The Deckchair: A garden chair with both style and substance March 12, 2018 23:05
What is it about a deckchair that is just plain joyful? Perhaps it is their undeniable vintage appeal. There is always a touch of nostalgia surrounding a deckchair. It is a familiar sight in old black and white photos of bygone family holidays spent at the seaside. Deckchairs (or deck chairs) are associated with happy times - hot days, or not to so hot days, spent at the beach with friends and family. Sand in your sandwiches. Stones in your jelly shoes. A bag of chips, laced in salt and vinegar, for the journey home. Lovely stuff.
While deckchairs are disappearing from our beaches and seaside towns, they do make a wonderful addition to homes and gardens. Their heritage adds character and style to contemporary and traditional settings. So, what is it about the humble deckchair that makes them so appealing?
The history of the deckchair
There is a little grey area surrounding the official creation of what we all know and recognise as a deckchair. While folding furniture and chairs is nothing new, it was the introduction of deckchairs on the deck of ships during the 19th century that introduced the familiar shape and structure. In 1885, a patent for a folding chair was registered by John Cham. Meanwhile here in the UK, steamer chairs were already putting in an appearance on ships and ocean liners and were often referred to as deckchairs.
Soon, deckchairs became the portable seating option of choice for spectators of cricket matches, tennis games and in public parks. Hiring deckchairs at the seaside reached it's peak in the mid century, offering a seat with a sea view for visitors and day trippers.
In terms of structure, very little has changed for the traditional, classic deckchair. Originally, deckchairs just had one seating position, now deckchairs offer a range of reclining positions. Deckchair slings were first made with one strip of canvas and there was always a comedy moment / fear of going through them! These days, deckchair slings are made of sturdy stuff. Ours are made with reinforced seams and given a waterproofing and UV resistance treatment, that enhances their performance and appearance for up to three years. The wood is a hard wood; easy to treat and maintain.
There is also a lot more choice in terms of colours and style of deckchair sling. The first deckchair slings were green in colour; then stripes were introduced. But why stop there?! That's what we say. Combining colourful, bold prints to beautiful, classic wooden frames is just plain fun! And it adds a twist and fresh approach to using these beautiful, simple chairs.
Indoors or out?
While most people think of deckchairs as outdoor chairs, suitable for the garden or patio, it's amazing how these chairs wheedle their way into your heart and your home! They are a truly flexible piece of furniture; suitably stylish in summerhouses, conservatories and 'proper' indoor rooms. I've even delivered one of our extra large deckchairs for a customer who chose to use it as an alternative to a sofa!
What about trapped fingers?!
I won't lie, it's nasty. I've come a cropper a time or two. But the trick is to remember that deckchairs have three rectangles. When you start, two should be at the top, one at the bottom. Once you have this sussed, it's child's play. And talking of kids - our little deckchairs for children come with a set of wing nuts and bolts - meaning that once the chair is upright and positioned, little fingers are safe from harm.