There is an all but certain truth that accompanies upholstered seating. While comfortable, it’s far from durable. In fact, I’d wager that there’s at least one cushion on most couches that gets flipped to hide some mystery stain. After years of working in the furniture sales business, designer Adam Friedman thought there had to be a solution. So he tinkered away in his workshop until he landed on a result: solid-wood furniture that conforms to your body like memory foam.
“Basically everyone hated upholstery,” he says. “There’s a finite time before it gets destroyed and that’s a problem I always thought about. The Block series is the evolution of the upholstered piece—how do you have something durable and long-lasting, but still yields?”
Friedman’s Block system consists of individual wood pieces that are joined by elastic and sit atop a cushion. Building a five-foot version of the Block Benched Armed, one of the latest pieces in the series, required about 450 separate pieces of wood. The surface responds when you sit on it, essentially offering the give of upholstery with the durability of wood. Best yet? If you spill wine on the bench, simply remove the blocks, wipe it down, and no one will be the wiser.
Each bench is custom made, ranges between $4,000-$6,200, and can be ordered from sitskie.com.