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SPOTLIGHT ON ICELANDIC DESIGN

BFCM has passed (thank goodness!) but next stop is Christmas and the rush to find the perfect presents is on. We are lucky we have so many fabulous independent stores and designers around us to help inspire us with unique gifts, making shopping local such a delight. Maybe it's been the sudden drop in temperature that has inspired us, but we thought we would give you some gifting ideas from our talented North Atlantic designers.

A country famed for its luminous skies, the awe inspiring Geyser region and dark winter days, not to mention the home of Bjork, Iceland also hosts a cutting edge, contemporary design scene, with world class designers and makers. In fact, many of the most recent additions to our ever expanding collection of indie brands live and work in Iceland, so here's a run down of what's hot at Pad right now.


STUDIO BERLINORD

Check out the super cool Studio Berlinord "Flying Cups", the brainchild of Hrafnkell Birgisson, who originates from Iceland and infuses his designs with a playful twist. Sourcing beautiful vintage porcelain tea cups from all across Europe he then adds glass wine stems to the base, elevating the humble tea cup to a new level of functionality and design. Shop these beauties at our Howe Street or Harvey Nichols concession and fill them to the brim with prosecco for a unique Christmas toast. Bottoms up! 


 TAKK HOME

Next up is the super talented Takk Home, creators of THE most gorgeous Turkish textiles. Takk means 'thank you' in Icelandic and this sentiment is where the story of the brand began. Founders Olla and Dröfn explain, "with so much to be grateful for, life is full of 'takk' moments," and it is with this ethos that they created  their line of premium and sustain-ably produced towels and blankets, to give us all a little more pleasure in our daily rituals.  
 
 
 
A passion for travel combined with the nature of their homeland, inspire Takk's designs. The bath and and hand towels pay homage to the ritual bathing culture of Turkey and Hamman spas, whilst the muted colours reflect the delicate palette of seasonal Iceland. The range of hand crafted blankets, woven in Turkey using traditional methods, are soft as a cloud and perfect for snuggling into on a cold winters night. They are finished with hand woven fringing, made by local Turkish ladies, and leather Takk labels for that sophisticated touch.
 

 

ANNA THORUNN

Next up is the fabulous Anna Thorunn, a designer based in Reykjavík. Anna's work is inventive, imaginative and eclectic. Seeking inspiration from a combination of the natural world and nostalgic childhood memories, Anna's playful Cowboy range draws inspiration from watching Western Films with her dad, to whom the collection is dedicated. 

The Cowboy mirror - on display at both of our stores in Edinburgh - features a swinging leather pony tail that never fails to catch the eye of passers by. Hang with a high or low slung pony, or plait the leather tassels, it's a tactile and fun statement for any room.



         
Continue the cowboy fantasy by combining a mirror with the stylish, geometric Cowboy hook; hand crafted from beautiful black stained solid oak in the shape of a cactus. Perfect for hanging kitchen towels, scarves, keys or even jewellery and we also think they look pretty great hanging bare for sculptural interest.

  


Finally Anna's quirky reversible bowl, inspired by a local story of hungry Raven chicks in Reykjavik, the Feed Me Bowl can be used either way up and adds a unique touch to any party. Crafted in a supremely tactic white porcelain, it's also due to arrive in store next week in the latest new matte black finish. Spread a bit of Anna Thorunn magic this Christmas with one of these under the Christmas tree. 
 

 

RAGNHEIOUR OSP SIGUROARDOTTIR

Launched in 2011, the Knot cushion, from Design House Stockholm, is now one of the most iconic pieces in textile design. A cushion with a unique character, based on sculptural form rather than pattern, and always a top seller year on year. It was designed by Icelandic designer Ragnheiður Ösp Sigurðardóttir. "As a scout, I was very good at doing knot," Ragnheiður explains.  “I try to create unusual designs; products that are unpredictable and that make people curious."


 


Knitted in tubes several meters in length and filled with medium density foam, it's then twisted into a Knot, which holds its shape beautifully and is wonderfully comfy on the sofa. Available in various colours, from navy blue, grey and anthracite to soft Scandi yellow, pink and white-grey, there's a knot suited to every personality. 


 
 

FOLK REYKJAVIK

And lastly, to finish our tour of Icelandic design is one of the new kids on the block, design brand Folk. Founded by Ragna Sara Jonsdottir in 2017, Folk is a founded on Ragna's passion for environmental sustainability and a socially responsible ethos. She tells us, "at Folk our vision is to enable and inspire people to live a more sustainable lifestyle." 

The first range to launch are the fabulous Nomad Shelves, designed by the brands first collaborator Jon Helgi Holmgeirsson.



Made in sustainable ash, these super sleek lightweight shelves with satin finish black or gold brackets can be ordered in 3 lengths. You can customise the look of the shelves with extra hooks and poles to help create a perfect storage solution for your home. Great for hanging jewellery, clothes, towels, or even kitchen utensils to create the ultimate #shelfie.

SHOP UNIQUE, SHOP INDEPENDENT

These independent brands represent a culture which values design, craft and quality materials, as well as individual spirit, fun and uniqueness. The range of innovative design from our Icelandic brands make every day a little more pleasurable, magical and stylish. We're looking forward to seeing what else comes from the land of fire and ice in the future!