Denmark is a small country with an enormous passion for design. It’s produced many internationally-renowned designers, landmarks and products. Let us introduce you to some of the biggest and best!
Kaare Klint is known as the father of modern Danish furniture design, who created his first piece of furniture in 1914. Some of his most recognisable pieces include the Safari Chair, the Propeller Stool and the Church Chair. You'll find that most of the interior of the Denmark's Design Museum is decorated with items designed by Kaare Klint.
And speaking of Kaare Klint, he also designed some of the most iconic shades for his brother's light furniture company, Le Klint. But when it comes to designing lamps, there's one name that seem to rule them all: Poul Henningsen (often referred to as PH). His PH5 lamp and Artichoke lamp are popular modern items, despite being designed as far back as the 1950s!
Y (pun intended) do we Danes keep mentioning swans, ants, pelicans and peacocks? Well, these are names of some of our most famous furniture design pieces to come out of the Danish Modern movement in the mid-20th century. And chances are you've heard of the designers as well, because they include Arne Jacobsen, Hans J. Wegner, Finn Juhl, Poul Kjærholm and Børge Mogensen. Their legacy continues to influence and inspire Danish furniture design to this day, such as HAY and BoConcept.
Founded in 1775, Royal Copenhagen is famous for its distinctive blue and white porcelain. Their flagship store is on Strøget in Copenhagen, but you can also visit their historic factory in Frederiksberg that has a factory outlet shop.
If you want to glam it up a bit while keeping it classy, Georg Jensen is the way to go. Georg Jensen was a Danish silversmith who set up his first silversmithy, which would become the world-renowned Georg Jensen company we know today, in Copenhagen in 1904. Growing out of its Art Nouveau origins, Georg Jensen has developed to become a luxury lifestyle brand. You can visit the Georg Jensen flagship store (located next to Royal Copenhagen's) and marvel at their timeless jewelry and silverware, such as cutlery, vases and pitchers.
Pun intended. Because if you're looking for high end sound, there's one place to go: Bang & Olufsen. Founded in 1925, the mantra of the B&O company was and remains to be "ærlig musikgengivelse" which translates to "honest music reproduction". But to B&O ingenious sound engineering isn't enough, their products are also embodiments of classic Danish design. And it's this combination that gives B&O's products that indescribable aura and certain je n'ais se quoi.
Homeware is yet another area of interior design that we Danes seem to master (please allow us to blow our own trumpets for just one more moment). And if you're invited into our living rooms, you'll find that most of us have a wooden Kay Bojensen monkey hanging from a shelf, vases from Kähler and Lyngby Porcelæn on our tables, or pillows by Normann Copenhagen. We put a lot of effort into transforming our homes into well decorated oasis for hygge.
Our Danish design items make for excellent souvenirs to bring back with you and remind you of your (hopefully wonderful) holiday in Denmark. The best thing about them is that they're incredibly stylish pieces too, and they don't plan to go out of style any time soon! You can shop for our timeless Danish design all over the country, and if you're strolling through the streets of our capital, Copenhagen, you'll find flagship stores of some of our biggest design brands, such as Georg Jensen and Royal Copenhagen. Our big department stores, Illum Bolighus and Magasin, also have a wide range of the best of Danish design.
Now we're not trying to trick you, but the best way to experience Danish design is to come see it in its natural habitat. (although we really do want you to come see for yourself!). If you're in the Copenhagen area, you ought to drop in to the Design Museum to see the permanent exhibition on Danish 20th century furniture design, stay in the world's first design hotel, the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, and head north of our capital to the Ordrupgaard Museum where you can visit Finn Juhl's house.
But did you know that we also have a UNESCO design city? The city of Kolding is historically known as a hub for textile design and fabrication as well as silver production, and has emerged into a vibrant creative city. You should definitely put a visit to the Trapholt Museum (aka Jutland's Louisiana) on your list, where you can walk around in a summerhouse designed by Arne Jacobsen. And since we've somehow managed to lure you to Jutland, why not visit the Bang & Olufsen Museum or rekindle your love of play at the home of the world's favourite toy, LEGO®?