Chaise longue

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A chaise longue sofa Chaise longue sofa 2.jpg
A chaise longue sofa
An 18th-century rococo chaise longue Schaslong.png
An 18th-century rococo chaise longue
A late 19th-century chaise longue Modern chaise longue.png
A late 19th-century chaise longue

A chaise longue ( /ʃzˈlɒŋ,z-,-ˈlɒ̃ɡ/ ; [1] French:  [ʃɛz lɔ̃ɡ] , "long chair") is an upholstered sofa in the shape of a chair that is long enough to support the legs.


In modern French the term chaise longue can refer to any long reclining chair such as a deckchair. A literal translation in English is "long chair". In the United States the term lounge chair is also used to refer to any long reclining chair.

In the United States, the term is often spelled "chaise lounge" and pronounced /ˌsˈln/ , a folk etymology replacement of part of the original French term with the unrelated English word lounge. [2]


The modern chaise longue was first popularised during the 16th Century in France. They were created by French furniture craftsmen for the rich to rest without the need to retire to the bedroom. It was during the Rococo period that the chaise longue became the symbol of social status and only the rarest and most expensive materials were used in their construction. Today, the chaise longue is seen as a luxury item for the modern home. They are often used to complement a home's décor such as living or reading rooms, or as a stylish boudoir chair for bedroom seating. [3]


Sigmund Freud's chaise longue at the Freud Museum FREUD'S SOFA.jpeg
Sigmund Freud's chaise longue at the Freud Museum

The chaise longue has traditionally been associated with psychoanalysis. Sigmund Freud initiated the use of the chaise longue for this purpose, with the idea being that the patient would recline on a couch, with the analyst seated beyond the head of the couch, so that the client would not see the analyst. Reclining and not having to face the analyst was thought to be disinhibiting and to encourage free association. At the time Freud began to use the chaise longue, it was considered daring in Vienna to recline on a chaise in the presence of non-intimates. Freud's own chaise longue, given to him by a patient, may be seen today at the Freud Museum in London. [5]

Today, psychoanalysts continue to invite clients to recline on couches in their offices during psychotherapy, and may use chaises longues rather than more conventional styles of couch out of tradition. The chaise longue is used to suggest a generic psychotherapist's office in cartoons and other works. [6]

See also

Related Research Articles

Psychoanalysis Psychological theory and therapy established by Sigmund Freud

Psychoanalysis is a set of theories and therapeutic techniques used to study the unconscious mind, which together form a method of treatment for mental disorders. The discipline was established in the early 1890s by Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud, who retained the term psychoanalysis for his own school of thought. Freud's work stems partly from the clinical work of Josef Breuer and others. Psychoanalysis was later developed in different directions, mostly by students of Freud, such as Alfred Adler and his collaborator, Carl Gustav Jung, as well as by neo-Freudian thinkers, such as Erich Fromm, Karen Horney, and Harry Stack Sullivan.

Seat Object for sitting on

A seat is a place to sit. The term may encompass additional features, such as back, armrest, head restraint but also headquarters in a wider sense.

Lounge may refer to:

Poul Kjærholm was a Danish designer.

Couch Piece of furniture for seating two or more persons in the form of a bench with armrests

A couch, also known as a sofa, settee, futon, or chesterfield, is a piece of furniture for seating two or three people. It is commonly found in the form of a bench, with upholstered armrests, and often fitted with springs and tailored cushions. Although a couch is used primarily for seating, it may be used for sleeping. In homes, couches are normally put in the family room, living room, den or lounge. They are sometimes also found in non-residential settings such as hotels, lobbies of commercial offices, waiting rooms, and bars.

Commode type of furniture (or toilet)

A commode is any of many pieces of furniture. The Oxford English Dictionary has multiple meanings of "commode". The first relevant definition reads: "A piece of furniture with drawers and shelves; in the bedroom, a sort of elaborate chest of drawers ; in the drawing room, a large kind of chiffonier." The drawing room is itself a term for a formal reception room, and a chiffonier is, in this sense, a small sideboard dating from the early 19th century.

Domus Roman urban house of upper classes

In ancient Rome, the domus was the type of town house occupied by the upper classes and some wealthy freedmen during the Republican and Imperial eras. It was found in almost all the major cities throughout the Roman territories. The modern English word domestic comes from Latin domesticus, which is derived from the word domus. The word dom in modern Slavic languages means "home" and is a cognate of the Latin word, going back to Proto-Indo-European. Along with a domus in the city, many of the richest families of ancient Rome also owned a separate country house known as a villa. Many chose to live primarily, or even exclusively, in their villas; these homes were generally much grander in scale and on larger acres of land due to more space outside the walled and fortified city.


A deckchair is a folding chair, usually with a frame of treated wood or other material. The term now usually denotes a portable folding chair, with a single strip of fabric or vinyl forming the backrest and seat. It is meant for leisure, originally on the deck of an ocean liner or cruise ship. It is easily transportable and stackable, although some styles are notoriously difficult to fold and unfold. Different versions may have an extended seat, meant to be used as a leg rest, whose height may be adjustable; and may also have arm rests.

