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The new Nordic trend adds drama to a classic aesthetic

Darker tones and textures, metals and bold shapes are a refreshing twist on functional, clean design

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The new Nordic trend uses darker tones. Photo: Bloomingville

The new Nordic trend uses darker tones. Photo: Bloomingville

Grey daybed, €1,799, bloomingville.com

Grey daybed, €1,799, bloomingville.com

Bonbon shade, €669, Hay available from arnotts.ie

Bonbon shade, €669, Hay available from arnotts.ie

Knot chair, Normann Copenhagen, €499, Arnotts.ie

Knot chair, Normann Copenhagen, €499, Arnotts.ie

Hebe lamp, €183.20, fermliving.com

Hebe lamp, €183.20, fermliving.com

Candle holder, €14.99, 2hm.com

Candle holder, €14.99, 2hm.com

Pujo coat stand, €399, fermliving.com

Pujo coat stand, €399, fermliving.com

Shag cushion cover, €59, arket.com

Shag cushion cover, €59, arket.com

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The new Nordic trend uses darker tones. Photo: Bloomingville

Scandinavian design goes far deeper than our fascination with IKEA flat packs, capturing the minimalist décor zeitgeist since its inception in the early 20th century. The aesthetic has always favoured clean lines, sustainability, neutral palettes, organic textures and simple, functional design.

Kaare Klint, whose safari chair is still doing the rounds, and Arne Jacobsen, who put the egg chair on the map, along with other widely known designers, have helped shape the interiors world, bringing us some of the most coveted and easily recognised furniture designs to this day.

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Grey daybed, €1,799, bloomingville.com

Grey daybed, €1,799, bloomingville.com

Grey daybed, €1,799, bloomingville.com

Those Nordic short winter days steered a desire for interiors to be cosy and bright, maximising light wherever possible and leaning toward warm woods and cosy fabrics. Today it remains as much about a look as it does a lifestyle, but like any design aesthetic, it has evolved. Furnishings are clean, elegant and functional, but a new Nordic trend, while building on the simplistic Scandinavian style, is adding some drama with darker tones and textures and a twist on the classics.

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Pujo coat stand, €399, fermliving.com

Pujo coat stand, €399, fermliving.com

Pujo coat stand, €399, fermliving.com

In her book New Nordic Design, Dorothea Gundtoft explores how northern light, proximity to the sea, an appreciation for natural materials and ways of coping with cold, dark winter nights and bright summer days has always influenced designers. But while the region’s back catalogue informs the current style, there has been a move to stronger, bolder colours and the use of metal as well as natural materials.

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Bonbon shade, €669, Hay available from arnotts.ie

Bonbon shade, €669, Hay available from arnotts.ie

Bonbon shade, €669, Hay available from arnotts.ie

As people turn to their homes as retreats from everyday pressures, it’s no surprise that Scandi style is back in the spotlight, with the focus on quality over quantity and fuss-free comforting interiors. But designers and newer Nordic labels, not content to rest on their Hans Wegners, are subtly reinventing their heritage.

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Shag cushion cover, €59, arket.com

Shag cushion cover, €59, arket.com

Shag cushion cover, €59, arket.com

The latest campaigns from H&M and IKEA capture the new ‘nuanced’ Scandi look, with warmer and deeper tones and variations in textiles, prints and shapes. Irish interiors brand Nordic Elements has always cherry-picked the best of Scandi design, and its new range is a beautiful collection of cohesive ‘new classics’ that are both timeless and elegant. The Kings Chair — a black stained leather and soaped oak beauty with curves to die for — would sit comfortably with any design, such is its timeless quality, while the Ekstrem’s playful shape shows a modern twist yet doesn’t forgo the comfort that underpins the style’s ethos.

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Knot chair, Normann Copenhagen, €499, Arnotts.ie

Knot chair, Normann Copenhagen, €499, Arnotts.ie

Knot chair, Normann Copenhagen, €499, Arnotts.ie

Ferm Living’s update on the classic Hebe lamp introduces bold shapes and an artistic touch with colours that riff on deep-glazed blues and dark greys as well as neutral white and beige.

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Hebe lamp, €183.20, fermliving.com

Hebe lamp, €183.20, fermliving.com

Hebe lamp, €183.20, fermliving.com

Known for specialising in fronts for IKEA kitchens, Copenhagen-based Reform is rolling out a menu of design collaborations, including a hyper-coloured ensemble of cupboard fronts that will jazz up any kitchen, and Skandium’s ‘Please Wait to be Seated’ collection has Hardie stools by Philippe Malouin in natural ash and painted steel and Os and Oos arty Keystone lounge chair that doubles as ‘soft art’.

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Candle holder, €14.99, 2hm.com

Candle holder, €14.99, 2hm.com

Candle holder, €14.99, 2hm.com

The new Nordic may still be a way of life, a state of mind, a simple yet functional way to live and far from boring.


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