What is Danish Modern Style?

March 12, 2015
What is Danish Modern Style?

Danish Modern Style is inspired by nature, craftsmanship and simplicity. Its balance of elegant aesthetics and functionality makes it timeless. To spot Danish Modern Style from a mile away, look for:

Clean Lines

The most recognisable feature of Danish Modern furniture is its minimalist design. Most Danish furniture pieces are symmetrical from the front and characterised by strong, clean lines. Furniture legs are typically shorter and thinner than other parts. Also, there is rarely any evidence of the joinery and screws that hold each part together. If it looks seamless, it’s probably Danish.

Dark Wood (Teak)

The dark brown colour of teak makes Danish Modern furniture stand out for other Scandinavian styles. Teak wood dominates Danish furniture design because it is both durable and warm in colour. Injecting natural warmth into a space makes it truly feel like a home. Danish Modern designers have also used other dark woods like rosewood and walnut.

Organic and Elegant Forms

Danish Modern furniture is inspired by the proportions and form of the human body. As such, it is not uncommon to see both angular lines and gentle curves in Danish Modern furniture. For example, a lot of Danish Modern chairs have curved backrests but also, straight armrests. The alignment of functional design with the body’s requirements gives Danish design its seamless elegance.

Functionality

Above all, Danish Modern furniture is functional. What is beautiful should also be useful. Every drawer opens as you would expect it to. There are no bells and whistles. The simplicity of Danish Modern furniture lends itself to being versatile across time periods and décor styles. A Mid-Century design fits seamlessly with Minimalist decor, Modern decor and even Oriental décor. This is why vintage Danish furniture pieces remain a designer’s staple!

Key Danish Furniture Designers

With a design history dating back to the 1920s, grasping the key names in Danish Modern furniture design can be quite a challenging task. To make things easier, here are three names you’ve got to have rolling off your tongue:

1. Hans Wegner

Danish born Hans Wegner was a brilliant designer. Wegner's style was built on classic clean lines with fashionable, simple, yet functional mid-century-modern pieces that still have a place in homes today. Wegner’s oak-framed Plank Chair is beautiful from all angle and can be perfectly placed in the office, or in a comfortable reading nook at home.

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2. Arne Jacobsen

Visionary Arne Jacobsen designed the egg chair with comfort and modernist style in mind, with the geometric low seating and high back giving it a distinctive look. This eclectic piece has become a designer furniture lover staple, particular as an entrance piece for the home.

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3. Verner Panton

Denmark's Verner Panton made his mark as one of the most influential designers in the 20th-century, designing captivating lighting and most famously the Panton Chair. The Chair was the world’s first one-piece moulded plastic chair and was designed to come in a myriad of strong, bright colours. The Panton Chair stuns with its simple form and elegance.

Vernon Panton Chair

What is the difference between replica and original vintage Danish furniture?

The main difference between replica and original vintage Danish furniture is cost. Replica pieces are generally much more affordable and more widely available than original vintage pieces. For instance, replicas can be bought online while original vintage pieces cannot. Often original pieces are sold through a gallery or through collectors who have imported them from Denmark. While opting for the cheaper choice may be beneficial in the short-term, there are considerable downsides in the long-term. First, replicas come in varying quality so they tend to be more hit-and-miss than buying original pieces. Second, replica Danish furniture pieces do not appreciate in value over time. As the Danish Modern style becomes more popular, the resell value of original vintage pieces is likely to skyrocket. This would be something worth keeping in mind when buying Danish furniture.

Is Danish Modern the same as Scandinavian style?

Cross-border influences can make Scandinavian style and Danish Modern seem indistinguishable. Scandinavian design combines simplicity, functionality and minimalist aesthetics. This is definitely true of Danish Modern design. However, Danish Modern furniture is unique in its use and attention to materials. Danish Modern furniture is typically made of high-quality teak wood. Even after the World Wars, this did not waver. After the Second World War, Danish furniture designers and architects worked together to experiment with the bending of teak plywood. For example, Arne Jacobsen’s used one piece of plywood to make the seat and backrest of his Ant Chair. By being innovative, Danish designers were able to conserve resources in the post-war period and achieve a uniquely Danish style. This combination of functionality and elegance is written into the core of the Danish Modern style.

Which furniture stores sell Danish modern furniture?

If you’re looking to buy Danish Modern furniture in West Australia, here's some terrific suggestions:

Housewares, Perth

Kuka Home, Bunbury

Shop and Buy Danish style Furniture online at these retailers:

Icon By Design

Soulia

(Image credit: hero image, www.hivemodern.com/public_resources/full/panton-chair-verner-panton-vitra-4)