What is it about the Danes that make them so darned good at design? Equal parts elegance, simplicity and Scandinavian humor combine with a no-nonsense approach to utility and comfort to create some of the best-loved and most iconic designs of the last 100 years. I’m ready to add Vita Copenhagen to the list of inspired Danish design houses—their self-described “simple and sincere” philosophy fits right in with the modern Scandinavian aesthetic. And their dedication to sustainability brings all the best of Denmark’s rich design history right into the 21st century.
Vita Copenhagen is a young company, founded in 2008, and already enjoys worldwide reach thanks to their affordable designs. To keep costs lower, they package their fixtures in flat gift boxes, requiring some assembly by the customers. I love this because not only does it keep their prices down and reduce the environmental toll of worldwide shipping, it also marries the end user to the final product in a meaningful way. OK, so maybe not everyone likes assembling flat-packed furniture and lighting, but those of us who do enjoy a more personal connection to a project we’ve brought to life with our own hands.
Here are a few of my favorites:
Eos Grey Pendant
Lusciously fluffy, the Eos Grey Pendant is a dreamy, tactile expression I just want to run my fingers through. As pictured here, it seems ideal for a cozy bedroom, helping to surround the space in softness. The goose feathers are environmentally friendly and are safely sanitized for the fixtures. And I love that they can be fluffed with a hair dryer!
Spiny petals recall a splendid pinecone in the Silvia Pendant. The design is fun yet elegant, gorgeous in clusters or alone. It’s a charming design that brings a piece of Denmark’s outdoors in; and Danes spend a lot of time inside during the long, dark winters, so they really know their stuff when it comes to comfortable indoor lighting. And taking a page from Poul Henningsen’s book, the fixture is explicitly designed to minimize glare.
Not falling far from the tree (albeit a different species) the Acorn Pendant seriously ups the cute factor. The allusion to the acorn is evident in the black cap and rounded glass shade, but the real heart of this nut is in the inner finish: Each choice changes how the light interacts with your space, reflecting its subtle color when lit. The metallic finishes also look great grouped together, if you’re into the mixed-metals look (like me).
Clava Dine Pendant
Hinting at the industrial look, the Clava Dine Pendant also alludes to the shape of an acorn cap. I would use it over the dining table in an eat-in kitchen with a row of Acorn Pendants over the island for an eclectic but cohesive modern feel. The finishes are complementary, and the size difference between the mini pendants and this large centerpiece create a balanced effect.
Carmina Mini Table Lamp
Finally, I just couldn’t leave out the dreamy little Carmina Mini Table Lamp. It also comes in hanging versions, but I’m partial to the juxtaposition of the swirly, soft layers atop its stick-straight tripod (especially in black). The selection of pastel colors reminds me of Copenhagen’s famous waterfront at Nyhavn, with its colorful houses lining the harbor. And the gradient of color in each fixture is so delicate, it captures the spirit of summer all year round.