Ki's booth at @NeoCon10.
But local design is not only for the "Mitten state." A quick look at the easy alliance between office formality and residential ease displayed in KI's new Lyra Collection will have you adding a third item to the requisite list of "things that come from Wisconsin" (in no particular order)--first-rate cheese, consistently exciting football, and an excellent assortment of modular furniture for home and office.
Last year at NeoCon, KI drew raves with the Sela Collection, a grouping of slightly over-sized, definitely plush, and exceedingly comfy armchairs and sofas. But while Sela drew a bead on the college crowd, this year's Lyra has a slightly more refined clientele in mind--I'm thinking the no-nonsense environs of healthcare, government, and corporate markets. High on style but appropriately reserved, Lyra displays a tempting synthesis between organic curves and straight lines. And when I think "curve meets line," I instinctively picture classic work in bentwood. Just so, Lyra evokes the spirit of both the Eames and Alvar Aalto. Offerings in the collection include a sofa, lounge chair, long table, low table, and ottoman. They come in a variety of finishes and upholsteries, and feature steel bases in a simple trapezoidal or pedestal style.
But back to the icons of bentwood. Lyra achieves the nifty trick of synthesizing those mavens of modernity with a decided contemporary look. Many of the sofas and armchairs integrate wooden laminate with rigid foam upholstery such that they offer a symphony for the senses--especially in regards to visual and textural appeal. Such is the stuff of Lyra's knack for stream-lined elegance--"offering a clean, classic form that complements environments with a design expression derived from strong lines and subtle curves.”