Shapeshifting Furniture Is In
Modular Sofas Make High Design Affordable. Here Are Three Collections to Know.
By need or by want, modularity has pervaded all corners of the design world. Modular wall storage? Sure. Modular plant boxes? Why not. Modular beer brewing systems? Naturally. Modular smart watches? You guessed it, yes.
Recently, we’ve seen modularity take hold of sofas, too, allowing a person to customize to their needs and wants. Modularity allows you to buy a sofa for one apartment, move into a house and simply add an extra seat and make a couch, or a chaise and make a sectional and so on. In this way, modular furniture makes high design democratically economical — it’s an investment in the present and future living spaces you inhabit. And it’s one less thing you have to sell when you move. What follows are three lines of modular living room furniture that literally bend over backward to fit into your lifestyle.
Ikea x Tom Dixon
IKEA has launched a flurry of collaborations in the last year, but few are tagged with designers as high profile as Tom Dixon. The self-taught Brit’s collection, called DELAKTIG, labels itself “open-sourced” as opposed to modular, but it’s effectively the exact same thing. Start with a seating platform (think a couch or chair without a back) of your chosen size and build up with attachable end tables, back cushions, arm rests, chaises, lighting and ottomans. The felt covers comes in charcoal, grey and navy and are completely removable. Or, buy a pre-built system. Swedish for “involvement,” DELAKTIG encourages users to make their tastes a reality. (DELAKTIG is available in the UK and Europe, but not yet in the U.S.)
Burrow’s line of mid-market sofas, chairs and sectionals is build-your-own-seating perfected. Each seating area — from a chair to a four-seater couch — can be added to or subtracted from by a simple snap of a few latches. After choosing seating space, select one of six color options, leg colors, armrest height and decide whether you want an ottoman or chaise. Burrow’s pieces are all covered in an Olefin material that resists stain (a splash of water and dish soap to clean) and filled with a soft but sturdy foam for comfort — they’re also tough as shit.
The legs, all powder-coated steel, are supported by a hardwood frame. Burrow’s manufacturing all takes place in the U.S, and arrive at your doorstep a few days after ordering. One of the main drawbacks of the direct-to-consumer model from a customer’s standpoint is the loss of the ability to try before you buy — Burrow remedies that by installing pieces in showrooms, breweries, hotels and bookstores around the U.S.
Born in New York from third generation Norweigan furniture makers, Civil’s brand new Noord collection is consumer modular furniture taken to its luxurious peak, but at price points that shaves thousands from their high-end competition. The result of studying urban living spaces in more than 50 cities around the world, the direct-to-consumer collection is built to grow, shift and upgrade with wherever you are in your life. All pieces are attachable and detachable. All seating is made with premium memory foam for a happy medium between softness and firmness. All seat cover materials — Italian cotton or Dani leather — are removable and come in plenty of colors (that Havana leather cover, though). Legs are customizable, too. You can even tack on a clean-lined side table whose entire top surface is a wireless charging pad — the “Magic Box.”
To bolster its already-high high design rep, Noord was designed in partnership with the lauded Milanese design group Metrica, a firm that’s won the mythical Compasso d’Oro. Civil furniture ships to your doorstep within a couple weeks of ordering or, if you live in Miami, NYC or LA, specialist teams are available to assemble the furniture for you.
There’s much more to mid-century than Eames. Read the Story