Archive | Alvar Aalto

Nikari at Salone del Mobile 2018

The most important furniture fair 2018, Salone del Mobile in Milan, Italy runs between 17th and 22nd of April. The Scandi brands are lining up with fab news and lots of fun! From Finnish Nikari I especially fancy Skandinavia Separat, a room divider by Danish designer Cecilie Manz. In times of compact living a room divider make sense; remember the Swedish Kolonn by young designers Klara W Hedengren and Lisa Lindh and the classic aalto screen….From Nikari one may always expect perfectly handcrafted products in wood. This time in Northern pine or European Ash. The only thing I don’t like is the use of leather for the joints. Leather, naturally tanned or not, are not a material for the future! But the idea of a flexible joint is great. I’d love to see a version with textile or hi-tech material joints.

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Skandinavia Separat room divider by Cecilie Manz for Nikari (2018). Pine wood and leather, hight 130 cm, full length 180 cm. Photo by Studio Chikako Harada/Photo copyright Nikari.

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Kolonn room divider by Klara W Hedengren and Lisa Lindh for Beckmans (2018). Photo copyright Klara W Hedengren and Lisa Lindh. Exhibited in Milan as part of the Swedish Design Moves: ”Hemma – Stories of Home” curated by Joyn Studio and located at Via Eugenio Balzan 4, in Brera. Photo copyright Klara W Hedengren and Lisa Lindh. Read more about Kolonn at post  2018-03-02 below.

 

aalto screen 100 original by Jacksons

The iconic Screen 100 by Alvar Aalto for Artek (1936) is made of massive pinewood stripes. Flexible jointed panels connected with metal wire. This original painted screen was produced in the early 40s by Artek and available some years ago at Jacksons. Photo copyright Jacksons.

 

Alvar Aalto, Architectual moves, Compassionates, Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Fab Swedes, Jacksons 2018-04-16

Flower power

A distinctive trend at Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair 2018 was the replacement of grey grey grey by pale natural colours. But even though I am ”Mrs Beige” by heart I could easily have done with some patterns or at least accent colouring to highlight all the sand, cream, pale pink, icy blue and greige…Several brands worked with flowers, moss and branches in their presentations. One display really moved me; the lovely, natural, simplistic beauty of Gunnar Kaj for Iittala. Kaj, ”flower artist” as he likes to call himself, is known for his ability to create a poetic feel by using flowers and branches in unexpected combinations. Often au naturel…and always with respect of the plant. I loved the huge bunch of blueberry twigs in a Savoy vase by Alvar Aalto in the new moss green colour.

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Small spring tulips in red, pink and white standing in their bulbs courting the Savoy vase by Alvar Aalto for Iittala. If you look closer you also see a few Frittillaria meleagris (Sv. Kungsängslilja) among the tulips! Arrangement by Gunnar Kaj for Iittala (2018). Photo copyright Peter Bruselid.

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Preview of Putki, a lamp by Matti Klenell for the restored National Museum of Sweden which is opening in October 2018. The lamp is mouth blown at the Iittala factory. Flower arrangement by Gunnar Kaj for Iittala (2018). Photo copyright Iittala.

Alvar Aalto, Compassionates, Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Environmental friendly, Fab Swedes, Iittala, Scandimood 2018-02-10

Shapes and shades

Winter is beginning to fade away and while awaiting the sweet spring flowers I enjoy my vintage Savoy vase by Alvar Aalto, filled to the brim with crispy tulips. Its organic wide form is perfect for tulips. But it is also beautiful as a decorative design object, admired at the windowsill all year round. Form as function is common in the Scandi classics. But the ornament is never far away! By adding a small form element or a hint of colour, just like Aalto did with this everyday glass work, the designer lends decorative qualities to the object that goes far beyond function. In 2018 you’ll see this everywhere; a lot of shapes and shades. I am looking forward to experience soft colours and sophisticated ornamental details in the contemporary.

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Savoy vase by Alvar Aalto for Karhula (1936). Beautiful as it is, with or without flowers. Photo copyright Jacksons.

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Savoy series by Alvar Aalto for Iittala comes in a range of well chosen colours as well as clear glass. Photo copyright Iittala.

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Urna by Carina Seth Andersson for Marimekko, mouth blown glass vase, updated in a lovely olive shade (2017). Photo copyright Marimekko.

