Why the British Fascination with all things Scandinavian?

map of Sweden through magnifying glass
map of Sweden through magnifying glass

Scandinavia seems to have been incorporated into every corner of British life.  It’s on our TVs, in our wardrobes, on our plates and very much a firm fixture in our homes by way of furniture.  Classic Scandi designs such as Eero Saarinen’s Tulip chair & Arne Jacobsen’s Egg are just as popular today as they were when first produced in the 50s and 60s.  So why is it that our love affair with Scandinavian furniture has stood the test of time?  The Nordic nations have an air of “coolness” about them, and this transfers to their designs, including clothing, architecture and indeed their furniture.  The Nordic nations have a real talent for functional, attractive, simple and affordable furniture and this makes for an appealing package.  The quiet, understated aesthetics have for decades been popular and were first taken on by designers and architects and the popularity soon spread – unsurprisingly, to the wider public.  Large brands such as Ikea have – since 1987 in the UK – been feeding the masses affordable pieces, and with new young Nordic designers on the rise we should expect it to be sticking around for the foreseeable.  We’ve even go so far as to adopt the Danish word “hygge”(pronounced “hoo-ga”) translating into English as “cosiness” , but it’s much more than that, it’s encompasses all things Danish and homely, often described as “the warm glow of candlelight” – I mean, who wouldn’t want a bit of hygge in their life?!

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