My Trip to Copenhagen recently was able to reinforce my love for all things Danish but most of it all it opened my eyes to the wonders of Scandinavian design. I had to stop at every shop to gawk in the window at all the amazing pieces that were on display. Not only was all the furniture, textiles and lighting made with incredible craftsmanship they all seemed to be reasonably priced. The idea that beautiful and functional everyday objects should not only be affordable to the wealthy, but to all, seems to be core theme in the development of all Scandinavian design.
In the world of interior design “Scandinavian” has come to signify a kind of elegant minimalism: unfussy designs and plush curves. It’s a style heavily owed to the Bauhaus school, which taught the priority of function over form. The constraint of making something functional turned out to be liberating to designers, as they were able to make something beautiful out of it. The Scandinavian aesthetic has continued on with mass-produced designs accessible and available to all but still with a touch of style and beauty.
Surprisingly enough the Scandinavian design movement wasn’t fully recognised until the 1950’s. Since then, this minimalist European design has brought acclaim to many prominent Scandinavian designers who have made a global mark by creating unique furnishings and housewares. While Ikea notably springs to mind when people mention Scandinavian furniture, don’t be turned off, as there is so much more to it than the iconic budget store. Scandinavian design extends to the countries of Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland—offering a vast and eclectic taste that personifies this design movement and is characterised by simplicity, functionality and minimalism.
Denmark may be the smallest of the Scandinavian countries but from the 1960s onwards has specialised in big-name designers, including Verner Panton – known for his bold and abstract work in the ’60s and Jorn Utzon – the architect responsible for the Sydney Opera House. Hans Wegner arguably Denmark’s most famous furniture designer gained international fame for his “round chair” which was named ‘the worlds most beautiful chair” in the 50s by Interiors magazine. His “Round” chair provided a solid basis for many of his later chairs such as plank Chair, Easy Chair, Peacock Chair, Windsor Chair and Wishbone Chair
No matter what decade Scandinavian furniture is derived from, one thing is certain—attention to detail and high-quality materials will always play a big key in all designs. The impressive range of furniture in Denmark all seemed to take advantage of today’s shapes, colour trends and textiles. A simplistic, yet artful, approach revealed itself in all the furnishings through simple straight lines combined with understated ornateness.
Scandinavian furniture is like an object of art, and what makes it even more perfect is it will last for a lifetime. With its usability and simplicity you can’t go wrong going scandi in your home.