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Stockholm Furniture Fair 2013: Beautiful Nordic Designs With High-Style

It’s evening and I am waiting at the Arlanda Airport in front of the gate to board a flight that will take me from these frozen lands to Amsterdam and from the there to my home town, Bucharest. The show is now over. The 62nd edition of the Stockholm Furniture Fair has come to an end, a few days ago. But I still feel like I’m under a spell. And after breathing design for a full week in the halls of the Stockholmsmässan, I can say for sure that this won’t be broken any time soon.

This is my first visit to Sweden but I can say that Stockholm is a stunning city even in full winter. It glows at night in style and has a certain appeal that makes you wander the streets and only stop for a quick bite or some expensive drinks. It’s just as beautiful during the day when it wakes up to life and you get see more about its posh architecture and how everything is so well organized. That’s mostly because of the Swedes – a bunch of talented people that somehow manage to always come up with stunning ideas and think out of the box.

Image from the Bla Station party during Stockholm Design Week / attended with Peter Makela

For a week, Stockholm has been this great meeting place for designers, architects, bloggers and media journalists, with people attending either to show off their ideas, prototypes or products, or to get a fresh dose of pure Scandinavian designs to feed their need for creativity. So what exactly caught our eye you may ask — if you haven’t followed @alex_ion on Twitter for our live micro-blogging from the event? Here they are, the highlights from this year’s Stockholm Furniture Fair.

80 Sheets Of Mountains By NENDO

Upon entering the hall, the first thing you’d see would be this beautiful white (large-scale) installation by NENDO – the guest of honor for this year’s event – that mimics a landscape of snow-capped mountain ranges in the space. The designers laser-cut 80 sheets of five-millimetre-thick foamboard and stretched them into a set of partitions with softly curving, added a bunch of white lamps and white aluminum chairs. The result was impressive and sure got the eye of every visitor.

Vinge Table Lamp by Note Design Studio for Örsjö Belysning

Decoist had the chance to meet with the very creative people from Note Design Studio. We payed them a visit in their beautiful and inspiring showroom close to Luma Factory – one of functionalism most important buildings in Stockholm. The Vinge table lamp has been designed for Örsjö Belysning. The interesting thing about it is that when rotated you get to decrease or increase the lighting in your room. That’s cool, I’d say. Don’t you think?

Here’s more from the designers’ mouth:

With an unadorned exterior our studio has created Vinge, a table lamp with a movable wing that encourages interaction. The function of dimming the light is moved to the wing – which can be rotated 180° around its own axis – making the sweeping experience of increasing or decreasing brightness highly tactile.

Dent Chair in 3D-form Veneer by O4i for Bla Station

Founded in 2005 by MFA Senior Design Partners Henrik Kjellberg and Jon Lindström, the O4i design studio (name stands for Office for ideas) has come up with a rather interesting chair design — one with a 3D-form, dubbed the Dent Chair. Many will ask how exactly do you make veneer to look like this, you will have to take our word for it, O4i did it. Not only is the Dent chair extremely comfy, it’s also both sleek and beautiful working well with any environment, be it public or private. And did I mention these chairs are stackable so that you can save space when needed.

Bla Station, the producer of the chair, liked the Dent just as much as we did.

“… the truth is that Dent was created out of the blood, sweat and tears that were shed in countless efforts to transform a hard, flat surface into a double-curved shell that comfortably cradles the human body,” they say.

Bento Chair By ‘Form Us With Love’ For One Nordic Furniture Company

The guys from One Nordic Furniture Company have had the chance to work with great designers. Two of the their products got our attention. The Bento Chair is the result of many hours of work by design studio Form Us With Love. While it does sound more like a DIY project because of its functionality (you wouldn’t believe how easy it actually is to put it together) the chair comes with built-in flex in the backrest to make for a highly cozy seating experience.

The Bento Chair combines the playfulness of mechanical toys and the functionality of the Japanese lunch boxes. The broad legs are a wink at the tradition of bending wood, but at the same time it’s a bit bold.

Hai Lounge Chair By Luca Nichetto For One Nordic Furniture Company

Another great design we got to drool over in Stockholm, was the Hai Lounge Chair by Venice-born designer Luca Nichetto. The chair mixes a high-end design with the sensibility of flat-pack furniture, thanks to its incorporated folding backrest (it can completely collapse forward). That mid-century modern look will not require any tools to assemble, but be warned, it’s going to set you back some  €1400.

