Paolo Ferrari’s new furniture collection exhibits fluid forms and a variety of woods
In Editions Three, Paolo Ferrari’s third furniture collection, the Toronto-based interior designer signals that his multidisciplinary work is moving in a more fluid direction. The release features nine items that embrace organic shapes, curved edges, and a crisp neutral palette.
Ferrari describes the line as an experiment in ‘loosening up the forms’ of his popular Editions One and Two series. His embrace of softer geometries emerges in objects like the Layered Back Sofa, an elegant curved seat with two pieces cocooned together to form the back, and the Balance Lounge, a circular chair with a solid walnut base that can be held in place by a bronze chock or left to spin freely. A jolt of colour comes in the form of the rusty red Extra Low Rolled Back Lounge, a piece made up entirely of plush cushioning that sits directly on the ground.
Extra Low Rolled Back Lounge, by Paolo Ferrari. Photography: Jeff Green
Taken together, Ferrari’s designs create ready-made interior vignettes. The rounded backs of the Curved Back Dining Chair and Stool nestle into the soft edges of a dining table, while the tubular frame of the Carved Wood Lounge Chair contrasts the notched solid oak supports of the Totem Bookcase. ‘We always consider the relationship and tension between objects,’ Ferrari says. ‘It’s not just about designing one sofa in isolation, but how these things are going to play off of each other.’
One way the furnishings balance each other out is through material choice. Rather than select a uniform palette, Ferrari mixes different wood types, including oak that’s been smoked and limed, left raw, or blackened. These finishes juxtapose especially tactile upholsteries like leather and mohair. ‘As soon as you put mohair on something, you get this thing where people sit on the pieces and start moving their hands across them,’ Ferrari says. ‘We became super sensitive to the hand of the material.’
The result is a collection that feels luxurious, but also comfortable and approachable, too. Ferrari makes products he would want to specify in his own residential, commercial, and hospitality work. ‘Where I find furniture most rewarding is when I’m able to see the pieces in projects,’ he says. ‘These are not museum artefacts that never make it out into the world.’ §