This is the history of the chaise lounge; including their origin, transformation, and influence on the world of furniture.
The chaise lounge is not just a style of furniture, but a work of art offering the feeling of decadence and romance at first sight. The term “chaise lounge” is an Anglicized version of the French term, “chaise longue.” “Chaise longue” means, literally, “long chair.” They are sometimes known as “fainting couches,” as well. Currently, the term applies to any type of furniture that provides a person with a back or an arm rest on one end that sometimes tapers down the backside of the chair, resulting in one end resembling a bench.
Chaise lounges are thought to be modeled on common furniture from previous civilizations. For instance, the Egyptians had a similar piece of furniture that was a combination between a chair and a daybed. They were constructed of sticks and rawhide or sticks and cord. A little later on, the Greeks had a similar chair that was used during gatherings and was called a “kline.” The Roman civilizations didnt upholster furniture because their versions were cast in bronze or carefully carved from wood. To make their versions more comfortable they used pillows, blankets and hides. The Romans also added legs.
The chair, throughout the centuries, has been modified and designed slightly differently from area to area. By the time the 1600s came along, the chaise lounge was adopted by the French and turned into one of the most lush and lavish pieces of furniture a person could have up to current times. The French designers started a trend in Europe with their chaise designs. Rather than entirely copy the simple designs that the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans used earlier, the French borrowed the basic form and added upholstery.
The chaise lounges of of the sixteenth century often had wood accents and luxurious cushioning that made them very comfortable for a variety of activities. Whether it be dining, relaxing, or even napping, the chaise lounge still remains an extremely versitile design. They are often made with plush fabrics that include silk, brocade, velvet, and satin. They can be found in sitting rooms, salons, libraries, and bedrooms. Features that have been present over the last couple of thousand years ago are sometimes revived and paired with modern techniques, such as gold leaf applications and cast metals.
Due to their popularity, durability and comfort level, chaise lounges are very collectible pieces. Some chairs that were made centuries ago still exist and they can reach very good prices when they in good condition, can be restored, or were owned by royalty or someone famous. It will not be surprising if they continue to be an essential pieces of furniture in the centuries to come because they are made with such an adaptable, timeless design.
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