If you have read my previous post, I thank you for the patience for the long words and I thank the tons of beautiful pictures that B&B Italia had given us. This post shall be a little shorter. Although it will have almost as many pictures from B&B Italia’s website, it will be a slight shorter post. This is because, the sofa that I am talking about today is my second favourite in B&B Italia’s solid range of sofas. It is the Ray Collection that I will be discussing here today.
B&B Italia Ray Modular Sofa System.
Like the Charles Sofa, Ray is a modular sofa system with many possible configurations that can be made for any shape of sizes of your home. Other than that, the system is pretty consistent with the usual chaise lounge of different lengths, the 3-seater sofa, terminal elements and the ottoman for that extra bit of length or seating capacity. Like the Charles, they came from the same father, Antonio Citterio who penned them both. Like the Charles, Ray had subtle differences from its siblings of sofas designed by their father. Like the Charles, Ray had also undergone a refresh, but at a much shorter time of 2 years in-between the first and second “facelift”. The first Ray Sofa was designed in 2010, a very recent creation. Quick surprisingly, it was given an update this year in 2012.
Ok, enough of all the “Like the Charles” and all their similarities, lets talk about the difference which you will be more interested in. The most obvious is in its modules available in the system. The Ray sofa has an option of getting an armchair just for yourself to relax in which Charles doesn’t. It comes with more modular options to allow configurations for every corner and peninsula modelling you may want to create. The original Ray Sofa comes in 2 different depths for the different comfort levels you may prefer, unlike the Charles, where the large variant only comes in the updated version 6 years after it first generation launch.
Let’s go into the design elements that made what the Ray Sofa is. It has a “in your face” difference from the rest of its siblings in the B&B Italia Sofa range created by Antonio Citterio that you are bound to notice should you stand close enough. This unique design cue is its blanket stitch tailoring, which is in the same or contrasting colour, depending on the fabric or leather you chooses. It is also this stitching that enhances the look of the removable covers and it is this stitching that makes the Ray a little more relaxed and less formal to me. While the Charles Sofa looks more formal, the Ray Sofa makes off with more elegance.
The Ray Sofa also have legs that are also obviously different from its siblings. As a matter of fact, Antonio Citterio never create 2 sofas with the same legs. I guess, they are one of the most glaring differences you can find in a sofa or the first thing that you can easily change to create that identity for that sofa. The Ray Sofa comes with an U-Shaped aluminum foot finished in bronze-nickel paint. The Ray also has a thin frame like the Charles Sofa for that thin profile. However, it has seemingly shorter legs and thicker seat cushion which creates a proportion that conveys a sleek and low profile design. Is this just a visual perception or is the Ray Sofa really lower? Looking at the technical specifications, the truth is, the Ray Sofa is 10cm shorter than the Charles Sofa. This explains why the Rays Sofa can look that low and sleek.
This year marks the year Antonio Citterio updated the Ray Sofa for B&B Italia. The main updates are in the seating system itself. Three new modules had been added to the Ray Modular Sofa System. They are a new Chaise Lounge, a Terminal Element and a Bench. These new elements allow new creations of linear and angular configurations. The legs are now finished in black-chrome plated instead of the usual bronze-nickel paint.
The Ray Sofa comes in a close second to the Charles Sofa when I started writing this post. At the end of the writing, it draws even close to the Charles. So much closer that I am starting to waver if I need to pick one of them.