Sunday, March 29, 2009

My New Love in Local Art

The beauty of Danish Modern furnishings is that they are so classic and simplistically beautiful, which makes them the perfect staple piece for your rotating artworks and decor. I am in the mood for bright, kitsch, and fun at the moment - possibly due to the winter that just won't let go. Well, it makes for a great excuse to get into some spring cleaning and redecorating. Keep it local with photography from Minnesota-based FriendlyMade. You'll recognize some photo's a distinct Twin Cities landmarks, she definitely has a soft spot for kitschy, mid-century signage. You can find her on at§ion_id=&page=2

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Movie Inspirations for your Danish Modern

As I was browsing through an old stack of House & Garden Magazines, I came across an issue from January 2007. This issue featured 25 Fabulous Movie Interiors. If you're feeling your place is a bit ho-hum, plop yourself on the sofa and rent one of these movies to spark your designer panache.

Released in 1949, The Fountainhead set was designed in the height of the modern period. The architecture and design demands as much attention as the actors. You would expect no less than an ultra chic apartment for a rebellious modern architect.

To call this film avant-garde is the most friendly of terms, but the eccentric characters and flamboyantly modern pieces in the set may incite a venturing spirit in your own designs.

MON ONCLE (1958)
Released in 1958, Mon Oncle was already mocking the sterility of the Bauhaus-esque modern designs that the Danish Modern designers reacted against. This satirical spoof is perfect for any lover of fashion, history, or architecture.

THE PARTY (1968)
Set in LA in the 1960's, this pad is the ultimate Mod party house of the Hollywood upper echelon. Fun, glamorous, and sensual, this film will give help you stage a new theme fitting for a summer of fun.

Lighten up with this playful comedy. Mix your Danish Modern pieces with these bold colors and kitsch decor for a new twist on classic style.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Danish Teak Classics is a small and personal company. We have a passion for our work and vintage Danish design. Each piece is unique and we treat it as such. Here is your chance to get a glimpse into the unique personalities behind the DTC magic.

1. How did you get into restoration?
I’ve studied woodworking for the last 6 yrs, so restoration is a practical application of my skills. My friend Ethan is also the shop manager at Danish Teak.

2. What do you do at Danish Teak? Describe your work.
Restoration at Danish Teak is part woodworking, part design, some fine art, and a lot of problem solving.

3. Who are your 3 favorite Danish Modern designers?
Borge Mogensen
Ole Wanscher
Hans Wegner

4. Favorite piece you’ve restored? (pic?)
My favorite restoration project was a Borge Mogensen dining table that had been degraded by a prior attempt at repairing some surface damage. I had to salvage some vintage veneer from another piece to match and carefully replace the damaged area.

5. Describe the most challenging part of restoration?
Knowing how difficult it is to replace such unique vintage pieces if we cannot repair it.

6. Why is Danish Modern furniture still so popular?
Timeless designs
Human scale

7. If you could apprentice under 1 Danish Modern designer, who would it be and why?
Hans Wegner because he was so successful in getting his designs into the people’s homes

8. If you could go anywhere tomorrow, where would you go and why?
I’d go to Sweden to study at Cappella Garden, Carl Malmsten’s school which is “dedicated to the unity of hand and spirit”

9. Would you rather?

a. Always have to say everything on your mind or never speak again?
Always say everything on my mind

b. Give up your computer or your pet?
Give up my computer

c. Be a deep sea diver or an astronaut?

Friday, March 20, 2009

First Thursdays in the NE MPLS Arts District

April 2nd, 2009 - 5-9pm

Spring is finally here! Hooray! So come out of your cozy cocoon, tune up that bike, and make your way to the First Thursday in the Arts District as a multitude of painters, sculptors, printmakers, photographers, ceramists, textile and fiber artists, jewelers, furniture showrooms and more open their studios at the Northrup King Building located in the heart of the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District. Stop in this month at DTC to meet some of the restoration professionals and pick Steve's brain about his business and travels to Denmark. So mark your calendars and enjoy a night of artistic inspiration and merriment!

