Danish design is a timeless approach that combines form and function in the best way. One company that has been championing Danish principles of design is Sofacompany. Since 2008, they have sold furniture in South Africa that was designed in Denmark, and they recently released a new range of homeware that incorporates Danish, Nordic and Scandi pieces.
Their new homeware range includes artwork, basketware, candles and holders, scatter cushions, throws, lighting, mirrors, rugs, vases and glassware. We caught up with the owners of Sofacompany South Africa, Nicole Sherwin and Jonathan Sherwin, to find out more about Danish design, and how you can incorporate it in your own home.
What is Danish design?
Developed in the mid-20th century, Danish design is about seamlessly combining form and function. At the time, German design was incredibly functional, but it lacked aesthetic appeal, and Italian and French design was all about form, with little practical function. Danish design found a happy medium between these styles.
Since then, it has evolved into what is commonly referred to as minimalism, which consists of a clean and simple look, with a highly functional purpose. This design can be seen in architecture, household items and interior design.
How can it elevate ones space?
The simplicity of Danish design, and its muted monochromatic colour palette, can make a small space seem bigger, and give a large space gravitas, hence its universal appeal for both small and big spaces. In an increasingly chaotic world, Danish-designed spaces also offer a place of calm and tranquillity.
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5 Tips for incorporating into your home
1. Floors and rugs
Wall-to-wall carpets are popular in many European countries, but not in Denmark. To achieve the Danish look you should embrace a wooden or concrete floor and layer it with textured rugs of different shapes and sizes to provide comfort underfoot. Overlapping layers of different rugs can add interest and depth to a lounge setting.
2. Light, muted colours
Mid-winter in Denmark sees as little as five hours of daylight each day. Danes intentionally keep the palette in their homes largely white, with some pastel tones to keep the look as light and airy as possible. Although we have much more sunlight here in South Africa, thats a positive energy worth carrying through into our homes too.
Hygge (pronounced hoo-guh) is the Danish art of cosiness, creating a feeling of contentment. Perfect for long cold winters, it is about creating a sanctuary somewhere in the house with candles, books and your favourite drink, and sharing it with family or friends and your pets. Think (faux) fur throws, your comfiest clothes and a crackling fire. Find a space and hygge it up!
Of all the materials, wood is the one thats synonymous with Denmark. Harking back to their ancestors use of the forest around them, the houses themselves and everything inside is often crafted from the countrys hardwoods. Danish furniture is famous for its simplicity, style and timelessness, and much of it is crafted from wood. Whether its an accent piece placed among other materials or wood-on-wood from floor to ceiling, wood is an ode to Danish living.
Areas of Denmark, such as Northern Zealand and the Island of Bornholm, are some of the most densely forested areas in Europe, and the nation has set targets to increase their size by 20% by the end of the century. This influence is seen in Danish homes, where theres an abundance of plant life in most rooms. We are fortunate in South Africa to have plenty of hardy indoor plants to choose from, so identify well-lit areas in all your rooms and bring some outside in!
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