If there is one thing the tumultuous past couple of years has taught us, it’s the importance of having a living space worth living in. A thoughtfully done decor—whether to inspire creativity, to better human connection, or to simply stop time while the world around us is moving at full tilt—goes a long way to enhance one’s quality of life. Xtra Furniture knows this all too well.
A trusted name since its inception in 1995, Xtra has grown by leaps and bounds. This growth is marked by its expanding footprint—from a humble 1,000-sqft showroom to the 20,000-sqft design gallery at The Gardens Mall. Its extensive portfolio of contemporary European brands offers homeowners an eclectic selection of designer furniture, kitchens, wardrobes, and more.
One of its star collaborators is none other than Varier. Known for its top-shelf ergonomic seats, the Norwegian company has built a strong presence in the local market with its forward-thinking designs, including Peter Opsvik’s Gravity chair. The iconic creation has recently been updated and presented in a modern context by the Paris-based creative practice Ill-Studio.
Dubbed the Mind Gravity, the chair is a product of experimentation on materials, colours, and textures. Ill- Studio’s re-imagination of the fixture is ambitious. Extreme flexibility is demonstrated when it is in the full zero gravity position, making it a functional sculpture that serves a purpose beyond satisfying basic physical requirements as it impacts its users in various ways.
“It’s emotional engineering meets ergonomic fantasy. This is how we envision our collaboration. We aim to keep the substance of the Gravity chair untouched while bringing additional narrative and visual layers to its ethos: From colour scheme and materials to contemporary visual language and multimodal art installation,” said Ill-Studio’s founder Thomas Subreville in a statement.
Renewing the old is not a novel concept at Varier. One of Norway’s first postmodern designs, the Ekstrem, has also been reworked after being kept almost untouched since its launch in 1984. The chair now appeals to the younger generation as it comes in Gentle 2—a luxurious knitted velvet upholstery available in six new colour options from Kvadrat Febrik.
The material is one of its kind and consists of 28 individual pieces of fabric sewn together and manually fitted to the Terje Ekstrøm-designed chair. The stretch velvet boasts a voluminous expression, featuring a rich surface with a stylish shine. The fabric clings to curves in a particularly elegant way with its brilliant stretchability—an ideal feature for furnishing organic shapes.
Varier, however, is not the only heritage house in Xtra’s Rolodex. Italian furniture manufacturer Poltrona Frau is also in the exclusive club. The storied brand just turned 110 and celebrated its anniversary with the True Evolution collection, paying homage to its cultural legacy, design prowess, and noted savoir-faire, with sustainability at the centre of development.
Among the highlights in the assortment are GamFratesi’s Nice small table armchair and the Homey table—both of which are recognisable for their organic and sculptural shapes. Other novelties include the compact Happy Jack sofa by Ludovica+Roberto Palomba and the Water lllusion vases and bowls by first-time collaborator, Bulgarian designer and glass expert Assia Karaguizova.
Leading kitchen cabinetry producer, Leicht, is another prominent name at Xtra. The German brand is big among those who appreciate architecturally elegant designs as shown in Collection 2023. The Contino 12 is a testament to this. With a reduced material thickness of 12mm, the handle-less kitchen front offers a compelling visual and feel.
Available with a lacquer finish or in aluminium, the front comes in a variety of colours: the 15 matt lacquer Les Couleurs Le Corbusier colours; the RAL and NCS colours in matt lacquer; and the Leicht aluminium surface ALURO with chamfered edges in silver, oxide titanium, and oxide bronze. It is a marvel of home fixtures and a showcase of Leicht’s know-how, which resonates with Xtra Furniture’s own brand philosophy and direction.