Considering I am of Swedish decent, I have a certain soft spot for companies that hail from there. So when Swedish outdoor furniture design company Skargaarden recently came to Lumens, I approached them wanting to like them. But I wasn’t about to be bowled over simply over shared kinship. Even if that gave them an advantage, they still had to earn my respect.
Now that I’ve gotten to know Skargaarden, I cannot say I like them anymore. I love them. And here’s why:
They’re pretty dang funny. The name Skargaarden translates as “archipelago,” which points rather directly at the company’s somewhat isolated location in the coastal north of Sweden, in Gavle. Just hours away from the Arctic Circle, and on a latitudinal parallel with Siberia, Gavle is usually windy, cold and dark. (Not the best place to go to warm up. Or, as Skargaarden puts it, “It’s grim up north.”) It’s not necessarily the first place you’d think of as an outdoor furniture design company’s headquarters. And Skargaarden knows it. So they embrace it and turn it to their advantage. After all, when you live in a dark place, why not keep things lighthearted?
They have a great design philosophy. Skargaarden has actually used their murky location as direct design inspiration. When warm summers and the luxury of relaxation time are short, they become more precious to whomever experiences them. So Skargaarden wants to make furniture and accessories that make the most of those rare times, to make those times feel even more precious and luxurious. In practice, the forms are greatly influenced by traditional Scandinavian minimalist design.
Their products are be-yut-iful. And boy do they follow through with their goals. I’m a girl that likes wood and a little metal when it comes to outdoor furniture. Skargaarden wields both materials to magnificent effect. Especially teak. Look at a Viken Chair or Djuro Table, and you know that the teak has achieved its higher purpose. Skargaarden furniture is unquestionably beautiful, yet its real beauty comes from its ability not to compete with the beauty of its surroundings. It is meant to blend in with natural surroundings. And with this, Skargaarden achieves its ultimate goal of heightening the pleasure of relaxation.
There are so many Skargaarden designs that I love. But here are probably my top 5:
Made out of 88 painstakingly assembled pieces of teak, this lounge appears to defy gravity. It’s airy, comfortable and just plain sexy.
H55 Folding Lounge Chair
Designed in 1955, this folding chair is remarkable for its simplicity: a single panel of fabric on a simple teak frame.
These chairs are really cool because they fold in from the sides. Plus, just looking at one brings to mind relaxing around a bonfire after an African safari.
Reso Lounging Collection
Skargaarden takes a big step away from wood with this all-metal collection; it’s made entirely out of powder coated steel, but still looks light and airy.
Grinda Dining Collection
A gorgeous blend of wood and metal. Here, steel wire actually pierces the back panels of the chairs for a smooth and seamless look.