Design Centre Stories

Soft Spot

Curvy outlines have replaced hard angles in upholstered furniture. These soft silhouettes express our deep need for comfort right now: a chair that literally wraps around the sitter has a calming, cocooning effect. These shapes are also useful for furniture arrangements in the centre of a room, often looking good from multiple angles and leading the eye through and around a space.

The swooping, aerodynamic lines of art deco design are often an inspirational starting point for these curvy pieces. Arteriors’ ‘Turner’ sofa (above, pictured with a ‘Filamento’ chandelier and ‘Andrea’ ottoman) is an example of this, its tapering arms acting like a hug, inviting users to sit.

Other designers explore exaggerated forms in a nod to postmodernism’s playful approach. Look to Dutch design for pieces that have character and individuality, such as Piet Boon’s Ella collection (above), available from Tollgård. The ‘overstuffed’ upholstery and graphic curved lines give the sofa an almost extruded look, and there’s a satisfyingly plump footstool where you can put your feet up.

Part of Porada’s 202o collection, the ‘Softbay’ sofa (above) takes a looser approach. With soft lines and a chunky outline, its comfortable upholstery appears to cut in to the solid walnut frame. With a low profile, this is a sofa to sink into.

Fabric brands are embracing this design direction, too, styling bold, graphic textiles on furniture with strong sinuous shapes, for maximum impact. Pictured above is Lelièvre Paris’ ‘Dalaï’, a lampas whose geometric pattern was inspired by the tall headdresses worn by Tibetan monks.

Arteriors, Third Floor, Design Centre East (open from 29 June, appointment only)
Lelièvre Paris, First Floor, North & Centre Domes (open 9.30am – 5.30pm, Monday – Friday)
Porada, First Floor, South Dome (open 9.30am – 5.30pm, Monday – Friday)
Tollgård, First Floor, Centre Dome (open 9.30am – 5.30pm, Monday – Friday)

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