The Barcelona Daybed: A Timeless Classic

The Barcelona Daybed: A Timeless Classic

Posted by SJ on Mar 27th 2023

Betty Drapper, the wife of Don Drapper, is comfortably reclined on a sort of sofa while attending to her psychoanalyst, in some urgent need to express her inner thoughts. The scene is part of the arch-famous TV series Mad Men, where the adventures and misadventures of an advertising firm share the spotlight with its Mid-Century Modern scenery and décor. The design piece used by betty is the Barcelona Daybed, and we are going to dig deeper into this fascinating symbol of comfort and beauty.

The Barcelona Daybed, by Manhattan Home Design

Designing of a Masterwork: The history behind the Barcelona Daybed

Choosing a Barcelona Daybed for a key scene in one of the most successful TV series is nothing but casual. This beautiful and elegant icon has had an outstanding journey, since the very beginning of the Mid-Century Modern movement.

When Was The Barcelona Daybed Designed?

The Barcelona Daybed is presented many times as part of the famous Barcelona Collection, created in 1928, for the Universal Exposition of Barcelona of that year, as one of the elements we recognize today: The arch famous Barcelona Chair, the Barcelona Sofa, the Barcelona Loveseat, the Barcelona Bench and the Barcelona Table.

But the Barcelona Daybed wasn't released at that memorable time in Barcelona in 1928. It was a year later, in the United States, when a relatively unknown architect by then,Philip Johnson, asked Ludwig Mies van der Rohe to redesign his apartment in New York.

Van der Rohe accepted the job and assumed that all his prior experience with the Barcelona Collection would help him in this new task. And it was.

And Who Designed the Barcelona Daybed?

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

How to untie Ludwig Mies van der Rohe from one of his most recognizable works in furniture?. The German Architect and Designer (1886-1969) is one of the foundational names in the Modernism movement that changed for good the landscape of cities like Chicago and New York. His contributions to the field of Architecture are such influential that is fair to say that Architecture today would look quite different without is work.

And that perdurable legacy translates to Interior Design, too. With the definitive collaboration of Lilly Reich, his Design Assistant by the time, van der Rohe experimented a frenetic period from 1927 to 1929, with the design of the German Pavilion of the International Exposition of Barcelona (plus another two pavilions at that meeting), and with the design of the Villa Tugendhat.

What Makes The Barcelona Daybed so Popular?

Since its introduction (almost a hundred years ago), the Barcelona Daybed became increasingly popular, just like the other elements in the Barcelona Collection. But that popularity rose exponentially when Knoll, the legendary design house, started to sell it in the United States in 1964.

But what makes the Barcelona Daybed so special? The simplicity of design is the main feature of this item, among its low-cut, inviting, tufted cushions. According to Paul Galloway, collection specialist of the MoMA: "It's an extremely simple way of delineating space". "It could sit against the wall, or by a window. And because is low it didn't block the space."

A Closer Look To The Barcelona Daybed

One of the most fascinating elements of furniture is texture and materials. Enjoying the experience of a comfortable seat has a lot to do with our preferences for leather, wood or fabrics.

It cannot be any different with the charming Barcelona Daybed. Its clean-cut, shiny leather surface, is an irresistible invitation to a quiet rest in the warmth of a special reading. Let's take a more detailed look at the tangible side of the Barcelona Daybed.

Material Girl

Diana Krall, a famous jazz singer, seats on a Barcelona Daybed for one of her albums

A long time has passed since the design of the Barcelona Daybed in 1929. A lot of water has run under the bridge and the world of design certainly has taken note. But in the case of classic pieces like the Barcelona Daybed, changes are only made to strengthen a perfect concept. According to the state of industrial technique in 1929, the Barcelona daybed used leather strips to tie its leather tufted cushions to a stainless steel frame. Pigskin was used in its very beginning, being replaced a short time later with cowhide. Nowadays, advances in industrial design allowed improvements in the internal foam of the cushions and the use of seamless stainless steel frames.

The Barcelona Daybed often referred too as the "Barcelona Couch", sits upon a polished tubular stainless steel base, featuring an ash wood platform finished with a clear protective lacquer. The tufted cushions are upholstered with high-quality leather and filled with premium quality foam. A cylindrical bolster pillow adds an extra touch of elegance and comfort to this iconic piece of furniture, giving it its unique shape.

Measure of Style

One of the most treasured values for any manufacturer of pieces like the Barcelona Daybed, is to respect its original design. Most manufacturers feel proud of how exactly the dimensions and measures of its rendition, are to the original design by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Let's take a look to these measures.

