NYTT ROM new scandinavian rooms


I had not come across this magazine until moving to Denmark. It is actually produced in Oslo and is well-established here coming out every two months and about to publish edition 46. The new scandinavian rooms part of the heading is not my translation but part of the full title of the magazine - although none of the articles are in English (and why should they be?) but some adverts from the larger companies are in English and presumably are a stock version to aim at an international audience.

Graphics are clean and fresh - which again is appropriate - and the magazine is well printed on good paper with high-quality images. Most pieces are short - some four or more to a page in some cases - but there are longer articles with three or four or more double-page spreads. These seem to be generally the longer assessments of particular homes. 

There are short book reviews and exhibition notices, reviews of cafes and restaurants that have distinct or well-designed interiors … so that means almost all of the new places are potential candidates. There are clear profiles of shops and shop owners which is building up into a really useful register and there are announcements or assessments for the launch of new products and new pieces of furniture.

Almost all the furniture and household items are current and new designs … generally the only classic designs are in the adverts of the more established manufacturers or if an unusual historic design is relaunched particularly if it comes back into production in new colour ways or with original colours or original features that have been changed over a long period of production.

What I really like is that apart from the photographs taken close up in a studio for the best lighting for the shot or to show details, most photographs are taken in real settings. OK rooms are tidied up or things moved around because the photographer needs to get things in view or get them out of the foreground where they can look terribly distorted by the viewpoint. It’s actually quite interesting to take photographs in your own home where it might look fantastic as you walk in and look good from certain view points but however much you step forward or back or twist slightly then at least one thing left in its usual place gets cut in half in the photo or appears to be weirdly triangular on tapered legs because the camera is looking down at an odd angle.

Here the real value for an English reader is that although many of these pieces of furniture and the household items are available in the UK it is actually the context in real homes that makes them look most Nordic. English readers might even be curious to see some of the rooms with clearly expensive furniture but hand-painted floors, and hand painting clearly done some years ago, electric wiring ducts surface mounted and light fittings with the flex stretched across to a hook and knotted up. Maybe this is one of the major differences between English and Scandinavian interiors. In the UK very expensive furniture usually reflects wealth and status and goes with equally expensive carpets and certainly with expensive bathrooms. Obviously it is always dangerous to generalise about national attitudes and priorities but in Scandinavia good quality furniture is appreciated not because it is expensive but because it is more generally what is expected and what is the priority. Then the room is simply the place for the furniture and in turn the house and the furniture are merely the setting for the family and the friends and what they do together there and that is what is important.

Nytt Rom also has a good web site and publishes a monthly on-line version of the printed magazine through issuu.


DANISH™ is a new magazine published on line to promote Danish design and architecture. It has been launched by the Danish Design and Architecture Initiative, formed in 2012, and commissioned by the Ministry of Business and Growth, the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Culture.

Good straightforward typography and the restrained but stylish graphics with a good use of strong colour and horizontally scrolled bands of photographs all show that the site was designed from the start to be viewed on a tablet or touch screen … the side swipe for moving through the bands of images is the give away of course. However, there are still problems with reconfiguring sites to work on multiple platforms so actually the site does really still look best on a large screen that does justice to the high-quality images but also simply because on a larger and higher resolution screen text, images and columns of information and links appear in the relationships and sequence intended whereas seen on an iPad, normally held vertically in portrait format, some elements are rejigged and shunted to the bottom of the page.

This is really just carping and in any case is a general problem not specific to this site.

It is good to see the integration of short films including one from Carl Hansen about the Wishbone Chair and hopefully this suggests that, as the site builds, there will be more interviews, profiles and shorts about techniques and manufacturing methods and interviews with architects and designers. They presumably have the budget and the access to professional teams to commission filmed profiles of standing buildings and urban and rural landscape settings to take on-line reports on 3D design to a new level. 

Categories that drop down from the top navigation menu include architecture, art, craftsmanship, events. lifestyle, sustainability and urban development. 

There are separate profiles of Danish companies that already include the architectural practices of C F Møller, Schmidt Hammer Lassen and Norm, design companies including Kollision with entries for the furniture manufacturers Republic of Fritz Hansen, and Carl Hansen, and the lighting companies Louis Poulsen and Le Klint.

Each profile has a short pen portrait, supplied by the subject, with good photographs, the address of the company and links to their web sites. Clearly this will build up quickly to form an important access point to a directory of Danish designers, architects and manufacturers and retailers.

The site promises a monthly newsletter and from the outset the magazine seems to be fully integrated with postings to social media, including Facebook and Twitter links, which indicates that news and updates will be posted promptly.