High tech pieces are a natural design evolution at La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries in Birmingham

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Screenshot from the Bham Now La-Z-Boy video

When Curt Morris, owner of La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries in Birmingham talks about multi-functional furniture, he lights up with pride when he describes La-Z-Boy’s storied history.

He should.

An American success story, La-Z-Boy invented the concept of multi-functional furniture.

How it all started

Back in 1928, two cousins changed the furniture industry by developing a chair that offered what they called, “nature’s way of relaxing.” In a Monroe Michigan farmhouse, Edward M. Knabusch and Edwin J. Shoemaker, using orange crates, were able to mock-up a prototype for their first reclining chair.

They designed a wood-slat porch chair that included a reclining mechanism. They then upholstered their invention and decided to market it as a perfect year-round, indoor chair.

“So, when you look back in history, it was the first time there was “function” in furniture. I would venture to say, 100 years ago, La-Z-Boy was the originator of multi-functional furniture. Prior to that time, chairs were simply a utilitarian piece. People sat and were very uncomfortable, but it was useful. Our recliners changed all that,” said Morris.

Multi-functional furniture today – Building on tradition

Screenshot from Bham Now video about La-Z-Boy

Today, La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries are filled with multi-functional furniture. Throughout the store the options are endless.

“We have taken it, from what was a very simple idea at first (building recliners), that nobody else had figured out, and now we are building on that tradition with furniture that has power, electronics, and simple efficiency,” added Morris.

Examples include recliners with power controls providing endless leg and lumbar positions. The recliners can also be fitted with a power pack so you do not need to have a plug nearby and avoid those unsightly wires. USB ports and electrical plugs are built into the recliners too.

Beyond recliners, there are tables that lift up providing a way for you to sit on your sofa and eat a meal. Underneath the tabletop is storage space. There are also long dining room tables that can extend without having to find those extra leaves stored in some closet.

Screenshot from Bham Now video about La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries

Other multi-functional items? Sofas, love seats, ottomans and yes, even night tables.

An American original

A near century old  company that still manufacturers their recliners in the United States, employing thousands of people, La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries is an American original. And yes, the originator of the idea of multi-functional furniture.

Check out all the multi-functional recliners and furniture today at our local La-Z-Boy Furniture stores.

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  • Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.