Expanding on their ‘Modernism Reimagined’ range from last year, Scandinavian design brand MENU has added new products to its collection for Spring/Summer 2017. Appealing to the minimalists among us, these carefully-considered, beautifully simple pieces are functional and designed to last.
More and more I’m wanting to embrace the pared-back, minimal interior, living with less, and investing in well-designed objects that live beyond trends and fashions. It might mean a well-loved chair you pass from generation to generation or a set of glasses you always get out at special family occasions. I was once talking to a Danish sofa manufacturer and he said that in Scandinavia even sofas are often passed down over the years, and because they’re so well made, they may only need a little bit of reupholstering every generation.
MENU’s new products, here, all show an almost obsessive attention to detail and an exploration of material and memory. There’s the beautifully crafted Tailor sofa inspired by the designer’s memories of his grandfather, a mirror that explores the history of our relationship with reflections, and a bench designed to gather two people together to meet. Scroll down to explore more of my favourites…
Designed by Stockholm-based Scottish designer Nick Ross, the Darkly Mirror takes its form from the time when humans began to place importance on the ability to see themselves in a reflected image. Like the small vessels filled with water that historians believe people may have used in the late Stone Age, the Darkly Mirror is inspired by ceramic bowls. Says Ross: ‘I wanted to take this notion and create a modern object which questioned its possible past and relation to ‘the self’.”
Designed by Norm Architects, the Meet Bench takes inspiration from the traditional piano bench. A versatile, multi-functional piece, the bench is just big enough for two people to sit together and meet. The design is held together by two stabilising tubes that elegantly meet under its curved seat. It could sit in a hallway, by the side of a bed or next to a sofa to display books in the living room.
The Tailor Sofa is a real beauty, made of oak with a foam shell covered in upholstery, it is a lesson in craftsmanship and attention to detail. Its Porto-based designer, Rui Alves, hails from a family of cabinetmakers and grew up surrounded by woodworking tools. This design is inspired by his grandfather’s favourite tailor shop and memories of tailors bent over working tables with old wooden hangers displaying grey suits.
Just like a well-made shirt, Alves wanted the joints and seams to be revealed and celebrated. He says: ‘I wanted to show all of it, the structure, the beautiful oak wood. Nothing should be hidden, as is normally done in sofa design. The sofa is meant to be seen from all sides.’
The Plinth podium by Norm Architects is designed to reveal the natural beauty of marble. It comes in three sizes; the taller version is perfect for displaying art or sculpture, while the lower version can be used as a coffee table or side table.
Simply beautiful, don’t you think? I love watching as this brand and its designs mature, I can really see these items lasting the test of time, can you?
All images: MENU