4 Finnish & Swedish Brands Every Scandinavian Design Lover Should Know
You’ve no doubt heard of hygge, the Danish concept that denotes comfortable living and cozy quarters. Its associated design sensibility has permeated modern decor, and with good reason; interior designers and design aficionados alike appreciate the clean minimalism and natural materials that the aesthetic promises. But don't mistake simplicity for lack of imagination. Scandinavian design, since its emergence in the early 20th century, has long married form and function. Sleek storage, colorful rugs and textiles, and pared-down furniture are just some of the signature hallmarks of the movement. While there are plenty of Danish design brands that are enjoying a growing popularity, there are several companies that even the savviest design-forward clients haven’t yet come across. Meet four of our favorite Scandinavian brands located outside of Denmark.
Founded in 1995 by Tuula Jusélius, Secto Design first made waves with its avant-garde, glue-laminated wood furniture. Today, this Finnish brand is best known for its array of elegant, minimalism-minded lighting. A commission by award-winning architect Seppo Koho for the Secto pendant turned into a long-standing collaboration that has yielded a full lineup of signature pendants, sconces, table lamps, and floor lamps. Style suggestion: Add the Secto 4201 Pendant to areas in the home in need of a subtle, sleek solution designed from PEFC certified Finnish birch, or group three of them together for a chic lighting trifecta. You can even find the 4201 Pendant in the Lekker Home conference room!
Thoughtful, functional, and warm, Finnish brand Artek is just as inspiring today as it was when it came to life in 1935 at the hands of forward-thinking founders Alvar and Aino Aalto, Maire Gullichsen, and Nils-Gustav Hahl. Even those who haven't had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with the brand will no doubt recognize Tea Trolley 901, a perfectly modern bar cart that first splashed onto the scene at the 1937 Paris World's Fair, and has been pleasing interior designers and decor enthusiasts ever since. Talk about time-tested design! Lekker Home's Buying & Merchandising Manager suggests styling Tea Trolly 901 with your favorite glassware and a vase with fresh-cut flowers.
An art gallery-turned-furniture brand, Swedish-born company Asplund is perhaps most widely known for its sleek use of contrast between natural materials and modern surfaces. The company’s grounding principle of furniture-as-art informs each piece, with some notable favorites including sideboards meticulously crafted of oak veneer and stone, function- and form-forward storage cabinets designed to last, and even a high-quality selection of distinctive rugs, such as the Biblioteket Rug, which was designed by Emma Olbers for the Old Library in the Stockholm National Museum. Lekker Home's Founder and Creative Director, Natalie, particularly loves the Vass 40 Sideboard — in her words, "With a beautiful selection of colors and several configurations to choose from, this piece exemplifies the way form meets function in Asplund designs."
Sustainable and Swedish, heritage furniture brand Gärsnäs has been rooted in quality since its founding in 1893. With a focus on raw materials sourced in southern Sweden and Denmark, plus a penchant for creative collaborations with designers like Åke on Axelsson, David Ericsson, and Färg & Blanche, the brand is a somewhat under-the-radar source for those seeking Scandi style that seamlessly bridges old and new sensibilities. Don’t know where to start? Check out the Dandy Easy Chair, with its natural rattan and vegetable-tanned leather accents, embodies graphic yet elegant design, and the Kolonn Dining Table, a minimalist, small-space table rendered in oak veneer, for two iconic options. Gärsnäs is a new addition to Lekker Home, and we can't wait to have it on our showroom floor in just a couple of months.