Design Inspiration

Spotlight on Scandinavian Design

When we think about Scandinavian design, many of the pioneering designers and artists from Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland come to mind: Alvar Aalto, Arne Jacobsen, Eero Saarinen, to name a few.

I’ve always been partial to the sinuous lines and the coziness of Eero Saarinen’s “Tulip chair.”  The dreamy ideal of being in the womb-like seat of a delicious, creamy leather chair with a favorite book in hand may just be the ultimate spot to be in!

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“Tulip chair” by Eero Saarinen who subsequently collaborated with one of Southern California’s design duo powerhouse, Charles and Ray Eames.

 

Scandinavian design emerged in the 1950s as a form of social democracy and the advent of affordable materials and methods for mass production. Similar to the development of modernism, it was introduced with the idea that attractive, functional design need not be pricey and exclusively for the wealthy.

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Since this aesthetic is about simplicity, functionality and minimalism, naturally it is well-suited for California living. This sensibility melds perfectly with the stunning mid-century modern homes that dot the L.A. landscape as well as the popular clean-lined contemporary and modern homes seen along the coasts of Malibu and Venice.

That understated and quiet aesthetic of the Nordic designs produces furniture mostly made using natural materials with traditional well-honed craftsmanship.

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Since the lines are clean and simple, it could also suit a wide range of interior setting, be it futuristic (á la Star Trek—the chair was heavily featured in the famed TV series) or a bit more classic with a mixed period vibe or ultra-contemporary and minimalistic.

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For decorating inspiration, take a look at the various ways of inserting your favorite Scandinavian furniture pieces in your home.

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Hans Wegner chairs

 

Sometimes it’s just about being adventurous and updating the seat fabric to give it a pop of bright colors!

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The “Egg chair” by Arne Jacobsen

 

With all this talk of Nordic design in mind, click below to see a collection of artworks by artists from Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland.

About the Author

Hayley Miner is Director of Art Advisory to the Trade. Before joining Saatchi Art, Hayley ran her own art consulting firm, advising private and corporate clients on building their art collections. Prior to that, she worked for Michael S. Smith, the legendary White House decorator.