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Sustainable furniture design: Why lifestyle flexibility and timeless design matters

When it comes to sustainable products, its common to focus on what materials were used and how the product was made. 

That’s only part of the full picture. 

The reality is, no matter how sustainable the materials, if the product isn’t built to last and it has a look that will date, it could still be discarded before the end of its lifecycle.  

KING takes a wholistic approach where we consider not just the materials we use, but how we can make products that adapt to lifestyles. We create designs that are truly timeless in their aesthetic, like the Jasper Sofa that has remained a best-selling design since its inception in 2003.  

As advocates for sustainability and choosing products that last over those destined for landfill, we want to share our values and the ethos of our sustainable-led innovations.  

In this article we explore how lifestyle flexibility and timeless design contribute to creating sustainable furniture design and why sustainable design really matters. 


The Luna Outdoor Chair is a masterclass in simplicity 


Why is sustainable furniture design important?


The furniture industry is ever-growing. And fast furniture that is created with cheap materials, poorly constructed, and designed to be replaced by the next big trend is rising with it.  

The benefits of choosing designs that are built to endure are two-fold. It is a benefit to our personal life with added quality and the cost-savings that come with long-lasting products, and a benefit in a larger sense, as we lessen our impact on the environment. 

At KING, we believe it our responsibility to consider the environmental impact of everything we do, at every stage from design conception right through to the end of a product’s lifecycle. 

Furniture can and does enhance our lives. Before working on new designs, our in-house Sydney design team think about the bigger picture and place sustainability at the forefront of their thinking.  

“We always try to design with longevity in mind. When you create a new product, it takes resources and has an environmental impact. You have to think about why that product needs to exist and if the raw material input is going to justify the use over its lifespan and ask yourself can it enhance someone's life.” - Alinta Lim, KING Senior Designer 

With tonnes of furniture going to landfill annually, sustainable furniture design is a necessity.  


Like every KING Sofa, Zaza Outdoor features covers that can be removed and replaced with ease.


What is timeless design and why is it important for sustainability?


Timeless design is a style that will never date. With a focus on simplicity and paired-back features, the purpose is to remain visually relevant. A timeless design isn’t created to be a temporary piece that’s loved only for a moment in time. 

A truly timeless design is one that can adapt to your lifestyle and offer flexibility to adjust its look, arrangement or function. Which is why a modular design can last a lifetime. 

While not necessary, timeless designs can be brought up to date with new accessories or styling accents like fabrics or secondary accessories like cushions. At KING, our removable covers allow you to change the look of your sofa or upholstered design whenever you like. 

“We tend to focus on timeless design more than trends. But if you do timeless design well it will speak to how people are living now and in the future.” — Mina Bassilious , KING Designer 

The aesthetics of timeless furniture is not the only aspect that leads to longevity.  

Lifestyle flexibility is the lesser considered, yet hugely relevant piece of the puzzle that helps keep designs relevant in our modern lives. 


The Luna Outdoor Chair is designed to withstand harsh outdoor environments and is powder-coated for durability.  


How does lifestyle flexibility relate to sustainable furniture design? 


Something timeless is often thought about in a purely visual sense. However, with our evolving lifestyles that see regular home relocations, upsizing, downsizing, and rightsizing, furniture that is flexible is now key to keeping a design relevant.  

Where lifestyles were once living in the same family home for a lifetime, and renting was uncommon, we are now on the move, and our furniture needs to come with us. 

“Trends can be divided into macro and micro, where macro is about lifestyle associations in terms of how people are living, and the layout of their homes may be different to how it used to be.” Alinta explains. “And micro trends are more about colours, and patterns and soft finishes.”    

For KING, we consider the way people are living now, and what changes may come in future, and this contributes to broader design choices. Modular designs are the most significant aspect of our designs that foster flexibility.  

With a modular sofa design, you get built-in futureproofing with all the ways your sofa can adapt, including: 

  • Flexibility to change the configuration to suit any living space you move to 
  • Can swap the chaise from left to right 
  • Ability to add extra seating modules if your family grows  
  • Able to remove seating modules if you have less space in the future 
  • Able to separate modules when moving home 
  • You can repair one module or replace one cover instead of needing to repair the whole sofa. 

You can learn more in our guide to understanding modular sofas. 


Delta is crafted with a steel frame for longevity, like every KING sofa. 


Reducing consumption through refurbishment and repair


Part of the KING commitment to sustainability and actively working to reduce consumption of fast furniture is offering a complete refurbishment, repair and recovering service. 

We offer everything from replacing your covers with a new fabric or leather, to repairing individual components inside your sofa. We can strip everything back to the steel frame and rebuilt it from there. 

For KING designs, removable covers are one aspect that speaks to both trends and timeless appeal. The ability to replace covers means fabric and leather colours can be updated, and the whole look of the design can be refreshed, giving lasting quality.   

“This is how trends can play into the modularity of KING, with aspects like our removable covers. And when it comes to informing the actual design, form and structure of a piece, we pay more focus to macro trends.” — Alinta Lim


Zaza’s clever modular design reconfigures easily to achieve a range of settings. 


Is sustainable furniture with lifestyle flexibility the way of the future?


At KING, we consider every aspect of product design an opportunity to create furniture that stands the test of time, rather than ending up in landfill 

“Because we have full control over our products, we have control of the sustainability, we can ensure that our products are sustainable, that the components we’re using are recyclable and that the furniture will last.” - David King, Founder. 

Sustainable furniture design had never been more important than now. And timeless furniture design principles, combined with lifestyle flexibility and sustainable material considerations is the way of the future.  

For more information, you can read about how KING incorporates sustainability into everything we do, or find out more about the recovering service.