The Gold Standard

Maybe it’s due to the inspiring swag of gold medals Great Britain won in the Olympic games last year; or perhaps it’s the recent release of the movie Gold; or maybe it’s just because everyone wants a little more sparkle in their lives…whatever the reason, gold is making a resurgence. In the furniture world, 2017 seems to be the year of the bling (in stark contrast to Pantone’s colour of the year, Greenery).

Just announced last month, Fritz Hansen’s Choice 2017 is a new interpretation of Arne Jacobsen’s iconic Series 7. Based on the rich, yet delicate colours of the Japanese cherry blossom, these two, limited edition chairs ooze with understated luxury. Both the deep-red merlot and pastel nude options are complemented perfectly by their rose gold frames…giving them just the right balance of glitz and sophistication.

In contrast to this subtlety, Knoll have dared to go all out in conjunction with the wave of gold furniture releases. To celebrate its 50th (golden, of course) anniversary, the entire Platner range is now available in 18 karat gold plated options to dazzle even the most tarnished of gold cynics. And if that isn’t enough, Knoll have also released the Bertoia Diamond Chair in a stunning 18 karat gold version, to commemorate the designer’s would be 100th birthday.

Artemide seem to be taking on the same ‘go gold or go home’ approach as Knoll, with the release of the Tolomeo Tavolo Micro in yellow gold. Adding to the extensive Tolomeo family, this desk based, gold version of the classic lamp is a limited edition, making it all the more precious.

So even though all that glitters is not gold, these pieces are beautifully glamorous interpretations of their classic counterparts…and definitely worth their weight in gold.

Welcome to our World!

November 2016 marks our 15th year in business.

Following 10 years at Riverside Studios, Leeds, we’ve undertaken a reboot of our working showroom to highlight current and emerging trends in workplace design as well as showcasing some products that, quite simply, we like too much not to show! Launched at our CoWo15 Reboot event last Thursday, the new showroom can now be officially revealed. So, if you were unable to attend the event last week; this is us. Welcome to our World!


Our reception area now features a selection of leather classics from Vitra, Knoll Studio and Walter Knoll, showcasing designers such as Charles and Ray Eames, George Nelson, Eero Saarinen and Preben Fabricius and Jørgen Kastholm. Piero Lissoni’s luxurious Avio sofa system by Knoll Studio provides the central statement piece.


From KI, the EC4 bench system keys into the current biophilic design trend and features solid oak splayed legs and a matching laminate edge detail to give a softer and more naturalistic look. In common with other KI systems it incorporates a sturdy metal understructure with a comprehensive cable management trough. Intended as an agile work/meeting base we’ve completed the bench with CMD’s Inca power/charger unit. Inca has been designed with communal working areas and meeting rooms in mind. Four usable faces allow users easy access to power and USB charging regardless of where they are positioned around the table.


Sit-stand workstations are increasingly a requirement rather than a luxury and more systems are entering the market to suit a variety of budgets. We’re showcasing Vitra’s Tyde system by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec, in our opinion one of the better back-to-back systems with its clever cable management solution and accessories.


Also from Vitra and again by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec is the Alcove Cabin. The Alcove Cabin provides a secluded space, enclosed on all sides and accessible through a single opening. It provides visual and acoustic privacy for small meetings at the table and power connections and lighting allow it to serve as a fully-fledged workspace. Alcove was the original high back sofa concept; copied many times it has sparked a small revolution in workplace meeting areas developing into the agile working ethos.


The agile working theme continues into our new breakout space with the ADD modular sofa and table and Kipu stools from lapalma. ADD’s slimline aesthetic belies its strong structure. The area is nicely screened by the Howe Spaghetti wall providing a psychological barrier that is open enough to invite you into the space and yet also provides a modicum of privacy.


