Chaise Lounges: History and Recommendations

As more of us are being drawn towards more contemporary designs in furniture, we are also becoming more concerned with comfort when choosing our furniture pieces.  Many consumers today are leaning towards sectionals that are attached to chaise lounges.  This particular look allows the lounger to relax in a piece of furniture that becons them to “kick up their heels and take a load off”.  Chaise lounges have been around for centuries, but are currently in more demand because of the luxurious look that it adds to a room scheme.

Egyptian Chaise Lounge

Egyptian Chaise Lounge

The history of the chaise lounge starts with the Egyptians around the years 3100- 2890 B.C., originating with palm sticks lashed together with cord or rawhide binding the pieces together.  This look was fit for the dynasty of the time and was used as a daybed for royalty.   Egyptians were not the only ones who used this style of furniture as the Greeks also used the lounge chair in  their decor.  During the 8th century, the trend started moving away from gathering around a table to lounging on a chaise lounge to drink together which was  a much more comfortable approach to drunkenness.

As we explore the history of furniture styles, we find chaise lounges used in many different cultures.  Prominently used by the wealthy, this look emerged into many different genres of chaise lounges.  Check out the differences.

Duchesse Brisèe Chaise Lounge

With a phrase that literally means “broken dutch”  in french, this particular chaise lounge was inspired by having the chaise lounge divided into two parts; chair and footstool.  This a very common look for many, but today we call this a chair and ottoman combination.

Duchesse Brisee Chaise Lounge

Modern Day Chair and Ottoman Set.  This look was inspired from the Duchesse Brisee style

Modern Day Chair and Ottoman Set. This look was inspired from the Duchesse Brisèe style

Rècamier Chaise Lounge

The recamierchaise lounge has two ends raised and nothing on the sides.  It was commonly referred to as the “boat bed” during the Neo-Classical French Period of 1777-1849.  Influenced by Madame Rècamier’s style who used this piece in her drawing room, which probably gave that perfect touch to still life drawings.

Rècamier Chaise Lounge

Rècamier Chaise Lounge

Assymetrical Bed Bench with Arms

Assymetrical Bed Bench with Arms

Mèridienne Chaise Lounge

This particular style of chaise lounge is probably the most common.  It is known for its look of a high headrest, low foot rest, and is joined by a sloping arm.  Also know as a Fainting Sofa, this look was common for women to use in the days of corsets and female hysteria which allowed them a private space in which they could work out their issues.

Mèridienne Chaise Lounge

Mèridienne Chaise Lounge

Modern Mèridienne Inspired Chaise Lounge

Modern Mèridienne Inspired Chaise Lounge

As we can see there are many different types of chaise lounges that have emerged throughout the centuries.  The emergence of different styles depended on its creator’s ergonomical use of the furniture piece.  This can be influenced by both personal use and by pushing the barriers of design to be more modern.  Someone who pushed this look into a classical modern aesthetic is the architect and designer Le Corbusier.  With his approach to minimalistic structure he created his LC-4 which keeps the same ergonomics of an chaise lounge but erases the ornamental qualities of the design.

Le Corbusier: LC4 Chaise Lounge

Le Corbusier: LC4 Chaise Lounge

Fabrics and Frames is a furniture manufacture which specializes in custom furniture and re-upholstery.  We are able to duplicate many of the looks that you have seen today or reupholster a existing furniture frame that you have. Whether you are  drawn toward more modern or traditional design, we can create the perfect chaise lounge  for you!

Modern Chaise Lounge from Fabrics and Frames Furniture

Modern Chaise Lounge from Fabrics and Frames Furniture

For more information about designing or where to get custom looks like these please visit our website:

www.fabricsandframes.com

We are currently located at 5322 Alpha Rd, Dallas, Texas 75240972-385-4097.  Please contact us if you have any questions about this blog atandy@fabricsandframes.com, and or follow us on Facebook!http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fabrics-and-Frames-Furniture/156825517684205

Written by: Erica Guajardo

Edited by: Linda Decuir

Retro Furniture, The History behind the Room Schemes.(1920-1960)

Documentaries are an important use of information because they relate a visual message to a audience that may be looking for  educational insight.  The documentary that I recommend is Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman. A documentary film by: Eric Bricker.    Julius Shulman was an architectual photographer whose images brought modern architecture to the American mainstream. To understand what this documentary is about, I have provided a trailer .

With the insight that Julius Shulman gave to architecture, he showed us how influential different decades can be on interiors.

