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Saturday, 29 January 2011

Comfort and Joy! The Bouroullec brothers' newly launched Ploum sofa

Picture courtesy of Ligne Roset

Picture courtesy of Ligne Roset
One of the most exciting things to come out of the imm cologne fair of last week was Ligne Roset's launch of the Ploum sofa, by French design duo Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec. I love its simple 'come on, dive in' good looks. It looks like a great place to tumble en masse at a party, nurse the subsequent hangover or cosy up, solo, on a winters day like today.  And in this case, the comfort is much more than skin deep, as the brothers Bouroullec explain, 'We attempted to make a very comfortable contemporary settee. Ploum is a vast shape on which the whole body rests on a soft, welcoming surface. Its seat is relatively low, it seems organic. Perhaps the use of a stretchy fabric is like a symbolic parallel to a contemporary lifestyle, in which flexibility of use and comfort seem to us to be essential.' Ligne Roset elaborate: 'The Ploum settees are the fruit of a great deal of research into comfort, leading to a specific combination of two materials, used jointly: a stretchy covering fabric and an ultra-flexible foam. The combination of these two materials, when associated with the real dimensional generosity of the Ploum settees, offers an extreme level of comfort whilst offering the body the chance to adopt a number of possible postures.'
What's fascinating about all this is that designers are making comfort, rather than looks, their first priority. I've long been known as a comfort bunny, the one lugging a pair of feather pillows into my festival tent. But now it feels right for the wider world. It's part of a 'substance before style' idea that must inevitably gain momentum in the mixed up world we're living in. People need their homes to comfort and cosset them, to bring them solace, rather than merely look great. Of course, style needn't be ruled out, but surely we'd all be a little happier putting substance first and sharing our home with a settee that's a pleasure to sit on. 

*Ligne Roset

*The Bouroullec Brothers