With a limited edition subscriber cover by Christian Astuguevieille
Gastone Rinaldi / Poltrona Frau
Poltrona Frau has fulfilled every die-hard minimalist's fantasy with its recent reissuing of a bench by mid-century master, Gastone Rinaldi. The T904 is an inspiring union of wood and tubular steel that dates back to the 1950s. Not one to get overly nostalgic, Poltrona Frau has brought it firmly into the 21st century by pairing it with cushions made in Pelle Frau leather or more dynamic fabric.
Antonio Citterio / B&B Italia
The epitome of understated poolside elegance, Antonio Citterio's new lounger design for B&B italia has us reaching for our sunglasses and the nearest cocktail menu. Citterio's attention to detail is evident in honed features such as the discreet rollers that are used on the legs in place of traditional clunky wheels.
Rui Alves /
Price on request
Portuguese designer Rui Alves hails from a family of skilled craftsmen, so it's no wonder he wanted the carefully made ash wood structure of his 'Tailor' sofa to take centre stage. Wood joints are meticulously executed, while the simple foam shell echoes the frame's light aesthetic.
Noora Liesimaa /
Price on request
Finland's Aalto University put on an impressive exhibition of student work at this year's Salone del Mobile, which included this angular 'Kiila' bench by masters degree student Noora Liesimaa. Measuring almost 3m in length and cast from pre-oxidised steel, the bench's imposing form was inspired by the stern of a sailing boat. The prototype was manufactured by Italian furniture company Pifferi & Alpi.
Laufer and Keichel / Thonet
The 330 series is distinguished by its simple, timeless design, meticulous detailing and ergonomic curves, which break up the rigidity of the straight lines. With its reduced forms and high-quality finish, the 330 is a true all-rounder.
Chad Wright / Council
The 'Twig' takes its form from 'the towers of the Golden Gate Bridge emerging from the fog', according to American design brand Council. This rather grand reference may not be the first thing that springs to mind when you look at the chair, but we like its slender lines and gently arched wooden back nonetheless. The stackable design is available in two versions, one of which is suitable for outdoor use.
BCXSY / BCXSY
Eindhoven-based duo Boaz Cohen and Sayaka Yamamoto of BCXSY have used a variety of traditional crafts, from Japanese joinery to Israeli carpet weaving, as the basis for their previous collections. This year was no different as the pair headed to Cork to learn the methods of Irish boatbuilding. The result is this versatile 'Contrast' stool, assembled by clamping three sheets of plywood together.
Vilhelm Wohlert / Stellar Works
Painted oak and natural oak, £390, or walnut and beach, £425
One new kid on the design block that impressed us this year was furniture company Stellar Works, which made its debut at Salone del Mobile in Milan. With its mixed parentage (its owners are French and Japanese), the Shanghai-based brand takes a cue from the various concession areas in its home city and prides itself on crossing cultural boundaries when it comes to design. Apart from its own eclectic collection, which blends Eastern and Western sensibilities, Stellar Works has secured the rights to reissue several of Danish architect Vilhelm Wohlert's furniture pieces. Wohlert's 'Piano' chair, a long forgotten design, is the first in the series and has been made, like all Stellar Works pieces, entirely by hand.
Architecture & Associés / Knoll
Knoll has teamed up with Pierre Beucler and Jean-Christophe Poggioli of Architecture Associés, a prolific Parisian practice that has designed boutiques for Dior and Lanvin, to produce a range of seating and ottomans. Their cosy sofa boasts enveloping side panels, chrome legs and copious, horizontal armrests to better balance the remote control on.
GamFratesi / Danish Crafts
We spotted this lovely specimen of an office chair among the exhibits at 'Mindcraft', Danish Crafts' annual ode to Danish design, which pairs the country's most exciting design talents and its established manufacturers to great effect. With its wiry legs on castors, the quirky 'Beetle' by multidisciplinary studio GamFratesi loyally references the anatomy of its entomological inspiration while still embodying Denmark's unmistakable, fuss-free sensibility. Comfortably upholstered and easily stackable, it's one bug we'd welcome into our office.
