Sarah Ellison Announces Her FLOAT Collection, Which Includes A Collaboration With Pantone

Brown is the new black.

by Natalia Lusinski
Originally Published: 
Sarah Ellison/Pantone
FLOAT Collection Sarah Ellison

If you’re looking to upgrade your home or office to next-level elegance, Australian furniture designer Sarah Ellison just announced the debut of her FLOAT collection. It includes a collaboration with the Pantone Color Institute™ and features a luxurious new chocolate brown velvet corner sectional and sofa. With angled arms, enveloped seating, and deep-channel quilting, the chic pieces will definitely give your space some retro ‘70s vibes.

“As a product designer, I have not only relied upon Pantone for color inspiration, but also to define and control the use of colors within specific finishes and materials in my collections,” Ellison said in a press release announcing the new collection. “The dialogue with Pantone began from my desire to create an organic color that would represent the theme of connection and complement my FLOAT sofa design. After several years of global disorder and disruption, I was inspired to design this piece as a means of encouraging conversation, and the colors we selected were going to be a key component to help communicate this idea.”

Ellison’s company is the first Australian design brand to work with Pantone, and Ellison’s also the first designer within the home category globally to collaborate with the Pantone Color Institute in this way.

As for the color, earth-toned furniture and accent pieces have long been a traditional go-to in home decor, especially for those seeking an alternative to leather. In FLOAT’s case, the rich velvety chocolate hue was named in conjunction with Pantone’s “Piccolo,” in reference to the Italian espresso drinks in the same shade. According to a statement that was released announcing the collection, the Sarah Ellison and Pantone teams fell in love with the richness and lush combination of the color and texture.

“This particular shade of brown came through much discussion and collaboration with the team at the Pantone to find a tone that signified in color, the essence of human connection,” Ellison said. “Together, we felt the need to embrace a color that encouraged rejuvenation after a period of particular darkness and upheaval, and this shade of brown had a powerful unifying and grounding effect.”

Ellison also drew inspiration from conversation pits, a popular interior design trend during the ‘70s. “We are seeing more people embracing the style of furniture that enables an ease of storytelling,” she said. “The trend is being driven by proximity with a sectional sofa facilitating conversation. The embrace of a bulbous, low-slung, textural centerpiece, such as the FLOAT sofa, offers a level of comfort and simplifies the human connection that has been lacking in recent years. … FLOAT embraces its role to provide both comfort and a place for connection.”

Laurie Pressman, vice-president of the Pantone Color Institute, also weighed in on the collaboration. “The home is a sanctuary and a receptacle for the highs and lows of life,” she stated in the press release. “This collaboration heralds a new moment in design for the home space. Sarah had a very clear vision and message to convey and we were excited to help bring this vision to life.” Pressman added that the planet remains the biggest inspiration for interiors, as they seek to capture the connection to the outside world through shape, texture, and color.

“Color becomes a tool to support emotional wellbeing,” she continued. “The color brown helps to fulfill some of today’s greatest needs; the warming depth of brown can help us to feel connected through the network of nature. [It’s] the color that represents earth, brown nourishes the soul in many ways and is the catalyst for life, promoting infinite renewal through the soil.”

Luckily, earlier this year, the Sarah Ellison Studio partnered with Design Within Reach, which made themselves the exclusive North American retail partner of the designer. So you don’t have to go to Australia to hunt down Ellison’s pieces. Through Design Within Reach, select pieces of furniture are available to customers in the U.S.

And, since her company launched in 2017, Ellison’s been known for creating luxurious, yet minimalistic, pieces at accessible price points. Fans of the brand include Martha Hunt, Helena Christensen, Aurora James, and Jenna Lyons (among others).

The FLOAT Collection will officially launch in February 2023 and is available for pre-order at Design Within Reach.

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