The chaise longue made its way from French bedrooms to our living rooms, and today it has even reached the entrances of our houses. It has never abandoned their decadent air, but it has modified its design.
Its main advantage lies in its versatility. A chaise longue can accommodate two people sitting in small space, depending on the design, so it´s a great alternative to benches. And placed in a wasted corner or at the hall, next to a side table, it creates a functional space that can be enjoyed a lot.
Wherever you put it, a chaise longue will always give a glamorous touch to the decoration. To choose it well you must consider two things: its style and the design options.
Chaise longue’s styles
Antique chaise longue or classic designs. True antiques or replicas based on old designs, they are sumptuous pieces with carved legs, rounded lines, gold finishes, velvet or silk tapestries, super-muted cushions and often quilted upholstery. Good pieces have an air between decadent and luxurious…
Modern chaise longues. Strictly speaking, modern designs are typical of the 20th century (until 1970). The designers of the modern movement created some iconic designs of chaise longue, which continue in production until today. The key to this style is the elimination of superfluous items, such as ornaments, with the aim of optimizing form and function. Good examples are the famous Chaise Longue from Le Corbusier (Switzerland, 1887-1965); The Chaise, from the Eames, presented in 1948; Or the divan Barcelona, designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in 1930, as an evolution of his mythical Barcelona chair. The original designs are today a luxury and a good investment. Copies are many…
Divan Barcelona from Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Via: My Domaine
Contemporary chaise longue. Be careful not to confuse “modern” and “contemporary” style. The latter covers the designs from 1970 to the present day. Contemporary style is essentially eclectic, inspired by both the avant-garde and the classic style. A contemporary chaise longue takes elements of different styles and epochs. They are traditional cut pieces, but with simple and robust lines. They share with the modern designs their lack of ornamentation. The priority is comfort and functionality, and often are covered with slip covers.
This large contemporary style chaise longue also serves as a sofa without interrupting the views. Via: dlrhein.com
There are some variables when choosing a chaise longue, especially concerning the arms and backrest.
With or without arms. Traditionally, a chaise longue has one arm on one side. But there are also chaise longues with two arms, high or low, or without arms. Versions without arms are very elegant, have less visual weight and can be placed in any orientation.
A simple version without arms with an attractive upholstery. Photo Anders Schønnemann. Via: House & Garden
Armrest to the right or the left. You must take it into account depending on the configuration of your furniture (and maybe also if you are right-handed or left-handed)… Chaise longues with a single arm can limit you if you want to arrange them in other direction. The manufacturers usually give the two options when ordering the chaise longue.
With back and one arm to the left. Model Colette from Blasco & Blasco.
Backrest: Usually a chaise longue has one back, straight or inclined. There are also models with two backrests, which can be very useful when they also serve as a seat for two people.
Chaise longue without arms and two backrests. Would you use it for two? Via: House Beautiful
About the word “chaise longue”
“Chaise longue” means “long chair” in French. Maybe that’s why we associated it with this country, but it really was born in Ancient Egypt. Halfway between bed and armchair, it was popularized in France in the eighteenth century, reigning Louis XIV, as a piece intended for the bedrooms, the perfect seat to rest without actually lying down. And from there it spread throughout Europe.