You shouldn’t need a big fat wallet to put a classic piece of Danish furniture in your home, says Signe Sørensen, who runs the furniture and homeware shop Chase & Sorensen in Hackney with American partner Brent Chase. They aim to make good design affordable.
In this video, Signe talks about the shop and their philosophy
Say Danish design, and most people would probably think: hefty price tag.
Not so at Chase & Sorensen, a hyggelig haven of a shop just a few minutes’ wander from Hackney Central. While this is dangerously close to East London’s »Hipster Central«, the shop is on a mission to offer, in its own words:
»a sensible alternative to the prohibitively expensive vintage furniture stores dotted across London as well as the low-quality, flat-packed, identikit furniture retailers«
In other words: Hans Wegner meets IKEA.
Chase & Sorensen is short for Brent Chase and Signe Sørensen, the American-Danish business partners behind the shop, who offer vintage furniture made in the golden era of Scandinavian design, from the 1940s to the 1970s, as well as new items that share the same philosophy.
This is not furniture with a designer name attached to it, nor has it normally come through dealers who need a cut. Chase and Sørensen bring over their own stock from Denmark, and most of the furniture are pieces that would have been found in most Danish homes of that period. If you are old enough, you will remember it, and it is furniture that was built to last.
»It’s a little bit Socialist,« says Signe Sørensen, who came to London some 13 years ago to study fashion design, a profession that is now more of a part-time occupation. These days, the shop takes up most of her time, including time spent in the back restoring furniture.
»I worked with construction in design as well, and I’m a pattern cutter. Putting together a piece of clothing and the pieces of a chair or dining table is really not that different.«
She feels there is a lot to be learned from how things are put together, and from keeping things as simple as possible. That is where a lot of design ends up going in the wrong direction, she says, and it is a big part of why classic Scandinavian design is now so popular. It is not overcomplicated or overdesigned.
»It’s the same as in clothing, people want to make it »designed«, and that’s where you then often go wrong, because you add on things and embellish the furniture or the clothing instead of designing it. To keep things simple is a lot harder than to add more things, to stop yourself and say, it works, why change it?«
»That’s exactly the same with Danish furniture. It’s super simple. There’s no fuss.«
Like Chase & Sorensen.
Read more on their website here