Sarah Ellison only had one goal for her new “Float” sofa: for it to be comfortable. So singular was this design objective, in fact, that every decision revolved around it: the couch is composed of squishy memory foam, all stuffed into bulbous forms reminiscent of an inflatable raft. (This visual likeness, by the way, inspired the very name of the piece: “After we finished designing it, we did look at it and think it reminded us a little bit of a pool float. So ‘float’ felt like a perfect name,” Ellison says.) Then there’s the fabric: a sumptuous velvet, soothing to the touch.
Ellison’s ethos also extends further than just the materials. The velvet’s color—a rich brown—is meant to be reminiscent of soil. “There’s nothing more nurturing than the color of dirt,” Ellison explains. (Scientifically, she’s correct: principles of color theory state that humans feel a sense of safety and security when surrounded by brown due to its association with the earth.) “I think everybody kind of needs the idea of nurturing at the moment, as the world is a crazy place,” she adds.
The Australian maker, who designed the Float Sofa alongside the Pantone Color Institute, officially named the hue “piccolo”—a nod to small Italian espresso drinks of similar shade.