Our task chair selection includes the latest ‘sitting machines’ from Herman Miller, including Mirra 2, Sayl and Embody along with the fantastic new Keyn side chair. Intelligent seating offers include Wilkhahn IN, Boss Trinetic and Nomique Axia.


Finally our Knoll Studio collection showcases designs from Eero Saarinen, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Harry Bertoia, including the rebooted and inexpensive Bertoia side chair with plastic shell for indoor or outdoor use.

If there’s anything you’d like to see just drop us a line to arrange a visit or for more details or have a look at our video on our YouTube channel.

Here’s to another 15 years!

Axia Smart Chair

Are you really sitting comfortably?

Are you sitting comfortably? Are you sure? Here’s a chair that will actually tell you!

Human beings are not designed to sit at a desk for long periods of time. Good posture with enough movement is crucial to reduce common workplace ailments such as back or neck pain, headaches and fatigues. Even if you sit on a good ergonomic chair, it’s often not used or set up correctly (in fact 67% of users do not adjust their chairs).  The Axia Smart Chair by Nomique was designed with this in mind.

The Axia Smart Chair works like a personal sitting coach, giving users feedback on their sitting behaviour and posture. Feedback raises the users’ awareness of their posture and this in turn leads to an improved over all posture and a healthier style of working.

So how does it work?

The Axia Smart Chair features four sensors in the seat and two sensors in the back. These sensors distinguish between 7 seating positions and register how often and how long the user makes contact with the backrest and seat and whether they are moving enough or sitting in one posture for too long. An electronic label is fixed to the seat side and allows users to review their seated posture over the last hour. The label also shows the live seating position and overall seating score. Furthermore, a vibrating signal in the seat indicates when a user is sitting in a physical aggravating position for too long. This tactile reminder will raise the users’ posture awareness. The vibrating trigger can also be used as a reminder to get up and move around for a few minutes or do some in chair exercises.

Axia Smart Chair

Of particular interest to facility managers, occupational health advisors and HR managers will be the Smart Hub/Smart Cloud add-on system. Here, all details about posture and occupancy levels of each Smart Chair are automatically sent to the online Smart Cloud. Smart Hubs, which are installed throughout the office receive the recorded data of each stair and send it to a gateway. Through the gateway the collective data is send to the Smart Cloud. Simple to use software makes it easy to access the recorded group and individual data online in real time and allows the user to combine and/or compare company wide, floor level or department details. The extensive reporting options of the Smart Cloud make it a useful tool to not only analyse the staff’s sitting habits but also occupancy levels. The Smart Cloud can be used for occupation and configuration plans to improve workstation management and usage.

So far so good. But what about the chair itself?

Well for a start the Axia 2.0 range has been credited both reddot and iF design awards as well as the FIRA ergonomic excellence award. The simple design is quite appealing with a distinctive back that tapers towards the top and provides space for the shoulders to move comfortably. Our first impression before any adjustment was that the Axia would be a satisfying sit. Just a couple of minor adjustments were required before the Smart Chair system indicated a correct (and very comfortable) posture.

Axia 2.0 Range

The Axia 2.0 is a modular range with interchangeable parts. There are 6 chair back options; mid, high, padded, executive, breathable mesh and auto back angle adjustment.  The Axia 2.2 High back option fits 98% of users making it an ideal project chair. All of these options utilise the patented synchronised Axia 1:1 mechanism, based on the principle of pelvic support. Here the pelvis is prevented from rotating, encouraging relaxed support and a dynamic posture. With dual operating levers, the chair can be adjusted from the left or the right. The armrests do not move with the tilt of the mechanism to ensure optimal support of the arms to keep shoulder and neck relaxed. A patented split seat mechanism, allows only the rear part to tilt back whereas the foremost part of the seat remains horizontal. This alleviates pressure on the legs, keeping the feet firmly on the floor.

Axia 2.0

Want to know more? We’ll be showcasing the Axia range in our Leeds showroom very soon. Check back here for further info or register your interest via the contact form.