It's now hard to remember a time before the Scandinavian look infiltrated America's homes and became our de facto design style. With new permutations arriving every few months (hello, "Scandifornian"), the look is less of a trend and more of a starting point from which we intuitively decorate our spaces every day.
By this point, you've probably mastered some of the major tenets — sleek teak furniture, cozy rugs and throws, and graphic prints and posters that nod to the unassailably cool aesthetic of nordic typography designers — but might not have extended the look into your everyday dining routine. Until today, that is.
If you're looking to introduce the Danish (or Swedish) hallmarks of design into your next dinner party or coffee break, you've come to the right place. Both stern minimalists and color-loving hygge addicts can find common ground in these Scandi dinnerware picks. And best of all, like most Nordic design, they'll never go out of style.
Scandi style is usually a very black-and-white affair ... which is perhaps why these celadon-tinged dishes from FERM Living are so appealing. Minimalist without being boring, with the kind of unglazed-edge styling that's hyper-popular at farm-to-table restaurants these days, it's an extremely enticing option that won't break the bank. And if you're the sort of person who likes to go all-in, the matching cups have a positively delightful silhouette.
Even minimalists need options. If you're starting from scratch with a new apartment or first home, an all-inclusive set of understated dinnerware might be the way to go. This one from Danish standby Menu offers three sizes of plates and two sizes of bowls per setting, all in crisp white porcelain with a glossy finish. (All the better to showcase your masterful plating skills.)
No Scandi place setting is complete without what is arguably the most iconic Danish flatware — Dansk's teak-handled Fjord style. Instantly up your nordic dinner party cred by scattering a few sets of these on the table or placing them artfully in a cutlery caddy to show 'em off when not in use.
Looking to dial up the drama? Matte black dinnerware is the way to go. Pair it with brass cutlery to make your place settings really pop.
What's more nordic-new-age-foodie than a plate that bears more than a passing resemblance to a bowl? Not only is it perfect for the grain-forward dishes we're all trying to eat more of in the new year, but it ensures you won't chase a roasted beet off your plate and onto your perfectly imperfect linen tablecloth. (The speckled "sand" finish is a nice textural addition, too.)
Looking for a more old-school approach? Dansk's blue and ochre stoneware is charming if you're thinking of channeling a Danish farmhouse vibe. The cheerful painted patterns will certainly elevate your next Fika date.
If the thought of sacrificing color to achieve a Scandi-inspired dining room makes you cringe, Marimekko is definitely a match for you. The legendary design house known for its bold and bright floral prints and playful geometric designs also has dinnerware in spades — these painterly, color-washed plates are an instant conversation starter.
On the other hand, if you're team sleek-and-subtle all the way, you could do no better than the iconic Arne Jacobsen cutlery used in Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. (Talk about understated.)
For those who want to strike a balance between colorful and minimalist, look no further than HAY's modern yet whimsical designs. These chic mugs feel like hygge incarnate—especially the amber version.
Reflective surfaces are a major hallmark of Scandi design — because when you live in nordic territory, you've gotta amplify every bit of light you have to keep the winter blues at bay. This high-shine flatware makes even leftover takeout feel fancy.
Once you're aware of these diminutive clear glasses, you'll start seeing them everywhere. They're an ever-present fixture at cafes and restaurants from Stockholm to Copenhagen (... to Brooklyn), and it's easy to see why — they're understatedly chic enough to mix with any table setting, whether you're serving wine or apple juice.
The inverse of the plate-bowl, Aida's stoneware plates are practically edgeless, giving them a thoroughly elemental feel that's only increased by their speckle-y glaze and desert-modern color scheme.
Emily Bihl is a freelance writer and sometimes-songwriter who can invariably be found rearranging furniture in a domicile somewhere along the Mississippi River. She lives with her black labrador Selkie and a small army of homemade ceramics, and has not willingly closed a browser tab since 2011.