Jean Prouvé and G-Star Raw / Vitra
Although initially apprehensive about a fashion brand (no matter how fabulous) meddling with the historic archives of Jean Prouvé, we admit to being very happily surprised by the results of G-Star Raw's recent initiative. Working closely with the Prouvé family and Vitra, the brand has bravely brought alive several of the modernist's most iconic designs, retaining the sense of balance, logic and use of pure and raw materials while applying new and innovative construction techniques and textiles along the way. The Lit Flavigny daybed is especially inviting - perfect for a post prandial nap.
Noé Duchaufour Lawrance / Fasem
This season we'll be decking out the dining room with works from one of our favourite French designers, Noé Duchaufour Lawrance. Included in a collection of several new pieces created for Fasem is the 'Mut' chair - an understated leather seat that promises to mould to your shape over time spent at the dining table. And that table itself might just as happily be one of his 'Sign' designs, a leather covered steel structure with a clear glass top.
Nadadora Studio / Sancal
Spanish design outfit Nadadora Studio found inspiration in the local form of 'trobos' - beehives created from hollowed out tree trunks, typical to the north of the country - for this collection. Echoing their form, the resulting Tab stools are created from curved sheets of chestnut would and come in a broad range of colours.
Gio Ponti / Cassina
Gio Ponti ranked the Superleggera chair as one his three 'masterpieces' (together with the Pirelli Tower in Milan and the Concattedrale of Taranto) and we are inclined to agree - striking, as it does, the perfect balance between solidity and lightness. Designed for the Cassina I Contemporanei Collection, it his been in production since 1957, but Cassina has just unveiled a new re-edition of a version Ponti designed for exhibitions in the 1950s, which was never serially produced. Equipped with a padded white or graphite leather seat, the ashwood chair's black and white lacquered frame emphasises its elegant proportions - making it a definite show-stopper.
Inga Sempé / Ligne Roset
Price on request
The younger, and equally covetable sibling to the Ruché sofa - one of the designs that saw Sempé nominated for our Furniture Designer of the Year award - this bed has a slender but solid beechwood frame, with a quilted base and headboard. Its clean, modern form and soft curves belie the complexity of the stitching involved - the subject of 'much research and many trials, at the outset on my little sewing machine, then in the proptyping shop in Briord, then on the seamstresses' profession-grade machines, and finally tested on the programmed sewing robot.' says Sempé. Take heed: sloppy bed making will spoil the look.
Jaime Hayon / BD Barcelona Design
Giving an obvious nod to the ubiquitous Eames design, Jaime Hayon's latest addition to his 'Showtime' collection is stamped with his trademark playful and irreverent spirit. The Lounger's high back and wings give it a commanding presence, while the thick cushioning ensures it lives up to its namesake. Available in lacquered wood finish, electric blue or red, it also has an optional footrest.
Stephane Parmentier / Ormond Editions
Price on request
Made from Volvic stone, a black lava known for its incorporation into the cathedral of Clermont-Ferrand in the Auvergne region of France, this stool is part of the 'Lava' series made for Ormond Editions by Stephane Parmentier. A French designer who has so far spent his career rocking the fashion world at Givenchy, Montana and Karl Lagerfeld, he now seems to be doing the same for furniture. The forms in this collection are inspired by the 1970s airport architecture of Roissy.
Artur Moustafa and Jonas Nordgren / RVW
Moustafa and Nordgren give meaning to the phrase 'less is more' with their easy chair collaboration; the unerring black of the finish throughout make it unobtrusive but undeniably chic. The seat comes upholstered in leather or fabric, while the double cross steel leg frame is available powder-coated or in a brushed finish.
Antonio Citterio / Flexform
Keen to please, the ‘Eden’, the dreamy new bed from Flexform, will be whatever you want it to be. A comfy bed with leather wings, it comes with a wooden base and a mattress that neatly fold away to create a vast day bed. While sofa beds are often disliked for doing neither of their jobs well enough, ‘Eden’ gets around that by simply being a bed – just one that is flexible enough for night and day.
Héctor Serrano / Gandia Blasco
Héctor Serrano's new stool is the perfect summer patio perch. Available as a bar stool and a shorter single-tier version, in black, grey, white and brown, the 'Air' stool is intended to blend in with its surroundings. Serrano used moulded polythene to create a hollow volume with continuous triangular sections. The stool's name comes from its aerated shape; light and breezy, it won't block the view of your begonias.
