Flou is one of those iconic Italian brands that marked the history of 20th century interior design. Famous for their beds, they’ve recently expanded their offer into various types of furniture. Last year I had a chance to tour their stand and view both bestselling and new products from their latest collection. Now I would like to share my impressions and photos that may inspire those of you who are into minimalism and refined, contemporary interiors.
But first, let’s talk about history to give you some background. The company was founded in 1978 by the late Rosario Messina with the purpose of reinventing the existing bedroom design so that it could respond to the needs of rapidly changing lifestyles. To guarantee that the final product was both aesthetic and innovative, Messina collaborated with the leading creators of his time. Nathalie, the first bed produced by Flou, was designed by legendary Italian architect Vico Magistretti and its form points to his signature rational elegance. It was a truly modern textile bed, the first one having removable, washable covers.
Following Nathalie’s success the brand went on to produce a complete bedroom range with its own line of mattresses, bed linen, pillows as well as furniture, night stands, chest-of-drawers, lamps, tables, desks and custom-built wardrobes that are colour-coordinated with upholsteries and covers. Messina himself became a prominent figure of the Italian design world as he was also a president of the company organising Salone del Mobile. Today, Flou sells its products in showrooms around the world, including Milan, New York, London and New Delhi.
‘The role of the most sophisticated designers today is as much to be storytellers, (…) as it is to resolve formal and functional problems,’ writes Deyan Sudjic in ‘The Language of Things’, the book that I’m reading right now. This statement refers to the way in which products are meant to communicate certain aura that becomes part of the overall brand concept. Flou has built its visual identity around the concept of comfort and simplicity, from their beds to the entire home environment. It was fascinating to see how furniture and various elements of interior styling worked together to achieve that effect. Let’s have a look at the key elements of their collection.
Greenery: I’ve already written about greenery in the context of bathroom decor and outdoor furniture. Here, Flou has incorporated large leaf plants into their lounge and bedroom styling for even more relaxing and sensual feel.
Neutral colour palette: subtle shades of grey, beige and lilac create the environment that is warm, balanced and harmonious, in tune with modern aesthetic and suitable for rooms destined for rest and sleep.
Geometry: geometric patterns of wallpaper used on the stand introduce order and structure with a nod to Gio Ponti and the 1960s.
Nathalie: to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the iconic bed, Flou created a limited edition of the original piece with matching headboard, duvet and cushion covers in Antique Gold fabrics.
Mandarine: a bed inspired by the Orient, with horizontal stitching along its headboard and soft, round edges to evoke the feeling of intimacy.
Materials: those include fossil oak wood, burnished brass, white and grey Arabesco marble from Northern Italy as well as full grain leather and a wide choice of artisanal fabrics.
Softbench: a multifunctional, modular sofa designed by Massimo Castagna that offers multiple seating solutions and puts emphasis on comfort and flexibility.
B-shell: a lamp in burnished brass that is also a decorative element to match the understated aesthetic of Flou.
Forty years since its creation, Flou is still relevant and continues to be a leading source of luxury bedroom trends. Hopefully, my article has given you insight into their sophisticated style. Do you have a design brand that you admire?