In this day and age, the obsession for immediate results and instant gratification via the digital world can make life rather difficult disorienting. At the same time, in the face of all these increasing demands, there’s a shift in attitude: people are increasingly prizing meaningful, mindful moments throughout their day. For Timothy Oulton, today’s real luxuries are all about blissful reconnection to ourselves and our loved ones. This, the designer reckons happens most often at the sofa, the living room arrangement and de facto “hearth” of the home, where the family gets together to reconvene at the end of the day. Cherishing the authenticity and effort of true man-made craftsmanship versus the sleeker, Nordic trends currently reigning, Oulton has created Noble Souls, his latest range of furniture based on soft, handcrafted materials made with 100% natural vegetable dyes, feathers and natural linens.
In the designer’s own words, “in a home, these sofas become a hearth, a place where you can reconnect with each other more deeply, or even just with yourself. Everything is made by hand, at human scale, using simple, time-honoured techniques. It’s about rediscovering how the things in our lives are actually made: the effort, the passion and the beauty. That’s how ancient makers and natural materials inspire us.”
Launched earlier at Milan Design Week this summer, Noble Souls is quite a far cry from the sturdy chesterfields, large leather furnishings and industrial chic statement pieces that Timothy Oulton has become known for. But like the rustic one-of-a-kind quality of his signature leather sofa pieces, the new Noble Souls sofas are upholstered using a painstakingly hand-weaved linen exclusively loomed and then hand-dyed with indigo or gallnut in a remote Chinese village that’s been specialising in this technique for centuries. The fabric is then colourfasted using a gentle stonewashing treatment that also helps to soften the linen. Yet, with such an individualistic human touch on each sofa, the lines remain clean and simplistic and easily blendable into any home.
What the brand calls the “disarming softness and epic comfort” of the Noble Souls collection is also referred to as the “whuush” effect by Timothy Oulton himself. A recent visit to the Ap Lei Chau showroom confirmed this for us: The moment you sit into a Noble Souls sofa you sink deep into its cloudlike cushions — a result of the ultrafine goose down filling each cushion — and whether you’re enveloped in softness whilst binging your favourite TV show, or experiencing a blissful crystal bowl sound bath session like we did during the Hong Kong press launch, the airyness of the sofa quickly becomes addictive.
The collection features three modular sofas: Realm, Nest and Oasis, which vary in level of back support, great for those who prefer a sturdier seating arrangement, with Realm offering the most reclined option. Customers can also choose from a more structured versus a loose, heavy weave in the choice of linen offered.
To accompany the sofa collection, the Noble Souls range also extends into the bedroom and dining spaces. There are also new pendant lights made with a hand-blown glass technique originating from Syria, handwoven scatter cushions and rugs, beautifully rugged table options created with foraged timber, and a mattress and reclaimed-wood bed frame.
Noble Souls is available at selected Timothy Oulton galleries worldwide, including at 2/F, Horizon Plaza, 2 Lee Wing Street, Ap Lei Chau, Hong Kong, +852 2789 8090