I’ve already shared two of my favourite exhibitions from Stockholm Design Week – ‘The Sculptor’s Residence’ and ‘The Archive’ – so today I have a round-up of interesting product launches from the Stockholm Furniture Fair, which takes place at the same time.
The largest trade show in the Nordic design world, it brings together more than 700 brands – mostly from Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland, but a few from further afield, too. It’s also where many companies choose to unveil their latest pieces, and I’ve picked out some of my favourites below. So, make yourself a cuppa, sit back and feast your eyes on these beautiful new designs…
Relaunched pieces from Fredericia’s archives
First up is Danish brand Fredericia, which has long been a favourite of mine. Its focus has always been timeless, long-lasting design and for 2020 it has chosen to relaunch several classic pieces from its archives. One is the ‘Ditzel’ lounge chair, created in 1949 by Nanna Ditzel (later responsible for Fredericia’s iconic ‘Trinidad’ chair) and her husband Jørgen. It marked a departure from the upright, rigid chairs that were conventional at the time, and its curved shape was intended to give people the freedom to sit in new, more relaxed ways. The updated version is made from PUR foam with a steel frame, wooden legs and a choice of upholstery, and will be available from September.
The other pieces, which are due to go on sale this spring, were all the work of Fredericia’s first design director, Børge Mogensen. The ‘BM61’ and ‘BM62’ chairs (the latter with arms, the former without) are simple yet striking, with a solid wooden frame and a choice of cane wicker or linen webbing for the seat and back. The ‘Canvas’ chair, meanwhile, has a clean-lined oak frame and chunky armrests that echo Mogensen’s famous ‘Spanish’ chair, but with canvas rather than leather for the seat and back. It was designed just before his death in 1972 and has never been put into full production before now, but it makes an excellent addition to Fredericia’s range.
Versatile furniture and lighting from Carl Hansen & Son
Børge Mogensen was also the man behind two pieces being relaunched by Carl Hansen & Son: the ‘BM0865’ daybed (available from May) and the ‘BM0488’ table bench (available from September). Both were originally showcased at the Copenhagen Cabinetmakers’ Guild furniture exhibition in 1958 and formed part of Mogensen’s ‘building furniture’ concept, through which he aimed to create enduring designs that could be added to and adapted over time in response to changing needs. The daybed is made up of modular oak seats, soft cushions and cylindrical head and armrests that can be used in all sorts of different combinations, and it suits a wide variety of spaces. The bench is crafted from solid oak with a woven top and is similarly versatile, working well as a seat, a side table, a coffee table or a surface for books and other items.
Also on show on Carl Hansen’s stand – and in some of the below press photos – was the new ‘MO’ series of floor, table, wall and ceiling lamps. The company’s first collaboration with Danish designer Mads Odgård, it consists of simple lacquered-steel shapes that symbolise light’s comforting effect on people and is designed to last for decades without dating. It will be on sale from October, with prices starting at £263 / €300 per lamp.
Scandinavian classics and contemporary tables from Warm Nordic
There was yet another relaunch from Warm Nordic – a young Danish brand unveiled at the fair in 2018. It was founded with the aim of showcasing long-lost mid-century pieces alongside contemporary designs, and its latest addition is ‘Dwell’ – a family of compact sofas and armchairs first created by architect Hans Olsen in the 1950s. The curved shape and tapered wooden legs form an elegant yet striking silhouette and there’s a wide range of upholstery options to choose from, including leather and tactile bouclé. It’s set to go on sale this spring, with prices ranging from €1,800 to €5,250.
Warm Nordic also used the fair to showcase its new ‘Affinity’ dining table. The work of architect / design duo Halskov & Dalsgaard, it combines a bevelled linoleum top with slimline metal legs and beautiful cane detailing. It comes in round and elliptical versions, with a choice of three muted colourways, and it too will be available in the spring. Prices start at €2,030.
