It’s the ultimate spot for lounging.

By Grace Haynes
Updated August 07, 2020
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As we’re spending more time at home, we’ve started rethinking how our living spaces function. Before, with never-ending busy schedules, we probably treated our homes more as storage units or places to sleep after a long day. Now, we’re here 24-7—sleeping, eating, working, lounging, repeat. Home has taken on a whole new meaning, and we’re looking to our living spaces as cozy spots to relax and retreat.

Enter the old-fashioned but oh-so-comfortable chaise. According to Merriam-Webster, chaise longue means “long chair” in French. (There’s much debate around using “longue” vs. “lounge,” the latter evolving from the former as it was incorporated into the English language. It’s ok to play it safe and stick with just “chaise.”) They’re essentially stretched-out armchairs, which allow for sitting up and stretching out your legs simultaneously. Old-school chaises showed off ornate, sculptural wooden frames with plush, fashionable upholstery. It’s said that during the Victorian era, chaises were commonly referred to as “fainting couches,” providing a soft place for a woman to fall should she pass out because her corset was tied too tight. The drama! Chaises also recall old Hollywood glamour, as legendary movie stars would sometimes pose on them for photo shoots. More drama!

Dana Gibson chaise
Credit: Helen Norman

While this nostalgic piece of furniture has never gone out of style, it has seen a resurgence of popularity lately—probably because we’ve recently found ourselves with more time for lounging. Today’s chaises are still comfortable spots to plop down and prop up your feet (with as much drama as you prefer). These timeless, versatile accent pieces can work in just about any space—a contemporary chaise can make a statement in the living room (plus adding extra seating), while a plush tailored model can become a cozy reading nook in a bedroom.

Below, a few of our favorite chaises to shop:

  1. For a traditional, tailored look: Lucie Chaise Lounge, $920; birchlane.com
  2. For a 19th-century antique inspired design: Regency 2-Piece Chaise, from $1,600; ballarddesigns.com
  3. For a sleek, modern style: Monroe Mid-Century Tufted Chaise, from $840; westelm.com
  4. For patio or poolside: Perla Chaise Lounges, $400; target.com
  5. If you can’t decide between a sofa or chaise: Slope Nomad Sofa Sectional, $1,695; burrow.com