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10 tips before you buy Marshmallow Sofa

The Marshmallow Sofa, an entertaining contribution to modern design from designers George Nelson and Irving Harper in 1956, is one of the most fanciful additions you can make to your business office, lobby design, lounge, or home interior design project.  Auctioneers have sold these modern designer masterpieces for well over $100,000 (US).  However, modern furniture enthusiasts cannot let go of Nelson’s vibrant interpretation of the modern sofa. Quality replicas of the Marshmallow Sofa satisfy today’s modern furniture enthusiasts that relish George Nelson’s playful ingenuity.  If you are ready to buy a quality Marshmallow Sofa to liven up your modern office or your modern home’s interior design, here are ten tips on buying a Marshmallow Sofa to help you evaluate your purchase:

1)       The circular cushions on Nelson’s Marshmallow Sofa are its icon.  The 18 cushions on Nelson’s Marshmallow Sofa should be symmetrically arranged on an axis and all of the same size.   There should be four cushions on the top of the back of the sofa, and five circular cushions on the second row of the back.  The lounging area of the sofa consists of five circular cushions on the back row of the sofa, and four circular cushions in the front row. 

2)       The “marshmallow” cushions are attached by individual braces and should be able to be removed individually.  This allows for easy cleaning, equalizing wear, and interchangeability with color and design.   A connector is also available to connect separate Marshmallow Sofas together to elongate the seating capacity.

3)       Some of the original Marshmallow Sofa cushions were wool upholstery, Naugahyde, fabric and vinyl. Vinyl, however, has been the material of choice. The Marshmallow Sofa was originally designed for commercial use, and Nelsen left room in his design for individual adaptations.  If your Marshmallow sofa is contributing to a retro-modern design there is no doubt that a quality vinyl covering should be selected. If the sofa is an addition to a formal modern interior, substituting high quality leather will bring out the sophisticated elements of the sofa’s modern structure.  The interchangeability of the cushions allow for a great deal of individualism in upholstery preferences without deterring from the spirit of the design.

4)       White, dark green, pink, black, blue, purple and multi-colored marshmallow cushions have all been used in designer originals.  Multi-colored cushions are a popular choice for artists and designers that cherish the sofa’s pop-art qualities.

5)       The cushions in the Marshmallow Sofa are typically urethane, which also goes under the names of poly foam and polyurethane.  Urethane is durable and resilient, and resists mildew and fungus well because of its non-allergenic qualities.  Urethane that weighs more is a higher quality because it contains more pure urethane.  Lighter marshmallow cushions will wear out faster.  Fiberfills, which is shredded urethane, is sometimes used in the back cushions because it is softer.  A quality Marshmallow Sofa will have firm cushions.

6)       The floating geometric design of the Marshmallow Sofa cushions is one of the sofa’s whimsical trademarks.  This look is created not only from its axis and symmetry, but also because of the visual affect from the empty spaces between the cushions.  Make sure that this spacial element exists in your Marshmallow Sofa. 

7)       The marshmallow cushions should have a circumference between 10” and 12.”

8)       The steel base of the Marshmallow Sofa is true to the tubular styles of modern furniture.  The base is typically black enameled brushed steel. The polished look of satin black enamel and black lacquer also adheres to design standards of modern furniture because of their slick polished appearance.

9)       The steel frames for the marshmallow cushions should be a polished stainless steel.

10)   The circle plates should also be stainless steel. 

The Marshmallow Sofa is making a strong comeback in both modern and retro-modern interior designs.  Nelson’s Marshmallow Sofa has the uncanny ability to be playful and professional, which George Nelson no doubt had in mind since he wanted to appeal to purchasers of both residential and commercial modern furniture.  Follow these basic tips to determine the quality of your Marshmallow Sofa, and you’ll be able to sit back and enjoy the success of your Marshmallow Sofa purchase, and relish its joyful addition to your modern furniture collection.





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This article was published on Monday 04 August, 2008.
4.00 out of 5 based on 3 votes
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