Taken from Joseph Aronson’s Encyclopedia of Furniture (1938), the definition of the chaise longue is “a long chair, a form of sofa or day-bed with upholstered back for reclining”.
Is it “chaise longue” or “chaise lounge”?
Both, it seems, are fairly understood to mean the same thing though chaise longue would be the original French term. When the English imported the long chair from France, they anglicized the ‘longue’ to ‘lounge’, an English word spelled with the same letters and fortuitously bearing the same meaning as the original chaise longue, meaning “a long couch”.
Pictured: Molteni&C Paul sofa by Vincent van Duysen, from P5
This versatile piece is part of Paul, a set of sofas designed by Belgian designer Vincent van Duysen for Italian furniture brand Molteni&C. Designed to be the end element of an adjoining sofa to make a long multi-seater, it is also complete on its own as a chaise longue.
Buy this because… You’re undecided about committing to either a chaise longue or a sofa. Don’t sweat it, you can have both.
Poliform Mad chaise longue by Marcel Wanders, from Space Furniture
Dutch designer Marcel Wanders’ shapely chair keeps the look seamless yet fun by expressing just the abstract silhouette of the chaise longue. A striking piece, it is built with solid wood stems and comes with a removable fabric or leather cover over the moulded polyurethane body.
Buy this because… You like your furniture to be fun.
Cassina LC4 Chaise Longue by Le Corbusier, from Space Furniture
Designed in 1928 by the father of modern architecture, Le Corbusier, with his cousin Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perriand, the LC4 is one of the most, if not the most, iconic chaise longue designs. Its tubular steel frame speaks of its machine age origins, and its pronounced curves mimic the fluid lines of a lounging body.
Buy this because… You want an iconic and modern design.
Zanotta Lama 921 lounge chair by Ludovica+Roberto Palomba, from W. Atelier
The most minimalist design of the lot, the Lama 921 lounge chair is the bare-bones rendition of the chaise longue. Propped up on a graphite steel frame, the moulded foam seat comes in fabric, leather or cowhide covers. Italian architects and designers Roberto Palomba and Ludovica Serafini designed the chair for furniture brand Zanotta in 2006.
Buy this because… You’re all about understated luxe designs. And you know the Italians are masters at this.
Erik Joergensen AV72 chair by Arne Vodder, from Danish Design
A 2016 reissue of the design first launched in 1972, the AV72 is an elegant chaise longue with a slim frame that curves with the natural contours of the body. By Danish furniture designer Arne Vodder, who was known for his work with wood, this chair was known as the first of his furniture with a metal frame.
Buy this because… You appreciate Danish Design and the classic look of tufted leather.
Eilersen Control chair by Jens Jules Eilersen, from Danish Design
True to its name, this chair gives you ultimate control over its highly adaptable design. Its neck and foot support can be adjusted between two positions, while the backrest can switch between sitting and lying positions. Fabric and leather options – over fifty to choose from – for the customizable and removable cover will also impress. It even comes in two sizes, 70 x 182cm and 85 x 182cm.
Buy this because… You’re a bit of a control freak and the chair’s multifarious options appeals to your need-to-be-in-charge spirit.