Martino Gamper / Established & Sons
The 'Sessel' chair is Martino Gamper's first design for a production chair. Gamper, who built Wallpaper's Chair Arch at London's V&A museum last year (W*127), has gone for a new twist on the iconic bentwood chair, taking it apart and then putting it back together with square bentwood panels and no supporting ring. The chair gets a pretty new palette, too.
Franco Albini / Cassina
Simple, clean-lined and modern, the 'Canapo' rocking chair offers an irresistible invitation to recline. Designed in 1945 by the Italian architect and urbanist Franco Albini, the 'Canapo' had never been put into production. Having unearthed Albini's original sketches from the archives, Cassina now offers the rocking chair in a choice of black ash or walnut. It features a cotton canvas support and removable cushions in leather or bright fabric. Once again, 20th-century design rocks.
Martí Guixé / Danese Milano
When Martí Guixé first presented his 'Xarxa' multipurpose 'seat' in 2008, a few eyebrows were raised. It consisted of five cushions and a strap -- the idea being that they could be stacked or spread out and that was all you really needed. Much as we love to lie low, tatami-style, we're thrilled that Guixé has now thrown a solid birch sofa frame into the mix. Infinitely adaptable, it features removable slim metal arcs that act as supports for the pillows.
William Emmerson / Ralph Pucci
Though there’s a general feeling at W* HQ that walnut may be a bit of a tired material, we’re willing to make an exception for William Emmerson’s new daybed. The daybed is part of Emmerson’s Ab Ovo collection (meaning ‘from the egg’) inspired by a dream the designer had about human anatomy. The resulting furniture pieces explore various organic, vaguely anatomical shapes in walnut, upholstered with woven leather. There’s nothing gruesome though, indeed it’s all rather dreamy; the mid-century, antique feel of the daybed particularly, with its combination of dark leather and hand carved walnut, will have even the hardened workaholic giving in to the occasional urge for a kip.
Russell Pinch /
Master carpenter-designer Russell Pinch’s new collection is pretty much faultless in its entirety. If we had to choose just one piece we’d go with the charming little IMO folding stool. The walnut frame and elm top have a ruddy, workmanlike aesthetic, but it’s the fact that they fold down the middle and can be hung on an accompanying walnut peg when not in use that singles them out for selection.
Autoban / De La Espada
Turkish design company Autoban has a knack for reimagining classic forms with an unusual element added into the mix. The results are often beautiful pieces that combine practicality with character, such as the Deco Sofa – luxuriously deep with a Deco-inspired play on geometric shapes in the rectangular oak panels and round cushions.
Mark Sadler / Cinova
Price awaiting confirmation
Mark Sadler's bed for Cinova isn't just a nice, neutral option for an urban pad, it's cleverly designed to incorporate extendable bedside tables. The headboard slides seamlessly on integrated castors to provide table surfaces on both sides of the bed - simply slide it one way or the other to give more room depending on which of you is reading the bigger book.
Tom Dixon /
Fed-up with the 'dishonest' use of materials of late, Tom Dixon's studio have forged ahead with a back to basics approach instead. This Slab bar stool, made from solid oak with a rugged cast iron foot rest is as honest as it gets and was a highlight from his recent, appropriately named Utility collection.
Shigeru Ban / Tokyo Fibre
Price awaiting confirmation
“I wanted to make a chair that was lighter than Gio Ponti’s Superleggera, so light a child could pick it up with just his little finger,” said Japanese architect Shigeru Ban of his new carbon fibre design. Weighing around 500 grams he’s done just that. Two slender layers of carbon fibre sandwich very fine aluminium panels to create a chair that, though light as a feather with a paper-thin silhouette, is still as strong as an ox, and a lot more comfortable to sit on.
Sam Hecht / Established & Sons
The next best place for inspirational ideas, after the shower, is apparently the commute. Sam Hecht clearly favours the latter, taking the interior of the Yamonote line on Tokyo’s Metro as inspiration for his standout seating range for Established & Sons. While most Japanese trains have standard benches and armrests, the Yamonote line has a bench with a lone gold seat in the middle. Interested in the way people reacted to the space, Hecht applied his characteristic, minimal elegance punctuating a solid oak base with Bentwood arms and legs. Definitely too good to be kept underground.
