Box shape – contemporary furniture design

Contemporary furniture design is in great shape. Box shape, to be precise. Square angles, boxy volumes, simple modules, smooth planes – uncomplicated elements for balanced, beautifully orchestrated living rooms. Timber veneers, plain upholstery fabrics, and sleek chrome and stainless steel details combine to create quietly understated classics for the new are.

* SYSTEM FOR WALLS

The Sintesi wall system from Poliform features a combinationof cool contemporary surfaces such as solid colour and timber laminated veneers, and opaque glass, with chrome details. The system is designed for flexibility, and proportioned to suit the dimensions of inner-city apartments and townhouses. Available from Poliform.

* BLUE BENCH MARK

Antwerp-born designed Maarten Van Severen introduced Blue Bench as a prototype at an exhibition in 1998. Since then it has become part of the Edra collection from Italy. Blue Bench consists of two bled-cut polyurethane blocks, coated with a specially formulated paint. The upper block can be moved about the surface of the base, to create a couch of varying proportions. The polyurethane creates a softly cushioned effect. Available from Space Furniture.

* KEY LARGO

The sleek proportions of the Largo sofa make it an ideal addition to a contemporary interior with a minimalist bent. Its simple geometry has great visual appeal. As shown here, the sofa is upholstered in Instyle ‘Feel’, with 50 mm square stainless steel legs. Available from Not Furniture

* ABSOLUTELY AARNIO

In the 1960s the Finnish designer Eero Aarnio earned an international reputation with his range of innovative chairs and tables in fibreglass, foam, acryl and chroma steel. The Screw Table is one memorable item from this classic range, now being manufactured in Finland by Adelta, Available from dedece.

* PASTIL PERFECTION

When Eero Aarnio designed the Pastil Chair in 1967 it signalled his breakthrough as an international-acclaimed designed. In the world of furniture design in became an icon and remains so to this day. The Pastil Chair is still in production, and is available from dedece along with other striking pieces from Aarnio’s innovative collection.

* UP THE LADDER

This ladder-backed chair features a spotted gum frame, a local take on the Mackintosh original. The chair is designed by Mark Wong, and is available from Designs Australia.

* YES MINISTER

With its impressive wedge arms, the aptly-named Minister’s Chair combines rich materials with business-like curves and planes. The leather back and seat is complemented by red gum veneer arms and brushed stainless steel legs. Designed by Tony Stuart, the Minister’s Chair is available from Source.

* OFF THE PLANET

The saturn coffee table, designed by Ricardo Goncalves, looks set for take-off. Tubular aluminium details and the fin-shaped central spine give it a glamourous, galactic edge. The veneer is laminated brushbox, with brushed aluminium edging. Inquiries to Ricardo Goncalves.

* THINKING GLOBALLY

Swiss-born Hannes Wettstein began designing for Cassina in 1994, This setting shows some of his more recent designs, including the Globe upholstered lounge, the Items storage unit, and the Lem small table. Available from Space Furniture.

AMAZINGLY MODULAR

The Caterpillar range of seating and tables designed by Ross Didier of Origin Didier to the lost word in modular versality chairs and tables interlock to form any number of combinations. Caterpillar is part of his new Metamorph range. Inquiries to Origin Didier.

* BUILDING BLOCKS

These storage units are designed to function as architectural elements as well as practical pieces of furniture. Designed by Tim Dean who made a career switch from architecture to furniture design a few years ago the units combine Tasmanian oak veneer with satin chrome feet. In the foreground the Box storage system features translucent opal acrylic backing All units can be arranged in modular combinations and all have finished backing so they can be placed in the middle of a room. Available from Jacaranda Industries.

* CLASSICALLY CASUAL

The light honey tones of victorian ash give this dining chair a fresh Scandinavian appeal. The incision detail in the back of the chair breaks up the horizontal grain. The Casual Chair is designed by Edward Alexander and is available from Source.

* IN THE BOX

The timelessly elegant BoxOne is from the Box range of classic contemporary furniture designed by Cornwell Hecker. The lounge base is available in stainless steel or chrome, and powdercoat options are available on request. The Box range also includes armchairs, ottomans, occasional tables and dining tables. Available from Stylecraft Australia and S.T.

* QUIRKILY KOOKI

With its groovy boxy form, the Kooki Chair captures the look of a funky cocktail lounge. Residential applications might include a bar, TV room, studio or home office. As a modular unit, the upholstered seats are joined via satin chrome steel connecting plates. Also available s a single unit. Designed by Dominique Hurley, the Kooki Chair is available from Source.

* PERFECT PERCH

A moulded ply seat, with a satin finish timber veneer, tops this stool by Nico Design. a residential setting the Otto is at home at the bare breakfast bench. The base is in stainless steel. Available from Nico Design.

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