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The Continental Sofa and Easy Chair by Claesson Koivisto Rune for Swedese

The phrase “The Continental” will forever remind me of the classic 90s SNL skit. Starring Christopher Walken as an inept champagne-swilling francophone Lothario, the skit poked fun at certain European rituals of courtship. Now, Swedese and Claesson Koivisto Rune have reclaimed the term: their Continental is suave but not pretentious, colorful yet sedate when the surroundings require it, and as comfortable as a cloud.

Continental Sofa. Designed by Claesson Koivisto Rune. Manufactured by Swedese.

The Continental Sofa and Easy Chair Features a Solid Wood Frame and Oversized Geometrical Cushions

Continental Sofa. Designed by Claesson Koivisto Rune. Manufactured by Swedese.

The Continental emerged in two incarnations. First, CKR devised the synthesis of shiny steel and comfy cushions in the form of an expansive sofa. Next, the trio re-convened for the slightly smaller yet equally scintillating silhouette of the Continental easy chair.

Continental Sofa. Designed by Claesson Koivisto Rune. Manufactured by Swedese.

Both sofa and chair are earning considerable accolades. The latter acquired the coveted Elle Interior Design prize—on the eve of the esteemed Stockholm Furniture Fair, no less. And the latter will be a worthy accompaniment and a fitting compliment to big brother Sofa when both display at ELLE’s Deco International Design Awards, given annually in April at the Milan Furniture fair.

Continental Sofa. Designed by Claesson Koivisto Rune. Manufactured by Swedese.

So what exactly is it about The Continental that’s garnering such interest? The smart construction and deft fusion of steel and upholstery? The high resilience foam and polyester fiber that gives the cushions their considerable heft and long-lived durability? Or maybe it’s just the careful balance between contemporary styling, good ergonomics, and supreme comfort. As the Elle judging committee put it, The Continental is “a modern and cool sofa which elegantly combines soft cushions with shiny steel tubing.”

Continental Sofa. Designed by Claesson Koivisto Rune. Manufactured by Swedese.

About the Manufacturer: Founded in 1945 by the brothers Yngve and Jerker Ekström and Sven Bertil Sjöqvist, manufacturer Swedese has been at the center of the ascendance of Scandinavian design for more than 65 years. The company’s designers traveled the very same rarefied air as the great icons of modern design—Alvar Aalto, Bruno Mathsson, Arne Jacobsen and Poul Kjaerholm. Today, Swedese maintains the same ethos that established the company as a principal design/build firm of the modern and contemporary ages: “creating beautiful furniture for the future that builds on the foundations of Scandinavian modern traditions.”

Posted February 16th, 2012 by Joseph Starr


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