Getting cosy in Oslo
Oslo Design Fair 2016 – The Return of Cosy.
On yet another dismal November Sunday afternoon (come on weather!), coffee cup in hand, a new look for the annual design fair in Oslo caught my designer eye. Images of beautifully crafted homewares and seriously fun advertsing were drawing me in and somehow I saw past Norway’s even shorter, colder days and began planning a mini Nordic adventure…
The Design Fair itself was held in Lillestrom, a small town just outside the main city. In January, surrounded by snow, it made for a pretty inspiring setting for a showcase of design – but only once inside, did the full scale of the event become apparent – room upon room of new design and interior products were on display from more than 400 exhibitors! Time for some speed viewing.
The overall theme for this years’ fair was ‘The Return of Cosy’ – exploring what it takes to make a home cosy and how to bring warmth and a more personal, cosier feel to your home. This extended into a showcase of “cosy” rooms in which top Norwegian interior stylists were invited to create their interpretation of the theme.
“The home is a place where we can recharge our batteries, a place that should make us feel safe, calm and energised. We surround ourselves with beautiful, lasting things that mean something to us – and create a positive atmosphere.” (Oslo Design Fair)
Sat in the middle of it all, surrounded by inspiration, with a new, curiously strong, black coffee in hand (that’s how they role out here!) – this place was certainly starting to feel cosy.
There was a strong sense a of quality craftsmanship and the use of authentic materials in much of the products on show – things built to last – particularly apparent in brands like Village, who wear their mission statement on their sleeve:
Some of the others who have already made their mark across Scandinavia and more southerly European climes needed much less of an introduction (The big boys, like Bloomingville and Ferm Living were there in force), but most were independent designers, new to the scene and using the fair as a launch pad into the public eye.
A particular highlight for me was the decadent lifestyle brand, Nordstjerne – specialising in extremely glamorous home accessories (and beautifully styled photography). You wouldn’t think their key materials of marble and brass would naturally lend themselves to being warm and cosy, but throw in a pairing of velvet, suede or the rich grain of polished walnut and the hard edge pieces simply melt into their surroundings.
So what started as an idle thought over a slightly less strong cup of coffee had become a whistle stop tour through the cutting edge of Scandi-design. The ‘Return of Cosy’ felt like a home from home, and given the sheer depth of creativity on show, it could well warrant another return to Oslo for more fun at the fair next year..