Modern Scandinavian vs Minimalism

Understanding the Key Similarities and Differences between Scandinavian Design and Minimalism

If you follow trends in contemporary design, two terms you will often hear are “minimalism” and “Scandinavian”. And ever since Ikea rose to prominence, the two terms have often been conflated.

But while the two styles share similar roots, minimalist and modern Scandinavian styles do differ in a few substantial ways.

They reflect different mindsets. They demonstrate different reactions to social and environmental conditions. 

But how do two seemingly similar styles represent a clash in conception? And how does that difference manifest itself aesthetically?

Keep reading to learn more about these two styles and answer these questions.

Modern Scandinavian vs Minimalism

The way people decorate their homes reflects the society in which they live. In this respect, both styles reflect similar but distinct reactions to industrialization. 

As the 19th century ended, the effects of the Industrial Revolution crept into day-to-day life. What we would now call “modernism” was beginning to manifest.

This point is important because the two styles we are looking at demonstrate two different ways of reacting to a changing cultural landscape.

Minimalist Design

The term “minimalism” first appeared in the 1960s. It was used to describe the work of American visual artists like Robert Morris and Anne Truitt. 

The movement was a reaction to contemporary art. Specifically, abstract expressionism, which the minimalists felt was self-indulgent and stale.

Abstract expressionism relied heavily on a biographical component to relay meaning. Presented in a vacuum, a piece would appear either incomprehensible or meaningless altogether.

This was one of the primary philosophical differences of the minimalist mindset. Eschewing biography, they attempted to make art that could be anonymous. In a way, this also made it more universal.

This reaction would extend into all areas of art, including interior design. Minimalist design is defined by functionality, geometry, and its penchant for prefabricated industrial materials.

Its functionality comes from the absence of clutter. Say you knew nothing about minimalism but the word. You would still probably image an open-concept floor plan with sparse ornamentation.

Minimalist design is also characterized by bold, clean lines and geometric patterns. In terms of color, it favors a neutral base with accents of black and chrome.

In regards to how minimalism reflects changing attitudes, it embraces modernism.

Modern Scandinavian

Scandinavian design as we now know it was codified around the same time as minimalism. The style emphasized sleek, accessible, affordable furnishings and interiors. It also drew inspiration from the region’s climate.

During Scandinavia’s long winters, the days are cold and short. The popular design reflects this by contrasting that reality as much as possible.

Light, for example, is a key aspect of Scandinavian design.

The style combine open spaced-floor plans, pale colors, and minimal ornamentation. All aspects which contribute to an effort to maximize the amount of light in the space. The idea is to make the home bright and inviting as a reprieve from the cold gloom of the outside world.

Functionalism is another defining attribute of Scandinavian design. Again, due in large part to how harsh the Scandinavian climate can be, function has long been favored over form.

As part of the effort to de-clutter the space, single-function areas like dining rooms are eschewed. Instead, the open design is intended to be flexible. Each space can accommodate a variety of activities, maximizing the economy of space. 

But that is not to say that Scandinavian design is just about empty rooms with muted walls. On the contrary, it expresses a desire to marry function and form rather than favor one over the other.

It takes inspiration from nature in its choice of materials. And that distinction is one of its big differences from minimalism. 

Material and Mindset

A primary distinguishing characteristic between modern Scandinavian and minimalist design is the materials used.

Minimalism is distinguished by its industrial inspirations. It incorporates materials like steel, chrome, and lacquered plastics. While minimalist spaces can feel open and streamlined, they can also feel sterile and cold.

By contrast, modern Scandinavian seeks to move in the opposite direction. In creating a respite from winters of northern Europe, modern Scandinavian goes for a space that is open, but still lively.

It incorporates natural materials and organic shapes that appeal to the human eye on a basic level.

Minimalism can feel almost brutish in its utilitarian functionality, Scandinavian design is softer. It is cozy, without being overly rustic.

It is still defined by functionality but lends itself much more to a home than to a factory or a workplace. It typically allows for a wider range of colors than minimalism. Using bursts of blue as an accent is a trendy choice in Scandinavian design right now.

