One Perfect Thing

Chaise Longue Chic

Jay Gatsby would have loved this chaise," says Eric Villency, a man who is as well-versed in fiction as he is in furniture. Now president of Maurice Villency, the furniture business founded by his grandfather in 1932, Villency has a unique ability to spot superior design—whether from across the hall at Milan's Furniture Fair or across a lawn at a backyard cocktail party. It was at just such an event last summer that he first set eyes on the chair pictured above. Named the Heritage, it was created by Belgian engineers Frank Boschman and Kris Van Puyvelde for Henry Hall Designs. "Good pieces for the great outdoors are not easy to find," Villency says. "The beauty of this chaise lies in the fact that it's neither too clunky nor too sleek." Undoubtedly, Daisy would have liked it, too. $2,450; 800-767-7738;

Adjustable knee and back settings make this chair equally comfortable and stylish. Two retractable trays go a long way in keeping clutter (iPod, newspaper, BlackBerry) to a minimum. Design purists will forego cushions, but Henry Hall Designs will customize a set—using your fabric or its own—upon request.

Made from solid teak (which is roughly twice the density of cedar and balsa), the chair is both durable and elegant. Thanks to its high oil content, the wood is particularly resistant to water damage and weathers well, without warping or fading. Amply spaced slats minimize drying time.

While the chaise weighs in at a hefty 61 pounds, sturdy rubber wheels make poolside repositioning a cinch.