Sale On Now

It’s time again for the legendary, 2017 Xtraordinary UFL Sale, 2nd to 17th March.

Massive range of European and NZ made designer furniture, ends of lines, samples and bulk lots, perfect for residential, commercial or hospitality situations. Lounge seating, dining and table settings, assorted chairs, coffee tables, rugs and light fittings ……. and much, much, more.

Pricing you have never seen before! Discounts are 20-70% off retail price and all customer orders are offered at 10% off full price during the sale (conditions apply).

2 weeks only, so be in quick, these products won’t last!

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Here Comes The Sun

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Served Chill

Cool tranquility is served on ice and in spades at Campari’s 24th international office. It’s one of the best HQ we’ve seen in a while, and is totally becoming of the Italian beverage company.

Opened in Toronto in November 2015, local design firm I-V spent eight months renovating the Liberty Village building, which has had many past lives including that of film studio and a foundry. Campari’s brief was simple – ‘create a space which captures the spirit of the company and inspires the people who use it’.

Fun Fact: Campari was traditionally dyed its famed red colour by the cochineal insect. The insect is found on the pads of prickly pear cacti in Central America, they’re brushed off, dried and crushed. True story.

The biggest challenge I-V faced was a complete shortage of natural light as there was not a single window to the outside world, (maybe one of the past lives included vampire’s lair). Four ginormous skylights were installed to flood the space – which boasts 40-foot high ceilings – with light.

The interior was then hit with a huge dose of fresh white paint and pastel pink accents (for which no beetles were harmed), by way of Tea sofas by Sancal on the mezzanine, and sleek Kinesit chairs by Arper around the 16-person boardroom table. Several multipurpose breakout areas are located off the mezzanine and provide public spaces away from the primary work zone where employees sit together in a shared office.

Campari Toronto boasts one truly spectacular bar which is used for cocktail seminars, hosting clients and family-style staff lunches. Its most eye-catching feature, which continues in the theme of creepy crawlies, is the counter which is covered in a pink speckled pattern called Bacterio, created by Italian designer Ettore Sottsass in 1978.

The overall effect is a nothing short of a marvel. I-V have created a magnificently beautiful and convivial office befitting of a brand that’s been bringing people together for over 150 years.

Cin cin!

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Take it Away Tortuga

Tortuga is Spanish for Turtle or Tortoise, an animal that conjures thoughts of things old and slow.

Tortuga is also a new lounge chair by Sancal. Having just won America’s most coveted prize; Interior Design Magazine’s Best of Year award, the easy chair is on a fast track to stardom. Nothing old and slow about that.

Tortuga was first exhibited during Milan’s Salone del Mobile 2016. Comprising an integral part of Sancal’s Futura Collection which was inspired by the movie epic; 2001: A Space Odyssey, the chair was met with rave reviews and has gone on to become a best seller for the design company.

Designed by Spanish-based studio Nadadora, Tortuga the chair, took its cue from Tortuga the reptile’s unique attributes. As designers Cristina Alonso and Isaac Pinēra explain, “Inspiration was drawn from a tortoise because we wanted something that would hold you like a shell, like a shelter, and yet it is comfortable inside.” Featuring a deep bowl-shaped seat made from injection-moulded polyurethane, the shell’s covered in quilted memory foam to create a cosy cocoon for the body. The duo conceptualised a chair that was, “Very, very comfortable yet visually light that wasn’t a heavy, bulky chair.”

Like a house, the chair encapsulates its occupant, keeping them warm, comfortable and safe. And like a turtle, one can withdraw into it and curl up to relax or sleep. Nadadora designed a corresponding ottoman and coffee table to accompany the lounge chair. The chair and ottoman come on an Ash timber frame which swivels, and in Sancal’s signature style, may be stained to a range of sublime colours. The lounge chair can be modified through the addition of an oversized headrest and is available upholstered in contrasting fabric to the body of the chair.

“The table feet use the same language as the feet of the chair, in the pouf the same geometry, the cone – in the end it’s about creating harmony between the different pieces to create a family of products.”

A supreme and noble creature. Larga vida a la Tortuga!

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Tonella Hits the Right Note

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Tonella the mini lounge chair designed by Sweden’s Note Design Studio for Sancal, has just experienced two additions to the family. Can kids arrive into the world before their parents? Who knows, it’s all a bit chicken and egg for me but what I do know is that based on the reception baby Tonella received at Salone del Mobile in 2015, a collection was just begging to be born.

