Living etc - March 2016

I don't think I have yet proclaimed my true addiction to Living etc. It's my absolute favorite design magazine, and I have a lot of favorites (Dwell, House & Home, Elle Decor...).

There's something about Living etc that I am just so obsessed with. I like that they feature interiors that combine interesting architectural spaces with modern design elements. They aren't afraid of quirky patterns and colors and they truly like to show off happy spaces. Yes happy spaces. The kind of rooms that make you feel alive, and good, and calm, and inspired to re-create in your own home. 

Since I'm always jotting down ideas when I read magazines, I thought that I would share some product highlights that stood out for me in the March issue. Perhaps this is something I will continue to do, since scribbles of paper get lost and it's easy to forget all those interesting items that you wanted to reference for a future project one day. I may even revisit old issues. But let's see what we find here first.

Bolle Light from Gallott & Radice - A spectacular light fixture that features hand burnished brass and transparent blown glass balls.

Turn Sofa from Fern Living - I have been a massive Ferm Living fan for years, mainly of their textiles and small accessories, but they have recently come out with a new sofa collection. Check out those slim metal legs on this minimalist beauty. And the best part is that you can quickly switch up your upholstery fabric by flipping the cushion.

Anita Johansen Day Bed for Menu - I've seen this day bed before and I'm really crushing on it. Those oak legs with the soft upholstered wool seat makes me really want to put this in our living room asap.

Vanita Cake Stand by Matii for Clippings - I've never seen a more cool looking cake stand. Made of glass and comes in four colors.

Rowan Washstand for Waterworks - Small freestanding vanity in brass & marble that's perfect for small spaces.

Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec for Samsung - The most beautiful TV in the world. I never thought that could be said, but holy crap, somebody finally designed it. This flat screen television is available in different sizes and colors, and can be put on legs (as above) or can simply be put on a shelf.

Smart Garden by Plantui for Finnish Design Shop - What a clever idea for your home. Now you can create your own small garden any time of the year,  no matter the weather.

Electronic Smoke Alarms by Jalo Kapu - Fire alarms have come a long way. These small units are easily attached to the ceiling and come in several different shades and a battery life of five years.

The Big Sofa Challenge

There is absolutely no reason for me to currently want to purchase a new sofa. I know it's a really large investment and we shouldn't even be considering it, but my brain doesn't work that way. Ideally, I would love a modular sectional, something that can be configured any way we see fit. It would be fantastic for apartment living, and it's awesome because you can just add more pieces down the line if needed.

My first pick is the Connect Sofa by Mutto. I love how easy it is to specify exactly what modules you need to create the ideal sofa shape for your space, the low profile, and of course, it's chunky base. For what we would want, this would set up back around $10,000. Not a cheap sofa by any means, but I'm a big believer in buying something that you love once, and hopefully never having to buy it again.

My second choice is the Mags Sofa by Hay. Also modular, it allows you to configure the set up based on your needs. It looks so comfy, sturdy, and the ultimate spot to lounge out on after a long day. In terms of pricing, it comes in a tad lower than the Connect Sofa above, but again, there's not exactly a deal here.

Lastly, I'm also kind of digging the Mix, the new modular sofa system by Gus Modern. Like all the above, the Mix let you mix and match components and fabrics to build a custom sectional, so you end up with whatever shape best fits your space. Plus Gus Modern is a Canadian design company based out of Toronto, and it's always nice to support local businesses that actually make awesome products. Price wise, you have to contact the store directly in order to get a quote, so I'm not quite sure what we would be looking at here.

While I love all of the above options, I was really dismayed to learn that the Connect Sofa is made from cold foam and the Mags Sofa is made out of polyurethane foam. Seeing as how these are two Scandinavian brands that I really adore, who I hoped would care about using only natural materials in their products, it's a total bummer, especially when you factor in the high price tags.

At least the Mix Sofa from Gus Modern is manufactured to meet California TB117-2013 fire safety standards without the use of flame retardant additives in upholstery foam, however, they still use some kind of foam, made from chemicals, so while they have made a step in the right direction, they definitely have a ways to go. And while the brand is open to using a different filler for their upholstery, they suggested soy foam or recycled plastic bottles as an alternative, these options are not exactly healthy or green, even though it's easy to think they can be.

It's crazy to me that in almost 2016 (less than two months away!), most people are still sitting on and breathing in some incredibly toxic substances, mostly found in sofa cushions and mattresses. Is it for a lack of information? There have been so many studies done about this, and yet it's almost as if people don't want to believe it. These toxic substances are contributing to our failing health, leaching into our bodies and making us sick.  We made the switch to an organic latex mattress this summer (scroll down if you want to read my review - spoiler alert, it's one of the best decisions we ever made), and now I'm faced with the really difficult challenge of finding a organic latex sofa.

I know there are a few companies who specialize in making natural products in the US, like Ekla and Green Sofas, but unfortunately, here in Canada, our options are sadly pretty much non existent. The closet I got was Cisco Brothers,  who retail through Elte, and make all of their products available for purchase using their green technology. The company states "Cisco‚Äôs Inside Green technology is our smart, healthy, responsible, alternative method of building furniture made entirely from Natural Latex, organic wool, organic goose feathers and down. These natural materials are not only superior in terms of comfort and lifespan, but are inherently flame retardant and hypo-allergenic. Every product in the Cisco line can be ordered using Inside Green technology." I only wish I wanted one of their sectionals. Don't get me wrong, they are beautiful, just not what I am looking for.

For now, the search continues. But if I can't find what I want, I'm going to see if I can at least switch out our current sofa cushions for organic latex versions, if I can track down a Canadian supplier willing to cut custom sizes. Again, there is a company doing it in the US called Foam to Order, but the shipping fees would be killer. If anybody knows where to look or has any suggestions, feel free to let me know.