The precepts of Scandinavian furniture
Designed to meet the needs of the largest number of people possible, Scandinavian furniture is governed by certain rules put in place by its precursors and still in effect today.
The spiritual ethos ascribed to Scandinavian furniture consists of giving all inhabitants the possibility of furnishing their homes easily and economically, thanks to the natural wood species in their surrounding environment.
Their practical spirit also enabled them to design functional and harmonious Scandinavian furniture that could be adapted to all decorating intentions and all seasons, and above all that is long lasting.
These criteria remind us of the humanitarian and democratic founding precepts of Scandinavia.
The aesthetic aspect of scandinavian furniture is scrupulously finished, given that the craftsmen and cabinet makers are from the outset also the artists of their designs.
This undeniable richness conferred on Scandinavia a status of excellence in terms of design and the quality of products as Scandinavian furniture was long made by craftsmen.
Industry started to take an interest and small art and craft businesses were heavily sought after to to make their Scandinavian furniture design and manufacturing techniques endure.
Industrial groups were to market Scandinavian furniture on an international scale, and its unassuming beauty rapidly gained numerous enthusiasts.
This was followed in 1954, by the first exhibition of Scandinavian furniture, which visited the US and Canada.
Major players in Scandinavian furniture
The Dane Arne Jacobsen had a major influence on Scandinavian furniture. Trained as an architect and mason, he created an upheaval in Nordic design.
He was to be one of the precursors that added a touch of modernism to Scandinavian furniture in he middle of the 20th Century.
He designed furniture with delicate and fluid lines, which responded to society's enthusiasm for modern silhouettes, and which were destined for industrial production.
In 1951, his Ant chair hit the market and became a top selling item with more than five million produced.
Its rounded and streamlined shape guaranteed its success and played a part in the take-off of Scandinavian furniture.
Poul Henningsen, one of the elders of Nordic decoration and the greatest designer of Scandinavian lighting did his first light as part of a project for a school.
The Henningsen machine was thus launched and was to be a major driver of Scandinavian furniture. His initial endeavours were essentially made of materials such as copper and glass.
A good ambassador for Scandinavia, he spent several years designing his lamps, keeping in mind the leit motiv of the best lighting possible, in order to obtain pure light at a low cost.
His series of contemporary modern table lamps toned down the brightness, thanks to several layers of different sized metal pieces, which made the light circulate perfectly.
This revolutionary system resulted in his PH lamp being a star attraction at the 1925 Paris international exhibition of the decorative arts.