Further, if minimalism is industrial in nature, then Scandinavian is lived-in by contrast. Gently worn leathers and other natural textures are ways in which the style makes itself feel homier and more inviting.

If minimalism is embraced modernism, that Scandinavian subtly resists it. Its penchant for natural materials and organic forms is something of a throwback. It brings to mind the arts and crafts movement of the early 20th century. Which itself was a sort of post-romantic resistance to industrialization.

This places the two styles in contrasting positions.

A Homestead or a Workshop

While the two share some core similarities, the difference between them is primarily a matter of philosophy.

Minimalist design is an offshoot of an artistic movement that drew inspiration from the inorganic and was in part defined by its anonymity.

Modern Scandinavian came about in response to the environment. It was to provide a warm, inviting escape from a long, dark winter.

This difference in philosophy manifests itself in the choice of material, form, and color.

If you want to see more Scandinavian design, check out our 25 favorite Scandinavian style blogs. Or consider visiting our showroom to view examples of Scandinavian-infused design in person.

An Introduction to Himolla Furniture from Germany

Updated for 2020: European Leather Gallery is proud to be the United State’s Largest Himolla Dealer

In recent years, Americans have fallen in love with modern European design through the likes of mega stores like Ikea. Suddenly, hard-to-pronounce, mass-produced DIY furniture kits became the latest craze in home furnishings.

But, unlike Ikea, other time-tested European manufacturers have been humbly perfecting their craft for generations, offer the utmost in stylish, modern furniture, build products inherent with renowned quality, and bring incredibly comfortable furniture that’s uniquely suited for discerning modern families.

One of those manufacturers is Himolla. Himolla offers some of the most contemporary European designs available on the market, specifically made of the highest-grade leather and components, and yet, many people simply haven’t heard of this worldwide sensation. Read on as we introduce you to a leader, both in European styling and ultimate family comfort. We promise you won’t be left putting these show-worthy pieces together yourself.

Quick History of Himolla

In the mid 1940’s, a small community south of Munich in southern Germany called Taufkirchen saw the birth of a family-run furniture producer named Himolla. Himolla began manufacturing furniture on a simple premise – quality craftsmanship and innovation over stagnation. The company quickly grew in size to start mass producing upholstered furniture lines. By the 1970’s, Himolla was investing heavily in new buildings, fleets, and equipment to keep up with rising demand. It was during this time, Himolla would become one of Europe’s largest manufacturers of upholstery. By the early 2000’s, Himolla had grown its distribution to include more than 40 countries, worldwide. Today, Himolla USA continues to focus on its roots by producing artisan-inspired and fanatically-engineered armchairs and sofas centered around ultimate relaxation and built to last a lifetime.

What is Quality From Germany?

Germans are somewhat persnickety about quality. Even with furniture making, as a society they have even instituted laws around producing at a minimum standard of quality, which, compared to other countries, is actually quite high. Even so, Himolla design staff institute far stricter quality assurance standards for each piece of furniture to meet. From the first stitch of material through the final sale and delivery, Himolla embodies a culture of quality throughout the entire organization. Himolla stands proud to represent this culture in every product and every customer interaction. Employing some 3,000 workers, it can sometimes be difficult if not unwieldy to manage a company this size. But Himolla deploys continuous training programs and even a lengthy apprenticeship program to ensure workers are given the best tools available to make the best possible product for customers. This complete package means Himolla furniture is at the same time durable, as it is reliable, but also ingrained with unrivaled beauty inherent to its modern European designs.

In a World of Compromises, Himolla USA Makes None.

It has become commonplace in our society for consumers to have to fight businesses for even clear-cut warranty issues or simply to have a job finished in the manner agreed upon. Himolla doesn’t believe you should ever have to compromise form versus function or quality versus price and you should never have to fight for a warranty issue. Himolla builds some of the world’s most advanced ergonomic designs, engineered for a lifetime of faithful service. After putting their furniture and materials through a stringent series of tests affectionately known in-house as the “folterkammer”, or torture chamber, Himolla has absolute confidence each and every component will stand up to years of use for you and your family.

