Skip to content

Brian Graham On Rochester

Furniture designer Brian Graham

Furniture designer Brian Graham was tasked to design a “flop sofa” and undertook a deep study. The result was a mattress encased in a fabric ribbon, with spacers giving the illusion of floating. This design was functional and aesthetically pleasing, with sheets easily hanging, not bunched up. The idea extended into a collection including lounge and sofa. Design elements, like the angled sides, provide a light, welcoming presence. The upholstery can feature a variety of fabrics, and dual materials for exterior and seat. The back cushion is designed for comfort and easy cleaning.


Barb and Anthony reached out to me and said, look, Brian, one of the things that we really feel we need is a flop sofa, and my first reaction was, oh, what’s a flop sofa? I’d never heard the term, and so you started out really taking a deep dive into what Flop Sofas need, how do they perform, what are the pain points there, where are some areas maybe people have?

That kind of drove this really simple idea of a mattress surrounded by kind of a soft ribbon of fabric, that’s just an overall concept, and to keep with sort of the purity of that idea, we came back to what we learned with Avila, which is these standoffs are really a good idea, for a whole host of reasons, so by utilizing those standoffs in part of this design, this idea of a floating seated or sleeping surface that’s surrounded by this fabric ribbon was really easy to develop because we had those spacers, so now functionally right, things can fall off, the uh people that are making up the bed for the patient stayovers, the guests and all, it’s easy to let the sheets you know hang because they’re not bunched up, it just kind of helps both functionally and aesthetically this idea of this sort of seated or sleeping surface surrounded by a fabric ribbon, and then from there it just seemed logical to me, why wouldn’t we just extend that idea into a simple set of lounge, saté and sofa, so there’s more of a collection idea, but with the same functionality, and so that’s really how we came to to create Rochester: one of the goals of everything that we’re doing here is to try to make them not look so specific to one environment that they couldn’t find purpose and place in another and some of the design details like if you look at the side elevation of everything from the front to the back on the top of this sort of ribbon and the bottom they’re angled so there’s this sort of lightness then transitioning into something that comes closer to the floor and a little bit higher up off the floor and that little move is really profound, it really changes the presence of the chair, it really feels now like the back is it’s actually a little bit more settled close to the floor and this kind of almost like welcoming presence as that that ribbon lifts up off the floor, it’s almost like it it’s a welcoming embrace if you will, but the way that then it’s executed into upholstery it would be i think really easy to see a whole bunch of fabrics, you everything from a mohawk to a patterned or embroidered or or embossed fabrics that you’re seeing today with great texture, take to that really, really easily, and then also be able to do those split upholstery things that people love to do right, so because that seat floats, it’s really easy to see the exterior and that wrap be one material and the seat could be another, and then of course you’ve got the back cushion.

That’s another fun thing about the back cushion right, it’s got pitch too, but it’s done in such a way that it can be easily lifted up and cleaned underneath it, and so really that’s that that whole idea of this sort of you ribbon of fabric, that suspended seat with a nice pitch, and then what looks like a very um soft welcoming back cushion at a nice angle, it just sort of invites you to sit down and relax.