“Beauty is the harmony of purpose and form”

Alvar Aalto

Nordic styles are among the most used on the planet. Their warmth, minimalism and functionality fall in love at first sight and, luckily, its maximum exponent, the Danish design, has a long time left. The new Nordic designers arrive with strength but with the intention of maintaining the essence of the origins. 

Friends & Founders, File under Pop, Bolia, Massimo Copenhagen or Silkeborg are some of the current references in Danish design and are the names that are destined to mark the not-so distant future of Scandinavian interior design. One thing that all Scandinavian designers agree on is that elegance and functionality of the style will endure.

Danish design: what is it and where does it come from

Timeless and minimalist, Danish design began to take shape in the mid-20th century, influenced by the German Bauhaus school. The union of industrial production with other concepts such as simplicity and functionality gave rise to both designs and buildings that today are icons of this sector. Arne Jacobsen, Poul Henningsen, Jørn Utzon or Hans Wegner laid the foundations of Danish design with pieces to remember such as the Egg Chair or the Sydney Opera House.

This style gained popularity from the 50’s onwards, as it placed value on functionality and affordability for everyone. In the 1970s it became a cult style and the functionality and simplicity so characteristic of Danish design became even more marked. The appearance of IKEA, with affordable designs within everyone’s reach, was also a turning point in this style.

In terms of what it conveys, Danish design follows the maxim of Hygge, the secret of Danish happiness. This 100% Danish term can be translated as “coziness” and makes homes warmer, friendlier and more pleasant.

Danish design features

The main characteristics of the Danish style (or any Nordic style) are:

  • Simplicity and minimalism
  • Functional spaces and furniture
  • Predominates the use of natural and noble materials.
  • The color palette starts with neutral tones, although vibrant colors can be added.
  • Design pieces that will last over time.

Nordic designers: what we should expect from new Danish design

The new generation of Scandinavian designers, who are taking over from established brands such as Fritz Hansen or Louis Poulsen, are committed to continuing with the characteristics that define Nordic design. Being avant-garde while maintaining the roots of the style is a must for all of them.

Below, we highlight some of the most important names among today’s Nordic designers and review their designs. Will you join us? 

Friends & Founders

Friends & Founders was born in 2013 in a studio in the north of Copenhagen under a very clear premise: to create contemporary design with a strong focus on architecture, art and craft. For them, their name perfectly defines their philosophical perspective on this business, which is based on establishing trusting and honest relationships with clients, makers and other creators. 

According to Rasmus Hildebrand, CEO and co-founder of the company, “I like to think our name is an invitation to work together in creating brilliant and striking designs”. The result is high quality, uniquely designed pieces that they want to last as long as “the classics from Jacobsen, Alto or Wegner”. 

At Friends & Founders they carefully choose the materials they work with to “prolong the life of a product from the point of view of aesthetics, functionality and sustainability”. We leave you with some of their classics, such as the ‘La Pipe’ armchair or the ‘Pond’ table. 

New Nordic designers Friends & Founders. In the picture, its 'Pond' table.
Pond table by Friends & Founders

File Under Pop

Josephine Akvama Hoffmeyer and her brand, File Under Pop, is another new Nordic designer to watch out for. The idea stems from their passion for creative surface design and they specialize in clothing floors, walls and ceilings in a curated universe of color and tactile textures.

Based in Copenhagen, all products are made following a process that combines traditional craftsmanship with modern technology, resulting in characteristic surfaces with a lot of personality, like the ones we see in the images. Which space do you choose?

Bolia

Among the new Nordic designers who are shaping the future, Bolia also deserves a special mention. This Danish design brand finds inspiration in “the beautiful changeability of nature”. Each design is created by different talented designers and crafted by skilled craftsmen and cabinetmakers.

Bolia’s furniture collections offer quality design while following the characteristics of Scandinavian design thanks to their functionality and fine, clean aesthetics. 

Massimo Copenhagen

Massimo Copenhagen has been making handmade rugs for more than 20 years, paying the utmost attention to design, quality and sustainability. As they define themselves: “We cannot and we will not deny our Scandinavian origin. We have a passion for subtle, natural color schemes and long-lasting functional design”. 

Without a doubt, their rugs are the soul of any room, don’t you think? And that’s why they have earned their place among Nordic trend-setting designers.

Silkeborg

Silkeborg Uldspinderi has, in recent years, evolved from a typical manufacturing company to a modern Danish design brand with a focus on fine craftsmanship and sustainable design.

These Scandinavian designers hold design and craftsmanship hand in hand with the goal of becoming design icons for wool, a distinction no one else has yet. 

All in all, as we have seen, the fathers of Danish design can breathe easy as new Nordic designers are here to follow in their footsteps while cementing one of the most widely used designs on the planet. So we can look forward to a long and healthy life for Danish design.

If Scandinavian design is one of your favorites, we invite you to be always inspired thanks to one of our community accounts: @_designhomedecor. Don’t miss it!