Thoroughly Modern Glider

My GliderNearly ubiquitous in nurseries across America, the glider is often viewed as a pedestrian piece of furniture – yet an essential one. As a mother of an infant myself, I can attest to the utility of this piece. I’ve spent countless hours rocking, feeding, reading, singing, and even sleeping in our glider (pictured at left).

The problem with gliders is…well, let’s be honest – most are not going to win any beauty contests. They’re a bit of a designer’s nightmare. Fortunately, there’s a new breed of nursery chairs out there that combine the functionality of their less attractive predecessors with great looks that will make young parents proud to show off baby’s digs. Some are even designed with reusability beyond the nursery in mind.

Here are some of my favorites, which would be a (very) welcome addition to baby’s special room.

Grano Glider Recliner

This model features both gliding and recline (with foot rest) options, and comes in a wide variety of fun colors, including a few in bonded leather. I especially love the orange, pictured below. And the lumbar pillow is actually included! $1195 (+$200 for leather).

Grano Glider Recliner

Empire Rocker

Although it isn’t a glider at all, and it commits a sin typical of ‘ugly’ gliders (tufted back), this offering from Nursery Works is truly unique and worthy of consideration. It has a distinctly welcoming quality, and is large enough for one plus a little person – a throne suitable for you and your little prince or princess. The Empire Rocker may not be ideal for all parents-to-be – it would be best used on a carpeted surface or area rug, and there are only three neutral color options. $800.

Empire Rocker

Dutailier 730 Series

For those who are familiar with the brand, this may be difficult to believe – the chair and ottoman pictured below are in fact newer offerings from Canada’s glider heavyweight Dutailier. From a stylistic perspective, this has to be the coolest glider I have seen yet. Although it loses points for comfort (more cushioning on the armrests would be much appreciated by this mom’s bony elbows), the 730 series would be equally at home in a modern nursery or family room.

Dutailier 730

DwellStudios Savoy Glider

What I love about this chair from DwellStudios is how unobtrusive and harmonious it would be within almost any design concept – nursery or otherwise. The curved tight back chair is available in a wide variety of colors, as well as two fabrics (though I would avoid linen for baby’s room). For those eco-conscious moms and dads out there, the Savoy Glider is made entirely of sustainable hardwoods. The Dotscape patterns add an optical “pop” without making the chair the visual focal point of the nursery. $1,190+

Savoy Glider

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Kelly Rogers


  1. Ben Finholt on March 7, 2012 at 10:11 AM

    We also found that most gliders are wicked ugly. But the other problem is that the nice ones are expensive. What should Caroline do without a Joe at home to provide one of these beauties?

    • Kelly R. on March 7, 2012 at 10:35 AM

      My suggestion would be to hit up Craig’s List, or network with other mommies who are ready to retire their gliders and want to get rid of them for one reason or another (moving to smaller space, done having children, etc.). You usually buy used and professionally reupholster to your liking for cheaper than you can buy new.

      • Ben Finholt on March 7, 2012 at 10:36 AM

        What if professional reupholstering is too expensive?

      • Kelly R. on March 7, 2012 at 11:01 AM

        If professionally reupholstering is too costly, you’ll probably just have to spend more time/look harder for what you want from used furniture sources. If the colors in your nursery are relatively neutral, then your palette is more flexible and you’ll have an easier time (than I did!) finding a good fit – that is a good way to economize on other things, too. I would not advise purchasing a rocking chair for this task, especially if mom is nursing – you definitely would want a cushioned armrest!

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