A History of the Lounge

As a perfect combination of style and comfort, chaise lounges can increase the style and elegance of nearly any room. Chaise lounges have always been a sign of wealth and class and, being a marriage of the daybed and chair, still exudes the same luxe as when they were first created for Egyptian pharaohs.

The phrase ‘chaise lounge’ is actually a depreciation of the French phrase ‘chaise longue’ meaning ‘long chair’. However, because chaise lounges were used primarily for lounging, early Americans thought the ‘longue’ was a misspelling and began instead using the current spelling.

The original design of the lounge comes from ancient Egypt where pharaohs would be carried from place to place on the lounge by servants. Chaise lounges were later incorporated into paintings made by Greek artists which portrayed their gods and goddesses relaxing on the stylish comfort of early chaise lounges.

Chaise lounges have been found on the other side of the world also. Ancient Olmecs, a pre-Mexican civilization, had a type of chaise lounges as did various African civilizations.

Modern day chaise lounges came from France in the 1500s. They were created with the intention of allowing people to relax on their backs as opposed to their sides and looked surprisingly similar to many modern day lounges. The construction was essentially an extended chair with four legs and a back rest. The materials most often used for chaise lounges in this time were rattan, curved wood or wooden caning.

By the time the 1700s rolled around, European style evolved to include the elegance of asymmetry and the chaise lounge was no exception.  The lounges developed into furniture pieces found in the homes of royalty and aristocracy across Europe and were adorned with the most expensive fabrics and rare woods. Carved feet and armrests were also typical of the chaise lounges of this time.

The chaise lounge came to America probably in the 1830s where tubular steel and plastic became common construction materials. Because of the milder weather of America versus Europe, chaise loungers adapted into an outdoor version and are often used as such now.

The popularity of chaise lounges in America really took off in the 1920s and ‘30s when they became associated with Hollywood glamour. Whereas Greek goddesses had been depicted relaxing on their chaise lounges in ancient time, American movie stars were the subjects of similar photos during this time.

Now chaise lounges are easy to mass produce in any of its many reincarnations. It is beautiful both indoors and out and fits well in any office. Its usefulness and style make the chaise lounges a must have for any home.