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Recliners Getting a Makeover

Stylish enough for women and still comfortable enough for lazy boys

The stodgy recliner gets a boomer-inspired makeover

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The recliner is getting a makeover.

They look like a starship captain’s seat — all sleek taupe leather. They lean backward even when you park them against a wall. Some of them will even charge your phone or cool your drink while comfortably cradling your spine from head to tuchas.

Yes, the recliner, that bulky bane of interior decorators, is getting a makeover, thanks to boomers who stubbornly insist on spending their golden years in style as well as comfort.

Boomers account for four of every 10 recliners purchased in this country, according to a 2015 Furniture Today study. But consumers are no longer stuck with the look memorialized by Martin Crane’s avocado green-and-brown-striped monstrosity, which disrupted the feng shui of his son’s stylish living room on “Frasier.”

"Before, this furniture was strictly about the function — meaning it could recline but there wasn't much to the aesthetics of it," Bonnie Lewis, an interior designer in Scottsdale, Ariz., whose firm, 55 TLC Interior Design, specializes in designs for older adults, told the Associated Press this week.

"Because boomers want that cleaner-line look, it's pushing the manufacturers to get on board."

Manufacturers now offer a variety of styles and upholstery, and some chairs incorporate battery power to provide movement and gadget maintenance, Lewis said. Legs have replaced the upholstered-turtle look. Even lift chairs — essential for mobility-impaired boomers who want to age in place — are getting more attractive.

"They're not as slick as the plain recliner, but they're getting there," she said.

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