Armchairs are those pieces of furniture that tell us about design and living evolutions. They witness and embody changing domestic environments, new comfort concepts and new styles. Today, for instance, it’s all about softness and complete relax. Just think about the French style armchair. Since its first appearance in the 16th century as a rigid and serious chair, it has been edited and reinterpreted countless times, acquiring really different shapes. From the classic and elegant bergère armchair – with a high padded seatback and wooden armrests – to the leather chesterfield armchair. From winding and ergonomic armchairs by Ray and Charles Eames (such as the popular Lounge Chair), to Alvar Aalto’s wooden ones in true Nordic style, to rational, square and Mies Van Der Rohe-style metal armchairs. Another example is the bean bag, designed in countless different versions but with one iconic version by Gatti, Paolini and Teodoro for Zanotta. Evasive design (currently hybridised with art) is also present in Ron Arad’s irreverent vision, which transformed armchairs into sculptures. The 2018 trend for small armchairs is a bold style: padded armchairs that are comfy and enveloping. They have to be elegant and ultra-soft cocoons, either in seducing velvet or in casual fabric, mono or bicolour. They are the element that gives a fashionable look to your home, bringing along a feeling of warmth and domestic intimacy even in the retail and contract sectors.
Opening photo: A selection of Design Armchairs, with rounded shapes and a feminine soul
This is a series of modern armchairs with a minimalistic design that use their own covers as a decoration. Domino perfectly balances different and contrasting lines. Designed by Nava+Nava for Rubelli Casa (textile firm that manufactures high quality fabrics since 1858), it is a customisable armchair with an incredibly wide choice of Rubelli fabrics.
GamFratesi also interpreted the comfort theme through a combination of design and fashion, both for what concerns shapes and the concept behind the project. Kite armchair, for Porro, features a rounded metal structure that designs a simple set of lines in the space. It can be covered with a wide range of fabrics, leathers and eco-leathers by Porro and it can have countless combinations of materials on the backrest and the seat. The comfortable cushion and the enveloping seatback folded on the structure create an inviting armrest that reminds of the turned-up collar of a trench coat, a clear reference to the fashion world.
Curvy, sexy and simple lines for Josephine, designed by Gordon Guillaumier for Moroso. The name comes from Josephine Baker, American (naturalised French) singer, dancer and cabaret icon from the 1920s. The Maltese designer translates her provocative but sophisticated image into design. Stemming from the desire to differentiate from the edgy, strong and cubic lines of modern sofas, Josephine is a relaxing armchair with a feminine soul, enveloping armrests and backrests covered in elegant velvet. The seat is supported by thin legs that lend it a very light aspect. Guillaumier designed this collection thinking about the contract sector but also about the need to give public spaces a domestic atmosphere, creating armchairs ideal for bedroom, living rooms, waiting rooms or lounges.
This red velvet armchair has a compact and slim shape, ideal to give a touch of colour to your bedroom, living room or studio. Canzone, designed by Giorgio Soressi for Erba Italia, is a rounded and enveloping armchair, available in fabric or leather, with a wooden and expanded polyurethane structure and soft goose down cushions and backrests. Materials ensure comfort, solidity and stability while the aerodynamic lines of the backrest give it a peculiar look.
Another armchair that winks at fashion. It’s Fanny, by Fendi Casa, a modern retròche armchair that plays with a voluntary ‘visual unbalance’ given by the weight difference between the seat (oversize) and the backrest (relatively small). The monolithic seat lays on a metallic base, making the armchair available in a rotating version. This is an elegant decoration that represents the less sexy and more maternal feminine side.
Frida by Marconato & Zappa for Amura is a padded fabric armchair. It combines softness and rigour thanks to its wooden and polyurethane foam structure, entirely covered. Proportioned dimensions, elegance and colours are highlighted by the stitching, which in turn highlights the continuous lines, where the backrest and armrests are integrally part of the armchair.
Finally, Origin, another line of coloured armchairs inspired by women. Makoto Kawamoto interpreted for Novamobili the concept of femininity in the winding silhouette and in the possibility to differently combine colours, fabrics and patterns that highlight volumes and lines. The Japanese designer created an armchair that can completely change, as he explains: “Personality is not defined by shapes, but by the material and colour combinations”.