Colour in contemporary furniture design

A review of modern coloured furniture.

Solid colour makes a comeback

High metallics are wonderful but there is also a place for solid colour and this is where powder coat comes into its own. Reviewing powder coated products it seems the Scandinavians are ahead of the rest of Europe in its use – playing on its strengths of density of colour and using it exuberantly on modern forms.

The Dimma chair and table 2016 by Alexander Lervik manufactured by Tingest

Lervik, a very well-known designer in Sweden, was inspired by Thonet’s Bistro chairs which have taken a solid place in both historic and contemporary interiors. Using powder-coated steel instead of either bentwood or rattan Lervik has created a modern interpretation of this iconic chair. The finish makes it durable for outdoor use and is a fun and bright product for both domestic and commercial environments.

This design, being practical and indisuputably cute, gives no clue as to the style of some of Lervik’s other work which includes a lamp made of chocolate which as it burns the chocolate melts and is broken off and eaten and a lamp made from images of his own brain.

The Dimma chair and stool by Alexander Lervik and manufactured by Tingest. Designed so rainwater passes straight through and made in a summery, sky blue powder coated steel. - There is also a dining table in this set.

The Dimma chair and stool by Alexander Lervik and manufactured by Tingest. Designed so rainwater passes straight through and made in a summery, sky blue powder coated steel.
There is also a dining table in this set.

Close up of the perforated powder coated steel back and seat of Alexander Lervik’s Dimma chair

Close up of the perforated powder coated steel back and seat of Alexander Lervik’s Dimma chair

The Caramel table by Claesson Koivisto Rune and manufactured by Offecct

Claesson Koivisto Rune started out as an architectural partnership in 1995 founded by three architect designers Mårten Claesson, Eero Koivisto and Ola Rune. The Stockholm studio went from being purely architectural to becoming multi-disciplinary and designing a range of products including sanitary ware, table ware, lighting furniture, textiles and even sweets. These products have gone into manufacture with a range of well-known brands such as Modus, Muuto and Skandiform. The studio has become such a legend that books are written about their work, so far twelve in total.

In 2015 Claesson Koivisto Rune created the Caramel side table for Swedish furniture brand Offecct. The table is welded together from a set of components with rounded corners, all identical in size and shape. The idea behind Caramel was that it could function in both a domestic and a work environment for example, the height means it can be a temporary work station in a meeting. It is deliberately designed as a sculptural shape to create interest and be completely unlike the usual style of office furniture. It is an amusing piece, playing with geometry and perception. It must be a dream to manufacture being made of four pieces of identical components. The table is made from powder coated aluminium and is available in 64 RAL colours.

The Caramel table designed by Claesson Koivisto Rune shown in In RAL 3020 Traffic Red. - Table dimensions are H 550, W 540, D 490

The Caramel table designed by Claesson Koivisto Rune shown in In RAL 3020 Traffic Red.
Table dimensions are H 550, W 540, D 490

The Caramel table designed by Claesson Koivisto Rune shown in RAL 4010 Telemagenta powdercoat

The Caramel table designed by Claesson Koivisto Rune shown in RAL 4010 Telemagenta powdercoat

Morning Glory by Marc Thorpe for Moroso

This range of tables, designed in 2014, was inspired by leaves and stems and created for the Italian brand Moroso. The tables are made from powder-coated welded steel rods for the pedestal – or stems- and bent steel plates for the table tops – or leaves. The inspiration for the tables was from the Morning Glory vine in Thorpe’s own garden in Brooklyn. The intention is for the tables to be organised in clusters and are made in autumnal colours of ochre, orange-red and chestnut brown. The RAL references are Yellow RAL 2005, Oxidored RAL 3009, Ocean Blue RAL 5020 and Green RAL 6019

Marc Thorpe’s Morning Glory tables in powder-coated welded steel

Marc Thorpe’s Morning Glory tables in powder-coated welded steel

Marc Thorpe’s Morning Glory tables are designed to be organised in clusters to give an impression of a leafy vine

Marc Thorpe’s Morning Glory tables are designed to be organised in clusters to give an impression of a leafy vine

Marc Thorpe’s Morning Glory tables are inspired by the plant of the same name. The leaf shapes can clearly be seen in this aerial view.

Marc Thorpe’s Morning Glory tables are inspired by the plant of the same name. The leaf shapes can clearly be seen in this aerial view.