3/3: Trends & Traditions in European Interior Design

Page Interior Design Director Jen Bussinger, IIDA, LEED AP, just attended the third annual Trends & Traditions furniture show in Copenhagen, Denmark, presented by Holmris Design. It provided her with the opportunity to see what designers are currently doing in northern Europe. Jen shared three key takeaways from her experience at the show:

Craftsmanship: Historically the Danish hold design to a high standard and this show was no exception. I appreciated, to a level that made my heart happy, the precise balance and harmony between the furniture and lighting designs. Many of the items were hand crafted, allowing the human touch to translate through the piece. From the hand-sanded woods to the hand-upholstered pieces, the closeness of the maker to the final piece was apparent. The attention to the connections within the piece are simple and exquisite.  One can appreciate the craftsmanship of a tight wood to wood seam, a simple material transition and a delicate detail suspended from within. (see the Verpan VP Globe light fixture in the above image gallery)

Simplicity: Einstein said “Everything should be made as simple as possible. But not simpler.”  I marveled at the beautiful simplicity of the Scandinavian work. The materials are honest; wood, metal, felt, textiles. The lines are purposeful and the connections exposed. They have been edited and edited into a harmonic balance.  Functional pieces are integrated into the design or expressed beautifully in an understated, yet crafted way. The simplicity comes from the complete understanding of the use of the piece, the materials used to create that piece and the engineering and craftsmanship required to balance the two.  (see the Holmris sit/stand desk and power cover in the above image gallery)

Innovation: The beauty of simplicity, is that it is inherently innovative.  But despite the Scandinavian strong hold on simplicity they still look forward to the next evolution of design.  What’s on the horizon?

  • Innovation in recycled products. I saw an innovative recycled product called “Really”, a Solid Textile Board (STB) by Kvadrat.  “Really” upcycles end-of-life textiles to create a material that can be used as a worksurface.  By utilizing denim, linen or wool and compressing and heating it, a new material is born, one that is uniquely beautiful.
  • Innovation in clean air.  What if the bench you were sitting in chatting with a friend could clean the air around you providing you with fresher, healthier air? There is a bench by Gotessons & Akustikmiljo which does just that by pulling air through the bottom of the piece, filtering it, and then gently releasing clean air through vents at the top.

The show’s presenter Holmris is a third-generation Danish furniture company that creates functional and beautiful designs for workplaces, educational and healthcare spaces. They also have partnerships with over 100 other Scandinavian companies for which they serve as brokers.

This annual event brings together over 100 Scandinavian furniture and lighting lines in a fantastic display of craftsmanship.  The venue for the event is the Lokomotivvaerkstedet in Copenhagen, a brick warehouse with skylights, large windows and a beautiful structure, where trains used to be maintained.  It is now the perfect event space for an interior show of this scale.

This event is a must-see for designers. Keep an eye out for registration to Trends & Traditions 2018; I encourage you to book your flight and head to Copenhagen!