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Lay down your head
10/24/2015

Under pressure, emails, meetings, overtime, meetings, and even more meetings – office workers are forever driven. Small wonder if now and again they thirst for calm and relaxation. It’s no coincidence that yoga, awareness workshops or wellness vacations help reduce stress in an ever faster paced world. Is sweet downtime (in good doses of course) not the basis for more energy and peak performances? Those who indulge in a little break whenever their biorhythm thinks one is in order, will act relaxed and stay alert, as not only many a doctor and psychologist will tell you. A daybed or – as the name readily suggests – a bed for during the day, comes in quite handy here. Whether it’s power napping, enjoying a prolonged siesta or creative dozing you’re after – the benefits such a daybed offers are swiftly felt: You can stretch your limbs instead of slouching in your swivel chair or hitting the desk in front of you with your head. And who knows, perhaps the office’s recent transformation into a working playground has likewise contributed to promoting good design in daybeds, of which there are plenty available at present. We have put together a selection for you – and not just for the office. (mm)


Nouvelle Vague

FOR ONE OR TWO TRAVELLERS
“TRAVELLER” BY STINE GAM AND ENRICO FRATESI
FOR PORRO

This daybed would have been the perfect prop in the movie “Snow on the Kilimanjaro”, which shows Gregory Peck alias Harry bedridden with feverish dreams. And we would not be wrong in assuming that Stine Gam and Enrico Fratesi, who showcased “Traveller” for Porro at the 2015 Salone, looked to safaris or ancient Greek divans for inspiration. There is strong evidence in the form of the traditional design with two armrests and the reclining surface made of black or brown leather, which is stretched on a steel frame. Though this is rather charming, it’s not quite suitable for the office: With its two headrests “Traveller” should never be used alone and a second person be asked round for daydreaming.


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FOR PRINCESSES
“PRINCIPESSA” BY NIPA DOSHI AND JONATHAN LEVIEN FOR MOROSO

Once upon a time there was a prince who wanted to marry a princess. To find out if the girl of his dreams were a genuine princess, the queen slipped a single pea under 20 mattresses and 20 eiderdowns which she had layered atop her bed. As it turned out, the princess was real – she spent the night tossing and turning. The fairy tale “The Princess on the Pea” by Hans-Christian Andersen provided inspiration for “Principessa”, the daybed that Nipa Doshi and Jonathan Levien designed for Moroso in 2008. A sweet detail: The covers of the mattresses have been printed with lots of essential utensils that, as Doshi and Levien explain, “modern-day princesses” need for a successful night out: a hairdryer, a small bag, stilettos, necklaces and the like.


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ROLE PLAY
“KOII” BY SASCHA AKKERMANN
FOR MÜLLER MÖBELWERKSTÄTTEN

At first glance “KOii” looks like a slatted frame that has been rolled into a ball. So: unroll, fold up the sides, secure with straps and turn by 180 degrees – and, hey presto, your lounger with a pointy headboard is ready for reclining! Master carpenter and designer Sascha Akkermann is the brain behind the sophisticated system, which uses slats made of laminated birch wood and attaches them to a piece of Pierre Paulin. The result: a flexible timber composite board that can be bent into this undulating shape. And as you are enjoying a well-deserved rest on the daybed after setting it up, you can devote a minute or two pondering about the name, “KOii”: Is it really derived from Koi carp or for those who want to be knocked out twice?


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THE PERFECT WAVE
“EJ 142 WAVES” BY ANNE-METTE JENSEN AND
MORTEN ERNST FOR ERIK JØRGENSEN

Longing to be borne aloft by waves – you don’t need to drive all the way to the sea to experience this. “Waves” will do the job just as well. The curvaceous top made of cold foam and covered with faux leather sits on a fiberglass frame. The lounge furniture is the result of a student competition that Danish manufacturer Erik Jørgensen hosted in 1995 on the occasion of its 40th anniversary. Anne-Mette Jensen and Morten Ernst were the winners. As soon as you lie down on “Waves” (incidentally, there is plenty of room for two people on its 2 by 1.5 meter surface) you will inadvertently begin to question habitual reclining positions. Here’s a piece of advice for all sea-less surfers: Simply allow yourself to drift for a while.


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MODERN NEVER GOES OUT OF FASHION
“BARCELONA DAYBED” BY LUDWIG MIES VAN DER ROHE FOR KNOLL

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe presented his “Barcelona Daybed” in 1930, one year following the launch of his Barcelona Pavilion and the matching upholstery collection. The item has long since been famed the forefather of all modern daybeds. It takes pride of place in Mies’ famous Farnsworth House in Illinois. With its bolsters, the typical Chesterfield button-back design, the aniline dyed leather and the wooden frame covered with leather straps, not to forget the metal feet – all of it handmade, of course – this model leaves absolutely nothing to be desired: It is both perfectly designed and perfectly useful.