The request to create a great quality object with a strong personality has met the functional requirements related to packaging derived from the world of online sales. These needs have inspired and supported a search for comfort that have not compromised on the modularity of the product, leading to an aesthetic result with both classic and contemporary references.

The Magis Me Too Furniture for Kids

The Italians from Magis have made a habit of working with great designers for their products. The same happened when they decided to work on kids furniture. They wanted a collection of objects but also a shot of fantasy, therefore they had to look for talented designers who would somehow be able to think with the mind of a child. That’s how Magis Me Too came to life.

One of the products that got our eye in the huge halls of Stockholmsmässan was Bunky by renowned Australian designer Marc Newson. Bunky is actually a bunk bed made of rotational-molded polyethylene that is both good looking and highly functional (you can play with it like a LEGO).

Mayor Sofa by Arne Jacobsen; Reinterpretation for &Tradition

Another stop was at the &Tradition booth. We were amazed how modern these traditional Scandinavian designs can be. Take the Mayor Sofa for an example. The Danish company has come up with a stylish reinterpretation of the renowned sofa created for Copenhagen’s Søllerød City Hall, in 1939, by world famous designer and architect Arne Jacobsen. It’s a classic rooted in Nordic design traditions of fine woods and functional solutions, all mixed with some international modernism flavor that Jacobsen was known for.

“With our introduction of the BELLEVUE lamps in 2011 and now the MAYOR sofa, we are creating a universe centering around the slightly younger and experimenting Arne Jacobsen. The Arne Jacob¬sen designs produced by &tradition are predecessors to many of the products on the market he is known for today,” says Martin Kornbek Hansen.

In Between Chair by Sami Kallio for &Tradition

Other than the stunning Mayor Sofa, these minimalist chairs below have made quite an impact on us. Designed by Sami Kallio and dubbed the In Between chair, it is made in ash and oak and comes with a crescent-shaped back and armrest that attaches to the seat through three wood veneer panels. It’s a beautiful clash between the industrial process of manufacturing and the traditional techniques that make us think of hand-crafted wooden furniture.

In Between Chair collection (together with the Mass Light designed by NORM)

“I’m fascinated by a product’s form and presence in the room. How are the gaps in the design perceived? It’s all about balance, distance and proportion,” says Sami Kallio of his new chair In Between for &tradition.

Muuto Furniture Speaks Minimalism!

Copenhagen based manufacturer Muuto has shown us how to decorate a simple dining area. What they propose is a simple setup that is characterized by classic Scandinavian craftsmanship and iconic detailing.

They took four colorful NERD chairs by David Geckeler, a chic Four Flowers vase by Stockholm-based designer Matti Klenell and this cool Split Table by Swedish design Staffan Holm — your dining area will surely impress even the pickiest.  Oh, and for those who’d like to know, Thomas Bernstrand is guilty for this cool Studio Pendant lamp.

Seems like Muuto did a great job to get some of the best in their team. Don’t you think?

Demi Lamp By Mattias Stenberg For Design House Stockholm

Paying homage to Stockholm’s long history in glass making, Swedish designer Mattias Stenberg has managed to stun everyone with the Demi Lamp for Design House Stockholm. The lamp is similar with an exquisite glass sculpture. It has two traditional mouth-blown glass parts connected by an aluminum ring with LEDs that light in the center creating this stylish, warm ambient light that glows from the inside.

“I wanted to find a new way to highlight the qualities of mouth-blown glass, and ironically the best way was to combine it with a fairly high-tech light source. Traditional glass products like formal stemware and art glass are kept standing on the shelf for most of the year. I didn’t want to do that, I wanted to create a product that you can use every day,” Stenberg said about his design.

Grow Greenhouse Designed by Caroline Wetterling

Some say that life pleasures is in the little things. It seems like the Stockholm-based company founded by Anders Färdig —  Design House Stockholm thinks the same. They have distinguished themselves as a publisher of design rather than a conventional producer, which is why they’ve teamed up with Caroline Wetterling and came up with a mouth-blown greenhouse for nature’s smallest flowers, and, at the same time, a nursery for the plant’s first stages of life. It’s manufactured manually from lead-free crystal!

Frost Chair by FurnID for Stouby

Furniture designer Bo Strange and industrial designer Morten Kjær Stovegaard are the heads of Danish design studio FurnID. They are the ones guilty for coming up with the design of the Frost Chair for Stouby.