Stop by the Red Stag Supper Club after First Thursday for late night music. The Red Stag Supper Club features Happy Hour 3pm - close and late night music at 10:00 PM. Pick up a wooden nickel for a free drink at the Red Stag Supper Club during First Thursday while supplies last.

A Farewell to Scandinavia's Best-Known Modernist Architect

On February 23 of 2009, Architect Sverre Fehn of Norway passed away at the age of 84. Evasive of promotional public recognition and innately humble, it may be of no surprise that he slipped below your radar. Not to mention that the majority of his buildings are at home in the Norwegian wooden mountains or fjords, and a bit off the beaten path.

Having completed his studies at the Oslo School of Architecture in 1948, soon afterward, he trained under influential French architect Jean Prouve in Paris, where he was also inspired by the works and teachings of Le Corbusier. Upon his return to Oslo, he forged an investigation into the qualities of light and landscapes, expressed through experimental combinations of modernist building materials such as concrete, slate, and unfinished wood. The effect was an architectural style that deflects attention from itself and diverts it to honor the surrounding sculptural landscape.

In 1997, Fehn was awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize, the highest honor in the profession. He is noted for his intuitive eye for spacial design, his poetic expression in built form, and his excellent drafting ability. His most notable buildings include: Nordic Pavilion, Venice Biennale, 1962; Norwegian Glacier Museum, 1991; Hamar Bispegaard Museum, 1969 to 1973.; The Hedmark Cathedral Museum, 1967-79; and Norwegian Museum of Architecture, 2008.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


As this recession drags on, we may see a peculiar effect on our outlook and goals. Initially, we feel a new tightness in our chests and feeling that we may not control our futures as much as we had so whole-heartedly and stubbornly believed. CNN tells us we are living in a “Crisis” and if I watch too often, I begin to believe that Armageddon couldn’t come at a better time. At Danish Teak Classics, I have had the opportunity to meet and talk with a wealth of talented, creative, and successful people living in the Twin Cities or just stopping through. Many have disheartening stories, like how Target has cut its projected building projects for 2009 by 95% and chosen instead to focus on renovations. For those of us who live near an older model, we know this is a blessing in disguise. In another case, I recently called the architect I interned for last summer to catch up on the projects we worked on together. In one year, he has gone from being over his head in work to remodeling his own house to keep his best handymen handy. The job market isn’t great for many in the design profession or recent graduates hoping to break into it, but I can’t help but see the good through all the bad. This isn’t the first time we have faced this type of economy, and if you look back, historically, it has lead to some of the most innovative designs. Without demands and projects flowing in and out, creative minds have time to explore the theories and concepts that have been lying dormant in the back of their minds and on the bottom of their to-do lists. Take for instance, Soviet Russia. After the Revolution of 1917, architects and artists had grand designs in a completely new and modern aesthetic representing a fresh start for their country. The widespread poverty and lack of political organization deterred most projects from being built, but did not weaken the designers devotion to their ideas. Around the world, post WWI designers learned to dream of what could be, of utopian societies, and of a better tomorrow. Will we stop feeling sorry for ourselves and realize the value of the newly available time some of us now have? Will the architects and designers of our era come to be as creatively prolific and groundbreaking as those in a similar situation of the past? I hope so.


Thanks to all who made the Valentine’s Day Sale a success at Danish Teak Classics and we hope all were able to take advantage of the rare discounts. Inventory moving out also means that we have been able to move a significant amount of newly restored Danish Modern furniture up to our showroom. So whether you were here a few weeks ago or have been away for awhile, it may be time for a browse and lounge amongst the best furniture of the Modern period.

If, remarkably, you do not find that piece you just can’t live without in the Danish Teak showroom, do not fear because Steven and Phoebe will be making a trip to Denmark soon to scavenge for more beautiful mid-century modern furniture that just needs a little Danish Teak TLC. If you have a specific request, you can either send it in by email to with a detailed description and example photo if possible, or stop by the DTC showroom to discuss your needs and design plan. The exact dates of departure are not set yet, but we will keep the site updated.