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Chaise longue’s styles

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.

The best allies of a chaise longue are a cushion, like this one made of ikat, and a blanket, like this one with fabric by Serendipity Fabrics. Via: Nuevo Estilo

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…

An antique chaise longue in a contemporary decor. Photo by William Waldron

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

Design

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.

Liberty chaise longue from Blasco & Blasco. It creates a reading corner in this bedroom. Via: Nuevo Estilo

Guide to decorate with cushions

Decorate with cushions gives life to a room and allows us to revamp it without making big investments. That is true. But easy? If you can find in shops more than 1,000 different models, how can you choose those four or five that will look great on your sofa or bed?

There are no magic formulas. Unfortunately, the style can not be explained. But in this post we want to give you a basic guide to decorate with cushions and some easy stylist tricks. Then, you can mix and match colors, sizes and prints according to your taste and the style of your house. It is certainly the funniest part and also the most complicated. Mix and try until you find the winning combo. In our blog we also have lots of photos as inspiration to help you.

decorate with cushions Serendipity FabricsCushions with Blasco & Blasco fabrics.

Size. In decoration, size always matters. In the case of cushions, their size is conditioned by the sofa size. A conventional sofa works with standard cushions, which are usually 40 x 40 or 45 x 45 cm.

Balance. The biggest cushions, more than 60 cm, are comfortable, inviting and trendy, but should be reserved for large sofas. Low-back or small size sofas fit with small cushions.

Ambiance by Villiams Sonoma

Shapes. There are 4 basic shapes of cushions: square, rectangular, round and bolsters. Apart from its appearance, the shape also fulfills a function. Squares are perfect to support the entire back. Rectangulars support the lower back or neck. Bolsters do not slide and can do better their function in a leather sofa pec6edn.

Combinations. When decorating with cushions many people choose different colors even different patterns, but choose all them in the standard size (40cm) and square. Doing that, we miss a lot of the fun. Success also involves combining sizes and shapes, because this adds depth and makes all works better.

The size matters… Via: Style me pretty

Various sizes. Visually it works better if the larger cushions are at the ends and the smaller cushions at the center. And it’s also more practical because you will not have to remove the big ones every time you sit down.

Matching cushions. Sometimes the sofa is sold with some cushions in the same fabric of the upholstery. It never works because the cushions are camouflaged on the sofa and do not contribute anything. Change them for others that add color or texture.

Via: Melián Randolph Studio

Inserts. Beauty is inside? Yes. Even the best cushion will not look nice if is amorphous and flattened. Thinking about cushion inserts does not seem exciting, but choosing them well is a part of the success. There are feather fillings and synthetic fibers.

Feathers and down. Feathers and goose down are the most expensive option, but it is well worth investing money if the cushions are going to be used and will not be merely decorative objects. You will be grateful when you want to take a nap on the sofa. In the long term, inserts with feathers, down or mix of both will come out profitable, since they are more durable than synthetic fibers, don´t lose their shape and can be reused for years just changing the covers.

decorate with cushions. Serendipity FabricsLinen cushions by Serendipity Fabrics

Fibers. If you do not want to invest much and the cushions are merely decorative, or they are of very little use, you can choose fibers inserts. For outdoor cushions, you must always use fiber inserts, because feather inserts are not recommended.

Give them shape. If you like very compact cushions, use an insert a little larger than the cushion cover. And be sure to put the insert well, without leaving empty corners.

Living room by Kirsten Marie Interiors

Number. There are many theories about whether even or odd numbers work best, but the main rule is that if you have to move cushions to sit comfortably on the sofa, it’s because you have too many.

Groups of sofas and armchairs. If you want to decorate with cushions a sofa (or two) and some chairs, you have to consider all them as a group. It doesn´t mean you have to repeat cushions or coordinate prints, but everything should work as a harmonious set, taking into account the color palette of the room, the fabrics used and the general style.

A project by Isabel López Quesada

Decoration style. When decorating with cushions you have to respect the style of the room. This influences the choice of fabrics, colors, textures and placement of the cushions.

Classic style. In these ambiences work well velvet, silk or linen, and trimmings. This style accepts combinations of colors, patterns and textures, with cushions usually grouped symmetrically.

