel

  • Jenny - May 25, 2017 - 12:14 PM

    Ok in my case I lucked DH hardly had any furniture before he met me..he was too aristocratic for that, you know? he did have an Ikea chair, a mattress, and several cardboard boxes-the bigger one was a table, the smaller a get the picture lol
    so, no..the recliner chair(or any chair really, or comfort in general) wasn’t high on his list
    Well, he felt in love with me and now we have furniture..)))
    he was in shock..he wrote in one letter to his friend (which he showed to me)-“I have actual table and chairs!!!!”

    But yes, I feel everybody’s pain..these recliners-yeah looks like there’s a competition “look! we managed to make ours uglier!”

    Just to add-I actually tried this orange one you suggest..I think it’s from “Design Within Reach” right? (“within reach” my..ok lol)-and yes, it looks elegant, is light, has good lines, and IS extremely comfy. Heavenly comfy. So whoever has 3K or so for a recliner..try this one too.

    Thank you for the laughs Laurel!!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - May 25, 2017 - 12:44 PM

      Hi Jenny,

      Good to know that the DWR one is comfy as well as nice looking. There are actually some super cheap recliners that are sleek and look good but I’m nervous about putting up something for less than 200 bucks. Fine, if it was a little slipper chair. But this has a mechanism and that needs to be of reasonable quality.ReplyCancel

  • Susannah - May 25, 2017 - 11:07 AM

    I don’t like the looks of any recliner chair but I understand their comfort. That’s why I found a solution.

    It has a massage system. It has usb connections. It is all electric
    and it is very good soft leather, which comes in about 25 different colors.

    Make sure you measure first where it is going to go because you are not going to be able to move the monster without some very strong men. We got it and we love it.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - May 25, 2017 - 12:41 PM

      Hi Susannah,

      Yes, I’ve seen similar at High Point. Forgot the name of the company. That one is very nice if one is doing contemporary furnishings.ReplyCancel

  • Susie - May 25, 2017 - 10:58 AM

    If the guy insisted on the hideous recliner, then I would put him, the chair and the TV in the basement out of sight of other human beings. If that didn’t work, I would get a huge piece of material to throw over the thing when not in use to hide it along with a throw blanket and some pillows. But why does the guy need a recliner in the first place? Does he work as a coal miner 18 hours a day so he needs this type of rehabilitation when he comes home from work? I doubt it. There is some study that says X number of hours you spend sedentary takes X number of hours off your life expectancy. Get the hell out of the chair and go for a walk or do something constructive. Don’t just sit in a recliner watching TV and binging on beer and pizza. But that’s just my personal opinion. Cheers!!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - May 25, 2017 - 12:38 PM

      Hi Susie,

      It’s funny, but I’m a dancer and actually would fully understand a professional dancer or runner or some other athlete needing/wanting a device to massage their legs, but still… That goes in the category of physical therapy not living room furniture!ReplyCancel

  • Tammy - May 25, 2017 - 10:37 AM

    OMG: I thought the picture was a joke, and then I realized IT WAS FOR REAL!! I agree with Dolores….this is the only thing in 48 years I will not even discuss!! I absolutely hate them. You know the saying, “never say never”…..well, never, never, never,shall one of these reside in my home! I am almost hyperventilating just thinking about it!!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - May 25, 2017 - 12:36 PM

      Hi Tammy,

      This is why there’s a disclaimer at the top. haha. You know how we uphold the constitution written over 200 years ago? Why can’t we uphold the architecture and furniture too? But then we dress entirely differently too. Sure, some change in the name of comfort, but…ReplyCancel

  • Tracy - May 25, 2017 - 9:01 AM

    But, but… they don’t have cup holders!

    (just kidding)

    I think you could have an entire blog on When Straight Men Want to Make Design Decisions Their Wives Hate.

    Ask me about my Texas art collection of rolling tumble weeds and orange sunsets. Or rather, don’t. (sobs)ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - May 25, 2017 - 12:30 PM

      Tracy!!! Yo girlfriend. I’ve missed you! lol on the cup holders. ReplyCancel

  • Mary - May 25, 2017 - 8:35 AM

    Hi Laurel,
    You are so right about questioning the need for a recliner before marriage. Ha!! In my case I should have also asked about a need to eat every meal from the recliner in front of the TV.
    But score a paint for me…While he was gone on a trip I gave his grandson the ugly recliner & bought an attractive one. Yes, he was mad at first but he never stays mad.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - May 25, 2017 - 12:28 PM

      Hi Mary,

      I like your typo – paint for point. And great move on the exchange! ReplyCancel

      • Mary - May 25, 2017 - 1:12 PM

        Oops, sorry about the typo. I’m glad you knew what I meant.
        I forgot to mention…I thought my husband’s old recliner was ugly until we went to his favorite store, a fishing & hunting store. They were selling the biggest, puffiest recliner I had ever seen. And it was covered in camouflage fabric!!!
        No words!!ReplyCancel

        • Laurel Bern - May 25, 2017 - 1:20 PM

          hahaha! The camou goes with the army tank recliner! And I love typos. It makes me feel better about my own which I sometimes miss.ReplyCancel

  • Jeanne young - May 25, 2017 - 8:20 AM

    Laurel, You have the best delivery. I just love your blog and buying information guide. Laughter and help all in 5 minutes. You’re the best!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - May 25, 2017 - 12:27 PM

      Hi Jeanne,

      If you got on the site in less than five minutes last night, you were doing well. Only a slight exaggeration. But thanks so much for your lovely words!ReplyCancel

