Home & Design

Round and Round We Go


The Chromeo Chair and Ottoman, designed by Sarah Ellison, call to mind the tubular furniture of the Deco period but more cloud-like. The pair are currently $3,221.50 (down from $3,790) at Design Within Reach. The chair alone is $2,120.75. The pieces are available in a chunky pale Sorrento Corduroy (shown) and dark brown Avalon Velvet. Ellison’s Muse Sofa and Huggy Chair are similarly round and huggable.


By Nancy McKeon

THE SAME CURVES that made the Mazda Miata and Teletubbies so cuddly are attempting to invade our living rooms. Start looking at furniture ads and home-furnishings catalogues (and Succession!) and you’ll see them everywhere, from the stratospheric Roche-Bobois, where Joana Vasconcelos’s Bombom 2½-seater sofa starts at $9,010, to the millennial-friendly West Elm, where the Addie Swivel Chair ranges in price (for a limited time) from $599.20 to $849, depending on fabric.

If you have any doubts about the high-net-worth imprimatur of curvy pieces, consider the Manhattan aerie of “Succession” character Kendall Roy. The in-real-life triplex penthouse, at 180 East 88th Street on the Upper East Side, is currently on the market for $29 million. The furnishings in brother Roman Kendall’s equally airy place are even rounder and more sculptural, not to mention closer to the floor.

And as long as furniture is going round, it may as well go around. There’s a whole new, or at least recent, world of swivel chairs on offer, for indoors and out.

Depending on your current style, it may be a challenge to make a home for one of these bouncy babies, but it may be worth a try. Maybe we go round more than once?


Elements of the Roche-Bobois’s Bombom collection by Joana Vasconcelos. All can be color-customized. The four-seat sofa starts at $11,760 (the 121-inch-long five-seater retails for $17,175). The 2½-seater Bombom sofa, starts at $9,010. And Bombom’s playful appearance was launched as an outdoor collection at the Milan Furniture Fair this spring

The Addie Swivel Chair from West Elm is certainly cuddly-looking and comes in a wide range of fabrics and colors. A limited-time offer prices the chair at $599.20 to $849, depending on details (chenille, basketweave, twill, performance fabric, etc.). Not shown, the Addie Swivel Armchair, which looks like a pouffy barrel chair, is priced from $799 to $949, also in a range of fabrics and colors, including 22 colors of velvet.

The curvy Mason Wicker Cocoon Chair, above, is made from resin wicker for outdoor use. A pair of these is currently on sale from the Grandin Road catalogue for $1,259.30 (down from $1,799 for two). Mason also comes as a Swivel Chair for the same per-pair price. Not shown, a lighter-weight, airier, but just as round all-weather wicker chair is the Costa Cocoon Chair in natural color, $359.99 at World Market.

The Fitz Channeled Green Velvet Swivel Chair is $1,099 at CB2 (a pair is $2,119). It is stocked in a chunky white bouclé and three colors of velvet, plus two dozen custom fabrics and colors to order. There’s also a matching loveseat ($1,599) and coordinating Gideon Ottoman ($449).

The Pumpkin Arm Chair was designed in 1971 by Modernist French designer Pierre Paulin, who was a pioneer in “low-level living” (he left it to us to figure out how to get up out of his furniture; the seat height of the Pumpkin chair is 14½ inches, standard seat height being 17 inches). Being re-issued by Ligne Roset, Pumpkin is $3,160; a swivel version is $3,900.

The Heidi Swivel Chair takes a discreet turn in your living room at 34½ inches wide and 19 inches high. Available in three neutrals (a nubby white, darkest blue, and graphite gray, shown), it’s on sale for $959.20 at Grandin Road.


If your living room needs a real jolt of color, you could always opt for Roche-Bobois’s Pivoting Bubble Chair, now $3,905. The first challenge for Sacha Lakic, the designer of this puffball, was to craft a fabric that could stretch in all directions. Would that pocketbooks could do the same. The Techno 3D fabric comes in topaz green (shown), cobalt blue, orange, ruby red, cedar yellow, fuchsia, deep purple, plus light and dark gray. The Bubble collection includes two sofas, an ottoman, and a snuggly bed. If you want to explore the world of round and puffy, and you can hack the price tags, Roche-Bobois is the motherlode, for real.

2 thoughts on “Round and Round We Go

  1. Nancy G says:

    All the ones with arms or a shape to sink into look good to me. Otherwise, how do you relax? What do you do with your arms? How can you settle in and read? But all the pieces are really beautiful.

    1. Nancy McKeon says:

      I’m semi-convinced that modern design is for looking at, not sitting in (and certainly not relaxing). But I confess I like looking at them. Further confession: I fell in love with the shapes of some of my antique chairs–and would much rather look at them than sit in them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *