Susan Yeley Interiors
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Chaise My Life

When some of us at SYI think of the chaise lounge or (said in French while eating a croissant) chaise longue, we think of George Costanza posing on one, sporting only his undies and black socks.  It's so sexy.

[PSA: You can still buy the poster from that timeless episode if you neederwant one, to use a word coined by one of Susan's children. Better yet: buy an oil version on Etsy. We endorse real art.]

But some of us more enlightened and classy folk at SYI truly believe in the beauty of a chaise, and we are feeling evangelical. The chaise is more than a place to faint from your corset being too tight. It works in both private and public spaces in a home. It's a cozy place to read or toss dresses you decide not to wear, to nap in a patch of sun or eat a whole sleeve of Thin Mints all by yourself. A predecessor to the recliner, it's also a spot from which to watch TV. Lest you think we are anti-social, the chaise is good for gathering people and having conversation, too. 

In design school (where you can take awesome classes like History of Furniture) we learned that the chaise lounge has a history as old as ancient Egypt and Rome. Combination daybed and chair, it was and still is for reposing, which most of us in 2016 and perhaps back before the Common Era, would love to do more of.  Romans and Egyptians used fancy ones for burial purposes, so the dead could repose forever, lucky ducks. Read up on your chaise history here. It's fascinating stuff.

If you are cocking your head slightly to the left and wondering if you can pull a chaise off, well, we'll be frank: just buy one. You only live once. Commit already.

Photo courtesy of SUTTON SUZUKI ARCHITECTS

Photo courtesy of SUTTON SUZUKI ARCHITECTS

One of the most popular modern chaises is actually nearly a century old now. Designed in Paris in 1928 by Charlotte Perriand (yes, a gal), Pierre Jeanneret, and Le Corbusier, the B306 is an iconic design made of chrome-plated and varnished steel, fabric or leather, and steel springs. The top of the chaise lounge can glide along the bottom frame, offering the ability to adjust the elevation of your legs. It is modern, masculine, minimal, and comfortable.

Photo courtesy of USONA.

Photo courtesy of USONA.

For a somewhat cozier place of repose, look no further than most modern furniture lines for sink-in, cover-up and stay-put-for-a-while options. A pair of chaises orient conversation partners naturally toward each other without closing off both ends to the rest of the room. A single arm chaise allows for serious napping without falling off.

Image courtesy of Architect —Boor Bridges Architecture and Photographer — Nicholas V Ruiz  

Image courtesy of Architect —Boor Bridges Architecture and Photographer — Nicholas V Ruiz

 

A chaise can be an great addition to a library…no matter the size of the library.  

Photograph by Antoine Bootz/Outside the Box/Painted Leaf Press 

Photograph by Antoine Bootz/Outside the Box/Painted Leaf Press 

... or a perfect spot by the fire to curl up and read.  Call it an excuse to have a glass of wine in the bedroom.  

Photo courtesy of NEST Modern.

Photo courtesy of NEST Modern.

A set of two chaise lounges is a great alternative to the Chandler and Joey set of recliners facing a tv. For some (you know who you are), this might be a "meet me halfway" solution to a husband's love of a recliner. 

Photo courtesy of BarlisWedlick Architects.

Photo courtesy of BarlisWedlick Architects.

Photo courtesy of Ikaria Living.

Photo courtesy of Ikaria Living.

And here are two examples of a useful variation: the tête–à–tête.  It's modular!  It's a clever way to divide a long room that has two sitting/gathering areas. You sit on either side to talk to others, or you snuggle in, tête–à–tote — or pied–à–pied, whatever your pleasure.  French is so awesome. One moment you're having a private moment with the person sharing the furniture with you; the next, you are making merry with neighbors. 

And then there is the chaise in the bathroom or dressing area. Needed because sometimes you have to rest when deciding what to where or deserve more than a toilet to sit on when you are hiding from your children. But seriously, it's a way to fill a large space in the middle of a master bathroom or dressing area. It also helps make the room less utilitarian. Softens it. Makes it more of a retreat. And if it's a green chaise, even better. 

Photo courtesy of Jenny Van Stone Interior Design.

Photo courtesy of Jenny Van Stone Interior Design.

A chaise is even a good element to have in a 3-season room or screened porch. It will invite you to linger. Read one more chapter. Gossip with friends longer. 

Photo courtesy of Blasen Landscape Design

Photo courtesy of Blasen Landscape Design

Don't forget the chaise lounge outside the house. Perfect for lounging by the pool. Sigh. Now that is stunning. We could lounge there all day.