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Cylinder, a mouth-blown cylindrical vase by Kristina Stark (2018), has a number of three-dimensional rings at the base, to support solitary stems or entire bouquets. Photo copyright Kristina Stark.

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Cylinder by Kristina Stark (2018). The rings at the bottom of the vase are not only functional. When water is added the ornament creates a subtle reflection on the surface in a similar way as when you throw a stone into still water. Photo copyright Kristina Stark.

Alvar Aalto, Architectual moves, Carina Seth Andersson, Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Marimekko 2018-01-31

The Scandi Bathroom

Several readers have asked for posts on the Contemporary Scandi Bathroom. Here’s some fine spaces where a simplistic approach and a clever use of daylight plays with well chosen pieces of furniture and objects. Creating not only a functional bathroom but a room you like to spend time in. Where inspiration is all around! All pics by fab Anna Kern.

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In the north of Sweden, in a small 18th century house this amazing bathroom with floor pool blend tradition with a sustainable cutting-edge lifestyle. Handmade brush and soap by Iris Hantverk. From a feature by Cia Wedin for ELLE Decoration, photo copyright Anna Kern.

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Same bathroom as above but here you get a glimpse of the old tile oven with its emerald green surface, and a vintage factory barrel now used for laundry. Linen towels by Växbo Lin. From a feature for ELLE Decoration by Cia Wedin. Photo copyright Anna Kern.

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In this bathroom the owner has built a sauna from some left over old wood and added a contemporary sliding glass door to make maximal use of the daylight. From a piece by Cia Wedin for ELLE Decoration. Photo copyright Anna Kern.

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In the south of Sweden, close to the sea, this functional, no-nonsense bathroom is jazzed up by a soft linen curtain and a vintage stool by Alvar Aalto for Artek. From a piece by Cia Wedin for ELLE Decoration. Photo copyright Anna Kern.

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Gotland – the beautiful island situated in the Baltic Sea. And a bathroom blending indoors with outdoors. With a shower below the sky and an indoor spa…Wow! From a piece by Cia Wedin for ELLE Decoration. Photo copyright Anna Kern.

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In Stockholm, in a house from the 19th century, this newly installed bathroom picks up a traditional yet contemporary feel. Vintage bathtub, brushes, soap, knitted towels and wooden mat by Iris Hantverk. Hamam towels by Harrys Hardware. From a feature by Cia Wedin for Lantliv. Photo copyright Anna Kern.

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Stockholm again. Who’d not love to take a warm bath in a wooden bath tube! Handmade ceramic basins by Calle Forsberg. Towels by Växbo Lin and brushes by Iris Hantverk. From a feature by Cia Wedin for ELLE Decoration. Photo copyright Anna Kern.

 

 

 

Alvar Aalto, Anna Kern, Calle Forsberg, Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Environmental friendly, Fab Swedes, Iris Hantverk 2017-08-26

For the little ones!

Scandi producers have a long legacy of making superb and sustainable furniture for children. One of the most famous is Peter’s Chair and Table by Hans J Wegner, designed in 1944 and in production by Carl Hansen & Sons.

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Peter’s Chair and Table by Hans J Wegner (1944) for Carl Hansen & Sons. The chair (CH410) and table (CH411) are made of untreated maple and beech hardwood. Photo copyright Carl Hansen & Sons.


Take a look at the making of Peter’s Chair and Table. Video copyright Carl Hansen & Sons.

Another classic is the Childrens Stool NE60 by Alvar Aalto for Artek (1933). Made of beautiful pale birch this stool is a children’s version of the famous three-legged Stool 60. Photo copyright Artek.
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NE60 comes with an option for the seat. You can chose between natural lacquered birch veneer, white laminate or black linoleum. There’s a round table to go with the stool. Photo copyright Artek.

 

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A contemporary interpretation of the classics is Little Architect’s series by Ferm Living (2017). It is made of ash veneer and comes in five colours; bordeaux, dark blue, dark green, grey and rose. Photo copyright Ferm Living.

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..and here’s one of my favourites, the contemporary children’s chair Ru by Shane Schneck for Hay (2010). Not only innovative of structure but Ru features smart possibilities: it can hang off the table, it is stackable, and multiple chairs can be linked together to form a row. Birch plywood and ash veneer. Photo copyright Hay.

