10 interior launches capturing the very essence of Scandinavian design
Sleek, sophisticated, and monochrome — and bold, vibrant, and colourful. Our special featuring 10 recent and coming releases from the Nordic design industry has it all.
By JOHAN MAGNUSSON
June 09, 2021
A.S.Helsingö’s unique mix of traditional craftsmanship and ground-breaking tech solutions
With a background in private equity and business development and brand building, Finnish design company A.S.Helsingö’s CEO and founder Sebastian Schauman is passionate about building new digital-enabled branded propositions, pioneering cultural shifts, and changes in consumer behaviours.
— Our mission is to help people create timeless, beautiful interiors with a soul. We’re proud to continue the tradition of Finnish architectural modernism and make high-quality design that is affordable. We believe that by combining the latest technology with meticulous design, we can genuinely improve people’s lives, he states.
The range, based on IKEA frames, started off with a kitchen line and now also offer wardrobes and sideboards. The colours are inspired by the delicate, muted hues of the archipelagos of the Baltic Sea and details include handmade door knobs, handles, and furniture legs.
— Whilst being a design house, Schauman tells, we are a digitally enabled brand, sold online only, and organised as a modern technology company. We use tech and digital solutions to effectivise and automatise our internal administrative processes, enabling us to keep costs down while providing the best design and quality for our customers.
He gives a couple of concrete examples:
— Our proprietary 3D-planning tool enables our customers to plan their wardrobe and sideboard by themselves and purchase the product with one-click, instead of the tedious process of picking every front, handle and other similar items piece by piece. Our software will also automatically calculate and send a list of IKEA products needed for the sideboard and wardrobe purchased by the customer.
— Kitchen price quotation is notoriously slow in the kitchen industry. We have solved it by developing a proprietary software that in a few seconds machine reads the customers’ IKEA plan, rationalizes using AI what A.S.Helsingö products are needed based on the customer’s request and communicates the price to the customer instantly.
All products are made to order, using traditional methods and materials from the Finnish Lake District.
— Although we are a contemporary brand, we have a deep appreciation for traditional craftsmanship. For example, our wooden products come from a factory renowned for its high-quality woodwork, with carpentry skills passed on from generation to generation. We like the idea that we know exactly who makes our products. For instance, our unique ceramic handles called Candy are designed and handmade by ceramic artist Leena Kouhia in her studio in Helsinki. Our handles and legs, made of brass and copper, are made on the eastern border of Finland before being hand-polished by an artisan named Joakim in the southwest archipelago of Finland, Schuman tells, continuing,
— Starting from kitchens, we expanded into storage solutions and are looking into bathroom furniture next. We’re passionate about the opportunity to build a true home décor destination, not only by scaling into adjacent categories but also by leveraging our growing engaged community of individuals and professionals.
Montana adds colours to your home office
After the summer, the Danish furniture brand launches a — timely — range of home office furniture and accessories for the Montana Selection category of preconfigured designs. The line includes three desk modules, a mobile storage unit, and two organiser items. They’re all made to fill your home office hub with functional features and colours, in a palette created in close collaboration with textile and colour designer Margrethe Odgaard, regardless of how much space you have available. And the entire line is certified with the Danish Indoor Climate label and the official EU Ecolabel, making it a safe choice, both for you and the environment.
— For more than a year, the concept of home offices has been a reality to many of us. Some have been able to dedicate an entire room for working at home, others are not that fortunate. With our launch of home office furniture, we’re embracing this new reality, says Joakim Lassen, CEO.
The range is available from August/September.
Uptown hat rack by Álvaro Díaz Hernández for Maze Interior
Young, award-winning Madrid-based interior and furniture designer Álvaro Díaz Hernández describes how he wanted his hat rack to follow Maze Interior’s Scandinavian identity with a clean aesthetic and functionality at its core.
— When I buy a piece of furniture, I think a lot about the space it occupies and the uses it has. For example, I love to change the furniture at home from time to time — one day I use it as a shoe shelf in the entryway hall and another day I put it next to the bed as a nightstand with some books above and a supported painting on top. It is very compact yet versatile with a friendly design suitable for being creative with it.
Uptown Hat Rack is launched this spring, together with shoe shelf Downtown, designed by Maze Interior’s creative director Lotta De Visscher. They’re both made locally in the region of Småland, Sweden and almost entirely of recycled materials.
Note’s Dot rug for Ogeborg and circular showroom for Tarkett
In connection to designing the new showroom for Ogeborg in Stockholm, design studio Note has designed new rug Dot for the carpet and textile floor brand.
When Note chooses a rug for an interior, they often want it to be a visual base for a scenario. It can be more or less detailed or graphic, but it’s a plus if the surface is quite even and has an equal expression all over. Note started looking at the hand tufted technique, and were aiming for a thick, generous quality in natural wool. The hand tuft is a mix of different yarn lengths and colours, but from a distance, it appears to be one colour and one structure. On top of this quite basic expression, Note wanted to add a bold but basic pattern, such as lines, squares or dots. In the end, they chose a scattered pattern of quite big and colourful dots. The rug has a strong expression but also works as an even foundation to any decoration you place upon it. Bold and basic, at the same time.
Note has also wowed Stockholm Furniture Fair with stand designs for floor company Tarkett for several years on the trot. The two players have now collaborated on the latter’s innovative new showroom space in Stockholm’s design quarter.
