Combining simplicity, beauty and functionality, modernist Scandinavian design has been influential since the 1940s and has seen a resurgence in the design world in recent years. Following WWII, democratic social ideas were sweeping Europe. Out-dated conventions around beauty and wealth merged with the democratic ideals of funcionality and affordability. In Scandinavia, a series of design conferences were held in the 1940s to pursue these ideas and the modern Scandinavian design movement was formed. Founded in nature and focused on home, family and simplicity, Scandinavian design influenced the Midcentury Modern style that was prevelant throughtout Europe and the United States in the 1950s. In 1954, Elizabeth Gordon, editor of House Beautiful magazine at the time, organized a traveling exhibition titled Design in Scandinavia that travelled throughout the United States and Canada for three years, allowing Americans to experience first-hand Scandi furniture and interior design.
Scandinavian design emphasizes light with neutral palettes and pops of color, natural materials and an elegantly minimal aesthetic. Designers such as Axel Einar Hjort, Carl Malmsten, Poul Henningsen, Hans Wegner and Arne Jacobsen played major roles in establishing the Scandi style that has become such a large part of interior design trends today. Their designs are iconic and sought-after by collectors, interior designers and casual home decorators alike.