10 Cult Scandi Designs That Every Aesthete Should Know

There have been many attempts to unpack the essence of Scandinavian style. Some describe it as the search for the purest design possible. Others as a soothing antidote to the stresses of modern life. The way we see it, the Nordic tradition finishes what Da Vinci started. Making simple ideas indulgent. And everyday objects eternal. Among the most covetable styles are pendant lights that capture the glory of the golden hour. And sofas that let you feel like you’re sitting in the clouds. Here are 10 cult Scandi designs to start collecting, today. 

Nyhavn Desk

Nordic style is often credited with saying a lot with a little. In the early 1930s, Danish architect Finn Juhl perfected this art, bringing forth a series of sculptural furnishings whose power lines helped create homes that were artistic yet functional. The Nyvahn Desk was one of them. A lightweight yet compelling workspace, it accompanied him throughout his life, working its way into all of his creative studios in Copenhagen. And just about every stylish Scandi home since.

Nyhavn Desk


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House of Finn Juhl


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PH 5 Pendant Lights

Poul Henningsen was another mid-century master. A man of many passions, he painted portraits, directed films and wrote his ideas into every aspect of Danish culture. However, it was in the evocative language of light that he truly excelled. Like many great inventors, his experiments with light stemmed from an unpleasant experience with the ugly glare of early 20th century lighting.

 

 After hours spent studying the golden hour, he came up with a tiered shade system that would ensure a gentle flood of vertical and horizontal light no matter where it is placed. Today, it’s generous glow can be trusted to light up offices and homes alike. A beautiful North Star around which contemporary life revolves.

Louis Poulsen


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PH 5 Pendant Light


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Pacha Lounge Chairs

Pacha isn’t Pierre Paulin’s most famous design. But it might be the greatest. It harks back to the time he spent as a child, gazing up at the sky, and earning himself a reputation as a chronic day-dreamer. Decades later, he decided to invite the world along with him, bringing forth a series of bulbous, low-slung seating styles.

 

Sitting atop these free and fluid styles is a little bit like entering Nirvana. The swivel base allows for a pleasant floating sensation. While the elegant mix of bouclé wool and velvet upholstery create the impression of lounging atop a fluffy cumulous cloud. It represents quite a departure from the pared-back lines of mid-century style. And is all the more covetable for it.

Pacha Lounge Chair


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Gubi


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Plinth Low Table

A contemporary entrant. But a milestone none the less. With Plinth, Norm Architects seek to subvert traditional conceptions of luxury. The designers realised that it didn’t matter whether you looked East or West. Marble has always been seen as the pinnacle of opulence in every civilisation. How curious it would be, then, to use it showcase other items. A vase full of fresh flowers, say. Or else a beloved magazine collection. Beautiful alone or in stylish archipelagos, it is at once a sculptural monolith and a figurative stepping stone for all the other idiosyncratic items of the home. 

Plinth Low Table


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Series 430 Dining Chair

The Series 430 started as a study in simplicity. And ended up as one of the most successful chair designs of all time. The brainchild of Verner Panton, it sought to convey the comfort of an armchair in the lightness of dining chair. The secret lies in the graphic frame and sumptuous seat. A beautiful game of contrasts that can be played out in homes large and small. 

Series 430 Chair


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Verpan


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BM1160 Hunting Table

The Hunting Table is a lost-and-found style from the archives of legendary Danish designer, Børge Mogensen. A lifelong advocate of unfussy styling, his designs have found new appeal among aesthetes who see calm and clarity as two pillars of the modern home. Such like-minded design lovers will find no sharp edges here. And no cutting corners either. The table top is gently rounded to help bring together as many diners as possible. While the base features meticulous mortise and tenon joints — each individually carved and slotted together to emphasise the appearance of wood without the need for superfluous bolts.

Carl Hansen & Son


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BM1160 Hunting Table


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Loafer Armchair

There are some acts in life who are near-on impossible to follow. Prince is one. Arne Jacobsen’s Royal SAS Hotel in Copenhagen is another. And yet when the time came to redesign its interiors, there was one studio who refused to shy away from the challenge. Known as Space Copenhagen, the two plucky designers were tasked with coming up with a lounge series for the hotel’s prestigious lobby. After much experimentation they arrived at Loafer. A classic lounger whose tubular lines echo the grandeur of the hotel’s circular columns while creating an enveloping and unassuming space to just be.

SC23 Armchair


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&Tradition


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Stool 60

Stool 60 revels in the power of simple, strong ideas. Originally designed in 1933 by Norway’s Alvar Aalto, it finds new relevance in today’s hardworking homes. As well as being the archetypal stool, it can also be used as an elegant side table. Perfect for use in the in-between spaces of the home. To this day, it’s lovingly produced in Finland by expert artisans. All of whom have grown up immersed in the culture and craftsmanship of the region.

Stool 60


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Artek


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Series 7 Dining Chair

It wouldn’t be a Scandi shortlist without a smattering of Arne Jacobsen references. So here goes the second. Known simply as the grandfather of Danish modernism, Jacobsen has continued to shape the world in his image many decades after his passing. Some of the most coveted styles today include his collection of dining chairs, meticulously manufactured by Fritz Hansen. At the time, they represented the first foray into veneer moulding. A technique that allowed wood to bend into yielding yet stable shapes. The result was a supremely comfortable seating experience, achieved with minimal materials and without compromising their sculptural appeal.

Fritz Hansen


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Series 7 Dining Chair


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Outline Sofa

It’s not often that our design team is surprised or taken aback by a collection. But when we heard that Nordic brand MUUTO had managed to encapsulate the generosity of the great Italian loungers into a petite Scandi style, we knew we had to take a closer look. The Outline Sofa is, indeed, a triumph of contemporary design. Its plush depths are offset by slim armrests and tall feet — all of which collude to create a luxurious lounging experience. So popular has it proven across Scandinavia that it is now available as a sofa, lounge chair or daybed.

Muuto


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Outline Sofa


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