Anyone who’s furnished their own apartment or home knows that there’s really nothing exciting about couches and chairs. Although they’re important staples in any living space, it’s hard to get pumped up about picking out something that’s heavy, painfully practical, and extremely expensive.

But this London-based artist has a bone to pick with anyone who’s fallen into that trap. By creating stunning animal-themed chairs, he’s turned standard home furnishings into luxurious, museum-worthy statement pieces.

Artist Máximo Riera beautifully bridges the gap between form and function, taking interior design into the realm of high art.

Each piece is made to order, and takes anywhere between nine and 11 weeks to complete.

What’s amazing about this collection is that Riera manages to take sculptures that are based in realism to surreal levels by turning each one into something functional. It takes serious craftsmanship to be able to add whimsy to practical pieces that are rooted in realistic design.

By implementing the latest in 3-D modeling software and giving each creation its own unique color signature, no two pieces are exactly alike.

Riera and his team also make use of the most advanced engineering and manufacturing techniques available to ensure that every sculpture is drafted and created with painstaking attention to detail.

Artfulness aside, these pieces are incredibly sturdy, since they each contain metal frames and are sculpted from high-density polyurethane.

Over the course of many weeks, Riera puts in about 480 hours of work on every single chair.

The end result is something beautiful that’s made from high-quality materials — all of which are as sound and resilient as solid wood.

The collection’s mission is to pay homage to nature’s own works of art.

“This collection,” he writes, “gives us the option of admiring what nature is capable of. This is the main reason why — from the beginning — I wanted to be faithful to the animal’s physique.”

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Riera’s dedication to capturing the essence of his animal subjects is rooted in the idea that nature has already produced the most stunning creations of all.

(via Design Boom)

It’s pretty amazing to see what the world’s most innovative artists can do when they reimagine parts of life that often go unnoticed. By taking practical pieces and turning them into extraordinary works of art, Máximo Riera challenges us to rethink our surroundings.

To see more of Riera’s amazing work, check out his website. And if you want to keep up with his latest creations and get a glimpse of what inspires them, be sure to follow him on Instagram.

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