“A nice warm Hygge in some cold, cold weather - A Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair review”
Tuesday, 21 February, 2017
As you may have seen from our social media accounts, we’ve not long arrived back from Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair. As first time visitors to this exhibition we thought what better way to reflect on the event than to write a nice and simple blog post. Keep reading to learn our highlights and to learn why this event will definitely be a staple in our yearly calendar…
My first impressions of Stockholm Furniture & Light fair was probably the temperature… I may be used to the cold weather living in Sunny South Wales but -5 degrees was on the chilly side, even for me. After acclimatising to the Scandinavian weather, we headed on in to the main exhibition hall. In comparison to other exhibitions we’ve visited of late, Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair was a lot smaller and more manageable; there were still around 700 exhibitors but being housed within three halls made the event easily digestible and gave me a lot more time to soak up the atmosphere and engage with the great product on display. As a first time visitor, I suppose I walked into the exhibition with no preconceived ideas and limited knowledge of what we’d see which was very refreshing. The event was mainly comprised of Scandinavian brands (With one or two Brits thrown in for good measure). Another refreshing change to other exhibitions was the amount of family run businesses; conversation was generally with people who have spent their lives working for these brands like their family before them.
The award winning BOB sofa by Blå Station.
Two of the stand-out manufacturers for me were “Blå Station & Offecct”. I’ve been specifying some of their product quite a bit lately, so it was great to see these products in the flesh and really engage with them. I was keen to see the new BOB range from Blå Station, which was even awarded with the best in show award. The “Offecct” stand presented some great acoustic solutions and the “On-Point” range was a real show-stopper!
Some other notable mentions were “Horreds”, a long standing Scandinavian manufacturer who show incredible attention to detail. “SA Möbler AB”, who presented some quirky, well finished products suitable for the contract market. Another manufacturer who showed remarkable attention to detail were “Edsbyn”, the combination of textures, finishes and colours throughout their range were beautiful.
Acoustic booths by Horreds.
Edsbyn's domestic inspired stand.
SA Möbler AB's stand was on-trend from the shapes and forms down to the fabrics and finishes.
It was nice to see some Brits abroad (Definitely not in the usual sense). James Burleigh’s product fitted perfectly with the rest of the Scandinavian designers. Their attention to detail and well joined timber and laminate product worked perfectly in the setting of the show. After visiting the “FourCast” stand it was clear to see why British manufacturer Ocee Design have purchased the brand and brought them further into the British market.
A review blog with no trends report would simply be incomplete, so here goes… Pastel colours, Black, Gold and Brown powder coating were everywhere. The combination of these tones along with a LOT of black stained timber and sombre lighting gave the show a real Noir/Scandi detective ambience. Some of the traditional upholstery technique on show was simply beautiful, a lot of pleating, piping and button detailing really enhances the domestic feel of the product from Scandinavia at the moment. The best thing of all is the Scandinavians ability to marry these trends and techniques together in one product, very impressive.
In comparison to many of the other furniture fairs/exhibitions I’ve frequented in the past few years, the main difference between this and the rest was the atmosphere. The whole event had a very relaxed vibe, which complimented the domestic inspired furniture perfectly. As I’ve already mentioned, the attention to detail with Scandinavian manufacturers was superb; It’s quite obvious a lot of British manufacturers are looking to this area of the world for inspiration (That’s not to say that British design is sub-par, as I’m as big a fan of British design and history as anyone). Another breath of fresh air was the distinct lack of Task Chair offerings, as someone who sells these type of products day-in-day-out it was great to have a little break from seat slides and ratchet backs (Phew).
One of very few Task Chairs on Kinnarps' monochrome stand.
Another thing to note was the embodiment of the word “Hygge”, a Danish word which roughly translates to a nice, warm atmosphere; a term which most working and learning environments endeavour to be. A lot of the Scandinavian designed products seemed to put the end-user first and combine their needs with aesthetically beautiful product. From the form and function down to the finer details and finishes, when combined together the vast majority of product at Stockholm furniture & light fair would create the perfect “Hygge” environment. A big impact on creating "Hygge" is ergonomics, something which has been perfected in Scandinavia over the years. Sit-to-Stand desking had it's place at this event but was not the main focus, which again was refreshing to see. "Linak" had some great height adjustable product on show and a very quirky and informative video on the ergonomic workday which you can see below...
After visiting events like this, it comes as no surprise as to why Scandinavian design is one of the largest influences in workspace design. The concentration on end-user and the finer details is unparalleled and the overall aesthetic is very easy on the eye. Moving forward, I think this event will definitely be a staple in our yearly calendar…
Thanks for reading! I hope this post has given you sound insight into the event and given you a good idea on what many missed out on. If you want to find out any more information on the brands or products mentioned, drop me a comment below!
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