There is a particular type of modular, modernist sofa that can be found in the catalogs of popular contemporary furniture brands. It's usually low-slung, comprised of chunky foam rectangles, like it was built in Minecraft—the computer game where children make things out of virtual blocks. The Detroit-based Floyd named theirs, quite matter-of-factly, the Sectional. Danish company Hay calls their version the Mags while the Swedish label Hem went with Palo, although the addition of metal legs and some curves render Hem's a less typical and more delightful silhouette.
All of these sofas are nice enough—sleek, straightforward, and inoffensive—but lack a certain warmth and coziness. That's likely by design. Not everyone wants a couch with the bean bag quality of Michel Ducaroy's Togo. But the foam looks so dense to the point it has the same appeal of sitting on concrete. At the other end of the spectrum is Truck: a Japanese company creating couches that beg to be lounged.
Truck, which has been in the furniture business since 1997, embraces the natural textures and imperfections of the wood and other raw materials it works with. Their version of the modular sofa features layered, two-tier cushions that have been outfitted with nubby, pilled wool. "When you first plop down on the seat, it feels soft and fluffy, and you find yourself sinking comfortably down without ever feeling the bottom," reads the product description.
Another design, the DT Sofa, pairs rigid steel legs with deep feather cushions for a look as mechanical as it is welcoming. The TS sofa takes a daybed-inspired frame and adds billowing pillows on top of the typical cushioning. If you put it side by side with the iconic Nelson Daybed, you can quickly see how the extra padding goes a long way. There is also a two-person loveseat with armrests that essentially double as pillows, and the brand's most streamlined design is still wrapped in cozy fabric, which helps soften the edge. Truck tends to favor lived-in-looking materials: camel-hued leather aged like a beat-up baseball mitt or corduroy that rivals the old blazer your grandfather might have worn.
Here is where I'll say that I've bought items from Floyd, Hay, and Hem and have been happy with my purchases. (Except for this Hay pepper grinder, which didn't even last three months.) I largely like all three companies, but I'm not sure clean lines and high-density foam are the winning tickets when it comes to a sofa—and this is coming from someone who drools over most modular, modernist design. When one of Truck's founders was asked to describe the company in three words, he replied, "Nostalgic. Cozy. Warm." That sounds about right.