The Detroit gets sweet and low

The balance of power

Recent stylistic advancements in key pieces have provided a clear evolution to the design foundation of Kovacs according to designer Hildy Kovacs. Now the Detroit provides further momentum to this change.

“The Loft, the Mantis and the Grace were a real departure in many ways,” she says. “We wanted to prove that our company can produce New Zealand-made furniture that is practical and durable while also delivering up-to-the-minute architectural pieces that are technically complex, that require a high level of skill in design and engineering.”

Creating the Detroit’s sophisticated bearing without compromising functionality was a balancing act.

“We all love the magazines from Europe that show these beautiful sleek, low pieces elegantly placed in an imposing 15th century room,” says Hildy. “What many don’t realise is that these seats are often only 39 to 40 centimeters high. This doesn’t work well in New Zealand, where we expect a height above 44 centimeters.”

Working a sleek, low look with these requirements “can throw proportion out the door” she says. “I knew keeping the design with a low back may have limited the usability (and popularity) of the Detroit, but I didn’t want to make unnecessary compromises.”

“Opting for the two staged back achieved this balance, and the forthright lines and movable structure provide a coordinated functionality too,” Hildy says, adding, “It’s somewhat of a chameleon too – change the fabric, the leg color and unit combination and it will look totally different and fit into both a traditional and contemporary environment.”

While the base frame echoes another recent release from Kovacs other key refinements set the Detroit apart, including an elongated base, filled-in back and Scandinavian styled timber leg.

“It’s on the same page as the Loft,” says Hildy “but it has a totally different handwriting, and it appeals to a different type of person.”

This appeal, in technical complexity and subtle elegance, has already proven a winner for Kovacs, with a great response on debut at Conversations On The Couch and ongoing interest since.