Monday, January 30, 2012


                              Danish Modern (also known as Scandinavian Modern)

Danish Modern L.A.
 By now every one's pretty familiar with Mid Century Modern design, from the austerity of Bauhaus to the colorful plastics of the mod 60's.  This week lets talk about one of the most successful and recognizable styles of the mid century....Danish Modern (sometimes called Scandinavian Modern).

If you've been anywhere near a vintage or thrift store lately you've probably seen some examples of DM.  Braxton and I are constantly seeing pieces from the Acclaim series by American Manufacturer Lane, which was the largest selling line of American furniture in 1963.  It seems as though the egg chair by Arne Jacobsen is the current darling of interior design magazines, and with the popularity of t.v. shows based in the mid century, Danish Modern design is everywhere!

During the 1940's when manufacturers across Europe and America were busy fulfilling the needs of war, Denmark was producing high end furniture and cabinetry with classic Danish understatement in design.  Clean lines, modernity, organic forms, quality woods, architectural influences, shaker like simplicity...were all hallmarks of Danish Modern.

With it's smaller scale, DM was perfect for the post war home.  New homeowners loved the clean lines and unpretentious design, the oil and wax finishes which were easy to maintain, the seat cushions which could be easily reupholstered, and the fact that most pieces were light in weight making it easy to move around for cleaning or rearranging...all the same reasons Braxton and I are such fans of Danish Modern design!
Danish Modern L.A.

Danish Modern L.A.

Found at Goodwill for $8.99 each! (Unfortuneately not by me)

Wishbone chair by Hans Wegner

Egg Chair by Arne Jacobsen

Danish Modern Apartment Therapy

Danish Modern as seen on Apartment Therapy

Chieftain Chair by Finn Juhl

Ant Chair by Arne Jacobsen

The Lounge Chair that began our love affair with DM.  Braxton and I have two chairs almost exactly like this one....and a sofa as well.
Now let me show you why we have chosen Danish Modern for our muse this week.  Meet Fjord, a fantastic DM floor lamp we found while rummaging around an antique store this past weekend.  He's tall, blond and quite handsome, and responds to the name "Fjord", he just does.
I wish I could have taken a better pic.  Lamps are notoriously difficult to photograph.

 Let's talk about the "Gods" of Danish Modern this week.
To get you started...
Kaare Klint - the grandfather of DM
Aarne Jacobsen
Fin Juhl
Hans Wegner
Borge name just a few.
Are you more familiar with Danish Modern than you thought?  Do you love it as much as we do?  Could you possibly?  Do you own any DM pieces?  Let's talk!
Have a beautiful day.


Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

I actually remember DM and mid-century modern the first time around.....and then again when it went out of favor.....way out. It was banished to the kids "play rooms" or the weekend cottages (when they were actually cottages)....or given away to kids for those first apartments. Now it's all back again and I'm sure some people are kicking themselves for not hanging on to some of it. It was never my favorite style and still isn't, but I can certainly appreciate the clean sleek lines of it. But I've never found it to be a particularly comfortable line. For me at least.

Braxton and Yancey said...

I can't remember if M&D had any MCM back in the day - do you? You are certainly right that it's not for everyone...Braxtons parents pretty much hate our living room furniture now - oh well. I actually think it's quite comfortable for shorter people because it's so low to the ground, but it would be a problem for anyone with mobility issues.

Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

Yes you probably remember some of their bedroom furniture. That redwood stuff. I think they kept the nightstands and dresser for a long time. The set also came with a double bed with book shelves built into the headboard and that dresser at one time had an attached big round mirror. Actually Aunt Dick had that same set for awhile and Ann had it in her bedroom growing up....I think they had painted it all white or perhaps pale pink by then. They also had a sofa and chair set that was a really strange material ---grey with swirls "etched" into the fabric....sort of like sculptured carpet. It was really stiff and I think it would probably held up to a herd of elephants! I hated sitting on it with bare legs....very scratchy. They had those dark wooden square end tables and I might remember a coffee table.....not really sure.not too sure what style they were....don't think it was MCM. I also remember a little formica kitchen maybe. But as long as I can remember they had that antique table from our old breakfast room....different chairs and an old oak washstand in our dining room. Gradually over the years much was replaced with the family antiques that you probably remember from growing up. I think that MCM furniture reminds me of waiting room furniture at the Drs. office.

Braxton and Yancey said...

I do remember that bedroom set. In fact, they offered the bed to us when we got married, and we turned it down. Wish I could turn back the clock and rethink that one, although we have a bookcase headboard very much like it, except it's a much darker wood, that we found at Goodwill for $5.00.
There's a reason MCM reminds you of waiting room was actually in lots of Drs. offices, and airports, schools...everywhere!

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