Stockholm Furniture and Lighting Fair 2019 Trend Report

Achieving a serene Scandi environment is no longer a question of mere aesthetics. With priorities ranging from sustainability to soundproofing, Swedish designers have begun to take a holistic approach to modern interiors. Nowhere was this more apparent than at the Stockholm Furniture and Lighting Fair 2019, where the Chaplins Contract team discovered a variety of innovative forecasts for the future of life and work. From noise-cancelling pendants through to cocooning private pods, we’ve rounded up all of the key ideas for 2019.

Sustain

Is it possible to change behaviour through beautiful design? The team at Doms Studio certainly think so. In collaboration with Swedish brand TreCe, they presented an array of beautiful bins that seek to remove obstacles to responsible waste disposal. Crafted from Swedish steel and finished in a variety of colourful hues, they feature a soft close lid and smart storage system that makes emptying the bins that much more pleasurable. Available with a variety of mounting mechanisms, Birdie’s thoughtful design is ideal for homes, offices and public spaces that want to make a stylish, sustainable statement.

Shelter

The open-plan office has suffered a slow and torturous death since its adoption in the 1980s. Over its ashes, designers have begun constructing delightful canopies and futuristic pods that can be used to help restore privacy and boost productivity. Some of our favourites from Stockholm included Four Design‘s FourLikes system, a selection of modular units that can be used to create soundproof shelters and working stations.

At the other end of the spectrum was Framery’s 2Q Pod, a futuristic-looking hideaway that wouldn’t look out of place in a Silicon Valley Campus. Carefully fitted with a sound insulation system, it creates a comfortable space for brainstorming and meetings, a reminder of the importance of both public and private space.

While each successfully resolves the issue of privacy in contemporary offices, these rooms within a room also provide interior designers with several handy opportunities to add more lighting, storage and greenery to communal spaces.

Stretch

Four Design and Framery aren’t the only Swedish brands looking to break the mould. Swedese‘s Libri Wall Desk and Anderson‘s HT1 High Table elevate study to new heights, opting for elongated proportions and extra storage space. It’s perhaps not a surprising move in the era of shrinking living spaces but what is intriguing are the benefits of this new perspective. Whether at home or in the office, we found that these taller tables encouraged better posture and focus while creating a play of levels in a room’s visual landscape.

Shape

One of the key takeaways from Stockholm was that there are many ways to bring the outdoors in. The standout in this regard was Jot Jot, a visionary brand with a penchant for quirky yet liveable design. Sumptuous loungers inspired by organic shapes recalled a variety of nature’s finest creations in a breathtaking display of contemporary Scandi style. Whether it was the Brick Sofa (a gorgeous grey sofa built from pebble-like cushions) or the low-slung Ba Ba Collection (described as a furniture pet), Jot Jot took biomorphic shapes and made them soft, humorous and cosy.

Simplicity

Of course, there was no shortage of classic Scandinavian style in Stockholm. Beautiful dining chairs from the likes of BRDR Kruger revealed Scandi simplicity at its very best, harnessing white oiled oak and woven paper cord seats. What was interesting however was the pervasiveness of global influences over traditional Nordic brands.

Take the Nomad Chair by Norr11 for example. A beautiful, high backed lounger, it offers a reinterpretation of the traditional Moroccan wicker chair. A notoriously complex chair, it finds new simplicity under Norr11, harnessing two large bamboo frames and inlaid French mesh to create a light and elegant lounge chair. Its very name, Nomad, is a portmanteau of “Nordic” and “Moroccan” and represents the expanding nature of Scandinavian style.

SHHH…

For architects and designers working on projects in busy cities, sound-proofing is of the utmost importance. Acoustic panelling is one of the most popular techniques for achieving such tranquillity, yet often lacks the environmental credentials for use in sustainable projects. Enter the new Pulp Acoustic Panels from Baux. Crafted from 100% bio-based material, it features modified cellulosic fibres that work to absorb sound and create stillness. Described as an acoustic revolution, they can be applied in a myriad of ways to create the desired aesthetic and acoustic effects.

Another protagonist in the acoustic category is the Lily Pendant Lamp by Abstracta. Crafted from moulded felt, it floats like a gorgeous water lily above contemporary rooms, dampening noise while providing a soft gush of illumination. Attention to the acoustic sense was rampant throughout the fair, and is indicative of the new multi-sensory approach designers are required to take when completing world-class projects and interiors.

Streamlined

While round, bulbous sofas seemed to reign supreme at the fair, there were several examples of beautifully streamlined loungers that also warrant attention. All sleek edges and gentle curves, Mete‘s Paris Collection established an immediate sense of comfort, its simple visual language more in keeping with what we’ve come to expect from Scandinavian designer sofas. Equally striking was the Pad Lounge Chair from Normann Copenhagen, whose Bauhaus style tubular frame lent a free-flowing edge to the moulded seat shells. Last but not least, was the Clair Cafe Sofa from Edsbyn, a neat and elegant lounger that can easily adapt to both private and public spaces. Taken together, each offered a modern update on the classic Scandi look, swapping wood feet for powdered metal and boxy shapes for svelte silhouettes.

As we reflected together over a cup of coffee, the Chaplins team discussed the evolution of Scandinavian style over the last couple of years. One considered a very pure design movement, it’s clear that the Scandi aesthetic is expanding to include global influences and softer flourishes, with new hues and techniques being developed to address modern concerns and tastes. Of course, the essence remains the same, to create outstanding modern interiors that resonate a sense of deep-rooted wellbeing. And while some purists might bemoan the new directions of this much-loved style, we can’t help but feel it’s exactly what’s needed and look forward to introducing it into our interior projects at Chaplins.

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