Tom Dixon on adapting furniture design for the changing home

“People’s homes are constantly changing,” says furniture and lighting designer Tom Dixon. “They say people now move 17 times in a lifetime, whereas 40 years ago you would move twice. Families are fragmented – couples may be divorcing or they may be transitioning or they may have grandparents moving in. There is a constant change in the shape of the house.

And, like the way we live, interior design is changing and our homes are about to undergo a monumental makeover. Our living spaces are now our offices, our offices are now where we have lunch, our lunch is made in the same space that families gather. Furniture design is changing. It adapts to our current lifestyle – new forms, new functions, new ideas.

“Everything has accelerated since Covid,” says Tom. “Households have to work much harder than before the pandemic.”

With our new routines, our new work-life balance, and the comfort levels we desire, there are new ways to decorate our homes to help us get there. Here, the experts share their ideas, thoughts, and favorite designs that show how you can make that change.

New designs for working from home

Tom Dixon's Fat Work chair

Tom Dixon’s Fat Work chair

(Image credit: Tom Dixon)

An example of where our homes have had to adapt to shifting changes is the adaptation to working from home. Our home offices are now the place for high-flying business meetings, where we need to be creative and productive, and have a professional yet personal Zoom experience to boot.

“The evolution of working from home has been happening for about 20 years, but the transition has been slow,” says Tom. “Wireless meant people started working in places like Shoreditch House – a media club for people to socialize and have meetings. Our Wingback chair was ideal for this because Shoreditch House had this no phone policy and so the wings meant people could really dress up when on the phone.

New for 2022 and just introduced at Salone this year, Tom Dixon’s Fat Work Chair is an offshoot of the Fat Collection – a comfortable chair design available as a two and three seater sofa, dining chair, counter and stool. bar and lounge chair designed to fit the body and allow several sitting positions.

‘Fat Work is a reaction to the need for more seats for domestic work. The Grease has always been a chair with great wood support and a boom that allowed for unconventional seating, however, to make it useful for the kind of casual work we all engage in now, we wanted to add a swivel, a five-prong pedestal base and height adjustment. As a result, Fat Work was born.

“The Fat Work Chair shows that you don’t need all the features and adjustability of a traditional office chair because we don’t work the same way,” says Tom.

“In Milan, people looked at the Fat Work Chair and thought it was a dining room chair. It shows his flexibility. You can sit as you wish, you can sit on the armrest and you can swivel – which suits me and my restlessness.

The table and chair from the Oru collection

(Image credit: The Oru Collection. Andreu World)

From renowned designers Patricia Urqioula (opens in a new tab) and Andréau’s world (opens in a new tab), Õru is a collection of chairs and tables designed for the increased need for flexibility and comfort at work. “As we transition from a fully remote work schedule, office furniture will need to replicate the comfort that many feel when working from home,” says Jesus Llinares, CEO of Andreu World.

Inspired by the 70s and infused with Japanese themes, the Õru Chair collection consists of ergonomic chairs and armchairs, designed to create a sense of home while providing space with a sophisticated feel, functioning both in the office and at home. the House.

“With the Õru collection, we wanted to find a solution for companies to invest in making the office feel like home. Although created with the idea of ​​bringing the home to the office, the full product line can also be used in residences.

“Changing behavior and attitudes in the workplace have always – and will continue to – guide furniture design and facilitate the shift to increasingly modular products – just as it affected the creation of the Õru collection. “, declares Jesus.

How living room furniture becomes flexible

A modular flexible sofa design

(Image credit: LEMA)

Outside of the office, flexible work-life balance and longer time at home means our living rooms are scalable spaces too. What we look for in these spaces is comfort and flexibility so they can be our bedrooms, work spaces, dining rooms and living spaces all rolled into one.

“Spaces, moments – our very life – no longer have limits of time and space, we want increasingly open solutions”, says Federica Biasi, designer for the furniture brand, LEMA (opens in a new tab)who created this bed-like sofa with weighted, movable armrests that can be easily swapped out to suit your needs.

“With this particular design, the sofa can be a day bed using a single module, it can be a very classic sofa with a fixed backrest, a pouf or an island ideal for conversations. »

The weighted armrests are a particularly cool piece of design. To create the piece, the designer studied a weighted solution to make the armrests heavy enough not to move once you lean on them, but light enough to move them easily to have different configurations.

The design’s potential for movement and transition reflects a broader change in the way we live in our communal living spaces, Federica explains. “There is no longer a boundary between kitchen and living room, nor between living room and dining room, the spaces are hybrid.

Sanctuary Spaces

A Noto recliner

(Image credit: Ercol)

Another example of evolutionary furniture that adapts to our new lifestyle is Ercol (opens in a new tab). “People want to feel embraced and relaxed in their homes, which is very much reflected in the cocooning trend we’ve responded to,” says Rachel Galbraith, Creative Director at Ercol.

Armchairs with deep seats for lounging are a classic choice, but opting for an upholstered ottoman that can double as a coffee table, place to put your laptop, or extra seating is a great way to introduce even more. texture and softness in your living room.

The comfortable and functional Noto recliner, pictured, is available in leather or fabric and has an integrated headrest and footstool.

“The past two years have shone a spotlight on our way of life. The home has become a hub for work, rest and play. We have adapted flexibility and transformed our bedrooms into hybrid living spaces. As we have embraced these new features, our work furniture has become part of our home life,” says Rachel.

“Our idea of ​​work has evolved into a work-life balance and a softer natural space with pieces that spark joy, leaving time for sanctuary. It’s about lightening the office space to home to allow time for reflection and mindfulness throughout the day.

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