Nine out ten design lovers agree: Midcentury modernist furniture is the epitome of refined style and good taste—well-crafted, classic, and timeless—thanks to the way it almost always marries innovation, simplicity, and elegance. And it was the Scandinavian modern designers in particular—Kaare Klint, Hans Wegner, Finn Juhl, Greta Magnusson Grossman, Arne Jacobsen, Alvar Aalto, et al.—who led the way in defining and propagating the enduring modernist ethos that not only dominated the 20th century but has continued to drive trends well into the 21st. There’s only one downside all that desirability… A considerable rise in demand for original and well-preserved midcentury pieces means ever-growing price tags.
Don’t despair. There are still great pieces to be found out there that are accessible even for newer and younger collectors. Here’s our top ten picks of the best Scandinavian modern pieces that are available now a budget—guaranteed to amp up the chic factor in your home without breaking the bank. Don’t dilly-dally, though. These hot tickets are sure to sell out fast!
Rosewood Cabinet from Brouer Møbelfabrik
This handsome 1960s-era Danish Rosewood Cabinet from Brouer Møbelfabrik is eminently practical and easy on the eyes. The richly grained rosewood finish, tapered legs, and understated detailing make this a classic example of the evergreen Scandinavian modern style—with an attractive price tag to boot.
Model 31 Chairs by Kai Kristiansen
These Model 31 Chair by acclaimed Danish designer Kai Kristiansen are in good condition, even with the original seating upholstery. The tapered legs and curved backrests in teak give the set an effortless grace, while sky-blue fabric brings a good dose of cheer. Whether solo or in a small seating arrangement, the built-to-last Model 31s will never go out of style.
Laddered Shelving System by Kajsa & Nils Strinning
The modernists were organizational geniuses, and the vintage modular shelving systems created by Danish design team stand out for their efficient and flexible utility. This wall-mounted Laddered Shelf System offers both open and closed storage space, so you can choose which objects you want to highlight—and which you’d prefer to discretely hide away. Space-saving and aesthetically pleasing in its own right, this piece is one you’ll love for decades to come.
Model GM5 Sofa by Svend Åge Eriksen
Harking back to the days before sofas were practically of landscape proportions and when an enjoyable evening was all about stimulating discussion with friends, this Model GM5 Two-Seater Sofa by under-the-radar Danish designer Svend Åge Eriksen for Glostrup features a solid teak frame along with airy, textured cushions in a cool palette of blues and grays. All the comfort without the massive footprint.
Tokyo Bench by Yngvar Sandström
The Tokyo Bench by Swedish designer for Nordiska Kompaniet represents a slightly less recognizable, but no less desirable, branch of the Scandinavian modern family tree. Produced in pale, solid oak in the 1960s, the iconic Tokyo Bench features a simple, slatted seat that has a decidedly contemporary feel to it. And the sculptural rectangular legs are oh-so midcentury Scandinavian. Perfect topped with cushions in a pared-back living room; in a hall alongside a coat rack and shoes; or even as a low side table to display beautiful plants, this multi-use bench is an all-around fantastic find.
Teak Dining Table by Arne Vodder
A dining table not only dominates a space visually, it also fulfills one of the most important functions in a home; bringing people together to bond over good food, wine, board games, and any number of other social activities. With its sleek shape and extendable tabletop, this 1960s Teak Dining Table by Danish designer Arne Vodder for Sigh & Søns is a solid investment on both the aesthetic and the utilitarian fronts.
Teak Desk from P.B.J. Mobelfabrik
Step-up your work space with this charming Teak Desk from Danish furniture brand P.B.J. Mobelfabrik. The contemporary curse is that we feel like we can (and, often, should!) work from anywhere, with laptops and smartphones turning the couch or kitchen table into a work space. But this often means that nowhere in your home feels like a pure leisure zone. Creating a dedicated, attractive, and practical workspace with a classic desk like this one not only makes your home look and feel more organized but also helps you win back crucial headspace by keeping work separate from play.
Teak Lounge Chair & Footstool by Illum Wikkelsø
The robust and comfy vintage seating by Danish designer Illum Wikkelsø have gained a dedicated following. Not doubt because his chair and sofa designs offer classic lines as well as generous proportions and deep padding. This classic reading chair and ottoman feature a solid teak frame and black leather cushions so you can put your feet up in style.
Modular Wall Unit by Poul Cadovius
Poul Cadovius. Surprisingly airy, despite the solid teak frame, this wall shelving unit keeps things minimalist and chic. Everything in its right place.Present your prized objects—from books and magazines to vases and objets d’art—in a way that highlights their aesthetic qualities with this teak Modular Wall Unit by Danish designer
Model 45 Armchair by Alvar Aalto
Last but definitely not least, add a dose of midcentury elegance with an unusual pop of contemporary color to your home with this restored Model 45 Armchair from the legendary Finnish designer Alvar Aalto. Produced by Artek in 1947, this wonderfully light birch piece, which has been immaculately reupholstered in a near iridescent violet, retains its historical patina whilst feeling absolutely up-to-the-minute.
More to Love
Vintage Model GM 5 Two-Seater Sofa by Svend Age Eriksen for Glostrup
Dining Table by Arne Vodder for Sigh & Søns, 1960s
Danish Rosewood Cabinet from Brouer Møbelfabrik, 1960s
Oak Tokyo Bench by Yngvar Sandström for Nordiska Kompaniet, 1960s
Mid-Century Danish Teak Desk from P.B.J. Mobelfabrik
Model 45 Armchair by Alvar Aalto for Artek, 1947
Vintage Danish Lounge Chair & Footstool by Ilum Wikkelsø for Niels Eilersen
Modular Royal System Wall Unit by Poul Cadovius for Cado, 1960s
Teak Veneer Laddered Shelving System by Kajsa & Nils Strinning for String, 1960s
Model Tokyo Oak Bench by Yngvar Sandström for Nordiska Kompaniet