A Brief History of Scandinavian Design

Who doesn’t love Scandinavian design? The thing about Scandi design is that it has evolved over the centuries and each evolution maintains its devotees. Each iteration builds on the past. I’m a lifelong fan of Scandinavian design and was happy and honored when the editors of Seasonal Living asked me to write a piece on this so-loved style. Want to know the history of Scandinavian design in a five-minute read? Follow that link and you’ll be surprised at what you’ll learn!

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This entire issue is dedicated to Scandinavia. Some of my imagery is included in these pages. Let me tell you - design and innovation is in EVERYTHING in Scandinavia, even in the food - food as art, modern community initiatives in learning, childcare and recreation, the focus on healthy living, appreciation of nature and so often, nature as art as well. The list goes on and on.

Yes, I’m incredibly biased but with good reason! But, back to one of the things Scandinavia is best known for - its design aesthetic. Here’s a little story about a simple display in the Royal Copenhagen store in Copenhagen:

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It's just a little shot I took at the Royal Copenhagen store in, where else, Copenhagen, but the table, chairs and tabletop express Scandinavian design so well.

The chairs are iconic but so clean, modern yet warm, aren't they? The table is simple, with a natural wood surface and has a lovely organic look to it.

But what really floored me were the blue plates. These plates are Royal Copenhagen plates made from probably, the early 1900s. They are made every year to commemorate various events and holidays even to today.

The style of these dishes went WAY out of favor in the past 20 years or so, maybe more. I grew up with them in my home. So, to see them used in this way, especially at the table, which I had never seen before, is typical of Scandi style - that fabulous eclectic mix that is unexpected but perfectly designed.

Eclectic design, Scandi style rocks!