By Jamie Thomson

It’s hard not to be seduced by the thought of filling your apartment with flat-packed Scandinavian modular furniture – it’s inexpensive, it’s well-designed and it utilises your floorspace brilliantly.

It’s almost like it’s designed for you. And it is. But it’s designed for everyone else in your apartment block, too – something you’ll learn when you pop next door and are confronted by an eerily familiar vision of your lounge. It’s only the unfamiliar faces staring out from the teak/white/sand Fryndploft photograph frames that remind you that actually you’ve left your home.

Enter Magis, the cutting-edge Italian furniture designers, whose two pop-up stores at the Sydney and Melbourne branches of Cult will offer a timely antidote to the Ikea-isation of Australian apartment living. Their self-professed “playful-cum-sophisticated” design ethos (which, in layperson’s terms, mean their furniture elicits responses ranging from “ooh, classy!” to “WTF!”) produces the kind of singular designs you’d be happy to base your entire home around.

The Cyborg range of chairs – where new meets old in a blend of polycarbonate and woven cane – are strikingly beautiful, as is the use of wrought iron in the sleek-looking Officina collection. The Trotter Seat, however, has a handy dual function: when a guest starts droning on about their most recent trip to Ikea, you can trundle them out into the hallway and tip them up into the lift while bidding them a hasty farewell.

The Magis x Cult pop-ups take place at Cult Sydney on May 3-17, and at Cult Melbourne on 24 May-7 June, and are well worth a visit, if only to find out how you are supposed to sit on a chair that looks like a cartoon duckling.

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