Today we are jumping into conversation with Australian curator of Scandinavian furniture and lighting – Great Dane Furniture.
Specialising in timeless Scandinavian design with a reputation for quality, service, craftsmanship and knowledge, Great Dane has become essential for accessing authentic Scandinavian designed pieces here in Australia.
So, in support of a fellow Australian business, we wanted to turn a spotlight on Great Dane as a local furniture supplier who has built themselves up to play a vital role in the Interior Design industry here in Brisbane.
Join us as we sit down for a chat with Great Dane and dive into where they began, the crucial criteria for the designs they represent, their return to Brisbane and what’s next for Great Dane Furniture.
Tell us a little bit about the company? Where did Great Dane begin?
“Over 20 years ago, I started Great Dane as a supplier of vintage Scandinavian furniture. The success of selling vintage furniture provided the knowledge of what products were not only crafted to stand the test of time, but also resonated with Australian’s and their homes.
After 10 years of importing vintage, I decided to take a leap of faith and contacted the late furniture maker Arne Vodder – his influence as a Danish designer undeniably significant and proposed the idea of putting some of his designs back in production. Driven by a desire for absolute product integrity, I sent off a carefully handwritten letter and that was the start of an enduring friendship and beginnings of Great Dane as it stands today.
We are extremely proud of what we have created and the wide array of makers we have the pleasure of working with. With three showrooms across Australia located in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, our passion for Scandinavian craft have never been stronger.”
What are the core principles when it comes to Danish / Scandinavian designs?
“Often Scandinavian style can be thought of as stripped back or minimalist, however we feel this is a horrible misconception! If you are ever lucky enough to be invited into a Scandinavians home, you’ll find it is much more layered and intimate with a touch of whimsy. It is that softness and beauty that we try to capture in our collections.”
How is Danish / Scandinavian design relevant to Queensland / Australian lifestyle?
“We both share a deep connection with nature that is often reflected in our appreciation of natural materials.
Here in Australia, we’re surrounded by so much natural beauty and a climate conducive of spending time outdoors. Scandinavians embrace the seasons, most impressively in the cooler months when skiing and smoke saunas are ablaze. A theme which is cohesive is the strong appreciation for a home that fosters time outdoors, and how this lifestyle inspires the use of natural materials.”
You represent many famous design icons – what do you look for when selecting who to represent?
“We focus on pieces and makers built on quality and integrity. We are passionate about the stories behind the pieces and this allows us to form a deep connection with everything we do. Pieces must be designed and crafted in Scandinavia, by craftspeople who lovingly hone their craft in an honest way. We always prefer things to be touched by the human hand. Not only this, but the furniture, lighting and/or objects must always exude great beauty.”
Many of your iconic piece’s stem from those designed decades ago – how has Danish / Scandinavian design evolved over the recent years (materiality / form / colours)?
“We have certainly seen a rise in experimenting with non-traditional materials and manufacturing that has always traditionally been shied away from. The young Scandinavian designers of today are not afraid to break traditions…it is very exciting and we look forward to seeing what transpires. Iconic Scandinavian designers have left legacies, and therefore very big shoes to fill, so it is nice to see new designers forging their own paths and creating new expressions. It’s exciting!”
We live in a world of ‘fast’ everything – so why do you think it’s important to invest in quality furniture pieces for your home?
“Our interiors form the fabric of our lives and allow us to express our own unique design language. We strongly believe pieces hold stories and memories that spark joy, so when searching for furniture, lighting and objects for your home, you shouldn’t just need them to serve a purpose, but also reflect a time or place that makes you feel good.“
Let’s chat about your beautiful new showroom – what prompted the return to Brisbane?
“We certainly felt the pull from our loyal clients up north. Touching and experiencing our pieces, we feel, is a really important part of our business. We sell luxury synonymous with an unsurpassed level of detailing that no amount of googling can compare with the human touch. We know our clients feel this way too and we are looking forward to extending our range and unparalleled customer service to Queensland.”
Favourite event on the design calendar?
“Stockholm Furniture Fair and 3DaysofDesign in Copenhagen have got to be our top picks! A real showcase and celebration of all things Scandinavian design!”
What can we expect to see from Great Dane moving forward – anything exciting on the horizon that you can share?
“We recently collaborated with Danish-born British designer Ilse Crawford on bringing her sofa design; The Ilse Sofa to Australia, exclusively through Great Dane. We look forward to expanding this range in-store very soon…more details to be announced!”
Thanks for joining us in this conversation with Great Dane Furniture. You can check out more about them and shop their beautiful pieces here, or keep up to date with their socials here. Or alternatively check out their lovely new Brisbane showroom at 2 Prospect Street, Fortitude Valley.