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International Inspiration: Scandinavian Design

The annual United Nations happiness report just came out and at the top of the list yet again are the Nordic countries.  So how do these places with dark, freezing winters and high tax rates consistently capture collective happiness?  We think it might have something to do with design.  Nordic design is known across the globe for its functional innovation and minimalist aesthetics.  It’s also a type of design that resonates with the team here at Coddington Design for the focus on solid craftsmanship, unique design details, and a strong, clean design philosophy.  Here are three Nordic design sources we’ve been drawing inspiration from lately.

Muuto is a Danish brand that brings a bit more color to the often monochromatic scheme associated with Nordic color palettes.  Their designs are playful and modern while bringing a sense of youth and vibrancy through their rounded edges and warm tones.  Muuto has a diverse selection of products ranging from sofas and chairs to pendant and floor lamps and even a line of accessories that includes textiles and glassware.



Shelving units can be a tricky design element.  While often a requested item in a home, shelves can be bulky, overwhelming, and havens of clutter.  Swedish company String, is known for their visually lightweight but functionally hearty shelving systems.  Highly customizable and with an integrative approach to larger design concepts, String’s shelves can work successfully in many different interior projects.

string furniture


No mention of Scandinavian design would be complete without a mention of Josef Frank.  Born in Austria but later gaining Swedish citizenship, Frank became one of the foremost designers in the world with a passion for Nordic and modern aesthetics.  His career peaked almost 60 years ago but his designs have reached an iconic level.  I am inspired by the timelessness of his textiles which I used to create custom window coverings for a client’s project shown below.  

Project 5 - Vibrant Traditional - 1 Study - David Duncan Livingston - 2012

Coddington Design


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