El divan, a versatile piece of furniture for your home
The divan is one of the most versatile pieces of furniture in a house because we can use it as a bed, sofa, extra seat, a place for naps …
But when it comes to dressing it, we can have doubts and think about how to do it and this will depend on where to place it and the use we want to give it.
Today, in Abitare Decoration we talk about him. Couches are one of the most suggestive pieces of furniture. The French have spread their chaise longue all over the world, highlighting with this terminology its appearance of a chair with an elongated seat.
In English, on the other hand, they see it more as a bed for the day “day bed”. While in Spanish, it is called a divan – from the Arabic “diwán” – and has been related since the birth of Psychoanalysis with psychological therapy.
Freud began to use it with his patients since it allows us to be completely stretched out, relax in a posture that we relate to sleep and thus connect with the most intimate self.
It has never been a piece of furniture of popular use, rather, it has been used by those who had more resources and perhaps for that reason also more time for contemplation, reading or rest.
But in the last decades, its design has evolved, the imagination has been unleashed in models full of originality and imagination and there are from the most informal models to the most sophisticated, indoor and outdoor … the couches that recover classic shapes those of oriental influences …
They are, in any case, pieces due to their versatile conception, designed for different uses, including the highly recommended Mediterranean siesta.
A minimum of history of the couch
The divan, with its current meaning, has been known in Europe since the mid-17th century
In Knole around 1620, one of the first fully upholstered benches appeared, with a cushioned seat and back, it had padded headrests tied to each of the arms, with an adjustable angle of inclination by means of a toothed wheel to be able to convert it into a divan.
In the baroque splendor, the couches were made of cane board and reclining backrests and were usually made in conjunction with the chairs.
In the Queen Anne period (1702-14), the couches, still in fashion, also had the same type of backrest as the trends in chairs and armchairs, a curved back, an elongated S, the curve that Hoggart called “the line of the beauty”, with slender curved legs, resulting in more elegant furniture than its predecessors.
The backrest chairs with a frame, and with a curve that adapted to the spine and a comfortable upholstered seat, gave the guideline to continue in the same couches, with these lines and with the backrest and legs joined by very simple straps.
With the decline of marquetry and mosaic, the fabrics provided decorative surfaces. High-quality embroidery, wool, and silk with Indian and Chinese motifs, with drawings of strawberries and roses or rich embroidery with gold and silver threads.
During the time of the Directory (late 18th and early 19th century), one of the most famous interiors were designed by Percier and Fontaine for Madame Récamier, a famous beauty whose living room became the meeting place for the new leaders.
In one of the portraits of the painter David, you can see the elegant divan of beautiful proportions and that was made from the design of the Greek armchair.
It was quickly copied and made into one of the most famous pieces of furniture of the time, one version having aback.
La méridienne is a model that can have its sides equal or one higher than the other. In this case, the back that joins them, if there is one, is curved to bridge the gap.
In the late neoclassical period, the symbol played an important role in furniture design, with many motifs evoking warlike themes.
The couches had the appearance of field beds due to the influence of Napoleon’s campaigns in Egypt that sparked interest in Egyptian ornamentation.
Comfy chairs, couches, and couches with comfortable seating disappeared, just as patrons of the arts disappeared during the Revolution.
The divan as a sofa
If you want to use the divan as a sofa, having the back open, you can give it comfort by adding pillows and cushions.
Use a complementary color making it more welcoming to sit on.
You can add extra softness by wrapping part of the seat in plaid, carefully tucking the ends underneath.
If you have a couch without a back, a good option is to place it in the center of the room and add a plaid or foulard, with a cozy and soft texture, leaving it as casual, making it attractive and tempting seat.
A modern design divan like the one you see in the following photo, the pillow is attached to the seat, don’t add any more, because it doesn’t look good. If you want to add a compliment that is a plaid or blanket … although as they are really beautiful they are clean because these pieces, alone, show themselves.
The rigid-backed divan
In this case, you put abundant pillows because he asks for it to be more comfortable. Try different sizes, models, textures and colors to have an eclectic effect.
If you put the divan without back against the wall, will give rigidity and dureza. In n this case also placed abundant pillows and become a desirable place to use.
But also be careful with the use of cushions, because their excess, can make you uncomfortable because there will be no place to sit.
Before deciding, think about the number you are going to put, the mixture you want to make, and the filling you want for them.
If harder or, for example, those made of down, which allows you more space when sitting down, because they compress more.
The divan with custom cover
If you have a divan and you don’t use it as a bed, you can fully upholster it with a custom-made cover and matching cushions and you will be able to improve it.
The divan as a bed
If you use the divan as a bed, dress it with a cushion cover, classic bedding, put hotel-style clothes, or a matching duvet … and you will have a very different result than a normal and traditional bed.
This is a good solution for the guest room.
In the case of the sofa being the usual bed, you can leave some cushions on it, taking care with the colors that match the bedding.
If the bed is visible because it is a loft-style home, pay attention that it is integrated into the overall color scheme.
The divan as a reading or nap site
In the case of using the couch as a nap or reading place, dress it up with soft but firm support pillows and they will be perfect for her.
Have a blanket or plaid handy for when you start to fall asleep.
Add good lighting and a table within reach for a book, or a cup of tea.
The divan for other uses
If the divan is going to have other uses, put an adjustable cover that will make it easier for you in daily use than sheets that you have to tuck in continuously.
When you have to use it as a bed, you lift this cover and underneath you can have the bed made, with its sheets ready for use and you will only have to add a blanket.
But if you frequently use the couch as a bed and don’t want to have the hassle of removing the cover, choose a quilt that will later act as bedding, that is, prepare the couch as a bed, but tuck in only the sides and leave the front loose.
Add cushions and it will have the look of a sofa until you need it again.
If it’s against the wall and you don’t want cushions, put an extra-long, continuous one so it’s comfortable to lean on
You can leave the divan ready for use as a bed, and cover it with a blanket and cushions on top.
If you want to use it as a bed, reach for a pillow from the closet, lift the blanket that covers it to have the bed at your disposal for your use.
We hope that this post about couches and the possibilities they offer to place them in different environments and the way you can dress them, have helped you with ideas for decorating your home.