After the week of sunshine we’ve just had around the UK, it seems strange to think many places had snow as little as two weeks ago! But with that in mind, we thought it would be a good time to talk about a design movement that emerged in the early 20th century – Scandinavian design.
A brief history of Danish design
This method of design is defined by its origin from the countries of Sweden, Denmark and Norway – but it has become a style that has influenced the entire globe since its beginnings. The 1930’s became what is known as the ‘Golden Age of Scandinavian design’ due to the influence of designers such as Alvar Aalto (The creator of the Model 60 stool) and Hans Wegner (Wishbone Chair).
In the 1950s international interest grew, and American manufacturers in the US obtained licenses to mass-produce Danish designs. In fact, one of Wegner’s designs was used in an infamous televised debate in 1960 between Richard Nixon and John F Kennedy, which was so iconic that it led to that particular design being known as simply, ‘The Chair’.
From the 1990s onwards there has been another revival that hasn’t and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. We’re sure you’ve come across the word Hygge (Pronounced “Hoo-ga”), which is a Danish concept which in one word, encompasses the feeling of cosy contentment and well-being. Something we believe that anyone would want to describe their home or living space.
Danish design is a timeless style that is marked by its focus on clean, simple lines and functionality, but without sacrificing beauty. It shares many elements with mid-century modern design but it favours bright, airy spaces rather than darker colours with less focus on light.
A manufacturer that implements this style can be found at RB12, known as Bolia. They design and manufacture beautiful Scandinavian furniture, handcrafted sustainably and tailored to this ageless style. Inspired by rolling meadows, icy fjords and refreshing forests their collections are totally inspired by nature. Every design is inherently tranquil.
Alp is new to their collection and is a dining table with accompanying bench seating. It is handmade with FSC-certified wood which is both natural and durable. Its clean and architectural lines give it an understated look, perfect for a large dining space filled with natural light.
Bolia have also launched their Spring/Summer collection this week so we couldn’t miss the opportunity to highlight some of our top picks from the launch. The Story coffee table comes in two very functional styles. The beautiful handcrafted details are both elegant and fit perfectly with the high-end design style we are talking about today. Made from FCS-certified wood this piece boasts easy-access storage too.
Another favourite from this launch is the Aya Sofabed. It is a new modular sofa with cushions filled with Bolia’s new soft filling for extra comfort. The covers are removable, which means they can be easily washed and gives the product great longevity – something crucial to the Danish way of design. Sustainable and eco-friendly design is so important and throw-away design is becoming a thing of the past!
Although this style is minimalist and simple, the concept still manages to be eye-catching and impactful. Supplier AYTM approaches the concept of Nordic design in a very sophisticated and elegant way. One of their latest designs is the NOVO bar stool. This piece also features stunning curves, drawing reference to old Danish classics but bringing it to modern life, winning the German Design Award 2021. This design comes in 6 different colourways so could suit a variety of different spaces.
Touching on the Hygge element of Scandi-design, rugs are a great way to add a snug warmth to your space. Fabula Living has recently brought out a hand-loom pile rug that is thick, soft and unique. Being hand-made they have irregularities in colour and weaving that give each piece individual characteristics and can even be made-to-measure to fit your room. The NANNA rug is available in a natural colour palette of charcoal, warm grey and light grey. Designed by Jens Landberg Schrøder, it is a truly danish piece and is made with New Zealand wool of the highest quality on a cotton warp thread base.
If you are looking to incorporate the Scandinavian style into your space but are concerned that you don’t have the right light, take a look at one of the latest manufacturers to join RB12, Le Klint. They have designed the stylish and slender SOLEIL pendant light. Made in Denmark, this piece focuses on using sustainable materials of hand-folded UV-resistant paper, natural flax cord and beautiful wooden details made from your choice of light oak or smoked oak. It could be placed over a dining area, in a restaurant or even in a business meeting room as it has a strong LED light, which through the pleated lampshade, prevents glare but still gives off plenty of light.
We have recently introduced a few more Scandi brands to our collection including; Louis Poulsen, House of Finn Juhl, One Collection, Northern, Design House Stockholm, FDB Møbler and Nuura Lighting. Keep an eye on our website to see what products we are adding to the store, or you can contact us here or give us a call on +44 (0) 2071 352 246 to discuss your interior needs.
Written by: Kate Nannery