Where Does The Sofa Go?

“And then there is the old question: What makes a good design? As designers come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and colours, it is obvious that there cannot be just one answer. Some say that the designer who meets the client’s expectations can be called a good designer. Well, he surely is a successful one.”

We believe the best designers are those who follow their instincts and feelings. Those who ‘know’ when a curve feels right. Those who don’t need a measuring tape when finding the right balance. Those who acknowledge the fact that magic is a vital ingredient.

At coquine![design] we usually don’t get too involved in interior design. It’s not that we don’t like doing it, quite the opposite. But generally we’ll leave it to our colleagues who have the bigger selection of material samples! Sometimes, however, we do get to work on fancy staircases, master staterooms and, as the picture suggests, beach clubs. Most of the times it’s really fun because we get to work together with equally creative minds and we love bouncing cool ideas back and forth. Just sometimes we hear phrases like ‘this has to be symmetrical‘ or ‘this curve wants to be an offset of the other curve‘… as a matter of fact, we don’t think so. This curve wants to live its own happy life. It wants to be as close to the other curve or as far away as it needs space to breathe. Some curves even dance around each other!

“It is difficult to argue against those rules, though. Those designers who follow them religiously will simply point out that, as long as those roles are applied, the result must be right (and consequently, everything else is automatically wrong.) Then I look at the result and it doesn’t feel right to me. But that’s just a fuzzy feeling in my belly, no?
It’s maybe just a personal thing, but I do have a problem with this kind of mathematical perfection: The even offset. The grid. The symmetry. Don’t get me wrong, these are useful tools when applied in the right place and at the right time. But applying them slavishly, particularly when it comes to designing spaces for people to live in, it is just wrong. Perfection is the end of the road, it is permanent and therefore dead. It’s most suitable for temples or tombs”

In our opinion good design is design that lives with the people that are living with it.

Good design is confident. Good design is not the holy grail, it is not the one answer to all questions, but it doesn’t have to be. Good design is part of a never ending process, it is renewing and re-inventing itself again and again. Good design is ‘just a little bit off the centre’, it’s not placing 5 spotlights in a straight row at exactly the same distance. When you do the layout of a room you should place the sofa in a good way, knowing that there are many other good ways, too. Tomorrow you can place it in a different way, that is good, too, and it doesn’t mean it was wrong before.

The bottom line is: Break the grid. Be playful. Try something new. Don’t get bullied into believing that certain things have to be in a certain way… the bullies usually just cover their insecurities by telling you so.

The best analogy I can find is music. Be it a simple song or a wonderful symphony, music has rhythm, has a flow, a dynamic. Music follows harmonies, not formulas. Music uses variations. If you press music into a grid, you’ll end up with ‘oomph-tah-tah’.”

We’re not the kind of people who march to that kind of music.