Scandinavian design has a long, rich history. Having first gained popularity in the mid-twentieth century, this style is now making a comeback in a big way. Over the last five years or so, we’ve seen an explosion of Scandi style sweeping the globe. Not only have people taken the Nordic design philosophy to heart, but Scandinavian noir like The Killing and Steig Larsson’s Millennium trilogy have become key cultural touchstones. We’re even adopting the Danish concept of hygge, which is reshaping the way that people relax in their free time- and just happens to be ideal for wet British winters. In short, Scandinavian design and culture hasn’t had this much of an impact on our lives since the first Viking longboats landed on our shores.
It’s easy to see why Scandinavian design has hit home in the UK. In an era when everything seems geared towards digital, and when we are working longer hours than ever, it’s important that we have somewhere comforting to retreat to.Scandinavian design is all about improving daily life, and hitting the right balance between the aesthetic and the functional. After all, why shouldn’t the things that we use most often also bring a touch of beauty into our lives? To accomplish this, designers focus on everyday utilitarian items like dishes, silverware, cooking utensils, and linen, as well as larger pieces of furniture.
Of course, Scandinavian design likely wouldn’t have taken off quite so much if it weren’t for a certain flat-packed furniture company. Yet it’s a mistake to think that this philosophy starts and ends with IKEA. To achieve true Scandinavian style, it is important to have at least once piece created or influenced by one of the iconic designers from this region. You might not even be aware that some of the most notable pieces of furniture in the twentieth century were actually created by Nordic designers. For instance, Arne Jacobsen’s Egg Chair was originally created in 1958 for Radisson, but it became so popular that it can now be found in hotels and boutiques all over the world.
Another icon of Scandi design is Hans Wegner. Like Jacobsen, Wegner was Danish, and he took the modernist trends of his time and adapted them to create something wholly unique. Using an approach he called “Organic Functionality”, Wegner stripped his furniture designs back to the bare essentials, which allowed him to focus on even the tiniest of details. Chairs were a particular obsession of his, a design task which he famously said that one would “never be completely done with.” Fittingly, his most famous piece was simply called “The Chair”, which had its turn in the spotlight when it was used in the televised debates between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon during the 1960 presidential election. Still widely available, The Chair is the ideal way to bring a touch of Scandinavian style into your living room. Another piece that comes highly recommended by the liGo team is Wegner’s “peacock chair”. Its bold, bird-like design makes it the ideal centrepiece for your living room, and it’s extremely comfortable, too- perfect for sinking into after a long day.
The joy of Scandinavian design is that there’s plenty of scope to put your own stamp on things. Whether minimalism is your thing, or you prefer a living room filled with blankets and cushions, you can easily integrate this philosophy into your interior decor. Just remember the three golden rules of Scandi style: objects should be functional, long-lasting, and set a relaxed mood.