The modern chaise longue has been reinvented to combine pared-back looks with a more commodious feel.

Chaise longue

Low-slung furniture might be desirable in the privacy of a media room (‘telly room’ to you and me), but it isn’t necessarily somewhere you’d want to chat to your distinctly chilly neighbours about your contentious planning application, or to a teacher who has popped round for a quiet word about your child’s ‘challenging behaviour’ (or whatever the current euphemism is for ‘completely feral and out-of-control’).

Rooms suited to entertaining (and sticky conversations) are rarely suited to lounging. As Nicky Haslam once observed, ‘The point of decoration is to make people look prettier’. Low, capacious, L-shaped sofas do exactly the opposite, rendering even those blessed with the most lithe and elegant physique as lithe and elegant as a sack of potatoes.

In 1800, when Jacques Louis David painted Madame Récamier, the legendary saloniste and confidante of the French writer, politician and diplomat François-René de Chateaubriand, she wasn’t flat out on a low, L-shaped sofa but poised and comfortable on a nifty, double-ended Directoire chaise longue.

There’s a lesson to be learnt from Madame Récamier’s comportment: namely that comfort and elegance are not mutually exclusive.

Although a 19th-century chaise might be a little camp for hardened modernists, there are plenty of 20th-century incarnations that offer a similarly indulgent feel in a sleeker style; Le Corbusier’s catchily-named LC, designed in 1928, has long been the architect’s chaise of choice.

Le Corbusier LC4 - a 1928 design classic still sold today by

Le Corbusier LC4 – a 1928 design classic still sold today by

More recently, the chaise has been reinvented to combine pared-back looks with a more commodious feel. And the most commodious by far is George Smith’s magnificent Brewster Chaise (£4,565, 020 7384 1004;, that artfully combines deep buttoning with a clean, simple profile:

George Smith's Brewster Chaise

George Smith’s Brewster Chaise

Another great example of a new-wave chaise is Tallulah from Love Your Home (£1,125, 01483 410007;

Tallulah from Love Your Home

Tallulah from Love Your Home

Both would encourage the sort of elegant sprawling of which Madame Récamier would be proud.

Cookie Control

Cookie control

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better.

I'm fine with this

We use cookies to give you the best online experience.

Please let us know if you agree to all of these cookies.

Some of the cookies we use are essential for the site to work.

We also use some non-essential cookies to collect information for making reports and to help us improve the site. The cookies collect information in an anonymous form.

To control third party cookies, you can also adjust your browser settings.

I'm fine with this
(One cookie will be set to store your preference)
(Ticking this sets a cookie to hide this popup if you then hit close. This will not store any personal information)
Information and Settings Cookie policy