Monday, February 2, 2009

Day In Day Out

Come into my mind's eye of the romantic world of the daybed.

What is a daybed? It sounds so decadent, a bed for the daytime. Officially it is defined as an armless couch; a seat by day and a bed by night; chaise lounge: a long chair; for reclining.

It conjures up romantic images of rakish men and languid ladies.

And of course visions of les liaisons dangereuses.

Laura Linney as Marquise de Merteuil and Ben Daniels as Vicomte de Valmont
in Roundabout Theatre Company's 1988 production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses

Simple pleasures like eating whilst reclining on a daybed are a delicious respite from the daily grind.

Emily Post having a little snack in bed

Even a nap stolen during the day on a daybed is so much more rewarding.

Photo: smithdan

Painting by Carl Holsoe [Danish, 1863-1935]
Title: Vilostunden

Medium: oil on panel

Dimensions: 18 x 22 inches
Location: Bukowski's Auctions, Stockholm, Sweden

And reading! Reading is the deepest pleasure of them all!

Domino fantasy

Books close at hand for some daybed reading time
in this modern and glam library

Or grab a book in this lovely Suzanne Kasler vignette

A cozy library with a daybed waiting for a good long read

This little flat leather beauty conjures up a neo classic reading nook

Do you work in bed? I often do, because the pitch of my back against the headboard offers the most comfortable support. I can pile up books, and magazines, and papers, and a tray with a snack, the remote, the cell phone, my lap top, and Cholo - it feels like the most glam command center.

Room for Cholo and his stuff in my work space

Henri Matisse working in a daybed in his studio

Truman Capote writing while reclining on his daybed

For me a daybed has the same height head and foot board and no back. Like the style made famous by Napoleon.

Lit bateau, French about 1804-1810
Medium: Mahogany and Gilded Bronze
Permanent Collection: Musee des Arts Decoratifs, Paris
Image Courtesy: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Classic French Empire daybed
Now this is what I'm talking about!

The Mac Daddy!
Napoleon's bedroom at Chateau de Fountainbleau

All in the family - his brother Jerome's bed.
The bed’s fabric has been recreated by the House of Prelle,
which was established in Lyon in 1752 and furnished the Emperor’s palaces.
Using their authentic Empire designs,
Prelle often utilizes its original period looms to create its silk and brocades.
This is the only royal bed of the First Empire in a private collection

Napoleon's bed chamber at Chateau Maimaison

I don't know where he ends and I begin... My Nap-y style wall in our guest room

The empress Josephine had a daybed too at Chateau Maimaison

Not all beds from the time of Napoleon were so fancy. The period was called Directoire. It was a style of French Revolution era furniture designs that spanned the end of the French Revolution and Napoleon's conquest in 1799, bridging the Louis XVI and Empire styles. Named for the Directory government replacing Louis XVI that called for designs of less ostentation and a smaller scale while eliminating regal references.

A sweet little Directoire part of a daybed

My little Directoire daybed used as our king size headboard
One day I hope to have room to set it up as a proper daybe
and maybe a get a new headboard

Napoleon did not invent the daybed. It's as old as France.

Marie Antoinette's bed at Petit Trianon - it has the proportion of a daybed

Marie Antoinette- another bed at Petit Trianon

Marie again, this time at Chateau Versailles

Madonna off her daybed doing Marie Gone Wild

But one thing for sure, daybeds have remained popular, especially with visual vamps and decorators everywhere.

New Orleans designer extraordinaire Gerry Bremmerman uses the daybed to excellent effect

Boho room and daybed that evokes an artist's studio

Magazine worthy daybed from Domino

An 18th century Swedish beauty with fab upholstery

Bali inspired fantasy

So sweet!

Coastal Living sun room dreams

Power to the people! CB2 daybed

Modern Belgian style

Sexy rocker style!

Magazine worthy from Elle Decor

Floating daybed

Teen Chic

Lovely linen

Martha Stewart furniture line has a daybed

Great furniture arrangement

Flat and modern - a palet masks as a daybed

This antique beauty looks very modern
I love the lady near the bolster end of the bed

Nap time in the sun room

Pretty in pink

And pretty in baby blue from West Elm

No wire hangers! Only wire style iron daybeds!
Joan Crawford on a glam Hollywood Regency daybed circa 1930

Iron daybed used as a cute couch

Ikea wire style iron daybed for the masses

Antique iron child's bed turned into a daybed
from Aux Belle Choses in New Orleans

Pile on the pillows!

Mmmmm Stripey!

For me this is a daybed "don't"
I know the 20th century trundle style daybed is very much in use,
but to me it's just a funny looking twin bed -
The proportions are not right for a daybed

If you have to have a back on your daybed, do it like this!
Shawn from Country French owns a store and can hook you up

We got a little Swedish in the house!
From New Orleans at the shop of Anne Koerner
Now that's what I'm talking about!

Madame Juliet Racamier on her daybed
She looked so good they named the style of daybed after her

So there you have it. All the pretty pictures I could find about one of my favorite pieces of furniture: The daybed. If you own one, please send me a photo to and I'll post it for all to ooh and ah at.
I'm pooped. I think I'll recline.

Props for images: The Paris Apartment, Girl Meets Glamour, Cote de Texas, Material Girls, Country French, Desire to Inspire, Apartment Therapy, Surroundings, Google Images


Jan said...

Enough with all this fabulousness - I can't keep up !
No seriously, keep it coming !
Jan x

Linda@ Lime in the Coconut said...

WOW!! That's a lot of day beds!! Love what you are doing with yours in the interim!

Lovely, thorough post!

Julio Muao said...

Great day beds. I love Marie Antoinette's beds at the Petit Trianon. Thanks for the inspiration.

s. said...

That's a terrific - and vast! - collection of daybed photos. Well done on showing us so many options; you've convinced me that there's truly a daybed for every taste.

Jill said...

Wow! Daybed Extravaganza...I think my favorite is at the Soniat House...I never can remember the Suite number...66 maybe. It's the only room we ever stay romantic and louche!

corine said...

I nver realized how sexy daybeds could be. My favorites: the blue velvet one and the one with Madonna, of course.

High-Heeled Foot in the door said...

Great post!

I've always wanted a day bed, but I have never really had the space for one. Hopefully when I get a bigger home I'll be able to get one.

I just want to curl up on one with a great book, my laptop and my pups. That would make it rather full, but I need all of my essentials.

simply seleta said...

Holy Day Bed!!!! This was amazing.

Love the question thrown in there, "do you work in bed?" My first reaction was to say, "are you kidding, I've got 4 kids!" But then I realized that made me sound, om, yucky.

But, yes, I snag that laptop and blog away in my fluffy bed. But I don't have lovely stacks of books and trays of delicious food by my side like you do! ;-) More like a cat and a few pillows.

Wonderful post!

Velvet and Linen said...

Wow, Valorie. You read my mind!
I love daybeds. There is something so romantic about them. It must be the idea of just laying about reading some lovely book of poetry (or in my case, a lovely design mag!). I always love your posts, filled with beautiful images and a bit of humor!


Bayou Contessa said...

Oh Honey!!!!!!!!!!!! I love and want every one of these! This is a beautiful and ultra-comprehensive post and I enjoyed every bit of it. I love daybeds!!!! You are the best!

Zelda said...

hoo ! whouaa ! what inspiring blog !!! you love what I love ... ! . great !

Unknown said...

Sheesh. I need to languish on a day bed after looking through all those pics

Hill Country House Girl said...

Wow. what a great post! Love your photos and your humor. Thanks for your visit to hill country house AND your comment about "my vision". You give me too much credit - I am intimidated by the likes of you and fellow blogger extrordinare, Joni! You two are the best! I have added you to my favorites list!

Anonymous said...

Drat. For some reason only 4 of the photos show up for me! Fortunately one of them is of Cholo, but I want to see whatever it is that conjures up images of rakish men! Well, I'll ask "the man" to help me when he gets home, then I'll add a proper comment. . .

Visual Vamp said...

Hey Carey,
Sorry about that.
Blogspot is going crazy today!
Every site is slow to load, and now I have this special problem ha ha.
If it doesn't right itself, I'll try to troubleshoot and fix it.
Thanks for the hesds up.
xo xo

pve design said...

now I am dreaming of a daybed and a "sleeping porch" and summer.

Anonymous said...

Mmmmmmmm. I just devoured all the daybed photos and licked the spoon (though I did spit out that piece of gristle, the trundle bed). I am such a lounger, a dreamer, a reader, a writer, a sipper, a sigh-er, a procrastinator. . . and I would love to do it all in a daybed. An awesome, awesome post Miz V.