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What's In It For You

Nelson Marshmallow Sofa

Product Story

This is a sofa to brighten a room, to be happy and relax on. You look at its 18 10-inch "marshmallow" cushions and you can't help but smile. It's been that way since it began turning heads in 1956, when the Nelson Marshmallow sofa was described in our catalog this way: "Despite its astonishing appearance, this piece is very comfortable."

Drama and Utility

The Marshmallow sofa can make a playful or dramatic statement in a lobby, lounge, or living room. Its whimsical design includes 18 round, comfortable cushions that seem to float on the brushed tubular steel frame.

Choose from among a wide variety of fabrics and leathers to create the look you want. Dramatic black leather. Playful orange or bright red fabric. The cushions detach for easy cleaning or, as the original catalog says, "interchanged to equalize wear." You can also change the cushions to create a new look.

The brushed tubular steel frame with satin black legs provides a strong, durable base, making the sofa appropriate for high-traffic areas.

Design Story

George Nelson and Irving Harper, a young designer working in Nelson's design firm, were approached by an inventor who had created an injection plastic disc that he insisted could be produced inexpensively and would be durable. The designers took a look and arranged 18 of them on a steel frame—the origin of the Marshmallow sofa.

The inventor's cushions turned out to be impractical, but Nelson and Harper were intrigued by the design they had created so casually, and Herman Miller decided to manufacture the sofa.

By joining separate elements and making them appear to float on air, Nelson and Harper achieved this sofa's unique appearance and eye-catching appeal, which led the way into the pop art style of the 1960s.

And by the way, that young designer—Irving Harper—also designed the famous Herman Miller company logo.

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