Iconic Scandinavian Designs

Earlier this week, we talked about the current popularity of Scandinavian design; the reality is that it has truly become a classic, interior design style.  Scandinavian design gained worldwide recognition in the 1950s and 1960s.  It consistently focuses on functionality, simple forms and natural elements (wood, leather).  

Today we’re introducing some iconic Scandinavian designs that you are probably familiar with, but you might not realize their origins.

Arne Jacobsen’s Egg Chair

Photo: DWR

Arne Jacobsen, a well-known Dutch architect, is recognized for his mid-century chair designs; the Egg chair is his signature piece. It was designed to furnish the SAS Royal Copenhagen hotel in 1958, and it has been produced by Fritz Hansen ever since.


Eero Saarinen’s Tulip Table & Chairs

Photo: Knoll


Eero Saarinen was a Finnish-American architect and designer. You may be familiar with his  work as he designed Washington Dulles International Airport and the St. Louis Gateway Arch.  But the Tulip table and chairs are his most iconic designs. The Tulip table and chairs were designed for Knoll, and they are still produced today.


Hans Wegner’s Wishbone Chair


Photo: DWR


Hans Wegner was a Danish furniture designer.  Originally a cabinetmaker’s apprentice, he became interested in furniture design and studied at the Danish Design School; he later worked with Arne Jacobsen, referenced above.  His most recognized chair is the Wishbone Chair, a sculptural piece that has been produced by Carl Hansen & Son since 1950.  


Poul Henningsen’s Artichoke Light

Photo: DWR


Known by his initials PH, Poul Henningsen was a Danish architect who is most well-known for his series of light fixtures bearing his name.  Maybe most recognizable of these is his Artichoke Light, which was created in 1958 for Louis Poulsen. This pendant light is constructed so that you can’t see the light source from any direction which makes it a completely glare-free experience.  There are 72 “leaves” that make up the lamp’s shape which was how it came to be originally-referred to in Danish as a pinecone. His lighting is known for using a series of layered shades to conceal the light bulb which creates a softer, diffused light.

All of these great, iconic Scandinavian design pieces are still in production today and can be purchased new, or you can search for vintage options on 1stDibs or Chairish.

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