The torture chamber proving grounds includes:

  • Furniture covers that have seen abrasion testing over and over again so they withstand any and all abuses thrown at them.
  • Electrical components that are put through the most extreme conditions possible for days at a time, so you know they won’t fail when you simply need to relax.
  • Upholstery inside Himolla pieces that are compressed tens of thousands of times with heavy weights to make sure their cushions stay hard and remain at their intended height for years and years.
  • Critical foundation pieces like the frame and non-moving bearing components having to meet rigorous strength training involving hundreds of pounds of weights being summarily dropped on them thousands of times.

If a single component doesn’t meet Himolla standards, it’s back to the drawing board where a team of more than 100 research and development specialists continue to design, test, and improve the products again and again, year in and year out. Even with all of this testing, Himolla wants you to have peace of mind in your decision to purchase their furniture so offer a 5-Year guarantee on most all components of their furniture.

Himolla Furniture Frequently Asked Questions

Himolla stands for nothing less than perfection in design, function, and quality. Below we’ll explore some of our more frequently asked questions from your fellow discerning furniture buyers regarding Himolla furniture pieces.

What types of furniture does Himolla manufacture?

Designed for other-worldly comfort, Himolla offers pieces for both home and office. Himolla furniture from Germany is the global leader in luxurious furniture options including zero stress recliners, recliners with integrated footrests, recliners with footstools, and reclining sofa sets. Most pieces have integrated power systems to let you kick up your feet at the push of a button. While Himolla’s North American offerings are somewhat less than what they offer currently in Europe, European Leather Gallery continues to add new Himolla lines so be sure to check back for additional options.

How do you transform raw leather (rawhides) into a beautiful showpiece?

Sourced only from rawhide producers with the same quality mindset as Himolla, raw hides are first preserved in salt to prevent decay and sent to Himolla’s tannery. After cleaning, rawhides are softened in rotation barrels and get a water bath. Hair and dirt fall away and the hides are then rolled to remove any remaining impurities. As the pieces move down the assembly line, they are cut to fit into a thickening machine that splits the hides into a uniform thickness. Back to the baths where a special mineral bath is used to preserve and strengthen the now not-so-raw leather. Tanning takes about 24 hours after which hides are hung and then rolled to remove moisture. Next, a thin layer is shaved off and the hides folded, ready for coloring. Back into the barrels they go to receive color and oil for softness. 24 hours later, hides are placed on special stretching racks that gently stretch to remove wrinkles while hot air is circulated. At this point the leather is largely finished and can be used in different production capacities depending on the furniture piece. Watch the full process here.

How should I clean my Himolla furniture?

To maintain a fresh from the factory look, Himolla includes a free leather care kit with each purchase. Himolla recommends cleaning your furniture every 6 months and as soon as it arrives because it’s possible for a few months to have passed between when a piece is manufactured and arrives at your location. After the initial cleaning, maintaining your furniture with a quality leather care kit will keep each piece looking as fresh as the day it rolled off the factory floor. As a general rule of thumb, leather pieces should be wiped with a clean, dry cloth at least weekly to remove dust. Your leather care kit will include wipes to remove any dirt and body oils on the leather’s surface. As with a small child, be careful with any sharp objects around your leather furniture. While durable, a knife or pair of scissors can easily puncture your upholstery.

Where can I view the Himolla furniture lines European Leather Gallery carries?

European Leather Gallery carries a variety of different Himolla pieces including recliners, zero gravity chairs, and sofa sets. We are also continuing to add to our Himolla product line so be sure to check in often for the latest options. All of our Himolla products can be viewed under the Himolla Furniture tab in the navigation menu.

What is the Zerostress?

Everyone is different, yet most furniture is uniformly made for the masses. Your furniture should match you. After all, it will be apart of your life for years to come. Himolla’s Zerostress lines offer not only hundreds of color, fabric, and leather options, but can be form fitted especially for your body. When you kick back in a Zerostress recliner, perfectly molded to you, you are immersed in unparalleled relaxation. The experience is only made better knowing your favorite chair will stay as supportive and beautiful as the day you bought it for years.

