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At its basic elements, functionality is the heart of Scandinavian design. It only helps that clean, minimal lines and simple material combinations are quick runners-up. Combine all of those elements and you have a product that not only does what it’s intended to do but also looks really, really good doing it.
Scandinavia is overwhelmingly cozy and that should come as no surprise given the cold, dark winters most northern countries face. Scandinavians have come up with the best ways to combat the winter blues through design: warm sheepskin-covered stools, beautiful chairs with simple silhouettes, wool blankets with blasts of color.
Consider this your guide to giving your own life a little Scandinavian boost, whether you’re looking for something small to gift yourself (or a loved one) or a design centerpiece with a history that will spur dinner party conversations for years to come. We did a little research and pulled together a shopping list that will have you feeling a little cozier, no matter where you may be.
Geyser Hringir Icelandic Wool Blanket
While Iceland is technically not part of the Scandinavian Peninsula, it is a Nordic country (together with Finland) and its design aesthetic certainly falls within the same category.
Geysir is one of Iceland’s most prominent brands especially when it comes to cozy outerwear and home goods. The label’s reversible Hringir blanket is entirely crafted from the warmest Icelandic wool and sports beautiful details such as the whip-stitch trim. It will certainly bring a pop of color draped over a sofa or a rocking chair.
To buy: $140, geysir.com
Shou Sugi Ban House Ceramics
Shou Sugi Ban House, the wellness retreat and destination spa located in the Hamptons teamed up with New York-based ceramicist Stephanie Charlene on a collection of minimalist tableware that includes three sizes of bowls (small, medium, and salad), side and dinner plates, and tumblers, all made from groggy white stoneware and finished with a sandy white glaze.
Mads Refslund, the co-founder of Noma in Copenhagen, actually directs the culinary program at Shou Sugi Ban House so you can pretend you are having a meal at the renowned Nordic restaurant when you receive your set of ceramics.
To buy: from $40, ssbhouse.com
Mongolian Faux Fur Stool
One of Iceland’s most iconic furniture designs is the “Fuzzy” stool—a four-legged stool covered in long-haired sheep wool, created by Sigurdur Mar Helgason in 1972.
And this Mongolian Faux fur stool certainly oozes the same cozy aesthetic. It’s a great accent piece for a bedroom or living room and does double duty as a side table.
To buy: $229, potterybarn.com
The Womb Chair
Legendary Finnish designer Eero Saarinen created the Womb Chair for Knoll in 1946 after being challenged to come up with a chair that would make people want to curl up in it. Needless to say, the result was more than well received and to this day, the Womb Chair remains an iconic example of midcentury modern design. Its striking organic shape and padded construction are truly the epitome of style and function.
To buy: $4,620, dwr.com
Display your favorite books and magazines in this floor bookstand crafted from solid black walnut. For an eye-catching look, place several of them together to create a zigzag shape.
To buy: $295, dwr.com
Marimekko Urna Vase
Marimekko’s amber-hued vase was created by Swedish designer Carina Seth-Andersson, known for the striking simplicity and timeless design of her glass and ceramic pieces. The Urna vase was mouth blown using see-through glass and rests on a base that visually elevates its robust silhouette.
To buy: $285, marimekko.com
IC Floor Lamp
Simple geometric shapes define the work of Cypriot-born lighting designer Michael Anastassiades. It is exactly the clean lines and sculptural looks of his works that makes them a great addition to a home that oozes Scandinavian minimalism. This beautiful lamp consisting of a sphere perched atop a slim brass frame is simple yet dramatic given that the glass diffuser looks like it’s about to drop.
To buy: $995, dwr.com
Anderssen & Voll Muuto Framed Mirror
Oslo-based design duo Torbjørn Anderssen and Espen Voll have dreamed up a sleek mirror that would add a chic vibe to any hallway or bathroom. For an even more artsy look, pair the large mirror with a couple of smaller ones from the same collection.
To buy: $839, finnishdesignshop.com
When Dominique Imbert created his award-winning Gyrofocus fireplace in 1968, it was the first suspended, 360 pivoting fireplace in the world. Its minimalist, modern silhouette is completely in sync with contemporary Scandinavian design. But most important of all, it will transform your living room into a cozy and super stylish sanctuary.
To buy: from $14,740, europeanhome.com
Serena & Lily Teak Ladder
Smart and beautiful storage solutions don’t have to be overly complicated in terms of design. Case in point? This teak ladder is a great spot to drape bath towels or blankets.
To buy: $398, serenaandlily.com
Draenert Surf Coffee Table
Draenert’s Surf coffee table was inspired by the undulation of an ocean wave lapping at the edges of a surfboard. Exemplifying the brand’s penchant for showcasing the natural beauty of organic materials, Surf is handcrafted from solid oak, selected both for its durability and rich grain. The table's shapely contours are traced below by tubular metal legs.
To buy: from $5,381, ddcnyc.com
Henge Savannah Dining Chair
Designer Tierney Hanes’ solid wood Savanna chairs for Henge are evocative of Hans Wegner’s iconic Wishbone chair. Similar to the legendary Danish designer, Hanes also looked to nature for inspiration—Savanna references the limbs or branches of a tree as well as the tendons and ligaments in the body.
To buy: $6,140, ddcnyc.com
Emmemobili LDC Hanging Lamp
Interestingly enough, the architectural shape of this modular hanging lamp was inspired by the shape of Lake Como. It is crafted from veneered, multilayered wood and would be perfect to hang in your living room.
To buy: $10,576, ddcnyc.com