I’m seeing day beds everywhere at the moment, in magazines, in interiors shops and in almost every Scandi brand’s beautifully styled lookbook. It’s not particularly a new trend, classic modernist designers Mies van der Rohe and Eileen Gray both set the bar high with their 20th century designs. Eileen Gray, for example, designed her day bed for her modernist masterpiece, the E-1027 house in the Cote d’Azur (you can read an article I wrote about it in more depth here). Advocating versatile furniture with multiple functions, Gray believed that furniture should ‘lose its individuality and merge into the architectural whole!’. During the day the discrete and movable piece of furniture could be used as a relaxing spot to sit and read and a bed for guests at night.
Today the day bed is still popular and I think it’s precisely because of its versatility. As living, dining and eating spaces merge into one, so the functions of our furniture need to be adaptable. A day bed could be used as a soft welcome in the hallway, for an extra place to sit or rest your feet next to the sofa, for a cosy reading nook under a window, or for laying out clothes in a bedroom. If you’ve got the room, it’s just that extra little horizontal surface that can bring a bit of comfort without overpowering the space and looking cluttered. I love it’s clean lines and minimal appeal.
The MENU Align Daybed by Danish designer Anita Johansen, above, is comprised of a simple ash frame with a thin, soft, upholstered wool or leather seat. Johansen herself graduated from The Danish Design School in 2012 and says a process of simplification is at the heart of her work: ‘Adding to a design is easy, but to reduce the design until you only have the essentials in form and function is so much harder.’ The sleek dark version of the day bed is perfect for the true minimalists out there, while the lighter day bed has a softer, younger look.
Here are some of my favourite day beds on the market at the moment, from affordable designs from IKEA and Habitat to beautiful designer pieces to save up for and keep for a lifetime:
Available in four different materials and several customisable colour ways, I’m loving Ferm Living’s new Turn day bed – a contemporary design with strict minimalistic lines above. It is softened by rounded corners to the cushion pad, slim metal legs in powder coated metal and elegant leather belts. The Turn day bed has a reversible dual-coloured top cushions, which can be turned around to change the look of a room and provide a new perspective to a space (or if you’re anything like me, hide a food stain from the dinner you were trying to balance while watching tv!).
So, which one’s your favourite?