The Aviator Silk & Velvet Couch from Nigel Coates

There’s just something visually compelling about the shape of a kidney bean.  It’s made its way into pool design all around the world, into a collection of jewelry made by Elsa Peretti and sold at Tiffany & Co., and one of the most iconic — if not the most iconic — structures in the entire city of Chicago.  So it’s no surprise that it’s also infiltrated the world of furniture design — specifically, the Aviator velvet couch by Nigel Coates.  Made in Italy with a timber frame, silk upholstery, and of course velvet, the sofa curves into a soft C with an opening between two separate backrests, one a bit longer than the other.  Presented in two tones of grey, the bilaterally-split piece is quite a conversation piece.  Ultramodern yet somehow organic and unaggressive, when paired with other, more traditional furnishings also cast in neutral hues, the Aviator is a beautiful contemporary piece of art, both masculine and feminine at the same time.  Makes sense, really, since the seat lends itself to accommodating a couple in a warm, unconventional way — perfect for intimate conversations and long stretches of quiet, convivial comfort.