A Closer Look: Mies Van der Rohe’s Barcelona Day Bed.

Chop the arms of your sofa because a day bed is the cult buy of the moment. Settees are going back to their origins as beds.

After all, who wants to perch when you can lounge?

The definitive model will always be Mies Van der Rohe’s Barcelona day bed. Resplendent in leather with a rolled bolster, it is simpler and more flexible than a sofa, elegant when bare, more luxurious when smothered with cushions and you can sleep on it as well.

Although it went into production in 1948 it took a while for the day bed as a piece of furniture to catch on in the West even though Eastern pashas habitually lolled in upholstered luxury, the daybed was simply too louche for a Western society which was too frantic to relax.

It took a designer of Mies Van der Rohe’s stature to introduce a contemporary version of the daybed to the Western World.

Part of the Barcelona series of chairs and Ottomans conceived as symbols of modernity, his day bed stood for soft modernism in the hard-edged German pavilion at the 1929 World Expo in Barcelona.

The furniture manufacturer Knoll had the foresight to take them into production and they have been icons ever since.

This day bed looks as if it’s part of the Bauhaus’ machine-age quality-for-everyone vision, but the method of production is actually prodigiously expensive.

Mies Van der Rohe’s view was that the path must lead from quantity toward quality’. The intricate stitching of the leather and polishing of the steel took, and still takes, hours of fiddly work for a craftsman to produce. It wasn’t until the mid-’50s that boxy modular designs made the daybed more affordable.

By the ’80s the arrival of squishy, oversized sofas marked the beginning of a more laid-back approach to living.

Today, however, we want something a bit more structured and the Barcelona day bed is just the ticket for an upmarket man cave. This is style on steroids, a timeless design that will never falter. Expensive? You betcha. Worth it? Yep.

Check out these Barcelona Day-beds below and how much they could elevate your artistic and subversive man cave yourself.

Classic Romano Top Grain Italian Leather Daybed 77″ with Walnut Frame – White
  • Fully upholstered in 100% genuine leather – very sleek and soft to the touch. 
  • Hardy birch hardwood frame in walnut lacquered finish
  • Joints are securely welded, sealed and sanded, coupled with stainless steel legs
  • Squares are individually sewn with raised piping, complete with wide leather straps
Pavilion Daybed/Mies Couch, Top Grain Light Brown Premium Aniline Leather Dark Walnut Frame

 

  • 100% genuine luxury grain leather with aniline leather piping and buttons;
  • The neck pillow is removable
  • 12cm wide Walnut frame. 
  • Lacquered with light or dark walnut
  • Mattress and headrest stuffed with flexible foam upholstered with double-layer leather belts tied to the frame.

Classic Romano Top Grain Italian Leather Daybed 77″ with Walnut Frame – White