There’s been a dramatic shift recently back to the 1960s and 1970s, to a period of voluminous, rounded, and sculptural furniture. Of course, straight-lined mid-century pieces are still on-trend, but more organic items were introduced in the ’60s and ’70s by some of the most fabulous designers in the furniture world.
Probably one of the most beautiful chairs ever designed, the Pacha chair created by Pierre Paulin in 1975 epitomizes the hyper-relaxed, loungy look. Curvaceous, soft, and low-slung, the Pacha Lounge Chair is comfortable and versatile. Initially produced by the Danish company Gubi, the entire modular, mix-and-match Pacha collection has been reissued.
The Pukka Collection from Ligne Roset is inspired by designs created by Gaetano Pesce for his UP series starting in 1969. Pesce’s line paid homage to the sponge, an item he was fascinated by because of how it always springs back to its original shape. These pieces, made of foams of various densities and a base of high resilience polyurethane foam, are magnificent, and every corner and facet has been examined and tastefully designed.
You also cannot go wrong by owning another Ligne Roset classic, Michel Ducaroy’s Togo Fireside Chair that he designed in 1973 and nearly 50 years later remains one of the company’s best sellers. The Togo collection features an ergonomic design with multiple density polyether foam construction and quilted covers. Each piece is attractive and inviting.
Some people have asked how sculptural pieces fit into and live in your home and I’m here to tell you there is nothing more “designer” than incorporating sculptural items into your design. They are part of the family and take on a life and personality of their own.
Faye Toogood, a London designer, created a talked-about piece, the Puffy Lounge Chair. It looks like a metal frame with a sleeping bag draped over it, and its quilt-like detachable upholstery is fat and plump, spilling freely over the sides of a hard-lined tubular steel frame. Nevertheless, it’s comfortable and a major conversation piece.
Another conversation piece is Toogood’s collaboration with Birkenstock, a bed of puffy layers of canvas and leather upholstery sitting on a cork base with Birkenstock’s natural mattress and slatted frame incorporated within. The headboard and full surround are upholstered in cream leather. Again, this is so fun, and sometimes it’s playful pieces like these that are not only comfortable but genuinely make a statement.
One of the most influential designers of the past is Ettore Sottsass. In 1970, he designed a significant statement piece as part of the Mobili Grigi series of bedroom and living room objects. The curvaceous Ultrafragola Mirror/Lamp was the only piece from the collection to make it beyond the prototype phase and is back in demand now. The mirror/lamp has a white opaline shell and features a pink neon LED light. When switched off, the frame is brilliant white. When switched on, the neon light produces a bright pink glow. The curvaceous, wavy Ultrafragola was created in the 1970s by Florentine company Poltronova, making today’s re-edition mirrors individually numbered. It is a statement piece looks extraordinary sitting against your wall and brings a lot of life to your house.
A lot of people ask me about mixing statement pieces. Of course, you can, but you have to find a harmonious balance between them. You can’t have too many statement pieces in one room. And only your eye or a trained eye can tell you if you can mix the selections you have or not.
I want to share some beautiful, very affordable pieces that you can buy today from Crate & Barrel or CB2, or West Elm. First, take a look at the Galisteo triangular black coffee/end table from Crate & Barrel. These are different pods that you can mix and point in different directions depending on how you are designing your room. They’re super elegant and super chic.
This table from West Elm is fantastic. If you’re looking for a coffee table, this is the one for you because it’s rooted in perfect design. Again, very rounded and voluminous.
Another great place to find comfortable chairs is at AnthroLiving, part of Anthropologie. They currently have one of the most outstanding club chairs I’ve seen around, and I encourage all of you who need a club chair to take a look. With its U-curved seat topped with a cushion and its barrel back silhouette, the Linen Sculptural Chair is art made for living.