Copenhagen – The problem with the fantasy of the small home office is that many of its users are either self-employed urbanites with limited square metres or employees with flexible remote workdays, for whom this is a particularly unforgiving spatial investment, as these spots would only be used a few days per month. Many of these setups, even in their smallest form, require extra space and – most importantly – dedicated furniture. What’s more, unless users have the span allowance required for the bulk of an ergonomically efficient chair, there’s often lumbar hell to pay.
But it seems that we’ve finally found the perfect chair for those who work from home, and in a relatively unexpected place: Muuto’s newest collection, released last week in its Copenhagen HQ, includes a lounge chair and ottoman set called Doze. The natural aesthetic habitat for this combo is the living room, due to its subtle appreciation of the 1970s by way of floral-inspired curves and whimsical proportions. Thanks to its imposingly high back, the lounge chair immediately communicates the idea of a self-contained shelter; adding the matching ottoman for a relaxed lounging posture could, given the right disposition, certainly justify the product’s moniker.
And yet, having tried it in person, I saw its potential for something else: extended hours of focused work. A few months ago I advocated for the inclusion of horizontal working furniture in the office, due the physical and emotional benefits this modality can bring – sitting, as Julius Panero explained in Human Dimension and Interior Space, is not a static activity, but a highly dynamic one due to the constant discomfort it produces. Lounging with lifted legs on the ottoman, supported by the Doze’s cocoon-like high back, would provide the lumbar and spinal support that is painfully necessary for an extended working session.
This is a space-saving furniture investment that pulls double duty at home, cutting underutilisation in severely limited spaces
That would leave an obvious missing element: laptop lap burn is real, so where does that essential component go within this scheme? For those of us who don’t need to work with secondary screens or large tech accessories, the answer exists in one of the Danish brand’s previous releases: the Relate side table.
Although they belong to separate collections – the table came out last April – the three products palm together with pleasing precision: due to Muuto’s anthropometric and visual standardisation, Anderssen & Voll gave the Doze lounge chair and its ottoman the corresponding usable lower height – 40 cm – that Big-Game gave to the surface of its side table – approximately 60 cm. That means that one can effectively seat on the Doze with full back support, put one’s feet up on the ottoman and slip the Relate in between, above the legs, at the perfect height and distance for comfortable laptop typing. Tried and tested by yours truly, it is the most comfortable and spatially efficient alternative workspace I’ve explored in the past few months. The fact that the high back is basically a background in itself – the chair comes in greens, blues, blacks and greys, but can be upholstered with fabric from 14 Kvadrat textile series – is a nifty plus for Skype calls.
Otherwise put: this is a space-saving furniture investment that pulls double duty at home, cutting underutilisation in severely limited spaces. By night or weekend, the Doze and the Relate could act as functional and even decorative elements integral to a living room; by day, though, they have the capacity to become the hottest of hot desks.