Piero Lissoni / Cassina
Would you Adam and Eve it? The beauty of this new design by Piero Lissoni for Cassina is the fact that the leather back and seat is almost completely seamless. Achieved by a clever configuration of sizes and folds, the perfect baby-bottom soft leather slots over the frame with no signs of any stitching in the finished result. To sit in it or stroke it, that is the question.
Vincenzo De Cotiis / Ceccotti Collezioni
We suspect that Vincenzo De Cotiis’ bed for Ceccotti was designed with more than a good night’s sleep in mind. Upholstered with lashings of black leather it’s every bit as comfortable as it is swarthy. The fact that it sits on the floor and has a bulky, cushioned headboard not only makes for no sharp edges but conveniently good soundproofing too.
Luigi Caccia Dominioni / Azucena
Azucena’s founder Luigi Caccia Dominioni designed this bed in 1989 and, after a dormant spell, this year it was reissued with the addition of a spanking new yellow lacquer to complement the black. It might be one of the more unusual beds we’ve fallen for but it’s definitely one of the most comfortable we’ve fallen into. One thing’s for sure: it’ll provide an easy talking point should a potential bed partner come over all shy.
Finn Juhl / One Collection
Finn Juhl's 1946 108 FJK dining chair is back on the production line thanks to One Collection, the sole license holders of the great Dane's back catalogue. 'It has all the classic Juhl elements: organic form, floating support and a truned wooden frame, all in a simple, everyday design,' says Henrik Sorensen, One Collection's director.
Jean-Marie Massaud / Poltrona Frau
Looking to share your bedroom with a new companion? Here’s a partner we could easily grow old alongside, because a more welcoming leather chair to sink into than Archibald would be hard to find. Deep seated and full of personality, Archibald is less an armchair and more a new friend, created by fine artisans with meticulous attention to detail. And if you think that’s over the top you haven’t tried it.
Marco Dessi / Richard Lampert
Like the schnitzel and the waltz, Marco Dessi’s Prater chairs are nothing if not a product of their Viennese hometown. Not only are they named after the park in the Leopoldstadt district of the city but their form takes its lead from the work of another Viennese icon, Otto Wagner. Where Wagner created robust, pioneering bentwood designs at the turn of the last century, Dessi has translated these into a subtler play of detail and proportion. But just like the designs of his forebear, the dimensions encourage fully upright seating at all times and definitely no slouching.
/ Poltrona Frau
Taking its lead from the original Chester collection from the Porltona Frau archives this pouf is an altogether easier element to incorporate into your living room than the imposing sofa, adding a classic touch without overwhelming any more contemporary designs.
Petter Skogstad /
We’re predicting great things for this young Norwegian designer. Though still completing his MA at Akershus he has an impressively developed style – quietly charming designs with a graphic edge. Whilst most young exhibitors at Salone Satellite flex their growing muscles on smaller items – accessories or at most chairs – Skogstad designed a sofa, and a very fine one at that. ‘Hay’ is derived from hay bails and each bail module is the same dimension as its namesake.
Vincenzo De Cotiis / Progetto Domestico
Chair €5719, lights €1925 each
It took Vincenzo De Cotiis two years of research to track down the tannery that makes the leather for these chairs. The Italian tannery he settled for uses only the finest European bovine hides and create bespoke colours so were able to match the particular anthracite De Cotiis was after. The lamps have a similar degree of finesse, made from two shells, an outer black glass case and an inner Belgian glass layer, which rotate so you can control the direction of the light.
Naoto Fukasawa / Maruni Collection
There’s something of a trend afoot in sofas for feet to be raised. Maybe, like hemlines the height of sofas rises in times of economic crisis or, more likely, it’s to do with smaller living spaces seeming bigger when there’s room under (and around) furniture. It’s no mean feat making a three seater sofa appear to float but if anyone can, Naoto Fukasawa’s probably the man. His Hiroshima sofa is a case in point. The sturdy, attractive oak legs give the right-angled, box frame a distinct levity – a master of simplicity, illusion and, of course, comfort.
