Corral, Bronco, and C’upsidedown

Designer Dirk Wynants is the visionary force – or, according to the company website, “Founder, Main Designer, and Big Boss” – behind Belgium-based manufacturer Extremis, one of the companies at the forefront of the fun-yet-functional trend in contemporary design.

Corral, Bronco, and C’upsidedown. Designed by Dirk Wynants. Manufactured by Extremis.

As the designer behind other notables such as the Arthur table and DoNuts (a portable seating unit with an inflatable base that looks like a giant chocolate donut), Wynants doesn’t so much make furniture as much as great, big toys for grown-ups. The difference is that Wynants’ creations aren't just mere diversions but rather elemental components of a contemporary lifestyle and a modern aesthetic.

The Bronco, Corral, and C’upsidedown (integrated table, chairs, and light fixture) constitute one of Wynant’s latest contributions. Modeled after the idea of a gathering around the campfire, the chairs resemble saddles – complete with a drink holder and leather strap for easy portability or for holding on, should excessive merriment ensue. The table is a low-slung affair: at 23.5″, it's intended to be sat around rather than bellied up to (a higher version is available, if the campfire concept doesn't work for everyone). But the best thing about the Corral and C’upsidedown (the accompanying fixture, which is really the Corral turned on its head) is that they incorporate a lighting unit that diffuses the whole ensemble with whatever tint of whatever eerie glow you desire – as the helpful website advises, “best effects are obtained in dark environments.”

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The visual effect of the set-up is really nothing like a campfire but more evocative of the Korova Milkbar scene in a Clockwork Orange, but so much the better for it, since an actual campfire wreaks havoc on a living room. Even better, you won't find a murderous teenage thug with heavy eye makeup across from you but rather a friend, or cousin, or contented beloved, smiling from ear to ear and amiably sipping a gin and tonic.

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