Cool simplicity. Pure functionality. Streamlined mid-century aesthetic. Just about everything modernism stands for is beautifully on display in the Knoll Sofa.
Designed by Florence Knoll in 1954 this minimalist sofa is all straight lines. Short and square with no embellishment, the sofa’s legs are welded from stainless steel with a simple chrome finish.
Squarely positioned at the modernist end of mid-century modern design this sofa has an understated elegance that has kept it on the shopping list of interior designers for over 60 years.
Florence is credited at having revolutionised office furniture, the way business thought about their office designs, and the way furniture made employees feel.
After working in an architect’s office with her future husband Hans Knoll, the two were married and together formed their company, Knoll Associates, Inc. It was the perfect combination of Florence’s strong design aesthetic and Hans’ entrepreneurial drive.
As part of the company, Florence developed an interior design service, The Knoll Planning Unit, focusing beyond furniture to include how the entire interior as a whole can create the perfect working environment.
They changed the way companies thought about the furniture in their office spaces, including how furniture can streamline the functionality and efficiency of business.
Knoll developed furniture systems that could be easily rolled out across whole businesses for an instant company-wide upgrade.
They got rid of clutter and unnecessary embellishments to completely streamline interiors, signifying the new, post-war technological approach to business. And yet the result was the formulation of a design principle that worked just as well in the modern homes of the 1950s.
Homeowners soon latched onto the simple elegance of Knoll’s designs, and before long these sleek, minimalist couches were gracing living rooms around the world.
A knoll sofa will stand the test of time, transcending other more fleeting interior design styles, so it’s a particularly smart investment that will give many years of service in the home.
Knoll furniture is still manufactured by the original company. You can pick up an official Florence Knoll 2-seater for around $9,000. But there are also plenty of copies, such as this one for under $1,000.
(All image credit: Knoll)