Cool and Whimsical Furniture for Every Taste

Want furniture that’s buzzy and edgy? Here’s some cool furniture inspired by pop art, and anthropomorphic, as well as zoomorphic motifs. There are also chairs and casegoods that take the meaning of ‘interactive’ to new levels. See Norwegian Postmodernist pioneer Terje Ekstrøm’s omni-directional seating, Japanese designer Daisuke Kitagawa’s dynamic color changing coffee table, and Jacopo Foggini’s lacey resin chair, a creative synthesis between man and machine!

Side tables shaped like a butler and a housekeeper
Table service.

Created by Favaretto and Partners, Ambrogio is a tongue-in-cheek occasional table in the form of a butler. The quirky figure sports a flamboyant moustache that’s modeled after design director Franceso Favaretto’s father (who just so happens to be Paolo Favaretto, the company founder). The eco-friendly indoor-outdoor furniture is made with 70% polyethylene and 30% EcoAllene, a new material that recycles Tetra Pak containers from the food packaging industry. At 16.7” w x 15.2” d x 23.8” h, it can be used as an end table or wherever it’s needed.

Based on the success of Ambrogio, a companion piece has been created to round out the offerings. Amanda, Ambrogio’s female counterpart, also contains 100% recycled plastic. It’s a match made in resin heaven! The 2 models come in a plethora of colors. With 12 standard, 4 special, and 2 lacquer finishes, they are certain to work with any palette!

Bookcase of metal and wood shelves in form of a stylized bird
Flying high.

Albatros from Tonin Casa is a bookcase in stylized form of the namesake bird. Just as the albatross gracefully glides in the air with its commanding wing span, these 27½”W × 8″D × 5″H shelves hang in suspension with equal poise. The asymmetric metal bookshelves can be arranged as a graphic composition on the wall or stacked vertically off a central wood spine. Mix and match finishes include Canaletto Walnut, Dark Oak or Black Ash for the wood posts and lacquered Matte White, Matte Black or Stone Bronze for the metal shelving,

A chair that encourages people to sit in different ways and directions
Freedom of movement.

Ekstrem by Norwegian furniture designer Terje Ekstrøm is a unique interactive experience that encourages users to explore their personal sitting style. The pop art aesthetic reinforces its postmodernist roots. The chair is made by joining 2 mirrored, foam padded, tubular steel frames and upholstered with a stretchy wool blend fabric to complement the soft curvilinear form. One can sit any direction in the chair: front, back, side saddle, or even at an angle, with anatomical fit the only limiting factor. Manufactured by Variér, it’s 28” w x 27” d x 31” h with 5 colors available in the US – Port, Sulphur, Shaded Spruce, Grey Violet and Black.

Coffee table with colored glass panels that can be rearranged to change its looks
Coffee klatch.

Floe by Daisuke Kitagawa of Design for Industry is a celebration of light and color. The airy coffee table is supported by an elegant frame and a mirrored stainless steel base. It features 2 different colored glass pieces that can be used as the table top or center shelf and arranged in the same plane or at different levels, either parallel or perpendicular to each other for a Mondrianesque look. Interaction between the colored glass reflecting off the mirrored base adds sophistication and visual complexity to the minimalist furniture.

Lacey looking swivel chair of spun resin
Sitting pretty.

Designed for Edra, no two hand crafted Margherita chairs are alike. Manipulating his own custom extruder, Italian designer Jacopo Foggini shapes clear and colorful polycarbonate filaments into a lacey tracery that forms the filigreed shell of this high back swivel seating. Equally striking when silhouetted against the dark or projected onto the floor, the chair measures 91 cm (35.8”) w x 86 cm (33.9”) d x 134 cm (52.8”) h with a seat height of 44 cm (17.3”). There’s a choice of 3 finishes for the steel pedestal base and 4 shell colors: Polished Steel for Kermes Red, Ruthenium for Aquamarine Blue, and 24 Carat Gold Plating for Amber and Gold.

A cedar wood bench in shape of a clothespin
On the bench.

Taking the opposite approach is Italian wood furniture manufacturer Riva 1920. The century old company celebrates nature, craftsmanship, and sustainability as its guiding values. However, preserving traditional woodcraft doesn’t have to mean boring products. This witty design by Baldessari & Baldessari is called Molletta, Italian for clothespin. Hewn out of a solid piece of cedar, the clean lines of the monolithic bench will complement any contemporary interior. The seating comes in 3 sizes: 55.1″ w x 15.4″ d x 15.7″ h; 74.8″ w x 17.7″ d, 16.9″ h; and 94.5″ w x 17.7″ d x 16.9″ h. With 3 wood finishes and 14 colors for the metal spring, there’s no shortage of choices!

Children's version of the clothespin bench
Child’s play.

Not to leave out the bambini, Riva 1920 rolled out a children’s version of the bench. Sharing the same standard finishes, Molletta Kids is proportionately sized at 39.4″ w x 12.6″ d x 9.7″ h.

Storage unit in shape of a rabbit's head supported by skinny brass legs
Bunny hop.

Vaguely resembling a rabbit’s head on skinny brass legs, this playful cabinet is the brainchild of award winning Italian designer Matteo Cibic. The 135 cm (53.2”) w x 63 cm (24.8”) d x 240 cm (94.5”) h brass, resin, and plywood storage unit is part of a series of zoomorphic furniture that he designed for Scarlet Splendour, a Kolkata, India based company that specializes in making splashy furnishings that are over-the-top opulent. At €42,900.00 a pop, the Mimi Cabinet is not for anyone on an Ikea budget!


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