Home Fashion Height Heads Toward the Floor
The latest designer trend is moving towards Japanese styles, which means equipping homes with a down to earth feel, literally.
How low can it go? To the surprise of homeowners, the popular look in furniture these days is barely off the floor, from platform beds and sunken-bottom chairs to ultra-low coffee tables. B&B Italia has platform drawer units that, at 15 inches off the floor, really make you work every time you want to grab a pair of socks, while Washington's Tony Vega home shop is pushing a squashed coffee table that looks more like an ottoman. Then there's Roche-Bobois, which is bringing back "chairs" that are actually oversize cushions for your guests to sit on the floor (at as much as $2,500 each). Today even the bean bag, the must have 80s piece is making a new fashion statement with new upholstery in fine embroidered fabrics and finds itself redefined in this down to earth trend.
Designers say low furniture is part-reaction to years of heavy nesting, when homeowners gravitated toward comfortable massively overstuffed sofas. With today's demand for lightweight furniture and drastic changes in styles, makers are pushing towards lower simpler styles and secretly have another reason for pushing low furniture: short, modern pieces tend to look better in matched sets -- which makes it easier to tempt shoppers into buying more than one.
This isn't the first time homeowners have been brought low by the furniture industry. In the '60s, hippie-style mavens got in touch with gravity thanks to slouchy bean bag chairs and Eastern-inspired floor cushions (remember the Beatles' Maharishi days?). It faded out in the '70s and didn't really suit the supersized tone of the '80s, but has sprouted up again over the last three years, as trendy restaurants and lounges like B.E.D. in Miami and Ice in Las Vegas decided to get groovy and go low.
Now it's popping up everywhere, like in New York's trendy Soho House private club that opened this year, where there's a low 40-foot-long chesterfield sofa and footstool-like "poufs." With this trend does come some prepping. Most connoisseurs of this fashion must be prepared for flexibility. Yoga enthusiasts preferred -- figuratively. People with long legs and aging boomers may not find this new trend the friendliest, but at the same time, the approach has spread into homes as decorators from Dallas to Seattle tell clients it's the way to add a modern twist and not impose too much height on a space.
And who doesn't like their space? Short couches and tables help create an optical illusion that pushes up a room's ceiling, lending a pseudo-loft look even when a space isn't all that big. Furniture in this genre tends to be very spare and modern in design, which only adds to the room-opening effect. And by keeping sightlines across a room unobstructed, the space can seem less cluttered.
In spite of all these trends, 80s trendy accessories like the ottoman and the bean bag have experienced a resurgence in sales. The bean bag chair, composed of various materials including faux leather, cord, cotton or leather, creates comfortable seating in posh contemporary environments and is both adult and child friendly. Whilst in the 80s they were filled with foam chips, they now use polystyrene bead.
New styles of bean bags are always being developed. Popular models today are bean bag chairs, sofas, poufs, teardrop, children's and even ones to suit your cat or dog.
In 2005, a UK based company called Ambient Lounge developed a new style of bean bag, shifting away from the standard blob style to a more stylish designer range of furniture. These bean bags can be found in trendy clubs, bars and homes internationally.
At Chairs1000.com we have a great selection of bean bags and ottomans to enhance your living space.
See our bean bag chairs.
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