1920-1930

During the 1920’s, the influence of the International Style movement was emerging in interior decor.  The movement had a lot of influence from the world renowned designer/ architect Phillip Johnson. His influence on the movement stated that the new style would change the way people looked at “modern” furniture and design because it must follow three simple rules.  These rules are:

1. The expression of volume rather than mass.

2. The emphasis on balance rather than preconceived symmetry.

3. The expulsion of applied ornament.

Remember during this time in the world, we were entering into the machine age.   The purpose of the International Style design was to simplify form, incorporate new materials that were emerging into design, such as glass, steel, and concrete, and take out ornamental designs within the interior space.  This was a dramatic change in look because most people still thought of ornament as a way to show elegance and status.  When you entered into a space you now saw flat walls, but they may have held a more untraditional style of construction.  I have provided some pictures to help you see what a modern interior from the 1920’s would have looked like.

Villa Savoye by Le Corbusier

Exterior of Villa Savoye by: Le Corbusier. 1929. Poissy, France

Interior of Villa Savoye. Featuring the ideas of the International Style Movement.1929. Poissy, France.

Schroder House by Gerrit Rietreld

Exterior of Schroder House by Gerrit Rietreld. 1924. Utrecht, Netherlands.

Interior of Schroder House by Gerrit Rietreld featuring the Interiornational Style Movement.

Glass House by Phillip Johnson

Exterior of Glass House by Phillip Johnson.,1949. “The concept of a Glass House set in a landscape with views as its real “walls” had been developed by many authors in the German Glasarchitektur drawings of the 1920s, and already sketched in initial form by Johnson’s mentor Mies Van der Rohe.” (Wikipedia)

Interior of Glass House by Phillip Johnson.

The International Style movement changed the way we looked at  modern homes. It incorporated the ideas of  “form follows function”  but displayed it in a simplified form.  The movement introduced many iconic  furniture styles, such as: the Barcelona chair, the LC4 Chaise Lounge, and the LC1 Sling Chair.   Each of these pieces of furniture is still in high demand because of it’s retro contemporary style.

1930- 1940

During the 1930’s, the movement of Art Deco was evolving.   Although this movement began in the 1920’s, it had influences that bled into the 1930’s, and continued far after.  The movement was based on geometric lines and symmetrical shapes.   It represented elegance, glamour, functionality, and modernity.   Pulling influences from the Egyptians and Aztecs, the Art Deco movement was the “modern” design for the 1930’s.  Pastel color schemes  were often incorporated within each room.  One reason for this was to show how modern homes can feel cozy and didn’t have to be stark.  A typical Art Deco home may have looked something like this.

1930’s Armstrong Kitchen Furniture

Contemporary Art Deco Room

Elegant Art Deco Room

1940’s-1950’s

The era of the 1940’s was a bit different than other era’s because it was affected by WWII.  The beginning of the first half of 1940’s was somewhat stagnate. The reason was that any extra income  coming into the household, was reserved for contribution towards the war.  From 1939-1945  many homes were decorated using pieces from the 1930’s.   This made decorating homes more economical and political.  The idea behind most rooms’  schemes during this time, was to make them appear more innocent, sanitary, traditional, and sunny.  Many people used things that had sentimental value, and reminded them of their patriotism.   During this era there was  lots of Hollywood Glamour mixed  in the decor  that added that punch of elegance during a time when money was scarce.  When the war was ending  and factories re-opened for production, the room schemes consisted of floral patterns with pastel colors incorporated into them.   If  bold colors were incorporated in the room scheme, the colors of the American Flag(red, white, and blue) were used to show patriotism. This was to show optimism towards the future and what you may have seen in this era.

Dorothy Draper’s Pastel Designed Room

Dorothy Draper’s Floral Inspired 1940’s room

Patriotic Decor designed by Dorothy Draper 1940’s

1950- 1960

In the 1950’s there was a residential design boom.  The economy had not seen an increase in development since the 1920’s.  When people were designing the decor of their interiors, they had three things in mind: simple design, well made products, and furniture that was reasonably priced.  Many stayed true to the idea of minimalistic designs that didn’t have ornate decoration incorporated in to it.  Being organized was a great quality in the home, and many different storage devices were  incorporated into the design scheme. People felt during this time,  that being organized made the room appear to be more modern.  Each furniture piece that was incorporated into the decor had a functional purpose.   For this reason we saw a lot of built in furniture within the floor plans so that they could incorporate hidden storage areas for the modern family.

1950s decor

1950’s room scheme which incorporated kitschy colors and style.

1950’s Room Interior with excellent coordination qualities. This room shows how new construction during this time incorporated new woods and metals which made the room efficient and interesting.

Kitschy Style of 1950’s decor.

What we have discovered over this blog is that the interior design world today is still very influenced on  past decades when it comes to decor.  Through the decades, many knowledgable architects and designers have invented great designs that have sustained to present times.

