The Chicest Floor Seating & How to Master the Look
As adulthood casts its way across our psyche, there are several childhood pastimes that any grown-up can relate to. Being able to sit comfortably and relaxed on the floor generally comes to the top of the list. The appeal of floor seating is all the more enticing when the market offers plenty of swoon-worthy options that not only add a perfect accent to your existing décor but also allow for your inner child to have a field day, all the while imparting measurable health benefits.
Reliving a childhood memory isn’t the only reason to embrace the au courant trend of floor seating. Cultures, especially Asian ones including India, China, and Japan, believe that eating while seated on the floor has many benefits. In this spirit, the Japanese became famous for their tatami rooms, made with straw floor mats and minimal furniture according to the Washitu interior design method. A restaurant or dining area designed with a conventional Zashiki seating arrangement composed of a low table set on tatami flooring also appeals to the young at heart.
A combination of laid-back fun and good for you is hard to beat when it comes to seating options. One of the reasons that floor seating is gaining in popularity has to do with health. Not surprisingly, the reliance on sitting on the floor relates directly to the practice of yoga. Sitting cross-legged is one of the asana’s [or yoga postures] which encourage a relaxed state and a calm mind. It is also believed that the position discourages overeating and aids in digestion. Regular yoga practice has increased by over 150 percent in the US alone since 2016, also making the practice of floor seating more synergistic for people to incorporate in other areas of their lives.
But the practice of grounding is also a reason to consider integrating a floor seating schematic into your home space, especially in any outdoor seating areas. A rather old concept that is gaining some new-age traction is the act of grounding; which, by definition, is the act of connecting to the Earth both physically and spiritually. Modern life – especially by virtue of our thick rubber-sole shoes, concrete roads and sidewalks – disconnect us from the beneficial energy of the Earth’s magnetic fields. Outdoor seating that touches the Earth, whether it be grass, dirt, or sand, can get you even closer to tapping Mother Earth’s healing energy.
Susan Oubari is a spiritual coach and founder of Breathe in Paris, which holds classes and workshops that combine reiki, breathwork, and mindfulness. She maintains that the benefits of reconnecting to the Earth and nature occurs by restoring the electrical state of the human body. “Each time you put two conductive objects in contact – for instance, your feet and the Earth, electrons or negative charges move from the densely populated areas to the least attracted by positive charges, also known as free radicals,” Oubari explains. The constructs of our modern life have left our bodies with a surplus of damaging free radicals as most of humanity doesn’t naturally come in contact with the Earth’s electrons. Benefits of this practice, according to Oubari, range from a better quality of sleep, eliminating pain, stress reduction, increased energy levels, and more. Spiritually grounding brings balance, strength, calm, focus, and clarity. As she puts it, ”going outside creates mindfulness and space for answers.”
Depending on your design palette, there are floor seating choices to suit every taste. While the concept of a pouf may automatically conjure images of a hippy den, today’s hyper-chic versions are anything but.
Velvet is one way to infuse a slinky romantic texture , yet sophisticated feel, into your space. Some styles incorporate a back cushion making this indulgent floor seating the bean bag chairs’ fancy cousin.
Leather is another way to up the ante on elevated floor seating design. Whether patched, woven, or rendered in a smooth all-over finish, constructed in a firm square shape, this leather pouch doubles as both a footrest and small side table.
Tufted fabrics such as corduroy and wool make for great stacking options that turn one floor seating space into many. These square cushions are also popular in making DIY wooden crate couches that pass for high design. One brand, Reema floor cushions, offers different shapes and styles, such as backrests, to customize your floor seating cushion arrangement.
In keeping with the Japanese traditional floor seating design, straw Mahao-style knitted cushions exceed the typical comfort quotient and yield dual utility with both indoor and outdoor use . The natural appearance of these cushions adds elevated texture while the sturdy seat provides support for the lower back and tailbone.
If a hint of Boho style is in order, a Moroccan wedding pouf, made from traditional Moroccan wedding blankets in a neutral cream color, delivers an easy-breezy mood in a chicly-Haute package.
Massive floor pillows made from durable fabrics work both inside and out, even poolside. Lounge chairs a la Eames that sit on the pool deck keep you close to the water’s edge but dry from splashes. The graphic patterns also serve a dose of modernist style to any setting. And, we love the side handles that make positioning these pillows, inside and out, an easy lift.
Floor seating doesn’t always mean soft and unstructured. Japanese Zaisu tatami chairs, constructed of smooth wood and luxe wool cushions, resemble regular chairs without the legs and can support an upright position as well as a reclined posture. All the while, they keep you grounded on the floor, with a meditative state just at your fingertips.