Though hard to prove scientifically, there are concepts we must accept as fact. Namely, how James Dean’s time on earth still makes a case for smoking’s appeal. Or how adobo is more enjoyable when it sits in the freezer for a couple of weeks—months, even. Among such beliefs, one remains ever more resistant to scrutiny: Paris is always a good idea.
Immortalized by Audrey Hepburn, a saint of style whose words are hallowed, the truism is a lot less frivolous than it seems. If you think about it, pursuing the good life shouldn’t have to require a plane ticket from MNL to CDG.
If Parisian living is a worthy prescription to one’s dull day-to-days, then why not welcome Paris into one’s home?Leave it to the French to raise the elegance in daily domesticity—and effortlessly at that. As in the getup of the city’s residents, a Parisian pad is where style and comfort can coexist. It is also where a little something extra—that oft-mentioned je ne sais quoi that shrugs at the norm—can feel absolutely at home. You can find it in a smirk of color, an offbeat pattern, or where form gets intimate with function, occasionally whipping it into erotic submission. Usually, it’s an aesthetic that departs from the grave minimalism of many high-end furniture brands.
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Reflecting this playful Parisian confidence is Roche Bobois, a company at the forefront of contemporary French furniture. Showrooms in 45 countries, a Makati branch included, only assert the wanderlust in its design. Brand collaborations have involved notable names beyond furniture craft, from architect Jean Nouvel to fashion stalwart Kenzo Takada. As a result, sofas can stand out rather than sit contentedly in neutrals. A bed frame’s extraterrestrial upholstery can pique interest but also inspire rest. A shelf referencing a Japanese dojo can take the mind on a voyage, just as far as the books it houses.
This is furniture that doesn’t rest arrogantly on its French accent but can engage a home’s interiors in conversation. After all, who wants a home that echoes the stark modernity of a cosmetic surgeon’s office or the soullessness of an upmarket designer boutique?
We picked out several pieces from the brand that can turn a modern man’s—or woman’s—lair into a statement of style and seduction.
1 Ditch the usual sofa in favor of something with a quirky shape
Do you really want the heart of your home to feel like a visit to your shrink? Skip the grim-shaded leather or chaise lounge that was made for marinating in existential crisis. Breathe some much-needed life into your living room through statement seating like the Bubble Sofa. Besides looking incredibly comfortable via Techno 3D fabric, the Sasha Lakic-designed sofa urges celebration; spurs conversation; inspires sloppy, passionate kissing with the date you’ve just brought home and the no-strings arrangement you’ve created in good spirits. Vive la Freedom.
2 Go for the stately yet straightforward
You could call the Ivresse the Carla Bruni of dining tables—stately but with enough nerve not to take any shit. Lacquered legs support a sleek disc of Carrara marble with tones of fine wine and cured meat; certainly a sensual centerpiece to any dining area. It’s the sort of surface that can host a late-night business meeting that calls for a little entertaining, or pay witness to the dirty confessions of friends drunk on Manhattans and nostalgia.
3 Raise the bar
The French are never too far from good food or drink. As central to wining and dining is to a life well lived, a proper living room would do best to welcome a dual sideboard-bar like the Lift. With its lacquered black base, it’s as svelte as a tuxedoed Yves Saint-Laurent. And just like the design legend himself, it has a tendency toward the festive. Shelves rise from the base to transform into an elegant bar with enough room to accommodate cocktails, canapes, and the awe of your guests.
4 Go slinky with the seating
In whatever setting, Parisian style comes effortlessly—even when it’s dodging bullets and cracking skulls in stilettos. Like La Femme Nikita, the AVA chair—an injection-molded design that imitates the features of a dragon—can slink with ease into any room. Be it as a transparent accent in one’s foyer or a glossy dining chair that rivals the sumptuousness of what’s being served, this award-winning chair certainly demands a seat at the table.
5 Dream in color
There’s a misconception that “safe” is better for sleep. Keep sheets white, a bed frame modest. What this seems to imply, however, is that rest is simply routine. As we know, this is hardly the case. Sleep is pleasure best exhibited through the Mah Jong bed, which favors plush, colorful panels rather than a rigid single frame. A little art where you rest could inspire bigger dreams, or give a lover the impression that you can get creative in the bedroom.
Visit Roche Bobois Manila at 2100 Don Chino Roces Avenue, Makati.