A Childhood Wish Come True OR Sarah Gets Her Chaise!

Foreign Service LifeRecommendations
October 28, 2009

rattan chaise lounge

Oh my goodness, Oh my goodness, Oh my goodness!!  I FINALLY got the one thing that I’ve been pining my whole life for (besides a husband and a blow-out wedding).  I wanted what every little girl dreams of — a chaise lounge, of course!  I can pinpoint the exact moment I first saw one.  I was around the age of 10 on a family vacation in Duluth.  We were visiting the Glensheen Mansion (shout out to my good friend Christina, who lives a few blocks away!)  and were in one of the bedrooms of the Congdon girls (note: if you go visit, they’re not allowed to talk about the murder that happened there) when I saw my first fainting couch.

And so my obsession with chaise lounges began.  I started collecting pictures of chaises in all shapes and sizes.  Some dainty, some robust, all upholstered.  The piece never fit in any of my prior residences, so I just put the dream on hold.  But then we arrived in Manila and the room was just calling for something more – a regal throne to recline in and view the grand city, so to speak.  And I knew it was time.

rattan chaise lounge

Now, the worst thing one could do was rush out and buy any old chair.  No, no, I would not have regret taint this experience.  I started slowly, negotiating a budget with the hubby.  I did online research, looking into some of the current styles and thinking about what would work in this space (as well as many others ahead).  I also wanted to give it a flair that was unique to the Philippines, so I chose to go with a Rattan style.  Next up was interviewing potential manufacturers.  There were two strong front-runners that I felt confident could pull it off.  I worked with a designer to identify the exact shape and dimensions I wanted and they sketched a concept (see below).

We were in business!  For those of you in Manila, the two designers were Las Palmas Furniture Inc with a showroom in Salcedo Village and JNC Rattan with a showroom in Market Market at the Fort.  Here’s the design we came up with.

Rattan Chaise Lounge

Rattan actually ended up being a bit too thick for the piece.  It would have worked well for an outdoor piece but was too chunky for a project like this.  Instead I chose abaca, a variation of rattan that is indigenous to the Philippines.  (Fun fact: Back when I worked in the gifts department at Target, all of our baskets came from the Philippines and most were made of this fiber!)  With a mid-range gloss to finish, it had the perfect look that I wanted.

rattan chaise lounge

The base cushion is designed loose so that it can easily be washed.  I also chose a more durable cotton fiber to account for wear over time.  At the end of the day, I went with JNC as the vendor as they came in at $600 and Las Palmas was closer to $1000.  Las Palmas quality was exceptional and I know it would have been a superb product… I’m just getting used to paying less here.  Happily, JNC created a wonderful product and delivered it free of charge too!  And now, all that’s left for me to do is sit in my chair and gaze out the window at the city planning what exciting project there is to conquer next.  Do be sure and stop by and try it out – but I’m warning you, pretty soon you’ll want one too!

rattan chaise lounge


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  1. Caroline says:

    I, too, have always wanted a good quality chaise. I love yours. It’s gorgeous! Congrats on a dream come true!

  2. minnesotagal says:

    You too, huh? Must be a girl thing… they just seem so cool!

  3. C says:

    YEY!!! Leave it to you, to even design your own dream piece. Love it. It makes me want to take a nap this instant. Love the Glensheen. It’s one of those places that made me fall in love with/be fascinated with all things mansions & large estates.

  4. Dr. Geneviève Huang says:

    Geneviève says/you’re an adorable young lady/you love blogging I guess and are doing a super job of it. I looked around in your site/fun, stuff like your Moroccan meal/so much!

    Your chaise lounge is beautiful. Have many happy years in it:)

    I remember you from our dinner at Julia and Donald Simpson’s place. They’re leaving….

  5. minnesotagal says:

    So true. And now my memory of it is linked to you, which also makes me smile!! It was one of my greatest fascinations as a child… Hugs!

  6. minnesotagal says:

    I know exactly who you are! Thanks for checking out the blog Dr. Genevieve! I really enjoy documenting my experience this way. And yes, the Moroccan meal was AMAZING. Do you know of anywhere that I can get Moroccan food in Manila?

  7. Rachel says:

    I cannot wait to lounge on it!

  8. minnesotagal says:

    OMG – I was just thinking about you (and all the things we’re going to do together)! WAHOO! We need to touch base soon so that I can continue planning Operation: Rachel Visits the Philippines!

  9. Chris Coleman says:

    I have one too – came with the 60’s retro house we recently retired to in Colorado. I had it reupholstered in a cool zebra print. Unfortunately, our sweet labradoodle also likes it because he can perch on the back and look out the window at the deer and other animals on our acre. I do sometimes get to lounge on it and read!

  10. Evan says:

    Nice info, thanks!
    If you need any rattan manufacture from Indonesia, please contact me via email info[at]lbm-furniture.com or http://www.lbm-furniture.com

  11. Silvia says:

    Please tell me who you ordered your chaise from I have been looking for an exact similar one for years! I love yours I hope that when you get this it’s not too late. Thanks in advance, look forward to hearing from you.

  12. minnesotagal says:

    I got it at CMG Rattn Furniture in Fort Bonifacio, Manila, Philippines. I have no idea if they ship or not. Their email is cmg_rattan@yahoo.com. Website is cmgrattan.multiply.com. Good luck!

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