Most every piece of Himolla furniture boasts the ability to independently adjust the unit’s footrest, backrest, and headrests – making the pieces completely form-fitting to your individual needs.

Ready to enter a world of absolute relaxation with Himolla Furniture?

Recline in lavish style while being mind-blowingly comfortable. Himolla offers the best in ergometric, stylish design mindfully engineered to last for years of enjoyment in your home. When you want the very best in fine, European furniture, skip the DIY furniture kit and step into the world of stress-free furniture that is Himolla. Contact a knowledgeable Himolla furniture specialist today for a complete listing of our current products and for the best prices available.

Decorating Tips: How to Mix Modern Scandinavian Decor With Existing Decor

Modern Scandinavian design was popularized in Europe and America in the 1950s, blending traditional Scandinavian style with the clean lines of modernism. The look is timeless and the feeling it creates in a room is so zen that it’s no wonder that modern Scandinavian design is still popular today!

You’ve seen the look in magazines and on HGTV. You want to incorporate Scandinavian designs into your own home, but you’re not ready to part with the pieces you have now.

But how do you blend the two together? How can you create harmony in your home with different styles of furniture and decor?

Read on to find out some of the best ways to bring a taste of modern Scandinavian design to your home without having to replace everything you already own!

Let There Be Light

One thing you’ll often notice in modern Scandinavian design is the abundance of neutral tones. Light neutral tones like white, tan, and soft grey maximize the natural light in a room. Dark neutral tones like black, brown, and charcoal should be saved for accent pieces to create visual contrast.

Paint your walls white if they aren’t already. Get rid of heavy curtains that may be blocking natural light and leave windows bare or covered with light, semi-transparent curtains. Finally, amp up your unnatural lighting with modern fixtures like hanging globe lights!

Reduce Clutter

Scandinavian decor is minimalistic and practical. If you have a lot of small accent pieces in the room you’re hoping to make a little more Scandinavian, consider redistributing them in other rooms or spacing them out so no one area looks too busy.

Ultimately, try to stay on top of your cleaning game. That doesn’t mean that you need to vacuum the rug and dust the bookshelf every day! It just means that you should cut down on the clutter like junk mail and stacks of magazines.

The lack of clutter is perhaps one of the most soothing aspects of modern Scandinavian design. Clutter has been shown to increase anxiety and irritability and having a clutter-free space to relax can really boost your calmness.

Bring in Natural Materials

If you’re looking for a few Scandinavian-style furniture pieces, think natural. Leather, wood, and metal are all suitable for a room with modern Scandinavian influence!

For a living room, look for couches and chairs with dark leather upholstery, like the Ekornes Stressless Recliner. For a dining room, look for a dining room table made of a light wood with clean, modern lines, like the Toscana Dining Table.

Natural textiles are also a great way to incorporate natural materials. Look for area rugs made of wool or sheepskin or add chunky wool-knit throw blankets to your seating area. Chances are, you already have some items like these–now it’s time to display them!

Mix Clean Lines with Organic Shapes

Part of what makes modern Scandinavian design look so neat and tidy is the use of clean lines and sharp angles. Look for couches, tables, and chairs that will give your room an almost geometric appearance.

That being said, too many clean lines may take you out of the Scandinavian zone and into something more modern industrial. Remember that Scandinavian design is heavily influenced by nature, and there are some seriously funky organic shapes in nature!

Don’t be afraid to hang onto some of your furniture or decor that has a rounded, jagged, or uneven shape. Use them to add some whimsy to your otherwise modern space!

Be Smart With Color

If you’re holding onto your old design elements while ushering in the new, you’re going to need to think hard about color. In most modern Scandinavian design, you’ll see pops of color like blue, green, and soft pink. Even those pops tend to have a minimalistic vibe, mixing a single bright color with more neutral tones.

So what do you do with your favorite prints that are both colorful and busy? Don’t worry, you don’t need to hide them away. You just need to use them wisely.

