When you think of mid-century Scandinavian design, you probably picture iconic creations by the likes of Arne Jacobsen, Alvar Aalto and Carl Hansen. But how many of the pieces that spring to mind are Norwegian? I’m guessing very few, and possibly none at all. Although Norway has a rich design heritage, many of its contributions have faded from public consciousness, and there’s no denying that names from Denmark, Sweden and Finland have gained much greater international recognition.
Well, furniture brand Eikund aims to change that. Founded in 2016 by Morten Hippe, Frode Tingbø and Jørgen Tengesdal, it’s taken up the challenge of uncovering long-lost Norwegian design classics and putting them back into production for the world to see. You might remember me mentioning in a recent ‘new finds’ post that it’s just made its UK debut, so I chatted to Jørgen (now Eikund’s CEO) to find out more…
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I’m very aware that I have quite a few readers in North America who love Nordic design as much as I do, but who often struggle to find brands that will deliver across the Atlantic. So, today I want to introduce you to US-based Scandinavian lifestyle store NØRDIK (don’t worry, European readers, they can ship to you too!).
Although Chris and I spent most of our recent trip to Andalucía visiting friends in the Cabo de Gata Natural Park, we also took the opportunity to enjoy a three-night break in Almería – a treat to ourselves in the run-up to our second wedding anniversary.
I’ll be honest: Almería isn’t somewhere we would have thought of visiting had we not been in the area anyway. In fact, it seems largely overlooked by tourists, most of whom fly into its airport and vanish straight off to beach resorts further along the coast. But we both loved it. Sandwiched between arid mountains and the Mediterranean Sea, it’s an unassuming yet pretty little port city, with a laid-back atmosphere, a multitude of tempting tapas bars and lots of character.
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The subject of the latest instalment in my ‘focus on’ series is a particularly special one for me, as it’s the first design classic I ever treated myself to after Chris and I bought our first home: the ‘Kubus’ candleholder, created by Danish architect Mogens Lassen back in 1962.
Born in 1901, Mogens developed a keen interest in architecture as a child and would spend hours sketching and reading. He embarked on an apprenticeship after leaving school and had a stint at an engineering firm in Paris (where he became acquainted with Le Corbusier), before opening his own studio back in Denmark. He was strongly influenced by the Bauhaus and Modernist movements and focused on developing concepts for the whole home, from the building itself right down to the furniture and accessories.
Chris and I have just got back from a holiday in southern Spain – a relaxing, sun-baked week that was very much needed before two busy months ahead. We spent some of our time in the city of Almería (more on that to follow next week), but the main focus of the trip was a visit to our friends Ben and Neil, who have moved to the stunning Cabo de Gata Natural Park to open a B&B.
I’ve visited Spain on numerous occasions, and I even spent a while living there as a student, but I’d never before ventured to this harsh but hauntingly beautiful corner of the country. Set on the southeastern tip, about half an hour’s drive from Almería airport, it’s where the arid hills of Andalucía tumble into the Mediterranean Sea.
Today’s home tour is a Gothenburg apartment that exemplifies the kind of effortless Scandinavian style that I’m always drawn towards. What’s more, few of the furnishings or finishes used are particularly expensive, showing that you really don’t need to have a huge budget to create elegant, timeless interiors.
The apartment is actually fairly small (just 67sqm), but it doesn’t look it thanks to the way it’s decorated. Walls throughout are painted in the palest shade of silvery grey, and the tall windows have been left undressed (apart from blackout roller blinds in the bedroom) to maximise the amount of natural light. White floorboards, coving and ceilings enhance the sense of space, while pale wood, rattan and linen accents create a relaxed, slightly rustic vibe.
It’s time for another round-up of new finds, and the recent Salone del Mobile trade fair in Milan means I have a bumper selection for you this month. I wasn’t able to go myself, but I kept a keen eye on what was happening and I’ve picked out some of my favourite launches below. There’s also some interesting news from elsewhere, so just read on for details…
I love putting together travel content so, to provide a bit of extra inspiration in between my own trips, I’m kicking off a new monthly series inviting Instagram and blogging friends from all over the world to share insider tips for their home towns.
First up is photographer Wen van Woudenberg, who lives in the beautiful Dutch city of Utrecht. Wen runs brand-awareness and visual-storytelling studio beeldSTEIL and is the co-founder of photography, concept and styling agency w/ Style; you’ll also find her on Instagram at @beeldsteil and @domstories.
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One of my favourite features in our house is the fireplace in the living room. We’ve often dreamt of having the chimney repaired and getting it in working order, but we’ve always worried about the impact on air quality. Open fires are notorious for emitting fumes, and we live in the middle of a city where there’s a strict Smoke Control Act regulating what can and can’t be burnt. An obvious solution would be installing a wood-burner in its place, but the sheer range of options available can seem a little bewildering and I’ve never really known where to start. So, I’ve teamed up with UK-based company Arada, who have been making high-quality stoves since 1966, to put together a guide on how to choose the right design for you.
I know it might seem odd to be writing about wood-burning stoves just as the weather is beginning to heat up, but chimney surveys, structural works and installation can take a while, so this is actually the perfect time to get the ball rolling if you’d like to have one in place ready for the colder months. Here’s what you need to consider…
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There’s something soul-restoring about spending time in woodland – it’s easy to see why the Japanese have created a whole practice called ‘forest bathing’, devoted to its benefits on health and wellbeing. Luckily, I live less than an hour’s drive from the sprawling Forest of Dean – the oldest oak woodland in England and a wonderful place to immerse yourself in nature.
Set in Gloucestershire and flanked by the picturesque Wye Valley, it’s a magical mix of sun-dappled glens, towering trees and haunting mine ruins, where wild boar roam free and outdoor adventures abound. It’s an area I’ve visited a few times before (including on an autumn foraging break), but one that I’d love to know better. So, when Forest of Dean & Wye Valley Tourism invited Chris and I to spend a weekend exploring it earlier this month, we jumped at the chance.