When asked, a lot of people think of Ikea and they are partially right. Scandinavian design is distinguished by its simplicity, minimalism, and functionality that began in the 1950’s from the countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and and Sweden. It typically includes the use of natural materials, such as leather, wood, and hemp.
Stand out designers of the time, that are still recognized and highly desired today are Arne Jacobsen, Hans Wegner, Verner Planton, and Poul Henningsen.
Scandinavian Design targeted everything including clothing, engineering, furniture, glass, lighting, textiles, and household products. Not only are the designs functional, appealing, and usually neutral, they are made to last unlike many of the products of today.
The most prominent Scandinavian designers are Poul Henningsen (the Artichoke lamp) Alvar Aalto (art glass and furniture), Kaj Frank (glass and tableware), Borge Mogensen, Josef Frank, Maija Isola (Marimekko prints), Timo Sarpaneva (glass, homeware), Oiva Toikka (glass art), and Eero Aarnio (plastic furniture).
Scandinavian style pieces we often find at our estate sales are dining tables and chairs, living room conversations chairs, and household items such as decorative bowls, art, magazine racks, and alike. The light wood that is so often used in Scandinavian furniture is the first clue.
Many people that attend our sales are exclusively seeking Scandinavian pieces or any type of vintage items for their homes, collections, or even resale.
Anyone thinking of selling furnishings from the 1950’s should consult with an expert to insure their items are being offered for the right price. The last thing you want to do is let a chair that’s been in your family for many years sell for too little as it may be a highly valued designer item. It is not unusual for Scandinavian furniture in good condition to sellfor thousands of dollars.