Eames Lounge Chair Chair designed by Charles and Ray Eames

The Eames Lounge Chair and ottoman are furnishings made of molded plywood and leather, designed by Charles and Ray Eames for the Herman Miller furniture company. They are officially titled Eames Lounge (670) and Ottoman (671) and were released in 1956 after years of development by designers. It was the first chair that the Eameses designed for a high-end market. Examples of these furnishings are part of the permanent collection of New York's Museum of Modern Art.

Triclinium Roman dining room

A triclinium is a formal dining room in a Roman building. The word is adopted from the Greek triklinion (τρικλίνιον)—from tri- (τρι-), "three", and klinē (κλίνη), a sort of couch or rather chaise longue. Each couch was sized to accommodate a diner who reclined on their left side on cushions while some household slaves served multiple courses rushed out of the culina, or kitchen, and others entertained guests with music, song, or dance.

Garden furniture

Garden furniture, also called patio furniture or outdoor furniture, is a type of furniture specifically designed for outdoor use. It is typically made of weather-resistant materials such as aluminium which is rust-proof. The oldest surviving examples of garden furniture were found in the gardens of Pompeii.

Charlotte Perriand

Charlotte Perriand was a French architect and designer. Her work aimed to create functional living spaces in the belief that better design helps in creating a better society. In her article "L'Art de Vivre" from 1981 she states "The extension of the art of dwelling is the art of living — living in harmony with man's deepest drives and with his adopted or fabricated environment." Charlotte liked to take her time in a space before starting the design process. In Perriand's Autobiography, "Charlotte Perriand: A Life of Creation", she states: "I like being alone when I visit a country or historic site. I like being bathed in its atmosphere, feeling in direct contact with the place without the intrusion of a third party." Her approach to design includes taking in the site and appreciating it for what it is. Perriand felt she connected with any site she was working with or just visiting she enjoyed the living things and would reminisce on a site that was presumed dead.

Recliner Type of chair

A recliner is an armchair or sofa that reclines when the occupant lowers the chair's back and raises its front. It has a backrest that can be tilted back, and often a footrest that may be extended by means of a lever on the side of the chair, or may extend automatically when the back is reclined.

Fainting room

A fainting room was a private room, of which its main furniture were fainting couches, used during the Victorian era, to make women more comfortable during the home treatment of female hysteria. Fainting rooms were used for more privacy during home treatment pelvic massages. Such couches or sofas typically had an arm on one side only to permit easy access to a reclining position, similar to its cousin the Chaise longue, although the sofa style most typically featured a back at one end so that the resulting position was not purely supine.

Modern furniture

Modern furniture refers to furniture produced from the late 19th century through the present that is influenced by modernism. Post-World War II ideals of cutting excess, commodification, and practicality of materials in design heavily influenced the aesthetic of the furniture. It was a tremendous departure from all furniture design that had gone before it. There was an opposition to the decorative arts, which included Art Nouveau, Neoclassical, and Victorian styles. Dark or gilded carved wood and richly patterned fabrics gave way to the glittering simplicity and geometry of polished metal. The forms of furniture evolved from visually heavy to visually light. This shift from decorative to minimalist principles of design can be attributed to the introduction of new technology, changes in philosophy, and the influences of the principles of architecture. As Philip Johnson, the founder of the Department of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art articulates:

"Today industrial design is functionally motivated and follows the same principles as modern architecture: machine-like simplicity, smoothness of surface, avoidance of ornament ... It is perhaps the most fundamental contrast between the two periods of design that in 1900 the Decorative Arts possessed ..."

Canapé (furniture)

A canapé is a piece of furniture similar to a couch. The word is typically meant to describe an elegant couch made out of elaborately carved wood with wooden legs, an upholstered back, armrests, and single long seat that typically seats three, that emerged from France in the 18th century. A style created during the Louis XV and Louis XVI periods, similar yet different from designs used by Thomas Chippendale, it later became popular in the United States during the 19th century.


Daybeds are used as beds as well as for lounging, reclining, and seating in common rooms. Their frames can be made out of wood, metal or a combination of wood and metal.

Fainting couch Couch with a back that is traditionally raised at one end

A fainting couch is a term said to have been used for a couch with a back that is traditionally raised at one end. The back may be situated completely at one side of the couch, or may wrap around and extend the entire length of the piece much like a traditional couch. However, so-called "fainting couches" are easily differentiated from more traditional couches, having one end of the back raised.


  1. 1 2 "Chaise longue". 2009-08-15. Retrieved 2017-04-04.
  2. "'Chaise Lounge' or 'Chaise Longue'?". Merriam Webster.
  3. "History of the chaise longue - The Chaise Longue Co". Retrieved 2019-07-31.
  4. 1 2 3 "Is a Recamier the Same as a Chaise Longue?". Archived from the original on 8 September 2017. Retrieved 26 June 2019.
  5. Cook, William (21 August 2006). "Analysing Freud's couch". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  6. Blundy, Anna (16 June 2016). "Life of the mind: The importance of the couch" . Retrieved 23 May 2020.