It’s not long since I last featured Menu, but it’s recently added even more designs to its collection and I couldn’t resist sharing them. As always, they’re gorgeous – and the press photos are an excuse to have another peek inside the brand’s stunning Copenhagen hotel-showroom-HQ-restaurant The Audo. But what really appealed to me was the focus on versatile, functional and long-lasting design that responds to 21st-century dilemmas without compromising on style or character. Here’s a look at what’s new…
First up are the ‘Brasilia’ lounge chair and matching ottoman, which fuse Scandinavian mid-century aesthetics and Brazilian Modernism. They were originally created for The Audo itself and inspired by the building’s mood, as designers Anderssen & Voll explain:
“There was something about the setting – wooden sculptures, calm ambience and welcoming colours – that made us think of more exotic variations of Modernism rather than our own familiar Scandinavian roots.”
The result is a cocooning chair, characterised by exaggerated armrests, stout cylindrical legs at the front and sleek wooden boards at the rear. The backrest is angled for maximum comfort, and the deep cushioning looks ideal for lounging around with a book and a coffee. Both it and the ottoman are made using traditional joinery techniques and come in a range of upholstery options, with a choice between natural oak, dark-stained oak and walnut for the frame.
Just as beautiful is the ‘Cairn’ pouffe, created by Stockholm-based Scottish designer Nick Ross. It’s boldly simple and very flexible, transforming seamlessly from footrest to side table to additional seat as needed, and the tapered form gives it an elegant twist. It’s also available in several different upholstery options, and there’s a 60cm circular version as well as a slightly larger oval one.
The photo below shows the ‘Cairn’ with another new design, this time created by Copenhagen-based Nina Bruun. Called ‘Epoch’, it’s a streamlined rack that’s suitable for spaces large and small. The hooks sit behind a gently rounded front, neatly concealing ugly hanging loops and tags from view, and the grain of the oak (either natural or dark-stained) adds a beautiful detail. There are two different lengths that can be hung on their own or in clusters, and there’s also a matching shelf.
New accessories and lighting
Of the just-launched accessories, the one that stands out most to me is the ‘Interconnect’ candleholder – a deceptively simple yet very sculptural piece in solid brass or painted steel that was conceived by New York-based stylist and designer Colin King. He says:
“As a stylist, I love the idea of a candleholder, but it always fell short through the lens of the camera. I started off with scale and knew I wanted to create something with a real presence. Something with expanse that can live on its own or with other objects.”
There’s also an update on the ‘New Norm’ dinnerware collection, first launched in 2010 and now available in dark and rich red glazes, plus a new ‘Losaria’ cushion for the recently launched ‘Cocoon’ textile collection featuring tactile bands of bouclé wool. And there are extensions to a few existing lighting series: raw linen-covered versions of the ‘Hashira’ range, and portable twists on the ‘Torso’ and ‘JWDA’ table lamps. The latter are particularly exciting, as I’ve long extolled the virtues of wireless, rechargeable lamps – they’re not just for alfresco use but also incredibly handy indoors, especially if you have gloomy corners where cables won’t stretch or rooms where you can’t add plug sockets.
The Ishinomaki ‘AA’ stool
Finally, Menu has announced that it has the Nordic distribution rights for the Ishinomaki ‘AA’ stool, and it’s a piece with quite a story. Ishinomaki Laboratory started in Japan in the aftermath of the devastating 2011 earthquake, helping the local community to rebuild itself through simple furniture workshops. The spirit of the initiative lives on via its Made in Local enterprise, which empowers communities across the world with DIY skills and joined forces with Japanese studio TORAFU Architects to create the stool. It’s produced in Denmark from locally grown Douglas fir, flat-packed in sets of two, and untreated so you can customise it however you want. It’s extremely versatile, as it can be placed on its own or combined to form a wider seat or side table, and there are two sizes to choose from. It takes the idea of self-assembly furniture to a new level, and I can’t wait to see how it’s used in different settings.
See all the latest additions at Menu here.
All photography courtesy of Menu