Jonas Lyndby Jensen / Skandiform
Taking its lead from the natural curves of its namesake the designer says his intention was to ‘capture the experience of sitting in a sand dune’. There’s room for two on the low version.
If Mooma’s ‘The Fall’ chair looks a little familiar it’s because it has two very famous ancestors: the classic Chinese Ming chair and the English Windsor chair. Not just a random hybrid of two designs, Mooma felt the better elements of both could be combined to produce a contemporary, graceful update. So the combined arms and back of the Ming sit on the angled legs of the Windsor, a design that, in the words of its creators “is as charming as a lady and gentle as the fall”.
Shelly Shelly / Bernhardt design
Shelly Shelly – a name surely destined for fame - is a student at the Art Center College of Design in California, whose Loft chair was part of the third annual design studio in collaboration with Bernhardt, presented at ICFF in 2008. The design created a buzz for the unlikelihood that such an experimental but robust form came from the hands of student. Not to say students aren’t capable of genius, simply that the Loft is such a grown-up design that encapsulates a wealth of American and European design heritage. Hand carved from walnut but using laser scanning to reproduce the design, Loft also succinctly merges traditional craftsmanship with contemporary technology.
Claesson Koivisto Rune / Sodra
Price awaiting confirmation
It's easy to go a bit gooey over the little multicoloured Parapu chairs - but that's one thing they won't be doing. Even if they get wet. Moulded from DuraPulp, a mixture of paper pulp and biodegradable plastic, the Parapu is as durable as it is practical fro outdoor use.
Sezgin Aksu & Silvia Suardi / De Padova
Named after a small town in Liguria, the 'Framura' collection was designed to inspire a slower pace of life. While not many need encouragement on that front, who could resist taking a rest on this lounger with its inviting pillow cushions and delectable little spoked wheels.
Konstantin Grcic / Magis
Konstantin Grcic’s 360 swivel stool might look a little unwieldy and perhaps difficult to keep one’s balance on when whizzing at speed across a room. But the very basic form, like a cubist sculpture, is actually very practical, not to mention comfortable and, as office chairs go, liberating, without any expanse of seat or armrest to feel hemmed in by.
Jean-Marie Massaud / MDF Italia
price awaiting confirmation
Jean Marie Massaud’s Flow chair for MDF Italia is a chair that means business in the most gentlemanly manner possible. A hard outer shell with a soft inside (like all the best businessmen) it can be sturdy and supportive or laid back and relaxed depending on your mood and the four oak legs will keep you firmly grounded at all times. And of course, this being MDF Italia, every element is exquisitely finished.
Mika Tolvanen / E&Y
Tokyo-based editor, developer, manufacturer and retailer E&Y doesn’t feel the need to scream and shout about its designs. An impressive stable of designers has been busy creating stunning pieces since it’s inception in 1993. And while they may have caught the eye of those in the know like MOMA New York, London Design Museum and the Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Paris they have refreshingly stayed clear of the need for attention-seeking installations or come-look-at-me peculiar design/art creations. A highlight from their recent Greenland collection was this charming Riuku bench by Finnish designer Mika Tolvanen, which sits perfectly in a narrow hallway.
Emiliano Godoy / Godoylab
This walnut chair by Mexican designer Emiliano Godoy is an interesting and attractive take on the cantilever design. The natural spring in the wood allows for the weight of the sitter to be spread evenly, despite being supported on only two legs. Though the technical precision is impressive, it wasn't Godoy's starting point for the design. Comfort and the environment were his key inspirations: the seat is made of two curved pieces to provide natural support and all wood used is FSC certified and formaldehyde-free, allowing your mind and body to rest easy.
Jasper Morrison / Established & Sons
£440 excluding VAT
The second instalment of Jasper Morrison's Crate Series for Established sees a move away from storage with the introduction of this rather handsome chair. Though perhaps intended for outdoor use, the rippling slats remind us of a bed frame and the red steel frame is a perfect impromptu clotheshorse for the ubiquitous pile of hastily discarded garments everyone’s guilty of. And if you're one of the rare few that manages to put away their clothes at the end of each day, then it's a handy chair on which to sit and contemplate a good day's work.
