Book Reviews - Scandinavian Modern

Friday 11 September 2015

For several decades, Scandinavian style has had an influence on the way we deck out our homes. Whether it's a conscious decision to replicate the style with any authenticity is largely irrelevant. What we get from the pared down informal simplicity is the ultimate non-style identity. Good, honest materials speak volumes when used alongside a palette of complementary colours. This approach has given us some of the most influential and iconic furniture designs of the last century. This book by the founders of Skandium, a fashionable retail outlet on two continents, seeks to promote a style that came to the fore between the two world wars, reaching its height of popularity in the 1950s.

Also collectively known as the Nordic region, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden was, until the end of the 19th century, something of an agricultural backwater. Eeking a living from the land was tough. Homes and possessions were simple but out of necessity nearly always obsessively functional. Browsing the pages of Scandinavian Modern you begin to notice that not only are the pieces easy on the eye but they are easy on the maker. There are pieces of furniture in this book that you could make, and should make, if only to learn from them. By the way, this is not a 'how to' book; it's partly coffee-table book and partly sales brochure but oddly none-the-worse for being either.

I used to work with an 'interior designer' who always specified 'blonde' wood. She'd do well to read Scandinavian Modern but I suspect like the Inuits and their 50 words for snow, she'd probably end up with just another 50 words for 'blonde' - and before you ask, yes, she was.

I recommend you seek a copy not just so you can pinch ideas but to understand in a nutshell what the Nordic style is all about. True to form, Magnus Englund and Chrystina Schmidt have put it beautifully.


ISBN: 9781841724119

Price: £19.99