Available in various colors and materials (textile, leather), Frost is a highly comfortable seating option because it’s made of cast foam on the outside and soft foam, on the inside. The classic look is further enhanced by the natural oak or beach, soap treated, lacquered or dark stained, legs. But the overall futuristic feel is given by its shape; you really feel like it hugs you.

Haiku Sofa By GamFratesi For Fredericia

Fredericia is a Danish brand producing innovative Scandinavian design since 1911. The company is well known for their long-standing tradition of producing small, simple sofas, a tradition continued successfully by Haiku. Designed by the Danish-Italian architectural duo GamFratesi, Haiku is all about transmitting sensual experiences , just like the Japanese poems with the same name. It features a highly inviting and comfortable seat that sits on slim legs with a rather hard shell, making you curious and intrigued at the same time.

PLANK Wooden Lamp With Dimmable LEDs by Northern Lighting

The moment I entered the Northern Lighting booth I was amazed; these guys have managed to encapsulate into their creative products a huge amount of  Nordic fascination drawn from nature, culture and society, and the mood-creating possibilities of light.

One such example is the thin, long and simplistic PLANK lamp by Frida Ottemo Fröberg and Marie-Louise Gustafsson — a light fixture made out of pure, raw wood, that comes with dimmable LEDs making for a stylish environmental-friendly solution for your room. On top of this, it’s been built to feature this unpolished expression with visible marks and traces from the production processes, which only adds to its charm.

Made In Prison: BAKE ME A CAKE Table Lamp

Same folks from Northern Lighting who showcased the PLANK light fixture, has managed to impress with another product. Firsly, because it’s made in prison. Prison, I kid you not. A unique collaboration between the designers, Northern Lighting and the Norwegian correctional services, allowed for this high quality designer lamp to be actually manufactured by inmates of the Bergen Prison in Norway.

The charming and playful BAKE ME A CAKE table lamp has been designed by Morten & Jonas and is made with a great deal of attention to details with oak wood and smoked, tinted glass.

“With this lamp project we wanted to create  an object that has a sense of humor, a beautiful shape and a story that gives the users some thoughts maybe, and hopefully a smile on their faces,” the designers said.

Bits Wall Sound Absorbing Module by Anya Sebton for Abstracta

The winner of this year’s Wallpaper Design award is the sound absorbing module Bits Wall by Anya Sebton for the Swedish-based furniture manufacturer, Abstracta. The Bits Wall modules are not just an innovative and functional sound-absorbent wall panel, it’s highly aesthetic thanks to its triangular modern design. Made of molded polyester fiber and covered with fabric, the panels promises to effectively blocks sound waves in high-style.

The triangular shape works as a smart sound diffuser as well as a beautiful interior piece, presenting a creative solution to the usually dull looking class A absorbent. Inspired by the famous local design pattern of Sergels torgs in Stockholm, Anya Sebton has created a both playful and familiar aesthetic for greater everyday spaces.

Ponti Adjustable Armchair By Andersen & Voll For STOLAB

Ponti is a very comfortable armchair with a continuously adjustable back, meant for those in the nursing and care business who wouldn’t compromise on aesthetics to get the functionality they need. Made of solid birch and available in 10 different wood stains, Ponti has been designed by Torbjørn Andersen and Espen Voll for STOLAB, as an armchair that is both embracing and soft. You may not see it from this picture, but it’s really easy to sit down in or to get up from.

Mimic Bench by Nathalie Adenling for Materia

Nathalie Adenlings fascination for “memory foam” has materialized into this great Mimic Bench that creates an exciting visual and tactile experience . A product designed for Swedish-based manufacturer, Materia, the benchwill shape to your body and to your weight (memory foam is hard when cold and moldable when warmed up – through body heat, of course). And don’t think it will look bad if you’re a bit heavier, Nathalie says:

However you choose to sit on Mimic, it will shape itself in a few seconds in a smooth enveloping sensation, supporting your body. When you get up again, it goes back to its original shape to welcome new guests.

Alex Ion

Alex started Decoist in early 2009, as a passion. With time, things have changed and Alex became more and more obsessed with fancy interiors and contemporary designs. Hence why all his attention today goes to running the magazine -- deciding what gets published, ensuring that our fans on Fa[...]

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