The Danish enfilade, THE classic of Scandinavian design

Among the post-war design furniture, the Scandinavian enfilade remains a timeless classic for any vintage design lover. There is not a contemporary furniture editor who does not have a Scandinavian-style sideboard in his catalog! This article looks at the reasons that have made this piece of furniture a classic of Scandinavian design, and more particularly Danish. It is no coincidence that the success of the Danish enfilade is part of the golden age of Scandinavian design furniture (1935-1965) ...

In France, well before the twentieth century, the enfilade is often equated with a buffet. During the Directoire period, it is found made of walnut or elm burl, then in the nineteenth century mahogany. At the beginning of the 20th century, it follows the evolution of styles - we are then in the middle of the Art Deco period - it becomes coquettish by displaying exotic wood colors, rosewood in this case.

Property Directoire sideboard made of cherry wood and elm burr for the door panels, drawer fronts and pilasters. Source

Ownership Directoire armoire in cherry and elm burl for door panels, drawer fronts and pilasters. Opening of the 3 drawers.

source: Antiquity in France

Art Deco enfilade with Glazed space, entirely designed in solid mahogany, except for its top, 1920

source: Antiquity in France

Art Deco sideboard with Glazed space, entirely designed in solid Mahogany, except for its top, 1920. Opening of the cupboards.

source: Antiquity in France

The Scandinavian enfilade "pur jus" appears in the aftermath of the Second World War in Scandinavian countries. Present in many Scandinavian homes (Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland), it became a classic of the Nordic interior, before being exported more widely in Europe.

Let's start by defining what we mean by "Scandinavian enfilade". It is a piece of furniture composed of at least 3 parts "in enfilade", composed of several modules alternating swinging or sliding doors, as well as drawer boxes, and sometimes, if you feel like getting thirsty, bar shelves opening with a flap. This is a low sideboard whose originality is that it seems to "float" in suspension, usually resting on a half-height base. While the depth of this piece of furniture remains modest, even small, on the other hand, it is not uncommon to find enfilades of more than 200 cm in length!

Exceptional large Scandinavian enfilade, designer: Ib Kofod-Larsen for Faarup Møbelfabrik, 1960s. Furniture in rosewood with a length of 230 cm.

Source: Design market

Exceptional large Scandinavian sideboard, designer: Ib Kofod-Larsen for the publisher Faarup Møbelfabrik, 1960s. Furniture in rosewood with a length of 230 cm.

Source: Design market

The Scandinavians popularized this piece of furniture with a style that reflects their way of life and matches the way they view design. It is a wooden furniture that brings a certain warmth to a room, with straight lines and sometimes some curves. The lines are airy and the volumes are straight, a fairly pure style in short that leaves no room for ornamentation ... Scandinavian furniture hates to do too much! To the simplicity of the lines and impeccable finish, we add the desire to make the sideboard a practical piece of furniture with sliding doors, storage spaces, correctly sized and therefore comfortable. Finally, the Scandinavian enfilade adopts compass legs and discreet front cut-out handles.

Vintage Danish enfilade in rosewood with 4 sliding doors. Inside the cabinet: drawers and storage spaces.

Source: Design Market

Cuban mahogany sideboard, design Kaare Klint for Rud. Rasmussen Cabinetmakers, early 1930s.

Source: 1stdibs

Fireplace, model RY-25, design Hans J. Wegner. Oak wood, rosewood legs and jalousie doors.

Source: Pamono

At this point in the article, you may be wondering why we're talking about "Danish enfilade"? It seems quite simply that the Danes, not content with counting an exceptional generation of designers in the post-war period (Hans WEGNER, Arne JACOBSEN, Borge MOGENSEN, Verner PANTON, ...) knew how to industrialize their production as efficiently as possible. Note that one of the characteristics of Scandinavian design is to offer cheap furniture and accessible to the general public. The furniture industry also developed exceptionally well in Denmark in the 50s and 60s, thanks to a network of very active furniture publishers and manufacturers. The most famous and established are of course: Fritz Hansen, Søborg Møbelfabrik, Carl Hansen

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