I was at a friend’s home the other day. They have a Salmela designed home, and they have chosen Scandinavian Modern furnishings that work as one with the open and airy design. I sat in their Arne Jacobson designed Egg Chair and began to daydream about living at Kiviranta in my own Salmela home with quietly perfect Scandinavian Modern furnishings.
That got me thinking about how Scandinavian Modern fits in with what is described as Mid-Century Modern. After a little research, I concluded that the Scandinavian approach to Modern is a subset of, and distinct within, the larger category of Mid-Century Modern. The universals of Mid-Century Modern are its emphasis on function and practicality. The subset of Scandinavian Modern is characterized by how it reconciles the contemporary ethos with a connection to nature that exudes both warmth and approachability.
Elizabeth Wilhide in her book Scandinavian Home talks about the Scandinavian Ethos that is formed in part by climate and landscape, by the contrasts between the dark and light parts of the year, by proximity to dense forests and water. In her view, this has contributed to a Scandinavian character that is practical, careful with limited resources, and influenced by organic forms and natural patterning. That pretty well sums up Scandinavian Modern furnishings: simple, functional, well-made, beautiful. It also helps explain why so many Scandinavian Modern pieces become instant classics.
We have chosen to furnish the Kiviranta model unit with Scandinavian Modern furnishings. We will be working with a Minneapolis-based company, Danish Teak Classics, to do this. Danish Teak Classics was founded in the 1980s and its mission is to find, restore and sell Scandinavian Modern pieces. They have a showroom in the Northrup King building in Northeast Minneapolis, and also offer interior design services. We don’t know yet what pieces will showcase in our model, but we are looking forward to working with Danish Teak Classics when the time comes. Needless to say, you too can work with them to furnish your home at Kiviranta.
The model at Kiviranta will eventually become our home. We are having fun dreaming about finding just the right Alvar Aalto armchair, or maybe Arne Jacobson sofa, or Egg chair, or maybe a Bruno Mathsson Eva chair, or, or, or… There are so many appealing choices in Modern Scandinavian furniture, light fixtures, ceramics and fabrics.
If, like me, you enjoy casual shopping just to admire Scandinavian Modern and artisan modern items, you will be able to spend many pleasurable hours with artists and artisans in the Duluth area and shop many places in the Twin Cities that focus on Modern and Scandinavian Modern items. We’ll even put together a list of our favorites for you.
Will you join us at Kiviranta?
Photo: Alvar Aalto chair no.43 (Visit Danish Teak Classics to find more Scandinavian Modern designs)