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The chaise lounge is a piece of furniture with a history that stretches back through the centuries. Ancient Greeks, Romans and Egyptians are all thought to have built versions of the reclining chair, but nowadays it’s the Victorians that come to mind when we think of lounging on a chaise. While the Romans favoured the bed-chair hybrid as a place to quietly digest the huge feasts they had just consumed, during the Victorian era, the chaise lounge or chaise longue as it is otherwise known frequently served a slightly different purpose. With women wearing ever-tighter corsets, fainting episodes were a constant threat. The chaise lounge became known colloquially as the ‘fainting chair’, as it provided the ideal place for a Victorian lady to rest when her garments had squeezed her a little too tight. Take a look at Vinterior’s always-evolving marketplace to find your perfect Victorian chaise lounge.
Why choose a Victorian chaise lounge?There’s something both distinctly sophisticated and highly luxurious about a Victorian chaise lounge. Perhaps it’s the quick association with psychiatry and cerebral pursuits, or maybe it’s the sheer decadence of having a backless sofa in addition to your standard one. Either way, they make an elegant addition to many modern rooms.
The Victorians were always keen to add flourishes and frills when the opportunity arose. The swooping half-back of the chaise presented the perfect place for enthusiastic Victorian designers to express themselves. Carved of thick, smooth, undulated mahogany or subtle dappled walnut, the classic Victorian chaise lounge is unrivalled by modern versions in terms of sheer luxury finish. And, although the original fabric, springs and horsehair may not have survived through the decades, a reconditioned chaise longue dating from the 1800s is an excellent interiors choice when you’re looking to create style impact.
Some Victorian chaise lounges, particularly those that reference the Gothic revival aesthetic, are finer in form and would once have been covered in richly coloured, luxurious fabrics. Others have an altogether more modest, homespun feel. For example, the Arts & Crafts movement, which really sparked into life in the 1880s, marked a return to individually produced pieces that reflected the maker’s mood on the day he took out his tools. Often expertly and lovingly built, these pieces speak of a humbler approach to life, and one that celebrated organic forms, flora and fauna.
Chesterfield-style sofas, with their worn leather and buttoned backs, evoke the atmosphere of a Victorian gentleman’s club. However, reimagined as a chaise lounge, the Chesterfield is a much more feminine prospect and one that looks great strewn with soft tartan throws and positioned by the window to watch the world go by.
Is a Victorian chaise lounge right for your home?A lovingly restored and reupholstered Victorian chaise longue is a fantastic focal point in a living room or bedroom. Bringing with it all the charm of the 1800s but updated in contemporary fabrics and finishes, this is a vintage piece that can exude both period charm and modern-day comfort. Whether you are looking to recreate the Victorian style or simply want a statement piece to bring a social space to life, the chaise is an ideal candidate for your home.
Vinterior is your go-to for design inspiration, whether you’re looking for a Victorian chaise longue, a mid-century dining table or a contemporary shelving unit. Take a look at the huge range of furniture for sale here, and visualise your favourite pieces becoming part of your home.