Arne Vodder; mid-century modern furniture at its best
Arne Vodder only died in 2009. He was the less well-known Danish architect, furniture designer and partner of his teacher and mentor, Finn Juhl, who led the way in bringing the modern Scandinavian style to America during the middle of the 20th Century.
Prior to concentrating on furniture design, Vodder opened his own studio with the architect Anton Borg in 1951, and together they successfully designed low-cost, modular houses for a Danish building firm. However, as the next 20 years progressed, Vodder became ingrained in applying his original and timelessness style to furniture.
His pieces are defined by their simple, clean and elongated lines emphasised by his use of rich natural materials such as exotic timbers, rosewood and teak. Vodder lets the beauty of materials do the 'wowing' in these sturdy and strong pieces for residential and corporate abodes.
By the 1960s, his furniture was housed in the White House, embassies and hotels around the world. Vodder worked with a number of global manufacturers including Sibast Furniture from 1959, Cadovius, Nielaus, Erik Jorgensen, Fritz Hansen, and Kircodan in Bangkok.
Here are a few of my favourite pieces that have remained hugely popular in today's era of home styling and furniture design.
Made in Denmark in the 1950's, this rosewood chest of drawers stands 96cm tall and 84cm wide. Vodder's 'cat-eye' handles are evident, and add to the overall sleek and modern look of this 65+ year piece of furniture. I would dream for this in my bedroom...
Here's a similar style chest, however using formica to make the design more playful for the Sibast range.
Rosewood floating desk
Rosewood floating desk for Sibast c.1960 is a unique design, standing 73cm tall, and 145cm wide. The desk top 'float's above the two symmetrical sets of drawers that are decorated with grainy rosewood panels, key locks and square handles. From the back, the desk provides three cubular book shelves.
Arne Vodder's solid teak and beech chaise longue covered in patent wickered leather. Made in Denmark for Bovirke in 1951. Now how cool are these...
Walnut wall cabinet
This 1960's built walbut cabinet designed for the Sibast Furniture range features tambour doors, smoked interior glass shelves, and a central flap door with cutlery drawer. It has tapered legs, and cross bars, which express a more delicate look to Vodder's typically sturdy aesthetic. It stands 120cm tall and 220cm wide. I want this in my formal dining room...
Teak and formica sideboards
These designs below are examples of Vodder's more playful style which he incorporated into his collections for the home. Exotic timbers combined with round teak handles and blocks of contrasting colour add informality to the pieces. These were made for Sibast, and featured teak drawers with Vodder's discrete 'cat-eye' handles, and often reversable sliding door panels.
This is a rare piece produced by Denmark's Vamo Sønderborg in the 1960s. The design is more symmetrical and formal than Vodder's Sibast sideboards. Its four defined square panels, balanced wood grain, contrasting legs, and brass key detail give it an almost regal touch.
1960s three seater sofa in rust leather for Ian Schlecter's collection. It measures 175cm long and is made from wood and leather. A style we see everywhere today...
Rosewood dining chairs
Vodder created many chair designs during his time. These rosewood highback chairs that stand 100cm tall, were designed in c.1965. They are elegant and fine, yet stand firmly within their rigid frames.