Influence of Retro Furniture

The influence of retro furniture has defined what the general public considers modern furniture today.  The straight lines from past decades have influenced how we design the aesthetics of contemporary furniture.  Here at Fabrics and Frames Furniture we have  knowledge about the construction of retro furniture, and suggest that if you have the opportunity to design a room using vintage styles, do so if it’s a quality piece.  One reason is because most furniture in this decade is not manufactured with the same quality as it was constructed in the past decades.  Older furniture seems to be more sturdy, and usually will incorporate some form of spring system in the piece.  Mostly today’s furniture  is designed with a webbing system which doesn’t have a long lasting quality to it.  Fabrics and Frames furniture has been in the buisness of revamping older vintage pieces of upholstered furniture for 34 years.  We understand the difference between a high quality piece of furniture and a piece that is not worthy of recycling.  If you are in the market to reupholster an older piece that’s handed down, or a market find, we can suggest ways to refurbish it, to give it new life for years to come!

 For more information about designing or where to get custom looks like these please visit our website:

www.fabricsandframes.com

We are currently located at 5322 Alpha Rd, Dallas, Texas 75240972-385-4097.  Please contact us if you have any questions about this blog atandy@fabricsandframes.com, and or follow us on Facebook!http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fabrics-and-Frames-Furniture/156825517684205

Writen By: Erica Guajardo

Edited By: Andy Fischman

A Lesson in Anthropomorphism and Design….

Leonardo Da Vinci, a man of many skills including painter, sculptor, and architect, opened up a new concept toward design that reflected a theory of proportions and how it relates to humans.  He demonstrated this concept in a world renowned drawing called, The Vitruvian Man, which was based on the work of the architect  Vitruvius.  In this  document he demonstrated how the human body is sectioned off into simple geometric proportions such as a circle and a square, which can be used to understand other proportion theories such as The Golden Section and Gestalt Theory.  These theories led new aged designers to a world where there were no limits to design.  By using these theories and logic, designers in our modern world are able to create boundary breaking designs and make them functional.  Anthropomorphism is a genre of design that studies these traditional theories and juxtaposes them with modern Avant Garde logics.

What is anthropomorphism?

Anthropomorphism is any attribution of human characteristics (or characteristics assumed to belong only to humans) to other animals, non-living things, phenomena, material states, objects or abstract concepts, such as organizations, governments, spirits or deities.  When you start to look at this concept and how it relates to design, we find out that many famous artists and designers around the world and throughout the generations have been learning from this concept and how it relates to design.

Contemporary examples of what anthropomorphism in architecture:

Contemporary examples of what this may look like in furniture design is shown below:

This style of furniture design represents the Avant Garde movement, because it pushes the boundaries of design to ergonomical and aesthetic characteristics, while introducing “shock value”.  Louis Sullivan, world-renowned architect whose apprentice was Frank Lloyd Wright, emphasized that “Form follows function”. When designing a piece of furniture with artistic characteristics, you must keep in mind that the piece must also be functional.  This opens up the designer’s eye to antyhropometry, which is the study of the branch of the human sciences that deals with body measurements: particularly with measurements of body size, shape, strength and working capacity.

Here at Fabrics and Frames Furniture, we are constantly thinking about how the client is going to be using our product, and how we can improve the functionality of the product for the client.  Throughout the 34 years that Fabrics and Frames has been in business we have assisted clients with their special needs by finding ergonomical solutions to make their custom piece of furniture more functional for their specific use, while keeping aesthetics in mind.  Some major factors that we consider when designing a piece of furniture are seating height, arm height, back height and lumbar support.  We also give our customers choices in cushion firmness to make the piece the most functional for them. Although stucture is a key issue for us, we also want to make sure that the piece of furniture that we design for our clients will meet their everyday needs. Each one of our clients comes in with their own specific needs and we try to meet all of them. Each piece that we create is unique in that it reflects each individual customer’s style and purpose.

Ergonomic standards will vary depending on who the client is.  We understand  that different ages, nationalities, and genetic makeup will affect the ergonomics of a piece of furniture.  In past Fabrics and Frames blogs, we have discussed how our furniture is made up of hardwoods and how they have a spring system  in the furniture piece that will give it structural support.  These key elements are important because if you don’t understand the limits that your piece can support,  you run the risk of it malfunctioning in the future.

Designers, engineers, and architects are great examples of people who understand the ergonomics of any product. In order to design a product that has anthropomorphic characteristics, you must understand on how it will be used.  Remembering that…Aesthetics are nothing without function!…leads the “designer” to create something that will not only make a statement but give a presence of heirarchy in any setting.  Regardless if you are traditional or contemporary in design choice, you must remember your basics!

For more information about designing or where to get custom looks like these please visit our website:

www.fabricsandframes.com

We are currently located at 5322 Alpha Rd, Dallas, Texas 75240. 972-385-4097.  Please contact us if you have any questions about this blog at andy@fabricsandframes.com, and or follow us on Facebook!http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fabrics-and-Frames-Furniture/156825517684205

Writen By: Erica Guajardo

Edited By: Linda Decuir

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