- Article by Online Editor
Celebrating 10 years of showcasing incredible furniture, Cosh Living took the opportunity to launch its new look Sydney showroom.
Beautifully resolved, the showroom reads as a series of rooms that flow effortlessly together. Drawing colours from photography of the Otway Ranges, mossy and misty greens are paired with deep forest shades, pale greys and natural timber. Materiality is a key consideration with wool, silk, leather, velvet and linen providing variations within the soft finishes, while timber, porcelain, marble and steel mediate the offering.
The tactic is in fact very clever with rooms within the palette shifting from causal to formal and family to studio without breaking from the whole. This allows each room to express the shared qualities of design, detail and finish, no matter what scale.
For example, a small room as found in a studio apartment, with lounge, coffee table and chairs is as resolved as the lounge area suited to a grand home with a sprawling lounge, ottomans, rugs and lounge chairs. Moreover, the strategy clearly demonstrates how well the pieces from the various collections work together. The lighting by Euroluce creates a centre for each of the rooms and is exceptionally well-suited to this style of layout.
What started 10 years ago as an ambitious plan by directors Colin Kupke and Shane Sinnott to bring quality outdoor furniture to the Australian market, Cosh Living has achieved this goal and so much more.
Design director, Justin Hutchinson joined the company three years ago to facilitate the intention to expand the offering to include interior furniture and build an in-house interior furniture brand: Kett. “Furniture for me is the balance of art and design… it speaks to our humanity, while requiring the rigour of engineering to ensure it all stands up – not always as easy as you would think,” says Hutchinson.
Taking its direction from this starting point, Cosh Living, via Kett, has developed five collections for both indoor and out with the inaugural collection Otway launched at Denfair last year. Since then, the brand has quickly gained traction with interior designers recognising the marriage of excellent craftsmanship and design. Bates Smart, for example, has specified a collection for its new Australian Embassy in Washington DC, US.
The quality of the Kett collections is very much on par with the design houses Cosh has represented over the past 10 years. Hutchinson puts this down to the relationship between Cosh and the craftspeople engaged to produce the ranges, which, without intention, are all small, family run companies.
“In a world crowded by poorly made things, it is a pleasure and a privilege to spend each day working on products that are designed to last. We focus on collections that are honest in their use of materials and united in their craft. Elegant, as a lifelong investment, yet robust enough for a young family. Quality is paramount – to make something to enjoy, without compromise,” says Hutchinson.
As such, timbers are solid oak or teak, while surfaces of steel and marble are now expanded to include porcelain. Tactile and visually pleasing, the porcelain surface is also extremely robust. So robust in fact, that what had initially been used for dining tables has now been expanded to sideboards, which will allow a hot serving dish to be placed directly onto the surface. What makes this interesting is the fact that the Kett designers are thinking about practical application and not just the good looks something has, which this does in spades.
The showroom section dedicated to outdoor furniture is similarly arranged to read as a flow of rooms. Here the layout is a long continuous evolution that takes advantage of the afternoon sun that slants through shutters across the large open gallery. Rather fabulously, it looks Australian, in that there is always a battle between too much and that just right balance of sun/shade.
The furniture is again robust, elegantly proportioned and built to last. Materiality is similarly of key importance with teak and woven elements all designed and treated to withstand the Australian extremes of weather. The knotted seating of Tribù’s Nodi chair, for example, uses Canax, a twine made of 40 percent hemp mixed with PVC for strength, then coated with PVC to provide a weatherproof material that looks as natural as raw twine. Conversely, the range includes pieces that are slickly stylised and resort ready.
Cosh Living’s long-term partner, Belgian outdoor furniture specialist, Tribù, has been with Cosh for the past 10 years. Testament to changing attitudes towards outdoor furniture, this year sees Cosh as Tribù’s second largest customer. Granted, it is a shift that is happening universally, but with so much of our living being outdoors, it just makes sense that Australia will lead this revolution.
“Australia has always been at the forefront,” says Tom De Cock of Tribù. “Europe and America are also living more outdoors, but for Australia it is the way of life.” What makes Tribù particularly relevant to the Australian market is the attention to durability within an aesthetic range suitable for myriad applications. “We want to take away all the worry for the customer. We do all the thinking and work to make sure everything is weatherproof. The customer doesn’t have to be running outside to bring in cushions if it rains; they can leave them out for months,” says De Cock.
The fat plaited textile of the Tosca range, for example, has a core developed in the US to be both strong and weatherproof, and a woven surface from Belgium with similar properties. Effectively, rain simply runs straight through it without pooling. Tested for European winters and desert summers, the materials will not become brittle with cold, melt with heat or fade with exposure.
How they stand up to cockatoos is another question, but for all weather considerations the range is well and truly covered. It is also expansive, with simple slat table and bench offerings, deep comfort lounges, dining suites, cosy table and chair arrangements, lounge chairs, sun lounges and a great selection of small tables – an offering that many neglect.
With five showrooms nationally across Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane, and manufacturing in Italy, Indonesia and Melbourne, Cosh Living is truly a global brand. Moreover, the rigorous design philosophy and high levels of craftsmanship and quality at its heart will ensure a long and happy relationship with the Australian A&D community. We warmly and heartily congratulate this very fine company on its 10-year milestone and wish it a great many more.
Written by Gillian Serisier and Jan Henderson – co-editors inside
Cosh Living represents interior furniture from Kett, Lapalma and Potocco. For the outdoors, Atelier Vierkant, Coast, Gloster, Manutti and Tribù.