Noe Duchaufour-Lawrance / Ceccotti Collezioni
The Seventies feel of the American walnut slatted headboard captures the essence of the whole Ceccotti's collection last year, which combined a retro, manufactured appeal with elements of traditional handicraft. As such many of the pieces felt like antiques, comforting in the familiarity of their form or detail but at the same time contemporary in the exquisite quality of their finish. The Valentina is the work of Noe Duchaufour-Lawrance and the delicate convex curves of the headboard, matched by the light T-bar frame make for a modernist, almost colonial-era bed, perfect for lounging on under a fan.
Lula chairs / Uno design
Kitchen chairs have quite an in between existence. Whilst you want something more informal than a dining chair, it's good to have something more structured than a stool too. Spanish contract furniture company Uno Design have created an attractive option with their new Lula chairs by Lagranja. The aluminium designs come in a range of bright colours, are stackable and have a character that belies their simplicity. Proof of the chair’s flexibility and personality comes in Lagranga's description of the design, "She doesn't mind being on a terrace, by the sea, in my mother's rose garden or Javier’s meeting room. Her back is like a hug that you don't want to leave."
Michael Young / Accupunto
Price awaiting confirmation
The British, Hong Kong-based designer, Michael Young teamed up with the young, and until now relatively unknown, Indonesian furniture brand Accupunto to design a capsule collection of four pieces for their 2008 collection. The Capra high stools (which come in a low variety also) stand out as something perfect to pull up to a breakfast bar. The elegant combination of white plastic and wood is a mix of materials that makes for a reassuringly traditional feel but with a contemporary edge. Charmingly understated and beautifully finished it might be the first time we've heard of Accupunto but we’re sure it's not the last.
Shiro Kuramata / Living Divani
The diaphanous delicacy of expanded steel mesh and the sensuous black leather of this compact armchair creates a poetic statement anywhere. As Japanese designer, Shiro Kuramata, said before his premature death in 1991, 'If I could say it in words, I wouldn't be designing.' Fortunately, seven of his hugely collectable pieces, including this classic armchair, are being reissued by Living Divani. Kuramata's signature simplicity and structural purity is recreated here in chrome-plated steel mesh, the padding is in differentiated density polyurethane foam covered with acrylic fibre layers, and covers in leather or fabric are removable.
Antonio Citterio / Flexform
A vision in velvet, this highly sociable two-seater is impossible to ignore. Its lucid and inventive lines are pure Antonio Citterio, whose recent work forms the basis of Flexform's new and supremely elegant collection. Citterio's charming divanetto, mysteriously called Margaret, is built in a combination of wood and metal with polyurethane seat cushions and feather-filled back rest cushions and leather covered armrests. Margaret can be dressed in gorgeous velvet or seductive leather as the mood
Finn Juhl / Wohnkultur66
One of our favourite discoveries of last year was a reissued Finn Juhl sofa, originally designed in 1946, on show at the Hotel Chelsea in Cologne. Courtesy of Hamburg based store Wohnkultur 66 (who hold the German license to reissue and sell Juhl's furniture) the hotel played host to a handful of reissued classic pieces from the archive of the great Dane. Juhl's pieces are possibly even more appealing today with their playful curves and beautiful upholstery than first time round; proof that absence makes the heart grow fonder.
/ Versace home
Much of Versace's 2008 collection had elements of 1930s modernism, combined with the brand's standard fare of contemporary luxury. This mix worked best on this supremely elegant chair, whose tapering legs provide the perfect partner to the heavy, embossed leather seat. The sinuous shape of the design not only gives it a glamorous, retro feel, but also lends it an air of authority should you need to hold an impromptu board meeting from your home. And, in keeping with the brand's commitment to the finest craftsmanship across both its fashion and home ranges, it's expertly finished and sure to last the length of one's career.
We thought it only fair to throw open the doors to The W* House and share with you our wealth of experience in the design world. From cutlery to cupboards, pots to plumbing, The W* House features our favourite pieces of design from around the globe, room by room. We'll update them every time we find something new we like, building the collection into an archive for as long as the pieces are for sale. Practicality isn't often a buzzword at the Wallpaper* HQ, but when it comes to sharing our finds we wanted to keep things simple, letting you furnish your house the Wallpaper* way, with the click of a mouse.