28 December 2016
“Consumers and householders are ready for this comforting simplicity, Scandi design is a mark of high quality, craftsmanship and style.”
What does the term Scandi mean for you?
Scandi has come to represent much more than a geographical location, it’s a whole aesthetic discipline and a way of life. Scandi design has this clean, calming effect visually and the mood this creates ties into broader Scandinavian cultural references like work/life balance and promoting down-time.
Why do you think Scandinavian design – I’m thinking specifically about interiors here – is so successful and so exportable?
Here in the UK we have a real appetite for Scandi design. I think this is due to the fact that as Northern Europeans we share similar weather and light quality, so the materials translate well into the British home. The main materials we’d expect to see as typifying a Scandi aesthetic would be wood, wool, cotton and ceramic, so it’s quite an earthy, natural look which works really well in UK homes where we spend much of the year trying to create cosy, comforting spaces.
We find that this look doesn’t translate so easily into the US or South African markets for example, where they can typically cope with stronger and more saturated colours due to the warmer light quality and climate.
Why now? Do you agree with the notion that the tendency for utilitarian minimalism appeals in times of austerity?
Quite the contrary – in times of austerity it’s usually nostalgia that sells not minimalism, although at the end of a decade we often see a cleanness to design, almost a palate-cleansing before we approach the next decade. This didn’t happen in 2010 however, because we were still deep in recession, so we’ve seen these slicker design references filter through later. I think the Scandi look is a good blend of a clean, clutter-free style and something softer and more comforting; it might be a very clean tan leather chair but it’s covered with a shaggy sheepskin.
Can you relate the recent coverage (over-coverage?) of the Danish Hygge concept and its recent coverage in the UK to design and style – do you recognise the themes that are being discussed – of comfort, simplicity, homeliness – is it all part of the Scandi-obsession?
We reported on the concept of Hygge for 2016 in our trend forecasts that were published back in 2014 so yes we did expect this would catch the attention of the media. It just seems the right time to embrace a concept like this, and of course we don’t have a direct translation for this word in the English vocabulary, but at Trend Bible we think of it as the ‘art of living well’. I think in times of uncertainty – we’ve had Brexit, heavily documented immigration problems, political drama – people’s homes become a sanctuary from the world that 24 hour news culture impresses upon us. There’s an increase in the pace of life and people are feeling like they don’t have enough time for relaxation, contemplation, rest and sleep, so we’re looking to Scandinavia to teach us something about managing our time more effectively and slowing down. The other Scandi word we’ve seen used a lot at the moment is Fika, which is like a self-indulgent coffee and cake break. We also like the word Fargklick, the colour added to your home to make everything a little more lively!
And, I know your area of interest is interiors, but do you see the Scandi influence reflected in other areas of design – specifically fashion? It seems to me that our appreciation for Scandinavian furniture design came first, followed by fashion – with a recent explosion of Scandinavian brands on the high street – do you think there are similarities between the two?
I think the catalysts for this look are the same, whether it’s interpreted for fashion or interiors. Consumers and householders are ready for this comforting simplicity, Scandi design is a mark of high quality, craftsmanship and style.
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