The Poster Club: The Beauty of Scandinavian Simplicity

The Poster Club offers us a glimpse into the Copenhagen lifestyle and how to apply Scandinavian simplicity into your own home.

Scandinavian design has become a global phenomenon. The timeless style has swept across the world with a distinct look hailed for its clean lines, functionality and simple elegance. The secret may now be out on this tucked-away corner of Europe, but the timeless aesthetic runs far deeper than the hygge-mania that’s caught on in recent years.

The Poster Club is perhaps the living embodiment of Scandi cool. The Copenhagen-based online shop, which offers a curated selection of beautiful prints from local artists, recently took us through Nordic design principles and exactly what makes it unique. “Scandinavian design means simplicity, elegance and often a monochromatic colour,” says Thomas Nissen, founder of The Poster Club.

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Photography by Emil Monty Freddie & Tine Daring.

At its core, Scandinavian design can be boiled down to simplicity in even the smallest details. Clean lines, simple profiles and decluttered spaces follow the less-is-more mantra. Think beautiful furniture pieces that aren’t necessarily ornate, or contain excessive detailing. Every item must earn its keep – ensuring a space that’s multifunctional and versatile without sacrificing an ounce of style. 

“It’s best described as beautiful simplicity,” says Sheryn Bullis, a Helsinki-based artist whose work is available on The Poster Club. “Behind every minimalist design, there is a process of elimination, until only the functional beauty remains. This elegant minimalism creates a warm, uncluttered atmosphere that leads to a welcoming feeling of serenity in the home.”

“Behind every minimalist design, there is a process of elimination, until only the functional beauty remains. This elegant minimalism creates a warm, uncluttered atmosphere that leads to a welcoming feeling of serenity in the home.”

For Anna Johansson, another artist whose work is available on The Poster Club, Scandinavian design can even be considered a way of living, thinking and working. “Simplicity is very complex,” she explains. “There are nice simple shapes and then there are ugly simple shapes. The contrast between simplicity and complexity sometimes seems to be the same. A lot of thought and time is behind the simplest of lines.

“The synonyms for simplicity – ease, purity and modesty – strongly represent the idea of design to me,” adds Anna. “I want people to see my art as something easy and not too complicated – even if the work behind it is something else. There’s nothing harder than creating a simple curve that can attract people and be part of their homes and lives.

“When the design is simple, people can use their own imagination and fantasy to really take it in and make it their own,” says Anna. “That’s the interesting thing to me with the concept of Scandinavian simplicity.”

This feeling of beautiful simplicity carries over into all aspects of Scandinavian design. Take colour, which plays an essential role in the overall aesthetic, as an example. It’s another defining feature that perfectly complements the minimalistic shapes, natural materials and lack of visual clutter. The Nordic palette often entails muted and neutral colours, such as white, grey, navy or pale tones.

“I’ve been known to be called Mr. Beige,” Thomas laughs. “However, Scandinavian design doesn’t mean that there is no colour present at all, but rather the use of colour is taken into account in a very refined way.”

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Photography by Irina Boersma & Tine Daring

It’s impossible to take a stroll around Copenhagen and not feel inspired. The bustling Danish capital is consistently ranked as the world’s happiest city, where bicycles and stylish locals buzz past sparkling waterways in complete harmony. It’s also the home of hygge, which literally translates to coziness and all its now-famous way of life. 

“The lifestyle of Copenhagen really depends on who you are,” adds Hannah Madsen, who handles the press at The Poster Club. “There is such a diverse community of people, and the way one individual chooses to live their life is completely different from another.

Copenhagen also lives and breathes creativity with its own special twist. From groundbreaking menus at waterside eateries to trendsetting design and world-famous locals, the city is well-verse in the cutting-edge. This lifestyle has translated into a keen eye for design in virtually every seam of life, even the seemingly mundane activities and daily rituals. 

“The Copenhagen lifestyle is kind of like organized chaos,” she adds. “Very busy, but somehow in order – and there is always time to sit down and enjoy a glass of wine. I think that’s part of the Danish culture in its entirety – the value of time off, mindfulness and connectivity, despite a busy every day.

It’s within the art of living where The Poster Club was born. You can see the city’s unique personality in the selection of beautiful prints made by local artists. The online shop draws on the principles of Scandinavian design and blends it with the modern Copenhagen lifestyle, incorporating subtle cues in fashion, architecture and interior design – which can be found in abundance across the city.

“This mentality also shines through in danish design, both local to Copenhagen and the rest of Denmark,” adds Hannah. “There’s an underlying mindful state of mind, that encourages the creation of art and interiors, reflecting this way of life.”

“There’s an underlying mindful state of mind, that encourages the creation of art and interiors, reflecting this way of life.”

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Photographed & Styled by Sofie Staunsager

The harsh winters of Northern Europe mean that homes traditionally valued natural light and airy interiors. Take a look inside any flat in Copenhagen and you’ll notice many of them have large windows, which avoid any treatment and make the best use of whatever light is available. This natural light makes space feel bigger and brighter, accentuated by bare walls, natural materials and warm textures. 

Artwork plays an essential role in bringing the space together. A beautiful art print or design-inspired piece immediately elevates the atmosphere of a room and gives it an authentic personal touch. “This makes your interior set-up unique to you,” adds Hannah. “It also opens up the opportunity for adding character to an otherwise very pared-back space.

The Poster Club was created for these individuals that appreciate art and who have a desire to add a little touch of personality to their space. The high-quality prints and curated selection of designs speak for themselves – showcasing how different spaces can feel with a touch of art. “When deciding which prints to add to our collection, I look for personality, timeless designs and a unique expression that’s different from what we already offer, yet blends with our Scandinavian aesthetic,” explains Thomas.

Photographed & Styled by Sofie Staunsager

Quintessential Nordic living is all about enjoying the small things and falling in love with your day-to-day. There’s nothing sweeter than creating a soothing and relaxing feeling in your home. Fuzzy blankets, natural accents and beautiful artwork all create the perfect backdrop to enjoy a warm cup of coffee or tea, or just the perfect environment to return to after a long day.

“It’s important to make a space feel your own, especially when you have to spend the majority of your time in it,” says Hannah. “Making your surroundings comfortable, ultimately has a life-changing effect on your body and soul. If you feel at home, you’re able to connect to a deeper self and those around you.” 

Words by Braeden Alexander – The Poster Club autumn 2020 collection is now live.

Director of Content