Clad from top to toe in Tarkett’s market-leading recycled and recyclable lino and vinyl products, Tarkett Ateljé takes the brand’s circular-economy manifesto and translates it into a physical space. Responding to the changing role of the showroom, Note has conceived the space as not just somewhere to look at product samples, but as a multifunctional material library, meeting venue, workshops area, and event space, where designers and architects can come to exchange ideas and find inspiration.
Iittala’s introduces new items made of 100% recycled glass
In spring 2019, the Iittala Glass Factory in Finland was one of the first industrial manufacturers in the world to produce a tumbler made solely out of waste glass. Last year, the brand introduced new items to its range made entirely of recycled glass from the mentioned factory, creating a curated collection of pieces from different decades. They are equally durable, clear, and high quality as those made of virgin material. However, due to the nature of recycled glass, there might be some small bubbles and visual variations within the glass. And that’s also part of what makes them unique. The colours of the collection vary from blues to greens and earthy, neutral tones depending on the colour of the waste glass used in the production.
This autumn, Iittala introduces seven new items to the collection. Those include Frutta tumbler, originally designed by Oiva Toikka in 1968, Raami carafe and bowl, originally designed by Jasper Morrison in 2019 and 2020, Birds by Toikka Flycatcher glass bird, originally designed by Oiva Toikka in 1972, and Alvar Aalto vase 120 mm, originally designed by the iconic Finn in 1936.
Iittala’s target is that, by 2030, all waste from their own operations is recycled or reused with no waste sent to landfills.
Aspvik by Andreas Martin-Löf for Jotex
This week, the Swedish design brand launches the Aspvik collection of high-end outdoor furniture, in collaboration with awarded architect Andreas Martin-Löf.
— When Jotex asked, I was actually already thinking about designing some new furniture for my summerhouse in Aspvik, outside of Stockholm, so then I thought about taking the project a bit more seriously. The Aspvik family at launch consists of a sun lounger, a sofa, an easy chair, and a small table. It might change in the future as we extend and improve it, he says.
Manufactured in Sweden by Hillerstorp and made from Swedish FSC-certified pine, the wooden products in the collection are as local as it gets.
— I think projects like this often benefit from some limitations so I thought it was a fun challenge to make it all in wood. The local production saved us time and it was also easier to work like this since we created the collection during the pandemic — we actually never met.
Martin-Löf’s next project is his first interior for a bigger boat, together with Baltic Yachts in Finland.
— It’s a 110ft sloop and one of the first superyachts to feature fully electric propulsion. It’s really fun for me to make my small contribution to this field since the interiors of these kinds of vehicles often feel a bit dull and in need of a fresh eye.
Båge & Söner reclaims the bedroom
Suzanne Brunner was born in Paris in 1911. She was a stylish, urban, and chic lady with several homes all over Europe, including Lausanne, Switzerland. In every home, she had an elegant alarm clock on her bedside table. As a person, she was always on time, slept well at night, and was well rested and alert. That’s how Lisen Båge remembers her grandmother.
Inspired by her, the classic travel alarm clock from the 1930s, and the world’s leading watch manufacturers, Båge’s now founded Båge & Söner, aiming to create the world’s finest alarm clocks. They’re now launching two new models, using genuine materials and a mixture of traditional crafts and new technology. Enclosed in premium leather from Tärnsjö Tannery, they’re mounted by hand in the workshop in Stockholm with the same methods and techniques that watchmakers have used for years. The dial is decorated with different patterns such as sunray or tapestry, with applied indexes and painted in different colors.
The classic alarm clock has, for over a century, adorned our bedside tables and helped us wake up in the morning. In today’s digitalized society, the alarm clock is an application on our mobile phones and the classic interior detail has been overshadowed. Båge & Söner aims to disconnect from digital noise and reclaim the bedroom.
— I started Båge & Söner as I couldn’t find a nice and beautiful alarm clock. I wanted something stylish to have on my bedside table, a piece of jewelry to lift up my room. Hence we designed our table alarm clock. I think we all need to get away from the constant scrolling on our mobile phones and claim back some personal space, says Lisen Båge.
Informal by Björn Dahlström for Orrefors
The Stockholm-based designer is working with furniture and industrial projects, as well as nursing his upstart furniture brand Articles as creative director.
— I have a history working with 2-dimensional design and graphics and I like to use this experience to make graphicly distinct objects, he explains.
This spring, he launches the glass line Informal, centered around the basic wine glass, for iconic Orrefors.
— As the name implies, the products are made for everyday use. It is of course supposed to go well along with any wine that you would prefer, but at the same time be perfect also with other drinkables. The idea is that you can make a uniform table setting even though some guests might prefer non-alcoholic drinks, such as juice or milk. The glasses are quite open, and the stem has a height that gives a casual image, perfect for a diverse Wednesday dinner, Dahlström tells.
Scarameo adds extravagance to our tables
The Swedish family business designs coasters and placemats inspired by southern Europe using a lot of colours and strong patterns. The entire production is in Sweden where the trays are made of plexiglass and the table and glass coasters are made of fiber from FSC-certified eucalyptus trees, cork, and velvet.
The products enable an extravagant, luxurious, and even humoristic table setting both for our everyday lives as well as the summer parties that we’re all longing for.
Skultuna teams up with Martin Bergström and Bernadotte & Kylberg