Joyce Chen, Architectural Digest
Back a while ago, famously private musician Frank Ocean shared a rare glimpse into his world when he posted a photo of himself lying down on a mesmerizing teal sofa that looks like part art object and part plush, tent like furniture. Over the weekend, GQ reposted the shot with the quote “Weekend lounging,” causing design, fashion, and music fans alike to ogle the unusual structure. Originally created by innovative French designer Pierre Paulin back in 1970, the couch is actually made up of four modules that were joined together to create Ocean’s impressive living room masterpiece.
Each of the modules in Paulin's Dune collection range from $5,400 to $8,200 in price, and the online catalogue of furniture store Ralph Pucci depicts the variety of ways the pieces can be arranged. Some iterations are ideal for entertaining, like one with a table surface nestled between two raised mounds. Others seem great for family gatherings, like one where the couch has a wide raised back and extended leg room. Another, with a setup that seemingly encourages back-to-back seating, looks perfect for solo lounging with a good book.
Paulin’s aesthetic is a highly recognizable, unique blend of Japanese and Scandinavian simplicity with American mid-century functionality. He was originally trained as a ceramist and stone carver, and his eye for geometrical lines carried over into his clean furniture designs (which include such iconic silhouettes as the Tongue chair, sloped as if mid-lick, and the Orange Slice, which provides a comfortable seating wedge between two curved “peels”). Though Paulin himself died in 2009 at the age of 81, his legacy lives on. Museums like the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris all carry his work as part of their collections, and the late designer’s son, Benjamin Paulin, continues to help produce classic and previously unreleased pieces.
The French designer’s works have remained a mainstay in popular culture as well, used in recent years by Louis Vuitton, Tom Ford, and Kanye West in their respective fashion shows. (Vuitton’s 2015 Cruise show used 30 of Paulin’s slinky Osaka sofas as seating for his audience, and West incorporated Paulin couches in his showroom for Yeezy season three.) Frank Ocean’s own Pierre Paulin sofa is undeniably in good company as well, given the musician’s love for thoughtful artistry. In March, he showed off a Michel Majerus piece that hangs above a bed in his home. Last June, he shared a photo of his sleek kitchen counter light fixture. He has also previously shown off other eclectic bits of home decor on his Instagram as well, including an unusual collage of ’90s TV anchorwomen and a cartoonish Flintstones-inspired chair.