Dimensions of the Barcelona Daybed:

Overall: 16"H x 38"W x 78"L

Seat Height: 14.9"

On average, these are the standard measures for a quality rendition of the Barcelona Daybed. For the traditional design houses working with the original brand, some additions in seat height and width are common.

Why is the Barcelona Daybed So Comfortable?

The very presence of the Barcelona Daybed invites you to relax, but surely, its 72 individual panels from a single cowhide, welted and tufted with buttons by hand, are a good reason. The Barcelona Daybed offers the possibility of a relaxed lie-down, not exempt from sophistication and elegance at the same time. Neither a divan nor a futon, a Barcelona Daybed will lit the room with the sultry magnetism of leather, while a good reading or a desired company is available.

Original Vs Replica: The old dispute

Furniture masterworks like the Barcelona Daybed are considered like that because they have a long run since their release. When it comes to the Barcelona Daybed this journey began in 1929, and until today. That's the reason why lots of Design enthusiasts (and common fans) have managed to take one of these pieces home (and once started, many can't stop doing it).

But buying an original piece of Mid-Century Modern Style can be very expensive most of the time. The original houses that manufacture these items since the 1950's or 1960's, charge the client for brand uses and royalties that can seriously raise the final price. And that's the reason why the market of replicas is so popular.

How much does an Original Barcelona Daybed Cost?

Knoll, the legendary house of design created by Florence Knoll, has the original rights to manufacture the Barcelona Collection since they were granted by the very Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in 1953. The prestige of a design piece by this house (and the use of its brand) can really be heavy for most budgets.

When it comes to the Barcelona Daybed, its base price for an original item is close to 14,000 $. Some interior designers think they may have better use for budgets like this.

But, again, why is the original Barcelona Daybed So Expensive?

First of all, you must consider the level of demand for this masterpiece. A Barcelona Daybed is a classic piece desired by countless enthusiasts worldwide. And when it comes to a traditional house of furniture the property rights of the name and marketing budgets may really rise its prices.

Original Vs Replica: What's your Best Choice?

Certainly, the depth of your furniture budget is a good measure of what are your best choices as an interior designer. Nevertheless, for most people, and even the most avid enthusiasts, the price of an original piece is unbearable. With an original piece of a design house, you will get a first quality product, but maybe with the same amount you can do the total redo of your space. That's why the market of replicas is so in demand.

The replica's market: More than a growing trend

The concept of replicas is well extended for all products, and furniture is not an exemption. The market of replicas is satisfying a growing movement. As a respectful rendering of the original piece, a replica is committed to quality and true to the expectations of its original creator.

With a replica, you can get an exact reproduction of the original piece with a high-quality standard, but unlike traditional houses, a replica doesn't pay licenses for the exclusive use of the brand, and it's focused to provide the best version of the original design. It can provide you then of a high-quality product at an affordable price.

There are lots of people that can get the benefit of the availability of a replica: Designer enthusiasts, Renters, Architects, and of course, all of us.

Manhattan Home Design is the place for the best Barcelona Daybed Replica

Quality is a scarce value, and it doesn't matter what the product is about, it may vary greatly from one brand to another. That's why trustable brands matter when you choose something you really care about. In Manhattan Home Design we can offer you the best Barcelona Daybed Replica on the market.

If you choose your Barcelona Daybed in Manhattan Home Design, you will be able to enjoy the following features:

  • A Barcelona Daybed Replica by Manhattan Home Design sits upon on a polished tubular stainless steel base and a strong ash wood platform finished with a protective clear lacquer. Just as indicated by its creator.
  • It is taken from a single cowhide, 72 individual panels are then cut, welted, and tufted with leather and buttons, all by hand.
  • For additional comfort, its cushions are filled with high-end, fire-retardant, urethane foam. For cushion support, 17 straps are stretched over a rubber webbing.

Lit your room with a sense of elegance and comfort

At the time of its creation, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe started with the Barcelona Bench as a prototype. The wise German elicited a daybed of elegant and refined simplicity. Following the trend of ancient times, the Barcelona Daybed has clear reminiscences of the Egyptian empire. That gives it a singular presence, catching all the views in the room, with a feeling of admiration and desire. A Barcelona Daybed gives the final touch to a cosmopolitan, elegant room.

Don't miss the opportunity to experience of high-class furniture, taking the smart choice. Manhattan Home Design is the leading market of high Mid Century Modern quality replicas, with masterpieces like the Barcelona Daybed.