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Scandinavian Spaces: a place for fika.

The Swedish concept of fika makes its way to the Merchandise Mart. More than just

caffeinating while enjoying a sweet pastry, fika is a way of life and can be argued, is more about socializing. This was the basis surrounding Kuchar's design concept for the new Scandinavian Spaces showroom. The goal was to immerse guests in the company's playful furniture while being surrounded by thoughtful design. We proposed a sophisticated palette that elevates the look while allowing them to keep true to their Color. Design. Life. mantra of Neocon's past. Upon entering you are immediately greeted with the Scandi Cafe and lounge. Grab a coffee and enjoy the tour!

Our rendering above, and the end product below of the Scandi Cafe. The cafe boasts a stunning marble counter, custom light fixtures, and a truly unique moss-covered arch installation.

My favorite aspect of this showroom is simply that a new design element presents itself at every turn. Perfectly lit column "halos" entice one to keep exploring while subtly lighting the array of furniture below. High-contrast tiled display platforms are a nod to the subways of Stockholm. The black bands of 2x2 tile follow the same angle as the "halos" and heighten the impact of the wayfinding feature.

The most transformative part of this showroom is the addition of a 10' wide entrance which we delightfully dubbed, "the front porch." It was previously a closet! Equipped with a rolling gate, the entrance really opens the showroom up to accommodate the high traffic of Neocon. This entry is finished off with a warm, textural light grouping and a custom-designed mural, offering a welcoming experience into the space. A wooden bench transitions into a product platform and creates a memorable place to have an impromptu chat with a colleague.

One of my favorite requests from our industry partner clients is to come up with different ways to effectively display their products. Hearing comments like "get creative" or "wow factor" are especially exciting. We designed the storage closet as a long narrow room so that we'd have the opportunity for a large blank wall facing the front porch. It was the perfect location for a larger display of furniture and wall products. How to make them all work together was the challenge. We landed on a stadium-style, asymmetrical design that fits together like a puzzle. The staggering heights are helpful to highlight products of different proportions so that every piece is a star. Blue moss finishes one of the modules offering texture and further asymmetry. The tallest rounded platform is finished in leather veneer! Take a closer look on your next visit.

If you take away two things from this showroom consider these: 1) showroom design can be anything you want it to be and; 2) moss doesn't have to be green! Scandinavian Spaces is a wonderful example of imagination and exploration of sophisticated color. With an honest balance between work and play, the space truly has a mood-boosting effect on the guest experience. Much like the concept behind the furniture, the design blends forms and mixes materials to push boundaries.

Interior Design: Kuchar

Photography: Wittefini Photography


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