Tonella mini was designed specifically for areas that were spatially challenged shall we say. Be it for residential or public use, the chair was built for nooks and crannies, and what it lacked in size, it made up for in strength, comfort and appeal. After all size isn’t everything don’t you know?

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Roll on 2016, and suddenly one becomes three via the addition of a lounge chair and sofa.

There are varying reports about from where the inspiration for Tonella bloomed. Some say it all started at a vanity table, others say that Marie Antoinette’s lavish, playful style was the muse. Sancal aren’t exactly newbys to French furniture, they started out manufacturing classic, French-style chairs back in the 70’s. Now in conjunction with Note, they’ve revisited their roots and borrowed from the past.

Wine barrels are commonplace in Yecla (Sancal’s hometown) as it happens to be wine country, and the metal bars that make up Tonella’s frame are reminiscent of the wooden staves used in the barrels. One could even argue this fact is a major contender in the inspiration stakes.

Plush, lush, and wonderfully comfortable, Tonella is a beautiful and refined collection that is sure to be a mainstay in Sancal’s catalogue for years to come.

Eat your heart out Marie Antoinette. tonella_lounge_0003_tonella_1442

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Zen and the Art of Antii Kotilainen

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Last week we blogged about Arper’s intrinsic understanding of colour, and the sublime tones that they apply to their product. That led us to consider other collections where Arper have displayed complete assurance when creating colourways that identify the design as much as its form does.

The Catifa collection is case in point of inspirational use of colour, but as Arper have a variety of furniture ranges each with their own unique colourway, we thought we’d walk you through another stunner.

Aava by Finnish designer Antti Kotilainen, was once upon a time available in timber only. However the chair has recently been released with a polypropylene shell, in you guessed it, a combination of colours that take the design to a whole new level and in a wildly different direction than its timber counterpart.

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I would describe them as colours that are not very obvious if you like. Almost like you wouldn’t think of using or even really liking them unless you take the time to consider them appropriately. And then they smack you over the head with their gorgeousness. Aava whispers of a longing for natural surroundings, the ocean, pebbles, forests and sunlight.
That’s my description anyway but what do I know. Why not take the concept behind Aava from the man himself;

1. What is your approach to design?
Design work is based–quite inherently–on observation. A designer observes his environment, his own emotions and life-experiences, and also the work at hand. Only by observing closely the world around him–culture and nature alike–can a designer come up with products that he knows will enhance one’s surroundings and to be of use to many.

2. What is your philosophy on furniture design?
All pieces of furniture take their size and their basic gestalt from the human body. Furniture design is communication: it mediates human emotions, meddles in with them, and functions as their atmospheric seedbed. Much like music does.

3. What is your design ethic?
I believe that a soft-tone can make a more convincing argument than shouting out loud. When a designer has the patience to give his products temperate and soft-spoken expression, he can expect people to respond to them better and more willingly all over the world.

4. How do you evaluate good design?
Good design usually manifests in organic, effortless and indisputable appearance, combined with practicability and convenience. When the manufacturing process and the use of the product become one with the perfected form one gets an impression of something inevitable and absolute. Absolute as a paper clip.

*Interview is courtesy of Arper Stories – Interview with Antii Kotilainen

Arper

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The Cool Charm of Catifa’s New Colours

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Arper have taken their famous Catifa 46 and Catifa 53 chair collections up a notch (as if that were possible) through the release of two brand new colour ranges for the celebrated chairs.

The legendary Italian manufacturer has many distinguished attributes and their use of colour is one of their finest as the new Catifas will attest. The colourways differ between the 46 and 53 designs, with each boasting tones that hold their own as striking standalone pieces whilst perfectly coexisting in any combination.

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Catifa 46 is available in a playful, on-trend range with pretty 1950’s tones and cool pastels reigning supreme. These include Old Pink, Petroleum Blue, Yellow, Ivory, Smoke, Green, Black, Anthracite, Red, White and Moka. The palette applies to the polypropylene shell as well as powdercoat options for 4-leg and sled bases. Catifa 46 is still available with a single colour or bi-colour shell option which combines your choice of colour in a gloss finish on the back of the shell, whilst the interior has a matte white finish.

