What are the elements that create the contemporary Scandinavian look and feel?
Scandinavian design is often striking an optimum balance between form, function, material and durability.
Historically the Nordic countries have had a limited range of raw materials to use. Therefore, wood was a very obvious material particularly light woods like birch and oak. These days however, ecological awareness is an increasingly important part of the design process. Sectodesign for example is sourcing the wood for its lamps as close to the manufacturing facility as possible to avoid long transports and sawdust from production is used to make wood pellets for heating houses.
In the early days of Scandinavian design, items were designed to serve as enrichments to daily life rather than status symbols. Another core principle that often gets mentioned is that design should provide emotional comfort - the famous hygge as the Danish call it. To escape the long and dark winter? Maybe.
"Design with a purpose" is the essentialist approach that embodies the thinking of Scandinavian designers. Commitment to create both physically and esthetically lasting products.
Minimalism and functionalism are also clearly visible in the contemporary Scandinavian design - an edgier and bolder expression of the same soul.
What is it that makes a simple bulb so appealing? Had someone told Mr. Edison that just these are what design concious people will have hanging from their ceilings some 130 years down the line, he probably would have laughed his head off.
My theory is that we have simply seen too much, gotten tired of lampshades, opened our eyes to the essence of the bulb. If even traditional crystal chandeliers are being replaced by crystal bulbs - that is semi-revolutionary!
The brilliance with the bulb lights is that you can mix and match them however you like. It's a statement piece that is affordable, easy to move around and lets you get creative with the cord.
Which combination would you choose?
I go for Frama steel socket and atelier bulb.
D.tales design story is our monthly reflection on Scandinavian design. Let the design tell you a story!
Doesn't Ikea take care of it all?
First of all, there is - let's say furniture in general. Then there is the Swedish furniture giant. And then there is Scandinavian Design - the last one being a whole institution of its own - and a pretty old one too.
Second of all, the Swedish furniture giant (with all the respect) goes after masses - and masses go to it too. On the contrary, at D.tales we are not looking to fill your homes with mass productions but instead with long lasting designs that tell stories. Stories about history, about passion, about purpose...
Third of all, many of the iconic pieces of Scandinavian Design have been around for decades. Timelessness, elegance, durability, simplicity... yep, some of the key elements. Yves Saint Laurent could have been desribing Scandinavian Design with his famous quote "Fashion fades, style is forever". And Monsieur Laurent knew what he was talking about. The reason why Scandinavian pieces even from the 1930's still mix so effortlessly with other design styles - say Arabic design for example - is due to their eternal style.
What would you combine it with? In your home, office or business interior?
TAF Architects of Sweden has made a new table for Muuto called 70/70 that is suitable as a dining table as well as an office desk. The minimalist design and the perfect angles makes it a beautiful and timeless piece of furniture.
TAF Architects has also designed the display furniture for our new store in Dubai.
We love the elegant style of the Ice Chandelier by &tradition. Simplicity in essence.
Beyond the sunset lays Norway... overlooking a beautiful susnet in Fjällbacka Sweden!
We love this stool, bin and basket... called Bobbin, by Swedish designer Martin Björnson. It will be available in our stores this autumn.
We think the combination between these Dusty Diamond porcelain sets by AEO and the smoked wood surface of the Raft table by &tradition is stunning.
So we are back in Malmö, this time visiting Marcus Lewett in his studio where Lokal 54 has styled some of our new products for a fantastic photo shoot. Coming as adverts this autumn so keep a look out!
This summer we have spent quite some time in Scandinavia, going back and forth to Sweden, Denmark and Norway gathering inspiration and buying new products for the shops. It turns out that what we have been saying for so long is also true in Scandinavia: Copper is the new black.
We found these beautiful bar stools at Restaurant Myteri in Malmö Sweden.