Mobile Island of Calm

Some things are here to stay: the classic deck chair has proved to be an ideal companion for relaxation and provides plenty of opportunity to unwind outdoors even when space is limited.

Summer might be drawing to a close, but it still provides us with plenty of opportunities to enjoy the outdoor life. Seating ensembles, bars and lounges invite us to linger and relax in the fresh air. Roomy, cosy outdoor furniture sets the tone. Sprawling sofas and armchairs are ideal for enjoying the sun or an after-work cocktail. They also demonstrate how expectations of outdoor design have changed: for a long time, the segment was dominated by hardwearing materials like steel or aluminium and by products with a robust design that suggested durability rather than cosiness. In contrast, today’s open-air furnishings are meant to be comfortable more than anything else. In the new and increasingly spacious al fresco havens that are becoming so popular, there’s one classic of outdoor design that is more than holding its own: the good old deck chair.

Originally, the deck chair was probably designed to help tuberculosis patients get the fresh air they had been prescribed. Wrapped in blankets, they could strengthen their lungs for several hours a day whilst sitting in a comfortable position in their snug seat. Thanks to its space-saving and mobile design, the deck chair soon became a common sight and a popular piece of furniture for relaxing. Collapsible and suitable for both sitting and lying down in, it provided passengers on the decks of big ships with a place to rest and enjoy the view. Later on, it became popular with the sun-worshippers of this world as the ideal way to see and be seen when enjoying a day at the beach.

Nowadays, the outdoor classic issues a year-round invitation to relax and can even be spotted in living rooms from time to time. By adopting new materials, shapes and colours, the deck chair has adapted to the latest furnishing trends. The variations are almost endless. It comes in simple wooden designs and luxury models, in subdued shades and vibrant hues, in lightweight materials such as aluminium or plastic and in fine woods. Whether it’s used for relaxing on the beach and patio or a sunning session in winter, accompanied by a thick woollen blanket, the deck chair is as practical as it is comfortable: the perfect piece of lounge furniture.

Source: Koelnmesse, reprint free of charge.