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Gepflegte Moderne

OPTIMIZED TRADITION
“S 5002” BY JAMES IRVINE FOR THONET

“At Thonet the designer encounters a design and construction tradition which is timeless. After years of working with Thonet, I have understood that there is the space to reinvent products, making them more suitable for modern times. The S 5000 is simply that, the Thonet tradition in keeping with our modern-day needs.” Such stated James Irvine at the launch of the eponymous upholstery series in 2006. The S 5000 takes its cue from the traditional daybed with a tubular steel frame, which is said to have multiply featured in the company’s collection in the 1930s. The reinterpretation of the “S 5002” is more than a simple bed: Thanks to the modular nature of its cushions it can also be made into a sofa or a chaise longue. Simply simplistic design.


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FOR THE PARLOR
“DS-80” BY DE SEDE

Imagine an open fire, tobacco smoke and a bottle of dark, heavy red. Such and similar associations spring to mind when contemplating the “DS-80” daybed designed by De Sede. Whether used as a recliner or an elegant lounge sofa (the DS-80 comes with a range of back cushions) – you will instantly feel comfy as you relax on the super soft patchwork-style leather. The daybed is a reinterpretation of a 1970s design – a time when pipe smoking was still very much en vogue. So let’s indulge our imagination and picture Max Frisch on this recamière, enjoying his pipe, contemplating his own identity and that of others, all the while convinced that that “repose and wellbeing are the essential preconditions for culture per se.”


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MODERN MOMENTUM
“DAYBED” BY EILEEN GRAY FOR CLASSICON

E.1027, the house that Eileen Gray designed and built for her partner Jean Badovici in Roquebrune on the Côte d’Azur between 1926 and 1929, marks a turnaround in the designer’s career. Gray began her life as a designer by studying “Arts Decoratifs” before she turned her attention to modern architecture and its furniture, leaving behind her lacquer and timber and instead embracing industrially processed materials such as steel for her objects and built-in furnishings. Her endeavors culminated in a series of furniture including the “Bibendium Chair”, the “Adjustable Table” – and not least the “Daybed” (1925), which stood in E.1027’s open-plan living room, with its multiple use of sleeping, reading and entertaining. But no matter where you put it – “Daybed” will always look the piece!


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SIMPLY ESSENTIAL
“OW 150” BY OLE WANSCHER FOR CARL HANSEN & SØN

That even busy Danes need a break every now and again is demonstrated by Ole Wanscher’s “OW 150” daybed. A professor of architecture, Wanscher designed this recliner in 1949; today it is brought out by Carl Hansen & Søn. It is difficult to identify the individual influences that inspired this design at first glance, especially since Wanscher was a renowned expert on the history of furniture design. There is a possibility that he simply took the best ingredients from different epochs and cultures, brewed them all up and from the mixture then distilled the essence of a daybed. The result is as simple as it is essential. < br />

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TAKING A REST ON THE TRICOLOR
“DAYBED” BY PIERRE PAULIN FOR LIGNE ROSET

When, in 1953, Pierre Paulin presented his concept of the ideal apartment with suitable furniture at the Parisian Salon des Arts Ménagers, his ideas were very well received. His plain and functional furniture, inspired by Nordic Modernism, was quite a novelty in its day, and sat well with an age typified not only by a general sense of upheaval but also by technical appliances invading households. Paulin’s “Daybed” went at the time by the name “Modell 118” and was mass produced by French furniture makers TV (Thevenin and Vecchione). In 2015 Ligne Roset brought it out again, along with various others of Paulin’s designs. If you place the black and the red cushions next to the beige mattress, you get a smooth flagged surface.


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Schmale Bank

SCHOOL BREAK
“FK01 THEBAN” BY FERDINAND KRAMER FOR E15

Following the end of World War I, Ferdinand Kramer, who started his career as an architect and designer working for Ernst May and later became Head of Buildings of Frankfurt’s Goethe University, contended that furniture had to be affordable and “adapt its form and function to the reduced number of rooms and smaller footprint of modern dwellings.” Kramer developed a considerable variety of furniture, including items for Frankfurt’s schools. The butt leather-covered daybed is one of them. It was presented to the wider public at an exhibition hosted by the German Werkbund in Stuttgart’s Weissehofsiedlung in 1927. E15 relaunched the daybed in 2012, with a frame made of oak or walnut wood and covered with textile or leather straps.


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HANDMADE RESTRAINT
“DAYBED” BY MARINA BAUTIER FOR MA

At the tender age of 18 Marina Bautier left her home country of Belgium to study design in England. In 2003 she returned to Brussels, where she soon established herself as a successful designer. Today, she works with furniture makers of the likes of Swedese, Stattmann Neue Möbel, Ligne Roset and Idée. And she has founded her own label: “Ma”. Among the exclusively distributed products from the collection (and all of the items are made by small crafts workshops in Belgium and Germany) is a daybed that is, like its siblings, beautifully simple, clear and unpretentious.


