Scandinavian furniture and lighting brand Northern was born in Oslo fifteen years ago when four young men were gathered on a veranda with a plethora of ideas on how to create a Norway-based lifestyle brand. What they were missing in the beginning was experience, products, customers, external financing. Slowly though, the band grew into a company with a secure foothold in the affordable luxury segment of living, selling their furniture world-wide.
Northern was officially launched in 2018 with a wide variety of furniture and accessories, along with several lighting products. Bold shapes combined with beauty, functionality, simplicity, natural materials and genuine craftsmanship are key features to the brand’s collections.
Tell me about the early days of starting your company?
When transforming into a compete lifestyle brand we wanted to move Nordic design further, challenging some of the existing archetypes and perceptions of good Nordic products when making the new collection and the brand. Bring in some more darkness, some new warm colours, and hopefully some unexpected and interesting new variations of shapes and functions. Still keeping the basic Nordic foundation, heritage and characteristics intact.
And we further decided to make products that entail a kind of understated luxury. The luxury lies in the fact that these are good objects of good quality and with high comfort. At the same time, they should be simple, down to earth and have a good functionality. And we definitely are Nordic as a brand – both in spirit and more practically in terms of our physical company main office location up in Oslo.
How do you describe your furniture and accessories? What are they inspired by?
Bold shapes combined with beauty, functionality, simplicity, natural materials and genuine craftsmanship are key features for what we present. we wanted to move Nordic design further, challenging some of the existing archetypes and perceptions of good Nordic products when making the collection and the brand. Bring in some more darkness, some new warm colours, and hopefully some unexpected and interesting new variations of shapes and functions. Still keeping the basic Nordic foundation, heritage and characteristics intact.
What are your most popular products?
Silk table, Hifive storage system, Nest wall hook, and the Birdy lamp series.
Who designs your products?
We live in a global and digital world where the lines between countries are not that clearly defined. In the case of Northern, each designer is handpicked with a clear brief of our vision and a set of demands of what Northern design is for us. We are a Nordic brand, and we asked designers to interpret and further challenge and develop the Nordic spirit into their designs, building on its key elements like democratic and available and affordable to many, practical, functional, sustainable and with simplicity in material application and looks at its core.
Designers are very, very important for us, and the core essence of our brand. When we launched Northern, we handpicked and established a team of talented designers. These are designers that we know of and like and that we thought would be the right ones to make nice objects, a good mix of established ones and some more up and coming rookies. People that we thought could dare to challenge the status quo as well, resulting in a wide range of shapes, materials and production techniques, still unified into a total collection in sum we feel.
Where and by who are they manufactured?
We always strive to find the best craftsmen with the best skills of their field to get the best quality. This means we need to use several partners and craftsmen for our production. We found our craftsmen of terracotta in Italy where we make our pot Oasis. Our wooden object such as Hifive, Camp and Loud are crafted in Latvia where they have their expertise in lamination and wood. Much of the metalwork is made in Sweden, known for their good quality of metal for furniture. Textiles are made of the well-known Danish producer Kvadrat, and the material Brusvik, which is our main fabric in the collection, is crafted in the small village of Innvik in Norway.
Any big plans for the future?
We are already working on some development of existing products and expanding the collection for Autumn 2021. But for Spring 2022 we have exciting news which we have been working on for a couple of years already.