The Greenhouse at the Stockholm Furniture Fair
The Greenhouse at the Stockholm Furniture Fair sadly didn't boast sub-tropical temperatures (would have been nice for Stockholm in mid-February), but this annual showcase of emerging designers was definitely sizzling with new design talent. Here are our favourites.
Many people associate minimalism with a monastic existence of colourless restraint, but as the works of Edvin Klasson show, simple can be fun too. Just look at his Cirkus salt and pepper grinders, or the Galata pouff, the fringes of which make it look like a large hovering brush or perhaps a freshly groomed Scottish terrier. The Cascade coat hanger is simple, functional and endearingly cactus-like, whilst the Camping room divider is sure to bring a taste of life in the wild to your office.
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The elegant designs of St Petersburg-based Alexander Kanygin are clearly minimalist, but there is an element of playfulness too. There is the aptly named Fattable, a plywood table with comically oversized legs, a wooden tray in the shape of a hand, and a series of flat-packed wooden tables and chairs with supports that click into each other, making assembly a cinch. Ikea had better watch out.
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Alvaro Diaz Hernandez
Just as restrained and no less delectable is the works of Spaniard Alvaro Diaz Hernandez. The Rewire magazine rack, designed for Tre, is about as minimalist as a magazine rack can aspire to be, whilst the sculptural Chely side table packs a real geometric punch. We also like the Wood Storage shelving system with its blocky wooden joints and the graphic good looks of the Hat stool.
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The works of Sizar Alexis have a sculptural, almost meditative quality about them. Take, for instance, the Itoo Raba series of furniture with their monumental, altar-like simplicity, the Accessories Podium with its industrial undertones or the architectural Amal glass. Perfect for sleek, minimalist design schemes.
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It would be difficult not to be charmed by the Unify tables, designed by Stockholm based Anne Harvala. The bulky, tubular form of the table legs feel sturdy and industrial but also unexpectedly friendly and welcoming at the same time. The rustic look of the Pall fas 2 table also caught our eye, as did the Carriage candle holder, which looks like a sleek, stylised version of a wheelbarrow.
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Mario Tsai Studio
Simplicity, elegance and a sense of wonder; these are the key characteristics of the furniture collection by Chinese designer Mario Tsai. We particularly like his Flying Tables, which feature round metal trays balanced precariously on metal frames and blocks, seemingly in defiance of gravity.
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There is something unusually alluring about the lighting collections of Kimu Design. Their New Old light combines a slick, outsized industrial metal fitting with a traditional Chinese lantern to create a gentle, tactile light which combines the best of eastern and western influences, a style which is echoed across other lighting and product collections. Unsurprising perhaps, as the team behind Kimu is based in Finland and Taiwan.
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The Whole Elements
Can only take so much minimalist Scandi-cool in one exhibition? Polish designer Anna Bera of The Whole Elements comes to the rescue with an unapologetically rustic collection of furniture. Her Fossils collection includes a side table and wall-hung cabinet, both hand-hewn from solid oak. The units have holes in which organically shaped ceramic vessels would fit, allowing the user to interact with nature in a creative way.
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