Use your brightly colored pieces to create contrast. Put together a gallery wall with a few of your brighter prints and a few neutral, minimalistic prints. Go for a cleaner look by framing your prints in single-tone black frames.

Remember that you’re not going for an exact Scandinavian look. It’s perfectly fine if your favorite decor doesn’t look like it walked out of a modern art museum! It’s all in the way you style it.

Go Green with Plants and Flowers

Once you’ve maximized the light, reduced clutter, and created a balance with your textures and colors, it’s time to add some plants and flowers!

Got any bowls or vases you’re incorporating into your modern Scandinavian design? Fill them with cut flowers!

Does your mantel look a bit bare after cutting down on clutter? Spruce it up with potted greenery!

Plantlife is the one thing you can go crazy with in Scandinavian design. If you’re having a hard time adjusting to the minimalist vibe, this is the best solution for you.

Go Modern Scandinavian Without Sacrificing Your Favorite Pieces

If you’re drawn in by the modern Scandinavian look but don’t want to get rid of everything you already own, don’t sweat it! There are plenty of ways to incorporate this clean, minimalist look into your home without doing a complete overhaul of your belongings.

Now that you know the different elements of modern Scandinavian design, it’s just a matter of picking the ones that suit your taste and your home the best. If you’re in the market for new furniture with a Scandinavian twist, contact us so that we can help you find the best pieces for the best prices!

Scandinavian Interior Design Trends You NEED to Know About for 2020

Time For a New Look

So you want to update the look of your living space, but you’re not sure where to start or what style you want to incorporate.

Maybe you need new furniture. You’ll have to decide between fabric and leather, or something more minimal.

Are you interested in updating your color schemes? What do you want to convey? Most people want to go with a neutral color scheme, something that isn’t too jarring. Here’s a hint, Light Blue is a great contrasting color to go with this season.

Beyond color schemes and furniture, you also need to figure out what kind of ambiance you want your environment to have. Some families are opting to make their living rooms tech-free and others want the most minimalist furniture possible (even getting rid of furniture completely).

A quick search for “interior design ideas” could cause anxiety for anyone — ideas and options are near endless. But for our tastes and interests, we love the design, styling, and aesthetics of Scandinavian design.

What is Scandinavian Design

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Scandinavian interior design has been a popular and influential part of design since the early 1900s. Unique design ideas and trends still come from that Nordic region of the world and change the ways that rooms across the world are decorated.

Here are just a few of those Scandinavian interior, decor, and furniture trends you might expect in 2020 and beyond.


One thing that is common in most design trends is having a “balanced” lifestyle. This is something that is stressed over when redesigning any room, in Sweden, they do it naturally.

But what, exactly is lagom? Well, lagom means “finding just the right amount,” which is an approach to life. Basically, it means not too little and not too much — “just right.”

This means living a lifestyle free from clutter but not so much so that you feel you absolutely have to get rid of something. The point is for it to feel right and balanced to you.

Incorporate Storage Into Your Decorating

Another wonderful design trend out of Scandinavia is the use of storage furniture as a focal point of your design scheme. Under normal circumstances, these pieces of furniture are a bit boring, but with a little ingenuity, you are able to make anyone want to copy your style. You can use anything from what was once a boring clothing basket to clothing racks in order to add some functional design to your living spaces.

Accenting With Bold Blue Colors

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What is the perfect accent color? Well, a favorite from Scandinavia is blue. A bright blue is often used in order to stand out in a brilliant way. A monochromatic scheme is fine, but throwing in that bright blue rug to contrast the white walls could be a wonderful addition.


Leather is a classic material, and a great Scandinavian trend is worn leather. Many Nordic interiors are transitioning to using worn leather. One great thing about worn leather is that it gives your home a wonderfully rustic feel, all without having that stuffy antique feel.


Feathers have been catching on a little in the United States for a while, but they are also trending in Sweden. Everything from feather motifs to wall hanging decorations adds that nice texture to your home. You can work it into anything from your tabletop decorations to your wallpaper and even into your bedding. There is a definite trend of nature-inspired elements into any and every room.