New additions at Artek
New on Artek‘s stand were two pieces designed by French duo Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec: the ‘Rope’ chair and the ‘Tupla’ wall hook. Both combine simple-looking silhouettes with sophisticated construction and stay true to the Finnish brand’s ethos of blending art and technology (hence the name Artek). The chair is described as ‘a line drawing translated into space’ and consists of a steel-tube frame threaded with rope that forms the back and armrests. It’s surprisingly comfortable as it bends to the sitter’s shape, and it comes in black with a black polyester rope or light grey with a natural flax rope. The wall hook, meanwhile, is made from die-cast zinc and intended to add beauty to an everyday object, with elegant loops that are as lyrical as they are functional.
Sculptural minimalism from Kristina Dam
I always look forward to seeing the latest pieces from Copenhagen-based designer Kristina Dam, who describes her aesthetic as ‘sculptural minimalism’, and her spring-summer 2020 collection certainly didn’t disappoint. Among the new additions on her stand were the understated ‘Capsule’ glasses and carafe, the angular ‘Pedestal’ table and a bench to match the existing ‘Curved’ side table. I also spotted brown- and black-leather editions of the popular ‘Curved’ pouf, a new full-sized version of the ‘Rotating’ mirror, and a beautiful porcelain sculpture called ‘Brick’, which takes its cue from Ancient Greek architecture and features a single unbroken line. My favourites, though, were the powder-coated steel ‘Bauhaus’ lounge chair – a tribute to the famous Bauhaus art school, available in black or white and suitable for indoor and outdoor use – and the painted-glass ‘Dual’ vases, which come in soft, earthy colours and can be stood on either end, giving you two different designs in one.
Many of the new launches are available now; others are coming soon but you can sign up for alerts via the website.
New colours and options from String Furniture
Swedish stalwart String Furniture used the fair to display several new additions, including a rich brown version of its iconic modular shelving system and the full roll-out of its beige colourway, first launched for some elements last year. There was also a new utilitarian version of its compact ‘Pocket’ shelf unit featuring perforated metal and a lipped edge. It was created by Swedish duo Anna von Schewen and Björn Dahlström, who sought to reinterpret the design while retaining the essence of the original, and is ideal for kitchens, bathrooms, utility rooms and garages. The holes can be used for hanging hooks, rails and other accessories, and it comes in three colour choices – white, taupe and neon orange – that were developed in collaboration with stylist Lotta Agaton.
Sustainable wooden furniture from Nikari
Finnish brand Nikari had largely escaped my radar before now, but I was very taken with the way it combines modern design with traditional craftsmanship. I was also impressed by its commitment to sustainability, which extends as far as powering its head office, studio and workshop with renewable energy from the hydro-power plant located next door. Its pared-back wooden pieces encompass creations from the likes of Alvar Aalto, Jasper Morrison and Claesson Koivisto Rune, and are made from responsibly sourced wood finished with natural lacquers. New for 2020 is the understated ‘Storia’ stool, designed by Nikari founder Kari Virtanen, and Jenni Roininenat’s ‘Basic’ table, which comes with round or rectangular ends. Both are understated and timeless, and I can see them fitting seamlessly into all sorts of different settings.
All-new accessories from &tradition
As well as displaying its recently launched pieces by Peter Hvidt and Orla Mølgaard Nielsen, &tradition unveiled ‘Collect’, a line of elegant and understated home accessories created by Space Copenhagen. Designed to complement the Danish brand’s range of classic and contemporary furniture and lighting, it includes cushions, throws and bedspreads in earthy hues such as beige, burgundy and terracotta. All are made from soft and cosy natural materials, with linen and merino wool alongside organic cotton. There’s also a series of hand-crafted concrete planters, which can be used indoors and out and come in three different sizes. The full collection should be available very soon, although prices have yet to be confirmed.
The ‘Roadie’ bench from Massproductions
Last but not least is Sweden-based Massproductions, whose new ‘Roadie’ outdoor bench was named ‘Best Product’ in the fair awards. The creation of the brand’s British co-founder Chris Martin, it was inspired by the steel crowd control barriers found at rock concerts and is made from strong yet lightweight aluminium. The high back is designed for comfort, and the curved shape means sections can be placed together in a circle to encourage conversation; it’s also stackable for easy storage. It comes in brushed silver, pale yellow and dark green finishes, and matching seat cushions are available. Prices start at €2,060.
All images courtesy of the brands mentioned above
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