When you begin decorating in the shabby chic style and with shabby chic furniture, it can be hard to determine where and how to incorporate some of the more stylistic pieces such as the chesterfield sofa – or the chaise lounge.

A chaise lounge is an upholstered sofa in the shape of a chair that is long enough to support the legs. The term chaise longue can refer to any long reclining chair. The name is a French phrase which is interpreted in English as “long chair”. They are normally described by an extended seat and low backrest toward one side.

Chaise lounges add a touch of luxury and history to home decor. Often the term chaise lounge brings to mind grand rooms used for relaxing, lounging, reading and drinking tea. This is a magnificent turn of the century chaise that I would die for.

chaise lounge

Like the chesterfield sofa, they were often found in the homes of the wealthiest, upholstered in rich fabrics such as velvet.  However, there are many more options and styles when it comes to choosing a chaise:

  1. Contemporary chaise longue: designed by Italian designer Vico Magistretti in 1996.
  2. Duchesse brisée: this chaise longue is divided in two parts comprising of a chair and a long footstool.
  3. Récamier: it has two raised ends and nothing on the long sides. The shape is similar to a traditional lit boat bed that is designed for drawing room and not bedroom.
  4. Méridienne: it has a high head rest, and a lower foot rest, coupled by a sloping piece. Méridiennes are asymmetrical day beds and the name comes from its typical use: rest in the middle of the day.

Given that most of us do not have the luxury of resting in the middle of the day, or taking a leisurely afternoon tea in our drawing room (like this gentleman – painted by Manet)chaise lounge painting

it can be difficult to see the need or purpose for a chaise. The shabby chic furniture style often incorporates luxurious and romantic items that provide more internal function than external. They are meant to invoke an atmosphere of grandeur and provide a sense of delight to a room.

Adding a chaise to the end of your bed or in a reading nook can bring some of that grandeur and delight into a space that otherwise might be lacking. A vintage or weathered chaise can also tone down a more modern or contemporary style, bringing the old world into your home. Making a chaise the centerpiece of your living room can elevate the entire space. Even modern chaise lounges provide a similar sense of history and luxury. Draping a modern chaise with a rich velvet blanket can increase the feel of elegance.chaise

As with most of the furniture we discuss here at Live Shabby Chic, antique stores and estate sales are great places to look for an older chaise. And newer pieces can be made to look more vintage with distressing techniques. Look for something that encompasses both the old world luxury you are looking for and your own existing furniture and décor styles.

2 Thoughts on “What to do with a Chaise Lounge?

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