Howard Keith Diplomat sofa
Designer: John Home
Director: Joseph Losey
The Howard Keith Diplomat sofa is full of drama. Some call it a sofa, some call is a settee and some a couch but whichever way you look at it, it is ‘statement seating’!
You can see our current range for sale here
Designed by John Home in 1970 for HK Furniture Ltd (also known as HK Designs and HK London) the originals have a wooden frame, foam upholstery with textile, often plush covers and usually with chromed cylindrical metal legs. They come in different fabric coverings such as the zebra style pattern, the ‘zig-zag’, the ‘Eighth Star’ fabric, the Sereno Stripe and sometimes in a plain fabric and leather.
The HK Diplomat was quickly considered a classic sofa design and was sold by retailers such as Harrods. The sofa was included in a Classics exhibition at Heal & Son Ltd.’s London store as early as 1981. Their low, modernist sleek lines and deep-set seating make them a well sought after piece.
This sofa has been famously owned by Princess Anne as well as Lord Edward Davenport.
The Diplomat sofa also featured in Lewis (Michael Caine) and Elizabeth’s (Glenda Jackson) living room in The Romantic Englishwoman. Both stars are seen sitting in this sofa (upholstered in the ‘Eighth Star’ fabric) in several key scenes.
A pair of these sofas in the Sereno stripe was also used in an ABBA photoshoot.
The Diplomat’s sister sofa, the Barbican featured in Elton John’s private jet in Rocketman.
Similarly we know people often looking for them so if you have one to sell, get in touch.
“I own and manage photographic location properties and am always updating furniture with interesting one off pieces. Paula has been fantastic, sourcing pieces for me, And I have bought , I think it’s 4 now Howard Keith Diplomat sofas. Paula is 100% reliable, communication is brilliant and I’ve been really happy with all of my sofas. They are great investment pieces. Also easy to refurbish, should they need it, the arms just unbolt.“
Sian, Owner and Manager of photographic location properties.
“I’d been searching for a Howard Keith Diplomat Sofa in Zebra print for years, we’d had one when I was growing up. Not only did Paula find my needle in the haystack, she was professional and went the extra mile working through the weekend to help me seal the deal. It was a pleasure dealing with her and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her.”
Shan, Private Client, London.