Using Gray Colors for Your Walls

Grayscale has always held a special place in Scandinavian decorating. You are sure to have seen the black and white color scheme done many times before and may have been overdone. It’s a great thing, then, that grey walls are coming back into popularity. This is a great way to get the same appeal that comes with monochromatic design schemes without such stark contrast.

There is something about grey walls, white floors, and and black furniture to create a balanced monochromatic look. Choosing a perfect area rug will really finalize the look and bring the room together.

Going Tech-Free

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Nowadays, people are really concerned with going tech-free. Some family vacations are even centered around this fact, getting away from the technology and reconnecting with loved ones. This is also a way to balance yourself, just like the previously mentioned lagom lifestyle.

Having areas of the house, even if it’s just one room, designated as tech-free is a great way to get the same effect in your own home. This allows you to create a space that is truly customized for you. By removing the distractions of computers, phones, and television you are able to make the environment more warm and welcoming. These make for great spaces to unwind after a long day in a frenetic, tech-heavy world. You don’t have to stick with just one room either, we recommend making the bedroom as tech free as possible as well. Several studies show technology in the bedroom robs you of sleep, affects weight gain, affects your love life, and more.

Cottage, Finland Style

Most Scandinavian design revolves around Sweden and Norway, but Finland styles are beginning to trend just as much. Finland, said to be one of the happiest countries on the planet, has trending designs that focus on the outdoors. They have what has been referred to as “cottage culture.”

A lot of these designs incorporate communal living and eating spaces. They also utilize lights to simulate natural lighting. As stated, much of Nordic design takes a minimalist approach to everything, this includes tableware and decorations.

Whimsical Lighting Fixtures

Another popular trending coming out of Scandinavia is the use of whimsical and fanciful lighting. Asian light fixtures, like the giant paper lanterns, inspire many of these. My favorite place for these is around the dining table. These make for a lighter and happier atmosphere for family dinners.

Loving the Wood Slats

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You can line one of your walls with wood slats in order to give it a subtle serene feel. A great example of this is the Finnish Dream Hotel. They give of a wonderful ambiance that fans of Scandinavian design would love. This design doesn’t have to be overdone — it only takes one wall to change the entire feel of a room.

Tent Beds

Tent beds aren’t just for your little princess anymore. Kids and adults love falling asleep beneath one of those cute wood-stick tents that are coming out of Scandinavia. You can get this in many different styles and color schemes, but I’m particularly fond of the monochrome design schemes.

Graphic Calendars

You wouldn’t think it, but those over-sized Helvetica calendars are beginning to trend in a big way.

Highly customizable and easily affordable, these make for wonderful additions to living rooms, as well as for any kids room. First: they are functional — if you can’t remember if you have plans the next day, just glance at your calendar. These calendars can also double as “artwork” on the wall. Why would you ever deal with your standard phone calendar app when you could have a customized calendar sitting in front of you that brings real character to your living spaces.

Simple Art

We have already mentioned how monochrome color schemes and simplistic styling is used in Scandinavian decor and artwork is no different. Monochrome artwork has been on the rise, in both Scandinavian and American designs. Picking the right wall art is a conundrum for most amateur designers, but you can’t go wrong with black and white photography and monochrome images.

Scandinavian design has long been trendsetting, paving the way for many designers. Whether you want all of your furniture and decorations to be monochrome or you want to throw in one of those bright blue area rugs, you can’t go wrong with these Scandinavian interior design trends for the upcoming year.

5 Scandinavian Interior Design Trends to Stay On Top Of

The Scandinavian design has remained a prominent icon in the interior design universe.

These Nordic styles focus on neutral color schemes, paired with pops of calm colors and natural elements that bring the outdoors in.

Perhaps the most important aspect of the Scandinavian interior design is the concept of Hygge.

The word Hygge isn’t one that translates perfectly into English, but it references the feeling of coziness, simplicity, and warmth in a home.

Imagine a cool, rainy day spent cuddled next to a fireplace with fuzzy socks and a warm blanket. This is the feeling that is meant to be captured in the Nordic style, one of complete sufficiency, contentment, and warmth.

