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Fall Design Issue | Metropolis

Seating Ovation

The Professional Comfort Lounge Comes Home

September 29, 2002|LESLEE KOMAKO

In the mid-'90s, Metro Furniture was out in front on a new design category known as "performance lounge seating," a.k.a. "dynamic lounge seating." Interactive comfort was the latest thing in workplace ambience, and Metro's plush, substantial chairs took their cue from home furnishings to lend boardrooms the warm mood of upscale living rooms. Corporate collars may be getting starchy again these days, but the Detour Lounge, Metro's current take on productive ease, is coming full circle as telecommuting types make casual intimacy a touchstone of the home office.

"It's the kind of thing you make your statement with," says Metro director of design Jess Sorel. "A really beautiful lounge chair with wonderful fabric is a nice little luxury, whereas the other components will be pretty pragmatic. Maybe you'd splurge on a task chair. But those tend to be very utilitarian, unless you get into one of those hokey high-back executive chairs. Some can go so far as looking like an English wingback chair on a spinning base. It's pretty funny."

The Detour Lounge comes in three sizes with a laptop friendly tablet option. The smallest model (still plenty plush) goes for around a thousand bucks, while customers who insist on Clarence House silk velvet leopard print can expect to pay much more. But what price productivity? A Detour Lounge might be just the ticket for the unmotivated worker who simply can't bear to move from the couch to the desk. Here's to halfway.

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