The latest new-season collection to grab my attention comes from Danish brand Menu, which works with various international designers to produce uncomplicated yet sophisticated pieces for everyday living. Called ‘Portraits’, its new range blends Scandinavian minimalism with elegant shapes and decadent materials, and it’s one of my favourite autumn-winter 2017 launches so far.
New furniture designs include the ‘Offset’ and ‘Eave’ sofas, both created by Norm Architects, who’ve collaborated with Menu on numerous occasions over the years. The former is based around the concept of paradoxes and was designed to be substantial and sculptural, yet also delicate and homely; the latter was inspired by architectural forms and has curved armrests that echo the shape of the roof eaves from which it takes its name. Along with Swedish design studio Note, Norm was also involved in the creation of the oval-shaped ‘NoNo’ table, which offsets a sold glass top with elegant, slender legs.
Another new furniture piece is ‘ZET’, a smart shelving system with a light, minimalist appearance that was created by German design duo Kaschkasch. The whole system consists of only two components: wooden u-shaped shelves and a metal frame, which can be assembled in various formations.
There’s also a new version of Afteroom Studio’s ‘Afteroom’ chair, which has been a Menu bestseller since its launch in 2012. Called the ‘Afteroom Plus’, it has the same pared-back structure as the original, but its wider backrest and plush upholstery give a hint of added luxury.
Smaller pieces in the collection include Aleksandar Lazic’s bronzed-brass ‘Moon’ vase, inspired by nights when the moon makes a brief appearance through streaks of cloud, and the ‘Balance’ candleholder, a modern interpretation of traditional candlesticks by Frederik Alexander Werner. There’s also the stilted ‘Échasse’ bowl by Theresa Arns, which joins the existing ‘Échasse’ vase, and Note’s ‘POV’ circular candleholder and vase, whose lines and shadows are designed to look different from different points of view.
A few existing accessories have been given updates, too. There are beautiful new pastel colour options and dark walnut tops for the popular Norm-designed ‘Bottle’ salt and pepper grinders, and a new white version of the portable ‘Carrie’ LED lamp, whose warm glow is designed to echo candlelight. In addition, the ‘New Norm’ dinnerware range, first created in 2012, is now available in a striking stormy grey.
Finally, there are several new lighting designs. My favourites are the matte-black and brass ‘Hubert’ pendant and ‘Hudson’ wall lamp – the latest additions to Søren Rose Studio’s ‘Tribeca’ series, which was inspired by the glamour of 1930s New York. I also like the look of the minimalist ‘TR bulb’ by London-based Tim Rundle. Designed as a solution to the increasingly nomadic nature of modern city living, it can be taken from apartment to apartment and installed by simply screwing it into the pendant socket, without any electrical expertise.
All images via Menu