As furniture shapes swing from crisply linear to whimsically wavy to absolutely organic, those who cling to geometry can straddle both sides of the equation by embracing an alternative form: the sphere. These bowling ball-esque components can offer a sense of solidity and grounding, as well as sense of softness, especially when paired with sharp-edged silhouettes. Spherical elements can also impart an otherworldly aura as associated with a full moon.
Such is the case with the hand-carved, hand-painted golden orbs that Sara Hayat tucked into the open base of her Atlas stool. Still, even their weightless presentation and glow, the golden orgs keep the piece firmly anchored to the earth. Hayat notes that these stools are very, very heavy. Mauro Mori, too, uses the sphere as a grounding device. The smooth wooden sphere with soothing, circular graining physically supports the semi-circular swell and provides a visual counterbalance that creates an all-around pleasing tension. Add spheres to your interior; the ball’s in your court.
Figlio di Audiface, Mauro Mori
Like a Constantin Brancusi masterpiece, Italian sculptor Mauro Mori’s sensual console table is reminiscent of an abstract portrait: an image of a father looking over his child. “Figlio” means son in Italian; Audiface is the name of Mori’s father; and the sphere at the base represents the pupil of an eye. The artist hand-carved this one-of-a-kind functional artwork out of albizia rosea wood, which is an invasive species in Seychelles, where he lives half the year. A natural wax finish protects the material and celebrates the wood’s grain. $43,000
Serious speakers needn’t be boxy. Four-year-old Florentine firm Dedalica specializes in stylish, high-end audio systems that are handcrafted from terra-cotta reminiscent of Brunelleschi’s dome for the Duomo in Florence. The Geminea is a sculptural tower of three stacked orbs perched on a wrought-iron pedestal crafted from five circular planes that seem to float atop one another. Stick with natural terra-cotta or order from a combination of finishes from ceramic glazes to special paints to exclusive hand decorations; custom effects and textures include precious metals such as gold and silver for both ceramic and metal parts. From $26,525 per pair
Moltini, Coco Republic
No, you can’t play catch with this fiberglass sphere nor play checkers on the top. (There are just 36 squares here—a proper board calls for 64.) But with its angular shape, this textural two-toned oak piece could easily work in a geometry lesson. For folks who want to simply enjoy it as a piece of furniture, this Moltini side table by Australian lifestyle brand Coco Republic is a sturdy spot for drinks, a pile of books and the like. $1,125
Gabriel Hendifar, the cofounder and artistic director of lighting-and-furniture studio Apparatus, cites Joe Colombo’s playful 1960s pieces as the inspiration for the Reprise collection, which was also inspired by boom microphones and luggage craft. While its rounded shapes take their cues from the Milanese industrial designer’s iconic oeuvre, Hendifar’s interpretation is earthier, refined and luxurious. This table lamp features mold-blown-glass orbs cradled in a robust brass base that is hand-wrapped in rich leather or suede. Those three itty-bitty feet, however, elicit a smile. From $6,400
Atlas, Sara Hayat Design
The gold-lacquered spheres nestled into the inverted U-shaped base of Sara Hayat’s Atlas tripod stool appear to be suspended in space. The inspiration for these hand-carved, solid wood elements came from Hayat’s youngest son’s German tricycle. So fascinated was the Colorado-based designer with its ball bearings that she created a seat featuring orbs as a visual anchor. The stool’s saddle-shaped, hand-stitched leather seat—which evokes the equestrian leg rest produced by the Hayat family’s furniture factory in Pakistan—is luxurious without distracting from the base. $3,545