Learn how to infuse your home with five of the most recent trends in this traditional and minimalist style.

1. Pops of Blue

In the past, Scandinavian interior design consisted primarily of white, black, and wood. But, one new color has come to bring life into neutral spaces.

The perfect compliment for the pale, cool colors, blue promotes relaxation and breaks up the monotony of neutrals.

Consider incorporating a blue accent such as a rug, painting, or blanket to bring this deeply natural color into your peaceful space.

2. Gray Walls

This style usually emphasizes the dichotomy of black and white in terms of wall hue. However, gray walls are becoming increasingly popular as an alternative.

Gray is perfect to adhere to the overall theme while adding a level of unique beauty between the two predominant colors.

3. Worn Leather

There are few things in the world that blend as naturally and as beautifully as wood and leather.

These two elements of nature at a rustic charm to the Scandinavian style that would otherwise be overshadowed by the modern design.

The key is to find worn leather furniture that can provide the coziness that is the foundation of this interior design style, without sacrificing true quality.

4. Big Paper Lanterns

These large, white lanterns provide a modern and elegant alternative to regular chandeliers.

The placement of three to four of these in key spaces such as above a kitchen table is an ideal statement piece.

The lanterns come in different styles that can be customized to your preferences and placement.

5. Cacti

Last year, succulents completely dominated the indoor plant world. These resilient plants are not only hardy but also extremely unique.

However, their close cousins in the cacti family have slowly been gaining traction. Perhaps it’s the dangerous, yet innocent nature of cacti or perhaps it’s the pure beauty of these green life forms.

Either way, add small cacti to your space to bring the outdoors in while improving the aesthetic of the room.

Scandinavian Interior Design Principles

The key elements of all of these trends are the Nordic love of pale colors, nature, coziness, functionality, and contentment.

It can be easy to incorporate even a few of these design techniques to promote happiness and well-being in your home.

Simply invest in key elements that will bring make you feel “just right” rather than endless decorations that clutter and complicate your space. Keep it simple is the key piece of advice.

Check out European Leather Gallery’s high-quality leather furnishings to add to your new cozy little Scandinavian haven.

A Complete Guide to Designing the Perfect Dining Room

Recently Ekornes Stressless has launched a brand new Stressless Dining Tables and Chairs furniture line — with this awesome endeavor in mind, we at European Leather Gallery have decided to tackle a common design problem: How to Design and Layout the Perfect Dining Room.

Continue reading “A Complete Guide to Designing the Perfect Dining Room”

The Most Comfortable Leather Stressless Recliner in the World

The recliners created by Ekornes Stressless have been known to promote Nirvana-like states of comfort and relaxation. Here, in the Ultimate Guide to Ekornes Stressless, we’ll show you why.

If you’re wondering what ultimate comfort feels like, this is it. Ekornes Stressless recliners are truly the most comfortable seating of all time. That’s a pretty strong claim to make, so we’re here to explain why.

We Don’t Just Make Claims…We Back Them Up

Ekornes Stressless recliners go far beyond any other recliner you’ve ever known in terms of comfort, style, and craftsmanship. But don’t take our word for it. Smart shoppers always need to know more about a product before they commit… and we totally understand.

Because let’s face it, luxury recliners like this aren’t found at the big box stores. That’s because they’re engineered with the finest precision to create the most comfortable seating on earth. Plus, superior craftsmanship and high-quality materials mean these beauties are built to last a lifetime and therefore carry a premium price. So it’s true: Ekornes Stressless isn’t for everyone.

That’s why we’re offering you this guide to understanding the Ekornes Stressless brand and their iconic reclining sofas and chairs. Welcome to Ekornes Stressless… and get ready to be transported to the most heavenly comfort zone you’ve ever experienced!

relax stressless recliners adjust to movements

What Makes Ekornes Stressless Recliners Better Than Any Other?

That unmistakable Scandinavian style. Those surprisingly convenient features. The unmatched quality of construction. The unbelievable comfort that almost seems extravagant. What is it about Ekornes Stressless furniture that sets it above the rest?

