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Scandinavian home ware design

Updated on February 27, 2013

What defines Scandinavian home ware?

Scandinavian design is known for its simplicity and clear lines and covers design from Northern countries of Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland. Denmark and Finland seem to be a bit more prominent on the international home ware scene (of course not to forget Sweden's gigantic IKEA company), and their design brands are constantly growing. Danish design using Georg Jensen as an example is generally based upon stainless steel and black and white tones. Finnish design such as Marimekko and Ittala seems to have a fair few more colorful designs, and their home ware collections are generally brighter and has a light feel to them. The Danish Brand Bodum comes across as being at bit of an in between with fun & simple designs all within a reasonable price. I'm a great fan of Bodum, Ittalla and Marimekko, so here's an introduction to some of my favorite items from Finnish and Danish backgrounds.


Marimekko is a Finnish corporation which is based in capital of Helsinki, and currently employs over 400 staff. It's a well established company with a solid textile and fashion background, and it was founded by VILJO and ARMI RATIA in 1951.

Marimekko was already quite a significant brand back in the 60s and 70s and more recently in the 90s received more publicity after their designs made it on to the ever so popular series "Sex and the city", where Carrie Bradshaw wore a Marimekko bikini on the season 2 and later on a dress.

Marimekko is known for its simple styles and brightly colored fabrics which are used both in home wares and women's fashion.


Littala or iittala as it is spelled on the company's official logo is another Finnish design company which specializes in Scandinavian home ware objects. The company is said to date back all the way to 1881 when a Swedish guy named PETRUS MAGNUS ABRAHAMSSON started his very first glass factory in Finland.

Today the Littala Group consists of a variety of respected brands within the ceramics and cookware industry, and is owned by the FISKARS cooperation.

Colorful home ware from iittala - Great gift ideas to brighten up the kitchen

iittala & Alvar Aalto

Among the many designs being sold under the iittala brand are the iconic vases made by the now deceased but world famous Finnish architect Alvar Aalto.

The Alto Collection was first presented at the Paris World exhibition in 1937, and has become an important part of iittalla's portfolio and an icon of design movement.


Bodum is a Danish company with headquarters in Switzerland. It was founded in Copenhagen in 1944 by PETER BODUM, and is still going strong! Peter Bodum's motto "Good design doesn't have to be expensive" is still very much a part of the company's philosophy today, and may very well be one of the reasons why Bodum is now a solid Scandinavian homeware brand with worldwide exposure.

Since 2010 Bodum's Scandinavian activities are being run from their Danish office north of Copenhagen.

My favorite Bodum items - Great Tea & Coffee designs

Hope you enjoyed your visit. Do you like Scandinavian home ware or is that not for you? Let me know what you think, I appreciate your comments.

Guestbook & Feedback - Thank you for stopping by, please feel free to leave comments

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    • Bellezza-Decor profile image

      Bellezza-Decor 5 years ago from Canada

      I like the clean lines of their homewares.

    • profile image

      grannysage 6 years ago

      I can see the Finns are drawn to this lens. I'm half Finn and half Swedish. But I've never heard of these companies. I think my mother shopped out of the Wards and Sears catalogs.

    • PNWtravels profile image

      Vicki Green 6 years ago from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA

      What lovely colorful housewares!

    • HealthfulMD profile image

      Kirsti A. Dyer 6 years ago from Northern California

      Since I am 1/2 Finn on my Mom's side, I grew up with Marimekko. I received a Aalto vase for a graduation (or wedding) gift. I think I've owned a Bodum Coffee Press at one time as well. Love the simple lines and the bright Marimekko colors.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      I've always been attracted to Scandinavian home ware and since I'm Finn from both my parents, I've been particularly drawn to Finnish designs.