How to Style a Recliner: Expert Tips for a Modern Look

A dark leather recliner against a brick industrial style wall

A recliner chair can boost the comfort of your home, providing a cosy spot to relax, read a book, watch TV, or take a nap. However, it’s not just about comfort; it can also enhance your home’s interior. A well-styled recliner chair can be a statement piece in your interior design, seamlessly blending in with your overall aesthetic while providing unparalleled comfort. In this article, we’ll explore how to style a recliner to complement various interior design styles, with a focus on making it work as a modern piece of furniture.

What you need to consider when styling your recliner chair

Choosing the Right Recliner

Before diving into the world of styling, it’s essential to start with the right recliner. Modern and contemporary interiors often favour clean lines, minimalist designs, and neutral colour palettes. Therefore, selecting a recliner that reflects these principles is crucial. Look for recliners with sleek silhouettes, smooth finishes, and upholstery options that match your interior’s color scheme.

Upholstery and Colour Palette

In a modern or contemporary interior, neutral tones are the go-to choice. Opt for upholstery in shades of gray, white, black, or beige. These colors create a clean and sophisticated look that blends seamlessly with the overall design. For a touch of warmth, consider earthy tones like taupe or camel.

Alternatively, if you want to add a pop of color to your space, choose a recliner in a bold, solid hue that complements your interior’s color palette. For instance, a deep navy recliner can become a striking focal point in a predominantly white or gray room.

Texture and Materials

Texture plays a significant role in modern and contemporary interiors. To add depth and interest to your recliner, consider materials like leather, velvet, or microfiber. Leather recliners exude luxury and sophistication, while velvet adds a touch of opulence and warmth. Microfiber is a practical choice that’s easy to clean and maintain.

When selecting materials, pay attention to the overall feel of the room. If your interior leans more towards minimalism, opt for smooth, matte finishes. In contrast, if you’re aiming for a cosier atmosphere, textured fabrics can work wonders.

Recliner Placement

The placement of your recliner is crucial to ensure it fits seamlessly into your interior design. In modern and contemporary spaces, it’s essential to maintain an open and uncluttered feel. Place your recliner strategically, so it doesn’t obstruct traffic flow or disrupt the visual flow of the room.

Consider placing the recliner against a neutral backdrop like a solid-colored wall or within a seating arrangement that complements its style. This can help create a harmonious balance in the room.

Minimalistic Accessories

Less is often more when it comes to modern and contemporary interior design. Keep accessories and decor items minimal to maintain a clean and uncluttered look. A few well-chosen, high-quality accessories can make a significant impact.

Consider adding a sleek side table next to your recliner chair to hold a reading lamp or a small decorative item. Opt for minimalist wall art or a single statement piece that complements the colour scheme and style of the room. Avoid overwhelming the space with excessive decorations or furniture.


Lighting is a critical aspect of modern and contemporary interior design. Incorporate ambient, task, and accent lighting to create a layered and inviting atmosphere. Place a floor lamp or pendant light near your recliner to provide ample reading or task lighting.

Additionally, consider installing dimmer switches to control the intensity of the lighting, allowing you to adjust the ambiance to suit different occasions.

Incorporate Contrast

While modern interiors often embrace simplicity, introducing contrast can add visual interest. Contrast can be achieved through colour, texture, and shape. For example, if your recliner chair is upholstered in a neutral colour, add contrast with vibrant accent pillows or a boldly patterned throw blanket.

You can also experiment with contrasting furniture pieces. For instance, pair a sleek, modern recliner with a vintage or rustic side table to create an eclectic and unique look

Geometric Patterns and Shapes

Modern and contemporary design frequently incorporate geometric patterns and shapes. Consider incorporating geometric elements in your recliner’s upholstery, throw pillows, or area rugs. This can help tie the recliner into the overall design scheme while adding a modern twist.

Maintenance and Care

To ensure your recliner maintains its stylish appearance in a modern setting, it’s essential to keep it well-maintained. Regularly clean and vacuum upholstery to remove dust and debris. Also, for leather recliners, use a leather conditioner to keep the material supple and shiny.

Styling a recliner chair in a contemporary interior is all about balance and harmony. It doesn’t need to look like an outdated piece of furniture in an otherwise modern setting. So by carefully selecting the right recliner, upholstery, colours, and materials, you can create a seamless blend between comfort and style. Keep the overall design principles of minimalism, clean lines, and a neutral colour palette in mind, and don’t forget to add subtle touches of contrast and texture to make your recliner an integral part of your interior’s aesthetic. 

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