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A Focus on Flou

A Focus on Flou

On the second floor of our store you will find a variety of beds designed by the Italian manufacturer, Flou. In light of a recent display refresh, we were inspired to explore the company’s history in more detail and give insight into why we believe their beds to be some of the best available.

Rosario Messina was born in 1942 in Sicily and worked from an early age across different sectors of Italian industry. In the 1970s Messina took on a role at Bassetti, which at the time was the leader in home textiles production. This experience led him to begin developing a new concept for the application of upholstery centred around the usage of textiles to upholster beds. In 1978, Messina founded the company Flou in order to bring his revolutionary ideas into fruition. In their first year, Flou launched ‘Nathalie’, designed by Vico Magistretti, a bed that is now renowned as the first modern padded textile bed with completely removable covers.

Rosario Messina and Vico Magistretti
Vico Magistretti with Rosario Messina

Flou quickly became recognised as a true pioneer in the realm of bed design and developed into a leader in the world of furnishings, making an important contribution to enhancing the image of Italian design across the world. With the success of the Nathalie bed, Flou’s presence in the industry grew enormously and as time passed numerous well-known designers such as Enzo Mari, Mario Bellini, Rodolfo Dordoni and Carlo Colombo would be commissioned to design their beds. The increased visibility led to investment in new production methods and explorative research into the use of innovative materials.

Flou advert from the archives

Nathalie design sketch from Flou's archives

Throughout Flou's history there has been a continuous flow of successful acknowledgments and accolades, notably two prestigious ’Compasso d'Oro’ awards bestowed upon the company. The first in 2004 for longstanding success and innovation and again in 2020 for the Nathalie bed’s influence. Now after forty-six years in business – and counting – the company is still family-run with Rosario’s three children, Cristiana, Massimiliano and Manuela, at the helm. At the time of writing, we have six Flou beds on display on our second floor: Nathalie, Gaudi, Merkurio, Duetto, Notturno and Icon.

Nathalie bed advert from Flou's arhives

The Nathalie Bed Safari 717 Fabric

The Nathalie bed is characterised by its fully upholstered padded headboard with fold-over pillow covers and distinctive ‘bow’ ties. All upholstery, including the matching base cover, can be completely removed and washed thanks to practical Velcro fasteners. On display is the Nathalie with storage base and adjustable headboard in Safari natural 717 finish, which is a grey toned linen-mix slub fabric with a naturally uneven appearance.

Gaudi Bed Naturali 288 fabric

Designed by Matteo Nunziati, the Gaudi bed is defined by its gently curved wood frame, which creates an elegant support for the fabric covers that overlay it. Available in multiple wood finishes, on display is the deep coffee stained oak, paired with Naturali 288 fabric in a beige tone. This upholstery is a linen-viscose fabric with twisted weft and warp yarn. The linen yarn has been waxed, to increase its strength.

Merkurio Bed Everest 491 off white fabric

The Merkurio bed, designed by Rodolfo Dordoni, features a generously padded and fully upholstered base and headboard giving the design a softly curved silhouette.  The under-mattress storage is easily accessed using the strap tucked neatly at the foot of the bed. Hydraulic pistons mean the bed opens with ease and without weighing upon the user – a feature of all their storage beds. The Merkurio we have on display is in Everest 791, an off-white bouclé fabric.

Duetto Bed Mason 783 Fabric

Originally developed in 1992 by Flou’s in-house design team, the Duetto's transformable elements allows it to be quickly modified to serve a number of functions. It consists of a single bed connected by a trundle bed equipped with gas pistons that allow it to be readily raised to the same height as the first bed. Two special rubber-coated blocks then connect the two to form a double bed. On display is the Duetto with no backrest in Mason 783 light grey upholstery, a Jacquard fabric with understated appeal. The wool warp produces a melange appearance typical of this natural fibre that is lightweight and soft to touch.

Notturno Bed Naturali 609 dusty pink fabric

The Notturno double bed was designed by Vittorio Prato in 1982. Developed with both style and practicality in mind, the Notturno features a deep storage base, providing extra storage for your bedroom. As with other Flou beds, the headboard and base feature removable upholstered and padded covers. The bed stands on two cylindrical feet and two black castors to aid movement when required. We have the Notturno on display in Naturali 609, a dusty pink linen-viscose fabric – a new arrival just last week.

Icon Bed City 418 black and white fabric

The Icon bed has a visible metal frame which sits in contrast to the padded base and headboard and helps to give the design an overall lightness, especially when compared to Flou’s storage beds. Our display version is presented in City 418 fabric, which features a blend of fibres that create an optical blur effect and tactile sensation. The frame is in glossy black nickel.

What we’ve presented here is just the tip of the iceberg; Flou’s range comprises of a vast number of different designs, which all have numerous configurations, features and finishes. All are made to fit a full array of mattress sizes. There are options for all types of sleep needs and spaces.

To find out more, browse our website or contact the store to speak with one of our experienced sales consultants who will be able to help tailor the perfect bed for you.

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