You asked for it, so we’re delivering. Introducing ottomans and footstools to join the Model 01 and 02 collections.
We spoke to R & D Designer, Beck Wyld, to understand what we were trying to achieve with the new footstool designs.
Q: What are we trying to achieve by launching Model 01 & 02 Ottoman & Footstools?
B: We designed the ottomans and footstools to help bring new life to the sofas and open up new ways to configure your living room. We specifically designed them to compliment the Model 01 and 02 sofa collections, so they act as a great addition to anyone who already has a Model 01 or 02, or is planning to buy one in the future. We also want our customers to be able to enjoy a new level of comfort, as well as create new ways to lounge in their living room.
The Model 01 ottoman matches perfectly with the three seater & armchair, turning the sofa into a chaise corner sofa, and the armchair into a chaise longue. The Model 02 ottoman has a pulled seam detail to mirror the sofa collection; it matches the three seater and shares the same width seam detail to create a chaise corner sofa. We wanted to give our customers the choice of extending their sofas with an ottoman, or offer a more casual support with the footstool option.
Q: What inspired the Ottomans & Footstools?
B: We think of the Model 01 & 02 sofas as being great for people who don’t have a lot of space.
When I modelled these up, I saw there would be 6cm or less storage height which seemed ridiculous. Our aim changed and comfort became the focus. We wanted to give the sofas a more chilled out feel.
We had a lot of conversations on how the footstools could be used, so we decided to have a taller one (the ottoman) to match the height of the sofa. The idea being to turn the Model 01 & 02 sofas into corner sofas with a chaise extension
The ottoman matches the height of the sofa, which allows the sofa to be turned into a corner sofa with a chaise extension. The footstool is 5.5cm shorter, to casually kick your feet up and enjoy the great ergonomics.
Q: Why did we choose to extend the collections?
B: We want to offer a comfortable addition to the sofas, which allows customers to truly relax. The stools are versatile & elevate the sofas, giving them a totally different vibe.
Ottomans and footstools often complete a living room, so it’s great to give our customers the choice that will match their sofa. Additionally, they are multi-purpose, which is ideal if space is limited; they can be used to put your feet up, to use as a table to pop a tray on, as a spare seat for guests, or as the designated resting spot for your furry friend.
Q: How did you go about designing the Footstools & Ottomans, what’s the process?
B: At first, it seemed like a simple task; copy the frame and seat cushions. But actually, there was a lot of prototyping with these stools. We have been thinking of different scenarios, from how the customer will move the stool around their home, to our production line. I can safely say these will be some of the most thoroughly thought-out footstools on the market.
We also wanted to ensure the cushion fillings on the footstools used the same fibre and foam as on the sofas. With the ottoman, we maintain the same proportions as the sofa; keeping the leg height, frame & cushion. For the footstool, we kept the cushion height identical so we could use the same filling, but we reduced the leg & frame height.
Q: How long has it taken to design them, from concept through to launch?
B: The stools have had a short but intensive development period. Conversations began at the end of July with an aim to launch mid-October. This seems like a huge amount of time, but with a lot of other projects in-the-making, and a big move to the new factory, it’s been a push. It shows that our development & production team are great at working together to make things happen.
Q: From a design perspective, what areas did you need to get right before launching?
B: The fixed cushion. We wanted to ensure the cushion did not move around on the base. There’s nothing worse than a cushion constantly becoming misaligned to the base. We love perfection at Swyft!
We tried fixing the cushion to the base with a zip but this was awkward; velcro gave a cheap crackly sound; stapling the cushion to the sides of the base was good, but it didn’t look like the sofas. Eventually, we landed on using a board which slots inside the cushion cover and bolts down onto the base. This way kids can’t hide the TV remote under the cushion, and the footstool can be picked up from the base or the cushion. After all the prototyping, we've come to a really nice finished product which I'm more than happy with.