There’s no piece of furniture that evokes summer relaxation more than the outdoor chaise lounge (or longue if you’re fancy).
On a warm summer day, “they’re something that people gravitate toward,” said Tommy Zung, the principal of New York-based Studio Zung — whether that’s by the side of a large pool or sitting under an umbrella in a tiny backyard.
To choose the right model for your outdoor space, consider how much you’ll lounge wet and dry, advised Zung, whose firm has designed not only beach houses on the East End of Long Island but also its own line of surfboards.
On a deck or terrace, cushy upholstery might be desirable, but by a pool, “you want it to be permeable, to dry off and enjoy the feeling of the warm sun on your skin,” he said, in which case wood slats or an airy fabric sling might be better.
Is it worth the investment to buy a high-quality chaise made of teak, ipe or powder-coated steel? Only if you don’t want to buy a replacement next year.
As Zung put it: “You buy it once and buy it right.”
Considering this, here are some questions to ask:
Should it have wheels? In any space where people might want to reposition a chaise, wheels add convenience. “If it doesn’t have wheels, people scrape the deck,” Zung said. Exceptions include rooftops and terraces where you want furniture to remain securely in place.
What kind of fabric is best for cushions? For long-term durability, Zung recommended looking for UV-resistant fabrics, like those from Sunbrella.
Does it need an adjustable backrest? It’s not essential, but if you want to be able to lie flat for a nap after reading a book, it’s a good idea.
Here are some chaises to consider:
Room & Board Soleil Chaise Lounge Chair ($699 at roomandboard.com): A minimalist, powder-coated steel-mesh chaise that can be stacked for storage.
Serena & Lily Salt Creek Chaise ($1,698 at serenaandlily.com): Handwoven performance-fiber-rope around powder-coated aluminum gives this chaise a nautical feel.