New to South-east Asia, the Gurian family boasts of a heritage in Italian furniture-making, with over six decades of experience. Enzo Gurian, president of Gurian, Lof’s Interior and Divanidea, offers a rare glimpse of what it’s like to be helming the family brands, and what his furniture preferences are.
As an expert in sofas, what are some tips homeowners should know when choosing the right sofa for their home?
Consider comfort over aesthetics. Whenever we are designing a new model, we spend two to three weeks just trying out the piece. Think about durability too. The form and structure of a sofa has to be good, so learn more about the density of the material that goes into the seats and backrests, before making your purchase.
How have design trends for sofas changed over the years?
In the past, sofas and cushions were designed with high backrests and deep seats. It was easier achieving a high level of comfort, but the designs meant bulky sofas that were impractical. Over time and with evolving trends, low-height sofas began achieving the same level of comfort, while still looking sleek and stylish. Colour trends are another aspect of furniture design that has seen multiple variations over the years. Can you imagine that, 25 years ago, green sofas were trendy? I did not understand its appeal, but people loved it then.Guess what, though? We hardly even find an ottoman in green now. After green, it was dark brown, black, before white became trendy. In my opinion, a sofa should be timeless, so it is unnecessary to follow these trends.
Then, when it came to materials, there was a question of comparison between leather and fabric. Ten years ago, when we distributed sofas to countries outside of Italy, like in other parts of Europe, Russia and the United States, customers were choosing primarily leather sofas. It was only in the Italian market where there was appeal for fabric ones — almost 80 per cent of the pieces sold were made of fabric. Now, across the world, the demand for leather and fabric is almost the same.
Do you prefer fabric or leather sofas?
I have 10 fabric sofas in my 15th century, 26,900sqf Venetian house, and I like them because of the texture and cosiness they bring. That said, I love leather sofas too.
What colours do you prefer?
The sofas in my house are mostly in light colours like beige, off-white and cream, but I must say I do like bold designs — maybe not so much for the home, but in settings such as in the office or at a hotel. Divanidea carries loud and vibrant designs, with various parts of a sofa customisable, using different fabrics in a variety of colours and patterns.
Shop for Divanidea sofas at Prestige Furniture, #08-0 2, Tan Boon Liat Building.
The Soho sofa has a recliner function that offers extendable headrest and footrest, as well as chrome metal legs to meet both function and aesthetics.
Enzo personally prefers light coloured sofas, such as the Prado in beige.
Designed with seat cushions made of nondeforming polyurethane foam covers and feather-filled back cushions, the City sofa is a comfortable seat perfect for the family.
text DOMENICA TAN photos ENZO GURIAN AND DIVANIDEA