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Catifa 53 is available in a sophisticated, masculine palette of earthy shades like Yellow-Gold, Anthracite, Ivory, Sand, Caramel, White, Black and Moka. The Catifa 53 is now available with a single colour polypropylene shell only.

Arper do it again with refined, effortless cool that is totally hot.

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Taking it Outside

Summer is hot on our heels, and with that it’s time to shout out to all our favourite outdoor chairs. Life is just better when your furniture looks the part (after all what is function without serious form?). So wherever you use your chairs, be it alfresco dining or poolside, the following designs will be coveted by your friends and regarded jealously by your foes.

Complete versatility is the name of the game when it comes to parking your posterior; think strength (fibreglass injected polypropylene or metal rod is ideal), stacking (they’re easy to store when not in use), and UV stabilised.

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1. Antonio Gaudi’s famous building La Pedrera in Barcelona, is all curves and flair, so why shouldn’t its namesake follow suit. Light, strong and full of character, Pedrera stacks and comes in seven gorgeous hues.

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2. Typically Mariscalesque, Sabinas embodies a form all its own. Inspired by sand dunes and unfurling blooms, this stacking chair envelopes with comfort and style.

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3. Spritz is pure Hamptons (or Ibiza). Think white wooden fences and boxwood hedges, the clean lines and stunning colour range have us wanting to book a one-way passage. Stacking goodness which comes in an armchair version too.

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4. Wall Street designed by Eugene Quitllet (he’s so hot right now), couldn’t be further from the convention and stuffiness of the world’s most famous financial district. A bold statement, Wall Street has clinched its place as one of the year’s best designs.

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5. Ethel is carefully crafted to ensure structural strength, while the angles of the back, the curves of the seat, and the closeness of the wires are designed for comfort and utility. Simplicity and style combine in this contemporary take on modernist roots.

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6. Leaf reflects Arper’s design aesthetic; chic, beautifully resolved and so usable. Among other attributes, Arper without fail collate the most elegant colourways for their collections and Leaf is no exception, available in the colours of nature; leaf green, mocha and white.

 

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Red Dot Award Recognises Story Telling Gold

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LZF have added another feather to their illustrious cap as winner of a Red Dot Award 2016 in Communication Design for their Telling Tales campaign.

The three part campaign, inspired by Edward Hopper paintings and the 1954 film-noir masterpiece Rear Window by Alfred Hitchcock, is set at night. The cover of darkness provides the perfect backdrop for loads of gorgeous lamps and the captivating nocturnal happenings of its characters.

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Valencia-based Masquespacio Studio art directed the campaign, alongside LZF co-founder Mariví Calvo. The ensuing images are beautifully arresting and pose more questions than they answer.

While lamps certainly feature in the photo-realistic scenes, they are not the solo stars of the show. The stories themselves are told from the perspective of an anonymous female voyeur as she imagines the lives of the people she watches.

The storytelling component of the campaign takes the reader on a journey, as author Grassa Toro explains “What is fantastic is not what you see, but rather when I imagine everything I’m not seeing… [from her building, the narrator of Telling Tales] sees very little, and imagines a lot.”

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The Red Dot Award is deserved recognition for some highly ambitious publicity. As LZF co-founder Sandro Tothill observes ‘We are competing with communication and graphic design studios from all around the world. That we’re actually in that top fifty cadre of companies receiving the Red Dot Award in Communication Design is as much of an achievement for us as being given a Red Dot Design Award.’

Telling Tales is told in three volumes and will be published in an all-inclusive book for worldwide distribution:

Julie & Nelson – Volume I

Lana & John – Volume II

Ana & Silver – Volume III

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Something Wicked This Way Comes

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Something of an auspicious occasion, we’ve been involved in some seriously fruitful R & D sessions with Derlot’s Alexander Lotersztain at our Auckland showroom this week.

Alex and the product development team at UFL got together to brainstorm pipeline projects and put the finishing touches on collaborative pieces which will be launched to market in the coming months.

With the development of new product comes the bonds that grow from partnership and creative cooperation. The outcome is next-level design; something that wildly exceeds expectations and hurls new product into the market where before there was just the same old.

Alex has been named top 10 most influential designers by Scene Design Quarterly, and one of 100 most influential designers worldwide in &fork by Phaidon. He is the design adviser in a number of government and private projects, regularly presents at design events and conferences, and judges on design panels throughout Australia.

Watch this space…

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