  • Betty - May 25, 2017 - 6:43 AM

    Recliner chair = Martin Crane. That is the first vision that came into my mind, that old, beat up, duck taped, barf colored with stripes (no less) velour chair. The Bla-Z-Boy, every man’s dream, every woman’s nightmare. I’m holding my sides laughing. This was a winner blog even with the site failing last night – phew I thought my Chromebook was going nuts … again. Good show Laurel.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - May 25, 2017 - 12:26 PM

      Thanks so much Betty and for your well wishes. Several people are looking into the website issue. I’ve had it before but thought it was fixed. ReplyCancel

  • Rebecca - May 25, 2017 - 2:57 AM

    Can’t stop laughing! We are finally moving into a new house and have thankfully survived our custom design/new furniture battles!ReplyCancel

  • Gail caryn - May 25, 2017 - 12:53 AM

    Too perfectly hilarious. So sorry you’re having tech challenges. Hope it’s sorted soon. My husband has an 80s green pleather abomination that reclines so far it has to live three feet from the wall. It’s got a big wooden handle on the side and it clunks so hard when he sits up that the the cat takes refuge under the sofa. But there is light at the end of my fugly chair tunnel. We must downsize to move into the newly converted garage “cottage” while we redo our foundation. The cottage is cosy so the chair has to go! Happy dance……ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - May 25, 2017 - 1:11 AM

      Now you’re talkin’ That’s the solution. Move to a home so tiny, the friggin’ thing won’t be able to get through the door. Oh well… hahaReplyCancel

  • Gaye - May 24, 2017 - 11:08 PM

    Laurel, only you! I had no idea there was a “recliner” that looked decent. Is Anais certain this is not a cast-off from some bizarre, old-folks’ porn film? I always underestimate American furniture makers.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - May 24, 2017 - 11:10 PM

      haha! I don’t know. It’s so awful. Sometimes it seems like there’s someone who says. “let’s see how ugly we can make this and see if anyone notices– hehehe”ReplyCancel

  • danielle - May 24, 2017 - 10:22 PM

    Ok Laurel you crack me up! I love that the word “Barf” appears in script, no less!

    By the way, get an agent–you need a show!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - May 24, 2017 - 11:04 PM

      Hi Danielle,

      Haha. I was in a show when I was 22 and was told that I had missed my “calling.”

      I’m still waiting to be “discovered.” hahaha. Just kidding. But thanks for the compliment!


  • Diana Bier - May 24, 2017 - 10:20 PM



    Okay, this post is officially your funniest to date!

    Keep ’em coming!

    Diana B.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - May 24, 2017 - 11:01 PM

      Thanks so much Diana. It was funny until my site nearly crashed after posting. Something strange with Mail Chimp. Many people couldn’t get on, but at least some did.ReplyCancel

  • Alisa - May 24, 2017 - 10:02 PM

    I like the post but I especially like that you might be the only design blogger out there that has used the word “barf” in a blog post! Thank you for the information and for the smiles.ReplyCancel

  • carol - May 24, 2017 - 9:53 PM

    I, too, neglected to ask that particular pre-nup question. My old boy has a very delicate tush that requires lots of cushioning. And his reclining chair has to be big enough to hold not only him, but 3 cats as well. I would draw the line light-years before the space walker model, but if he didn’t have a chair he and the cats felt comfortable in, I’m afraid they’d all end up in bed with me . . . and I’ve gotten used to having the entire thing to myself. It’s heavenly, and no way will I risk losing that luxury.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - May 24, 2017 - 10:08 PM

      Hi Carol,

      Well, we all adapt the best we can and having an entire bed to oneself is pretty darned nice too!ReplyCancel

  • Dolores - May 24, 2017 - 9:48 PM

    I’m not sharing this list of Laurel approved recliners with my husband of almost 48 years! He knows he’s never going to wear down my resistance,so why give him false hope??
    He’s NOT getting one..EVER.:-)ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - May 24, 2017 - 9:51 PM

      hahaha! That is very funny Dolores! Having some technical issues tonight so it helps to keep things a little light.ReplyCancel

  • Julie - May 24, 2017 - 9:37 PM

    Thanks Laurel, your posts are so great! Recliners sure have come a long way, they are not nearly as huge and hideous as they used to be! However, when I see a chair all laid out I expect to see a dental hygienist cleaning someone’s teeth. If a husband needs to be horizontal there is a sofa, if they need to sit and just put up their feet I have a gorgeous ottoman for that.

    If I tell my spouse that Laurel is giving the ok for a tasteful recliner all kinds of decorating hell will break loose in my house. He will think he won! First it would be recliners, then he’ll want pictures of dogs playing cards painted on velvet, lol. Next thing you know my house will resemble the inside of a pirate ship. It’s too risky for me!ReplyCancel

    • Jenny - May 25, 2017 - 12:03 PM

      “First it would be recliners, then he’ll want pictures of dogs playing cards painted on velvet..” -haaaaa!!!! you’ve just made my dayReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - May 24, 2017 - 9:47 PM

      Hi Julie,

      I understand completely. A chair with an ottoman should suffice. No?

      But while researching this, I was surprised at how many fugly chairs still exist. And some of them are damned expensive too!ReplyCancel

  • Divnanata - May 24, 2017 - 8:59 PM

    Laurel – besides being a devastatingly talented interior designer you are also a Joan Rivers caliber comedienne.

    What can I say? I sort of caved. NOT to the fugly chair but to an out of the way/sight man cave/apartment where he can loll about in bulbous super sized comfort to his heart’s content. You put all of his fuglies snd cheese curls somewhere company won’t see. A spare bedroom with a BIG lock perhaps? Shut him away and join him when you are in the mood to watch TV golf. Blech.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - May 24, 2017 - 9:24 PM

      Hi Divnanata,

      Thanks so much. Don’t feel very funny right now because my site is acting up and you are one of the few who can actually get on.

      Spare bedroom with a lock could work. Good luck with that!ReplyCancel