CALLING ALL LOAFERS… THE NEW EXCLUSIVE LIVING/DINING COLLECTION FROM THIS LAID-BACK FURNITURE COMPANY IS JUST WAITING TO BE DISCOVERED
As a furniture brand, Loaf is all about creating a relaxed, happy home with its unique, chilled-out approach. And this applies to everything: fabrics are practical and stylish (who knew velvet could be clever?), timber grains are left beautifully textured and enhanced with pops of colour, while accessories, such as rugs and lighting, make a subtle, but effortlessly assured statement.
Co-founder Charlie Marshall, who today has the enviable job title of Head of Loafing, certainly lives, eats and breathes his brand. ‘At Loaf, we love promoting that sense of downtime, those lazy days spent with the family, which as a nation we are certainly doing more of.’
Loaf is all about keeping it real, with Charlie often inspired by his own family life. ‘As a child, I had three sisters, so all six of us would sit at a round table and talk to each other,’ says Charlie. ‘So we have round tables as well as extending ones. We know sofas take quite a beating, so we’ve also worked really hard to develop an on-trend velvet that's wipeable for our upholstery – I have kids too,’ he smiles.
Loaf and John Lewis & Partners launched an exclusive upholstery collection four years ago. You’ll find five designs available in a choice of 21 fabrics. And while the sofas and chairs, with their great names and pops of colour, are very much Loaf, for Charlie, something was missing. ‘At Loaf, we focus on how people feel when they see the product; how they move around it, what they imagine they will do in that space, and we felt that the in-store roomsets needed other products to feel… well, loafy,’ he explains. ‘We wanted to show kitchen-diners extending into living spaces, with the kitchen table almost the new heart of the home along with the sofa. It’s about creating an area that makes you feel as if you are in a loafy environment, one that gives off those happy vibes.’
Enter the new living/dining collection – with its 10 exclusive pieces. ‘It was really refeshing to work with the Live & Dine team at John Lewis & Partners,’ says Charlie. ‘The conversations went along the lines of “it would be really cool if you could come up with a dining table that extends and looks good next to a sofa”… which made the whole process very easy and pain-free.’ Today, you’ll find Loaf roomsets in ten stores, with the complete collection of cabinetry and upholstery online.
“We want the Loaf customer to live a happier, more relaxed life”
In this new living/dining collection, you’ll also find Loaf’s trademark shots of colour, with the painted Chow dining chairs, sideboard and dining tables. ‘The chairs are fairly classic with a twist,’ explains Charlie, ‘and that twist is the colour. We wanted to give the John Lewis & Partners customer the confidence to buy into colour without frightening the horses.’ You'll see the same hero inky blue used on the Chow sideboard and the legs of both the round and extendable dining tables. ‘There’s another link too,’ says Charlie. ‘With the bandsawn solid oak finish of the tabletops found on the Acorn pieces, the timber finish was actually inspired by the floor of the Tate Modern.’
Charlie’s really excited about the new pieces. ‘I want the Loaf roomsets to really look the business,’ he says. When asked for his favourite pieces, he’s torn: ‘That’s like asking me to choose my favourite child,’ he laughs. ‘Each of them are different but the same!’
Perhaps Helen Maxfield, Partner & Assistant Buyer, Living & Dining can find a favourite? ‘Can I have two?’ she asks. ‘The Little Shot marble side table, because it’s just so handy, and the Chow extending dining table because it’s huge and its inky colour is so on-trend.’
And the future for Loaf? ‘We’re about to launch smelly stuff,’ says Charlie, as he describes a new range of candles and diffusers. ‘The fragrances really reflect our nostalgic look at the world.’ And, like everything this British company does, it’s going to be fun…