1674471700 White compact furry and its not a sheep its an

White, compact, furry and it’s not a sheep… it’s an armchair!

When Homer sat down to write the Odyssey, he probably did so on a rock, on which he spread a sheepskin to keep his buttocks warm. And so it will have been throughout history, with many situations in which the white locks of sheep or the longer hair of other creatures served to add a certain warmth to the interior, be it a cave, a castle or a shop. But once we start talking about issues related to contemporary design, it’s now possible to switch registers and focus on more recent times. Especially in the middle of the 20th century, when in the Nordic countries – especially in Denmark – a type of furniture appeared that caused a sensation because of these vagaries of human nature and returned after years. They are small armchairs, light, very compact in figure, snow-white and upholstered with hair, preferably sheep’s hair, otherwise with longer, synthetic hair or even with a more modest terry cloth cover.

Its use went viral at the time – even though social networks didn’t exist then and the word viral had other meanings – and that initial fondness has now returned with a bang. In the midst of the winter celebration, the moment couldn’t be more fitting to grab one of those semi-furry items that accompany you almost like a pet. In his time there were people who took the subject literally. Many will not be familiar with the works of French artists François-Xavier and Claude Lalanne, who flooded the most elegant salons with their Moutons de Laine. It was bronze and wool seats, literally imitating a sheep of God’s will, that ended up in the living rooms of the likes of Yves Saint-Laurent and Pierre Bergé, who didn’t miss a thing. It was 1966. This is for those who think they are inventing something new.

More information

A few years ago, the Californian Haas brothers, so beloved in the world of designer design collectors, let their twisted imaginations run wild to create surreal animal-like creatures, including numerous furry seats, some with legs and horns, creating an unfriendly image. Last year it was the talented Mexican Fernando Laposse who presented an armchair with long hair. In this case of long strands of agave that look like animal hair, another step up from their first little banks called Dogs, also in that long strand of hair that gives them the impression of pets. All of them are limited edition pieces that can be found in the gallery environment.

Brasilia armchair from MENU.Brasilia armchair from MENU.

However, this typology, expressed in a rather practical way and without artistic desires, can be found in various stores dedicated to mid-century vintage furniture, especially Scandinavian ones, with many examples where it is usually combined with a simple wooden structure and natural way. Sometimes metal details are added, a combination that adds contrast and sophistication. Among the most coveted is the Clam model, designed by the Danish architect Philip Arctander in the 1940s in the shape of an open shell, which had a great influence on his contemporaries and served as an inspiration for many seating of the time later.

It is also a typology reproduced today by various companies dedicated to industrial design, such as &tradition, Gubi, B&B Italia, Menu, Baxter… For example, &tradition now reproduces the Little Petra armchair, designed in 1937 by Viggo Boesen was designed; while Gubi has relaunched the Pacha seat designed by Pierre Paulin in 1975; B&B Italia did it with Mario Bellini’s Bambole from 1972, a time when they were experimenting with new materials and ways of structuring the interior of a seat, creating these compact shapes that lend themselves perfectly to white terry cloth upholstery.

Left to right and top to bottom Pacha armchair by Pierre Paulin for Gubi;  Nordkapp Lounge Chair by Paola Navone for Baxter;  Furry armchair by Fernando Laposse and the Le Bambole model.Left to right and top to bottom Pacha armchair by Pierre Paulin for Gubi; Nordkapp Lounge Chair by Paola Navone for Baxter; Furry armchair by Fernando Laposse and the Le Bambole model.

With relatively small and soft dimensions, these seats are perfect for small spaces. Undoubtedly, the softness and warmth are its main preoccupations, alongside the texture provided where appropriate by the hair or the terry cloth and the white color that underlines the sinuous lines of the designs, which are not exclusively intended for the rural environment and contribute to a slightly unconventional item for any interior.

Subscribe to continue reading

Read without limits