Fresh-air aesthetic achieved through brightness, clarity and timeless elegance. This is the first glimpse into a room. The combination of simple objects, bright tones, clear lines and shapes, friendly pastel colors and wooden furniture describes most appropriately the Scandinavian interior design style. The dominance of the white, cream, pale blue and cool gray colors imparts a calm and peaceful sense at home. The simple shapes and structures and the large role of the wooden accent in the materials, such as spruce, birch and pine gives a feeling of connection to nature and the outdoors.
The mix of high quality, functionality and clear lines of the Nordic furniture design makes it widely attractive.
The Scandinavian designer legends
The beginning of 1930 marks the start of the Scandinavian design shaping as an individual furniture design style. The Finnish architect and designer Alvar Aalto designed his most famous chair Paimio in 1931.
The popular residential classic of the Danish industrial designer Arne Jacobsen, the Egg Chair was created in 1958. Those are the forefathers of the Scandinavian design.
The family days of the painter Carl Larsson (1853 – 1919) in Sundborn in Swedish Dalarna found great expression in his paintings, watercolors and drawings. They represent the furniture and decoration ideas of his wife Karin. The combination of functionality, straightforwardness and bright colors in a lucrative style is the hallmark of her designs. Those principles still apply as essential for the Scandinavian style.
What shaped the Scandinavian style to become so popular for the past decades?
The highly valued Scandinavian design movement emerged in the 1950s in the three Nordic countries Denmark, Norway and Sweden, and partly in Finland under the design approach of a simple formality, functionality and minimalism.
If we take a look back in the history of the Nordic region the success of the Scandinavian style could be explained. Life in the Nordic countries was pretty hard until the 20th century and the financial resources were scarce. People haven`t thought of decoration back then, but rather thought backwards to examine how much they can simplify everything, furnishing their houses functionally and naturally. Life in the North required products to be functional and the designers at this time were convinced to make people`s lives easier with their minimalistic objects. Not least the Nordic interior furniture design should have been accessible to everyone. Thus, the function determines the shape of Scandinavian furniture – simple forms with straight lines and clear design. The organic forms of the Nordic interior design style from natural materials such as wood and linen give a warm well-being of their own homes.
Or maybe it’s all much simpler? The prolonged cold winters and the darkness force people to spend more time in their own homes. Maybe that led to the growing desire for more restful, contemporary bright and light homes and the inspiration of the designers to bring together functionality and attractive style in one. The co-founder of furniture boutique Skandium, Christina Schmidt, says “Why have three glasses for wine, water and milk when you can have one?”
Modern Scandinavian designers of the 21st century
The principles of the Scandinavian design have both many admirers as well as young designers who have found inspiration of their objects in this style. The designer legends of the Nordic countries are hard to compare with, but there are a few exceptional young Scandinavian furniture designers, who are making an impact in this market.
Finally, I present my two favorite Scandinavian designers and would look forward to hear your opinion about the Scandinavian design.
Lena Bergström, known for her clear glass design pieces, is one of the most famous Swedish glass-designers. She has received numerous awards for her talent. Her design pieces with bold colors have already gained admiration worldwide in exhibitions in Tokyo, New York, London and Sao Paolo. Lena Bergström`s second field is textiles.
Kaspar Salto is one of the most famous industrial designers in Denmark. “To design only things that you really need” is the recipe for his successful style. Kaspar Salto has won numerous awards. His feats and in particular the NAP chair were admired in many exhibitions worldwide.
Happy Easter Monday everyone,