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These next few weeks are hard. And it’s not the holidays that I’m referring to. I’m talking about the fact that for the next two months, many of us are staring down the barrel of a 4:30 PM sunset. By 7 PM, it’s pitch black, and I’m ready to call it a night. But you know what they say: if you can’t beat ’em… so I’m embracing the dark and cold with a well-curated Netflix queue, a glass wine, and lots of candles. Of course, you need a bit more than a good movie to make those dark evenings somewhat bearable. (Having a place to stretch out is also helpful). I’ve been sofa (window) shopping for longer than I really care to admit (think a year). It’s honestly hard to find a well-designed piece that looks stylish yet is comfortable enough to stand up to a real Netflix binge. Iconic Spanish furniture firm Sancal took up the challenge, and this new Obi sofa checks all the right “cozy home” boxes (and looks pretty awesome doing it).
Dubbed the “creative heart” of the brand, Rafa García has contributed more than 50 products to the Sancal line. When he was tasked with designing a sofa that was as comfortable as it was easy on the eye, he found himself inspired by vintage photographs of Japanese women in traditional kimonos. He wanted to create a piece of furniture that hugged the body in the same way that the kimono does. The sofa design was inspired by obis (those quilted sashes that adorn kimonos). And just as the obi tightly envelops the wearer, the Obi sofa, with its high back and quilted loose cushions, is an inviting place to cozy up.
The sofa arms were designed to feel like the palms of a hand, providing protection from the outside world and beckoning one to sit (or in my case, lie!) down. But once you’ve been enticed by the comfiness, the design needed to deliver and so the Sancal team worked carefully on the ergonomics and ended up with a seat that is more like a mattress that a traditional sofa cushion. The Obi sofa is a true balance of aesthetic and comfort. So while the mattress was perfect on the comfy side, Rafa needed to make sure that all that cushion wasn’t too visually overwhelming. He balanced the mass of the mattress by keeping the base light and airy—so the resulting piece doesn’t feel heavy and bulky. He did that by lightening up the design (no sofa skirt here!) and materials of the feet. They are available in ash (reminiscent of the clogs worn with kimonos) or if you really want to emphasize the airiness of the piece—there’s a futuristic looking acrylic option!
The Obi is available in a variety of different models, including long angled pieces to make corner sofas and a 130cm chaise longue for extra depth. The only problem? You’ll never want to leave the comfort of the sofa to do those pesky little things like drive to work.