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TRASH BASKET, THEN BED
“DAYBED” BY MORTEN BO JENSEN FOR VIPP

Vipp, the Danish trashcan specialists, is entering new terrain: After the kitchen it is now sallying forth to conquer bedrooms and living rooms. The first product: a daybed, straight lines, practical, and definitely cool. To go with the upholstery, which boasts covers in aniline-dyed leather, Morten Bo Jensen, Head of Design at Vipp, conjured up a frame made of aluminum – the selfsame material used for the trashcans. No other affinities immediately catch the eye…


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Langer Sessel

PLAYING WITH OUTLINES
“ILE CHAISELONGUE” BY PIERO LISSONI
FOR LIVING DIVANI

“Ile” fits in any room – calm and tranquil, as matter of fact as it is elegant. The chaise longue supplements the “Ile” sofa line Piero Lissoni created for Living Divani and thrives on the tension between a steel frame (that looks like a sketch in 3D) and a very flat, firmly upholstered leather surface. With this daybed Piero Lissoni once again proves himself a master of refined, clear designs.


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THEY CALL ME MELLOW ...
“MELLOW DAYBED” BY FORMSTELLE FOR ZEITRAUM

The “Mellow” chaise longue immediately seems friendly and inviting. It was designed for Zeitraum by Munich’s designer-duo Formstelle, meaning Claudia Kleine and Thomas Kürschner. Thanks to the specially shaped headrest, you can enjoy sitting comfortably on “Mellow”, for example to read the paper or enjoy a cup of coffee. And if tiredness wins out, you can simply gradually slide into a reclining position, and enjoy a nap. Which might of course last that wee bit longer, as “Mellow”, with its base section of solid wood (ash, oak, cherry or walnut are available), has a slatted frame and boasts especially comfy upholstery. And not just to listen to Donovan when he sings: “They call me mellow yellow...”


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LAYERS UPON LAYERS
“WILLIAM CHAISELONGUE” BY DAMIAN WILLIAMSON FOR ZANOTTA

If items of furniture were people, then “William” might be the male equivalent of “Principessa” by Doshi Levien, where the man of course needs far less cushioning to recline than does a princess. Designed by Damian Williamson for Zanotta, the daybed stands out not just for its restrained steel frame, springs in the form of belts, and a choice of textile and leather covers, but also from its multi-layered upholstery. It certainly makes sure you recline softly. And it is equally persuasive in visual terms.


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CAPITONNÉ
“EDWARD CHAISELOUNGE” BY B. EDWARD TUTTLE
FOR WITTMANN

Tuttle, a Paris-based architect, has extended the “Edward” line of upholstered furniture for Wittmann to include the “Capitonné” button-backed sofa. The idea: a combination of opulent upholsters that to this day must be hand-made and a sleek contemporary shape. At first sight, it might seem unsettling, but on second sight it certainly attracts. “Edward” is so appealing to the senses, so modern in any living room that you immediately forget the somewhat pompous headboards in French beds or the massive English Chesterfield sofas.


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MIX & MATCH
“SUNRISE TWO SOFA” BY KATI MEYER-BRÜHL FOR BRÜHL

A sofa you can literally top up at will. Because with “Sunrise Two” designed by Kati Meyer-Brühl and made by Brühl you can add upholstery/backrest elements as required. Round, oval or square, in gold, red or blue; smooth, button-backed or quilted. And there’s a useful Corian table-rest that can also be slotted into place. So if you feel like a change, you can simply vary what goes where or start all over again.


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FLOAT STYLISHLY
“FLOAT CHAISE LONGUE” BY FRANCESCO ROTA
FOR PAOLA LENTI

Floating is not just letting time go past, but also a special method of relaxation in which you simply float – in a tank filled with concentrated saline solution, defying gravity as it were. Just as relaxing, albeit less salty: lounging on the “Float Chaise Longue” Francesco Rota designed for Paola Lenti. As comfy as a huge cushion, you can really float stylishly on it. On top of which Float is suitable for outdoor flotation, with its filling of small polystyrene balls and the tried-and-true Paola Lenti fabrics as covers.


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PASSÉ AND PLIÉ
“LARGE CHAISELONGUE” BY FERRUCCIO LAVIANI
FOR MOLTENI & C

Anyone who is repeatedly being caught off balance should look carefully at this chaise longue: “Large” was developed by Ferrucio Laviani, which he presented in 2012 together with furniture-makers Molteni & C. With the series, which includes armchairs, sofas and side-tables, Laviani wanted to initiate “informal” and different” forms of sitting. This is no doubt exactly what is experienced if you construe the steel arc not as a handle but as a backrest – be it with or without the cushion. Perhaps it’s suitable for doing ballet exercises, too?


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