Alvar Aalto, Architectual moves, Carl Hansen & Son, Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Environmental friendly, Hans J Wegner, Hay, Videos 2017-04-29

Finland no 1 EPI 2016

According to EPI, the environmental performance index 2016, Finland is now the greenest country in the world! Followed by Iceland, Sweden and Denmark. EPI ranks 180 countries’ performance on high-priority environmental issues in two areas: protection of human health and protection of ecosystems. One aspect of design production is wastewater. The report states that 23% of the countries still lack any kind of wastewater treatment! Remember the tanning mills of India? Or the plastic waste in the oceans? Or the abuse of animals in factory farming? You can make a difference by asking yourself: Where, how and of what is the design item made?

Lets go environmental friendly and cruelty free. To humans, animals and nature.

 

 

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Finland, the country of sustainable design! Savoy vase by Alvar Aalto for Iittala. Photo copyright Iittala.

Alvar Aalto, Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Environmental friendly, Iittala, Scandimood 2016-07-29

House stories

Summer has arrived, and so has the production of editorial House Stories. We travel Sweden, visiting the serene landscapes of the north, and the sweet flowery south… In between I enjoy a day or two in Stockholm where a small garden is waiting for me.
What’s a House Story? Well, we make a portrait of people and their homes, houses, studios and gardens. I do the writing, and coordinates the styling. The gifted photographers Stellan Herner and Anna Kern do the magic!
To be published in ELLE Decoration and Lantliv.

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Stockholm summer life. Pastilli Chair by Eero Aarnio (1967). Screen 100 by Alvar Aalto (1936). From a piece by Cia Wedin for ELLE Decoration. Photo copyright Johan Sellén.

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Summerhouse in the south of Sweden. From a piece by Cia Wedin for Marie-Claire Maison Italy. Photo copyright Anna Kern.

Alvar Aalto, Eco Aesthetics, In the Season, Scandimood 2015-06-10

Majamoo

Jani Martikainen has designed Majamoo set of trivets in birch plywood as a tribute to Alvar Aalto and the iconic Savoy vase. The trivets come in sizes 15 and 21 cm and can be used separately or nested together.

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Tea time in Finland with Majamoo trivets by Jani Martikainen. Photo copyright Majamoo.

Alvar Aalto, Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics 2015-04-27

Stool 60

I’v got a bunch of stools by Alvar Aalto. At home, and in the office. Used as stools or as a small side table this small iconic piece of furniture is just perfect. Add to its functionalism that it is stackable. It is also very durable; some of my stools has been in use for more than 20 years and they are still in perfect condition.
Enjoy Alvar Aalto at his best!

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Stool 60 by Alvar Aalto for Artek (1933). Poster. Photo copyright Artek.

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My choice: the aalto stool in birch aux naturel with top in white laminate. Photo copyright Artek.

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A young Alvar Aalto…

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…and a somewhat older sailor of fame.

Alvar Aalto, Architectual moves, Compassionates, Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Environmental friendly 2015-03-21

Savoy

My vintage green Savoy vase by Alvar Aalto is now filled with the last crispy tulips of the season! How bittersweet to know that within a week the lovely flowers will be gone…But Savoy will remain on the window sill. Beautiful as it is, with or without flowers.

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Savoy vase by Alvar Aalto for Karhula (1936). Photo copyright Jacksons.

Alvar Aalto, Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics 2015-03-15

Oiva Toikka

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Kastehelmi glass table wear was designed in 1964 by Oiva Toikka. It is still in production by Iittala. ”Kastehelmi” is finnish for ”dewdrop”, and especially the clear glass gives the impression of a garden in the morning or looking through a window on a rainy day. The tiny glass bubbles extend outwards from the centre of each piece and is not merely decorative. Oiva Toikka was seeking a way to hide the joint marks left by the production process, and came up with this pattern.

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Oiva Toikka is also much admired for his glass birds. During the last 40 years he has designed over 400 birds, individually mouth-blown for Iittala. Here’s some birds in a setting with Teema table wear and Kartio glass wear and vase Savoy, all by Alvar Aalto for Iittala. Stool 60 by Alvar Aalto for Artek. Photo copyright Iittala.

Alvar Aalto, Eco Aesthetics, Friends, Iittala, Oiva Toikka, Scandimood 2015-01-06