Blasco & Blasco linen sofa with classic cushions. Via: Nuevo Estilo

 Contemporary design. This style is associated with fewer colors and few prints, or none, and better geometric. Decorate with cushions in lightweight fabrics like cotton or linen, in large sizes, and not grouped.

Eclectic style. The most difficult option but also the ones that will give you the greatest satisfaction. Try complicated combinations of prints and fabric. To avoid the chaos, give it coherence unifying with color.

Summer and winter. Decorate with cushions allow to change between seasons. It is a small luxury to have velvet cushions in winter and fresh linen cushions in summer, just changing the covers.

Perfect cushions for summer in this Blasco & Blasco sofa. Via: Nuevo Estilo

Looking for more inspiration? Check this posts: How to style a white sofa and Tips to combine cushions.

Decorating a dining room with different chairs and tables

Decorating a dining room without falling into the boredom of matching dining tables and chairs, but without failing with mismatched combinations is a big challenge. It is clear that the dining furniture sets are more than outdated. It was very easy for our mothers or grandmothers: they went to a store and they chose a table with matching chairs. Their only challenge was the budget.

Mix and match dining table and chairs adds decorative interest, even a touch of surprise, but doing it right requires an extra effort and inspiration. Not everything works. So before purchasing new dining chairs or table, be sure of your decision.

Eero Saarinen oval Tulip table with Executive chairs. Predictable? Via: House Beautiful

In addition to achieving a good aesthetic result, you must also consider other factors when thinking in decorating a dining room, for example, the space available, the number of people who use it, their age (especially with children!),  even their size (not all people are equal …). And of course, the comfort and quality of the furniture you buy.

There really are endless options, more or less unexpected, but there are five tips that will help you when decorating a dining room mixing and matching tables and chairs:

  1. Look for a common design element. If you combine a design table with classic chairs you can get a shocking result. The tip is to put together pieces that share something. Look for chairs with legs or straight back for a table with very straight lines. And combine a round table with sinuous chairs, as in this dining room of Andina and Tapia.

decorating a dining roomAndina & Tapia mix here a contemporary dining table in steel and lacquered glass with classic Lord dining chairs, from Blasco & Blasco. Via: Nuevo Estilo

  1. When size matters… There must be proportion between table and chairs. About 55cm is the usual width for a chair. When the table is very large or the dining room is huge, dining chairs should be wider than usual or models with arms. If the dining table is small, you have to choose proportionated dining chairs, considering that the minimum width for a dining chair is 40 cm, below this, not even your size-36-friend can sit down comfortably. Still on the theme of the measurements, the height of the seat is usually between 45 and 48 cm, while the height of the table is about 75 cm. Although chairs and tables generally have standard heights and there are usually no problems, you should check that chairs do not stand too high or too low, and that they can approach the table without colliding, for example, their arms.

Estudio Melián Randolph dominates the rules of decorating a dining room, with a magic eye for mix and match. This light table is paired with light dining chairs. In addition, dining table and chairs combine straight lines with sinuous details.

  1. Create a random but uniform look. Chairs do not have to be all the same, but they have to harmonize. For example, a group of different styles old chairs will work together if all of them have the same worn wood. Or random chairs will fit together if are painted in the same colour or upholstered with the same fabric. Try it for a bohemian or vintage look.

Suzani fabric unifies different chairs and a pair of accent chairs on the ends in this dining room. Table from Restoration Hardware. Via: Country Living

  1. Table first. Why? Because the first step in decorating a dining room is to consider the available space and how many people will use it. This depends more on the table than the chairs. Then you can play with dining chairs, combining several styles if you need more, adding accent chairs on the ends or relocating a couple of them in another room if left over.

Available room defines the table size. Choosing this first will make the task easier. Via: Veneer Design

  1. Mix and match without fear. Because if you don´t take risks and you just choose dining chairs that don´t fit with the table but are not too different, the look will not only result drippy but it will seem a mistake! When decorating a dining room there must always be some “unresolved visual tension” between the dining table and chairs.

White lacquered table with bamboo chairs. A blend of styles, materials and colors. The key? The curves. Via: Studio McGee

If you liked this post on decorating a dining room with different chairs and tables, you may want to read about how to arrange a living room in 10 steps.