Chaise Longue Buyers Guide
History of the Chaise Longue
The Chaise Longue has been around for thousands of years and, for most of that time, was seen as a symbol of wealth and luxury. Julius Caesar, Marie Antoinette, Sigmund Freud and Greta Garbo. All would have reclined on one at some point, adding to the Chaise Longue’s reputation for glamour, opulence and elusiveness.
The luxury Chaise Longue that we are familiar with emerged in France in the 17th Century. Made of solid wood, they would have been upholstered using plush cushions and the finest fabrics. This was not something for the person in the street. In 18th Century France, rococo became all the rage and the Chaise Longue became ever more ornate, ostentatious and unaffordable. It wasn’t until mass production techniques came along that this highly desirable piece of luxury furniture came within the reach of the majority. Having said that, at Juliettes Interiors, our Chaises are not mass produced but individually made by master craftsmen to a world class standard. As a Juliettes customer, you can expect the very best quality and a stunning level of detail in every Chaise that we well.
In the 1920s and 1930s, a Chaise Longue was still the domain of the elite, and a particular favourite of movie stars, but it was beginning to filter through into homes and businesses. Ornate fussiness made way for cool Swiss and German designs, and this superbly versatile piece was adapted for use in gardens and outdoor spaces as well as living rooms and offices.
Although launched back in 1928, Le Corbusier’s iconic LC4 Chaise Longue became popular in the 1960s at a time when the rest of the world began to embrace his ideas of purity of design, modernism and brutalism. Instead of calling it a Chaise Longue or Chaise Lounge, it became known as a Relaxing Machine because of the way it can be tilted at any angle, and its shape conforms to the contours of the body.
The Chaise Longue saw something of a downturn at the end of the 20th Century before its current resurgence as a must-have piece of furniture. Any style of Chaise from baroque to ultra-modern, indoor or outdoor, can now find a place in today’s eclectic interiors. Modern examples tend to go for comfort as their number one priority, and are becoming larger in size. After all, this is somewhere to relax. You don’t want to feel as though you are about to tip off the edge of something about as narrow and uncomfortable as a doctor’s couch.
Remember, you don’t have to slavishly follow any trends. Simply buy something you love, a piece that fits flawlessly into your interior – or one that acts as a startling contrast. Choose wisely, go for quality and you will have a Chaise Longue that will be part of the family for years to come.
Styles of Chaise Longue
From Ancient Rome to Le Corbusier and on into the 21st Century, every age has enjoyed the comfort and relaxation of a Chaise Longue. These days you can find any style of Chaise, from the highly ornate baroque through to ultra-contemporary steel and leather. What you choose will depend on the space you have and the style you wish to create. A small, formal Chaise Longue makes a fantastic statement hallway bench. Styles with no back work best against a wall or as a glamorous window seat. If you intend to use your Chaise Longue outside, make sure you specify hard-wearing and water resistant fabrics. You may already have an idea of what you are looking for but still make sure you explore all the options available. Today’s designs have moved a long way in terms of size and comfort.
In ancient civilisations, a Chaise Longue was reserved for royalty and those in authority
No French chateau would be complete without a Chaise Longue or two. This day bed style is from a collection at the Palais de Versailles
Still French but pared back. This Lounge Chair would be perfect in a shady outdoor space
Le Corbusier’s iconic 1920s LC4 design became popular in the 1960s and hasn’t gone out of fashion since. Loved by psychiatrists, interior designers and fashionistas
A range of styles from Juliettes Interiors
Luxury Louis XV Chaise Longue
Simple in shape with headrest only, but with beautifully ornate carvings, deep button upholstery and opulent damask fabrics. Inspired by the finest French examples
Italian Lacquered Chaise Longue
A more upright option with an off-centre backrest, a beautifully curved low half back and single armrest
Modern Velvet Chaise Longue
Back and armrests flow seamlessly in this very modern, sumptuous example of a Chaise Longue
Hollywood Star Chaise Longue
Classic lines with sleek upholstery, a simple headrest and sloping back, a style beloved of Hollywood starlets but equally at home in today’s interiors
Italian Designer Velvet Chaise Longue
Elegant, mid-century styling combined with luxury and comfort. A simple headrest curves into a sloping half back
Contemporary Walnut Designer Chaise Longue
Perfect for a spot of relaxation with a good book. Modern European styling, with a walnut frame providing both backrest and two sloping armrests.
Contemporary Upholstered Chaise Longue
21st Century styling means bigger is definitely better. Our newest Chaises Longues are oversized with a superb combination of style and comfort. This example has a wonderfully soft, padded headrest, a single armrest and space for two.