The most impressive sofas at interior design fairs and in furniture stores are the large seating landscapes. But apart from in spacious breakout and reception areas, are they any good for the average home owner?
Demonstrating a new kind of flexible piece of design and luxury that can work in a small apartment, the best-known creative minds in the furnishing industry have been applying themselves to modular sofas, which also offer a degree of sustainability.
"A lot of sofas usually look great in these huge compositions that people design for fairs. But the truth is that most people don't have the space for it at home," says Luca Nichetto, a young Italian designer with offices in Stockholm and Venice.
"I'd rather design something more accessible to everyone, a sofa that fits in a big space, but also in a small flat."But that's not all: the sofa is meant to go through more than one phase of life. You can move with them again and again, the modular elements allow for changes, he says.
For a start, the sofa can be moved to different places in your home, thereby changing the effect of the room – just as its owner as a person is always changing, says Nichetto.
"I love the idea that a product can follow the evolution of a human being. And that's why I like to work with modular systems."In the process, the size of the seating can of course grow – or shrink – by adding new elements.
So the single sofa becomes a family couch, and then transform again into a smaller comfort zone in the new flat after a separation or when the children fly the nest.
Matching stools can be added, and many sofas have the option of integrating tables or even flower pots and storage elements.
The modular principle has been around for years, but it is new in the market for high-end goods. Because for a long time, these were not subject to the requirement of also having to fit into smaller flats, says German designer Sebastian Herkner.
"But even if you have the wallet for such high-end furniture, the reality is now that you can't always have the large living space for it. For example, if you want to live centrally," says Herkner.
"Many residential towers are being built in the big cities with flats that are often only 40, 50, 60 square metres in size."
As a result, the perception of designers and furnishing companies in the upmarket price segment on the range of sofas is also changing: "Little by little, you notice a lot of small seating furniture here that also looks visually narrow. Small objects, but which offer the same comfort as a large sofa."
But regardless of its flexibility, such furniture can only be long-lasting if it doesn't quickly go out of fashion visually.
"I do my best to design timeless pieces that, in a way, grow on their owners," says Nichetto.
Because if you give products a corresponding longevity, they also become more sustainable. – dpa