A symbol of classic elegance, designer chaises and daybeds are dramatic fixtures for many French, Rococo, and Contemporary aesthetics. These contemplative pieces are perfect for executive and home offices.
Get to know Designer Chaises & Daybeds
Warm, inviting, yet stylishly chic, chaise and daybeds are perfect seating alternatives to sofas and accent chairs. To learn about the these two design savvy seating options (including a most revealing list of their pros and cons), read on.
The word “chaise” originates from the French term “chaise longue,” which literally means long chair. Stylistically located somewhere between an armchair, footrest, and a sofa, this iconic piece of furniture is perfect for reclining, lounging, and of course, napping.
Designed for relaxation and style, the basic chaise silhouette is characterized by a backrest on one side, and either one, two, or no armrests. An antique chaise is generally intended for a single person to recline in.
Since its inception, the chaise has undergone many different iterations. One of these iterations is an antique chaise known as a “fainting couch or “Meridienne,” an asymmetrical chaise with a backrest that is connected to an armrest on one side. If you’re curious about how this piece got its name, it was because it was designed for corset-donning women in the Victorian era who needed to take a breather while wearing the restrictive undergarment. Hence, the fainting couch preventing fainting.
Another type is the “S-shaped” chaise, a chaise who’s body form a sumptuous S-curve. And yet another variation is the “recamier,” an antique chaise with a headrest on both sides, but no backrest.
Incorporating an antique chaise into your decor
Chaise lounges are versatile pieces that can be placed in a myriad of different locations. One of our favorite spots is directly beneath window. It’s perfect for reading, relaxing, or simply gazing. If a scenic view is not an option, however, we recommend positioning your chaise to face some sort of focal point in the room, whether it be a TV, art piece, or even just oriented toward other furniture to facilitate conversation.
Another popular spot for a chaise is in the bedroom—whether against the wall or pushed next to the foot of the bed, this serves as place for guests to sit in the room in lieu of the bed, and of course is also a convenient place to drape clothes and stack decorative pillows overnight.
While a chaise and daybed have similar silhouettes, they do have several key differences in both function and appearance.
A daybed is essentially what it sounds like—a sofa during the day, and bed by night. A typical designer daybed has a twin mattress, low backrest, and two sides. However, there are plenty of daybeds with no backrest, or no arms, and the bench-style variation of a daybed has neither. The only essential component is the mattress. The benefit to having a backrest is that it enables the daybed to be floated wherever you like in a room (as opposed to pushed up against a wall). A designer daybed can pass for a chic, living room sofa, particularly if you adorn it it with a cast of decorative pillows.
Incorporating a designer daybed into your decor
A traditional antique daybed (with a backrest and two sides), is an ideal sofa substitute for a living room or guest bedroom. Since it has a backrest, it can be placed in the middle of the room and still easily function as a bed when needed. In contrast, a bench style daybed (one with no arm or backrest), works well in a corner nook where it has walls or windows supporting it on two sides.
Designer Daybed or Antique Chaise?
If choosing between one of the two, decide which piece will best suit your intended function. If you’re looking for a versatile piece of furniture that is capable of accommodating sleeping guests, then a daybed will more than likely suit the bill. On the contrary, a chaise is less utilitarian, but can help round out a room that is in need of extra seating, and is perhaps maxed out on chairs.
Whether you choose a designer chaise or antique daybed, both are a guaranteed way to add luxurious comfort and style to your home.