Design furniture

 A design furniture is made by a well known furniture designer who already is – or will be – recognized on the international scene. This does not happen without reason, since they have put a lot of thought, philosophy, attention to detail, exercise, special techniques and high professional craftsmanship behind their work.

It is through this process that their work of art is created, and there is so much more work and care behind than the mass-produced furniture, you can find a much cheaper price.

Designer Furniture from Danish and international furniture designers

Design, furniture and décor are popular in Denmark, and worldwide Danes are clearly among those who pay most attention to their homes. We have a culture where many social events with friends take place in our home, so it has to look beautiful. Furthermore, social interaction and cosiness is an important part of our culture, and in this our home also has a central role. Finally, in Danish design history there is an array of Danish furniture designers, who are also known and popular on the international stage.

The Danes are known for furniture design and it is not without reason. You can take a look at the list of the most known Danish furniture designers:

  • Arne Jacobsen
  • Hans J. Wegner
  • Børge Mogensen

On this website you can read about their work, how to buy them and buy interesting books about them directly from us.

Lighting design – world famous Danes

It is not only within the design furniture that Danish architects have manifested themselves. Several of the perhaps most world-renowned lighting architects are Danish and have developed acclaimed lighting design for both home and public spaces.

The most famous are:

  • Poul Henningsen
  • Verner Panton
  • Arne Jacobsen

The 5 most famous Danish design furniture

  • The ‘Egg’
  • The ‘Swan’
  • The wishbone Chair
  • The Artichoke
  • PK22

Design furniture with attention to detail in furniture and lighting

It is precisely the details that make their design furniture unique and popular. They create a quirky or refined look. Both in terms of the visual expression and in terms of the whole – how the furniture is intended in the space and the experience it provides. As well as the functionality in terms of comfort and effect, such as designer lamps that provide the right lighting. These aspects apply, whether it is sofas, chairs, lamps or tables

Some examples can be PH Artichoke lamp which, with its special look gives a pleasant light which illuminates the room well, but without glare. This is precisely the balance which many lamps do not master. Here you can often find that the lighting do not provide enough light to work or dine in or that dazzles with an uncomfortably sharp and focused light.

Another example is Arne Jacobsen’s Egg chair, where the shape of the round back can form a circle and a unity if the chairs are placed in a circle in e.g. a lobby. But you can also easily turn the chair thanks to the swivel centre part of the star foot, and thereby create the feeling of your own and more private space, by letting the rounded back of the chair shield you, if you do not want to be part of a larger group.

Different styles of designer furniture

This has existed throughout history in lots of years. You can now among other things, study furniture design dating back to the ancient Egyptians around 3000-2000 BC.

This Egyptian chair reflects the pomp and circumstance, which the ruling class surrounded themselves with, and furniture was by no means for everyone or a natural, integrated part of everyday life for the majority of the population back then. However, one can imagine that for practical reasons, there might have been more primitive and makeshift structures, but it also for centuries have been quite natural to just sit on the ground. Today, it is still a more natural part in some cultures than in others. In Japan, it will for example be natural to sit on a form of benches around a low table, while the Danes as opposed would complain about the missing backrest.

The development of furniture has changed over the centuries and largely followed the other stylistic periods which have dominated the visual arts, literature and music. Below you can read about some of the significant and seminal periods for designer furniture.

Baroque

In Europe, 1640-1720, and became dominant in Denmark in 1640-1730. The style of the Baroque is characterized by grandiosity and many items, which was reflected in bombastic, often ornamented design furniture without a clear order.

Rococo

The style was dominant a relatively short time around 1730-1760, but left its unmistakable mark, and many people know this style. Possibly because of the word “rococo cushion” which many Danes are familiar with, among other things, from the movie Zappa (1983). Funnily enough, this ’pouf pillow’ is not actually a rococo pillow, but a pouf from Morocco, as it typically is in the North African countries you can buy these. Stylistically the pillow has therefore nothing to do with the rococo period. It should only be that the rococo style is oriental-inspired, but it is rather from East Asia.

The Rococo style is like the Baroque very heavily decorated, but less symmetrical. Designer furniture, architecture, handicrafts and textiles are characterized by ornaments, corrugated and asymmetrical lines, elegance and decoration. Although asymmetry characterizes this style, the furniture from this period are to some extent aligned in the overall impression, as the asymmetric ornaments are placed with a kind of symmetry. The key element is rocaille, which also gives its name to the style. This is a C-shape, often constructed as ribs in a cabbage leaf and places on for example, a chest of drawers, the edge of a table or chair, with the leaf slightly protruding. Furthermore are seashells and palm branches also very dominant ornaments.

The style originated in France and porcelain was a new material during this period. The inspiration came from East Indian silver porcelain that was developed into an independent form and ornaments. This decoration was used on all the furniture from the period, as well as entire rooms and buildings. The Versailles castle just outside Paris is a masterpiece in that style, and generally, one can say that the craftsmanship reached new heights during this period which has not been seen alike since.

Neoclassicism

Neoclassicism was between 1750 and 1850 in Denmark, where it initially ran alongside Rococo. Simplicity and grandeur characterize the furniture design of this period, which was inspired by Ancient Greek and Roman art. The period is also called the Romantic period, based on the notion of past greatness

Furniture designs from this period are typically divided into the styles Empire, Directoire, Hepplewhite and Louise Seize.

Art Nouveau

Another style where the furniture is characterized by ornaments, and you see great gnarled ornaments. In particular, ivy leaf, and the tulip which are popular in this period.

Bauhaus

Bauhaus 1919-1933 is the period which is crucial for Danish developed design furniture, among others as a later inspiration for Arne Jacobsen. The style excels with a number of international stars, among others Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, Frank Lloyd Wright and Charles Eames.

The period is the response to the many years of ornament-heavy and extremely decking furniture that had to come. The Bauhaus style is instead characterized by clean lines and simplicity. Just as we know it from the heyday of Danish design furniture.

Bauhaus is not so much a limited period as it is a philosophy and inspiration for especially modernism.

Art Deco

The style around 1925-1940 which was especially dominant in the architecture.

Modernism

Modernism was between 1930-1945 in line with the clean lines and surfaces of the Bauhaus inspiration, and they have many of the same traits. Arne Jacobsen is in fact characterized as a modernist furniture designer.

Modernism is in Denmark also called functionalism, as everything just had to be functional. Thus diametrically opposed to some of the previous periods, where ornaments were used just for decorative purposes.

Furniture Design Today

Furniture that are developed today, is stylistically called for modern furniture design or ‘Contemporary’ and spans relatively wide. These icons and decor is more popular than ever in Denmark, but it is especially many of the classic icons such as Arne Jacobsen’s Egg and Swan chairs or lighting by PH like Artichoke, which are sought after.

Therefore, the Danes diligently buy furniture, and although it does not quite reach the sales figures from before the crisis in 2008, there is an increase again. This is due to the home being high on the Danes’ wish list, so when one can afford it, e.g. the ‘Swan’, Wegner’s Wishbone Chair or one of the Eames’ chairs are popular investments.