Truth be told, it’s all of the above and more.

That’s the quick answer. But if you really want to dig deeper and find out why so many homeowners are in love with their Ekornes Stressless sofas and recliners, you’ll find the answer here…

1. Highly-Engineered Ergonomics

Engineers who design high-end furniture know they have tough standards they have to adhere to.

Like the elite engineers who are responsible for making famous German luxury cars the best in the world, Ekornes engineers have a similar role. If they don’t do their job right, nothing else matters. From the very beginnings of the company back in 1934, when German machines were imported to create the very first line of Ekornes furniture, the brand has always signified the ultimate in quality engineering.

But what does that mean for you? Cloud-like comfort like you’ve never experienced before in any chair or sofa. Combining the latest in ergonomics research with solid principles of anatomical design to accommodate the mechanics and scale of the human body at rest, the engineers who design the foundation and structure of Ekornes furniture set the highest standards for themselves. Only the best will do, and perfection is the goal.

2. Effortless Reclining System That Responds to Your Body

The craftsmen who engineer Ekornes furniture have done their job so well they’ve created recliner chairs that adjust automatically to your body weight. Imagine shifting positions and hardly moving a muscle. Your recliner responds to the movement of your body weight and automatically adjusts to the position you desire. No levers to pull. No buttons to push. It’s like having a recliner that reads your mind.

How does it work? Each Stressless recliner comes with Stressless Glide® wheels that can be adjusted to the setting you desire. Once you’ve chosen your setting, the recliner does the rest.

First, the ErgoAdapt™ system will automatically position the seating angle the instant you sit down.

Then, the Plus® System kicks in. This is what enables your Stressless recliner to automatically position the seat to support your head and neck. It also moves into the correct lumbar position so you feel almost as if you’re floating on water. It’s why this incredible line of sofas and chairs is called “Stressless”. Using the natural form and movement of your own body, the seating system responds to provide support and comfort on a whole new level.

3. Dreamlike Comfort

Once you’re settled in, you won’t believe how comfortable Stressless recliners really are. Part of the reason is the effortless reclining system but it’s also the construction of the furniture. The craftspeople who design and produce Stressless recliners are considered innovators of comfort. Form follows function, and the function of a recliner is to make you as comfortable as you’ve ever been.

It’s not just the ergonomics. It’s not just the effortless reclining action. It’s also the trademarked Comfort Zones™ in each piece made by Stressless. The seat features perforated, super-thick foam cushions that guide you to the most comfortable position for your body. The result: you sink into perfect comfort every time you sit in your Stressless recliner.

4. Unbeatable, Timeless Style

These premium luxury recliners aren’t just heavenly to sit in… they’re exceptionally beautiful as well. The refined design of an Ekornes Stressless piece hearkens back to the company’s Scandinavian roots, where simple lines and streamlined silhouettes set the tone. It’s a clean, modern look that fits into any decor, any home, and style and any taste.

5. Premium Materials

With all that goes into creating the most comfortable chair on earth, it would be an unfortunate oversight if Ekornes used anything but the absolute best in materials for their furniture.

That’s why you’ll find nothing but gold-standard components from top to bottom:

  • Top-grain leather. For many high-end products, the outermost layer of cowhide is the most desirable type of leather. Top-grain leather is supple, it holds its color, and has a uniform look that’s so important in the design of Scandinavian furniture.
  • A strong base made from solid beech. One thing that really distinguishes top quality furniture is the use of solid wood in the structure of each piece. Ekornes Stressless furniture is constructed of solid beech plywood, which gives a strong, long-lasting wood frame.
  • A rock-solid interior support system. The strength of a Stressless piece is made possible by a single steel rod frame. No welding and no screws on this frame: just one single steel rod that’s expertly formed to the perfect shape by the Ekornes unique cold bending process.
  • Individual springs. Like a premium quality mattress at the finest hotel or in the most amazing homes, Ekornes Stressless is characterized by an internal system of individual springs. These springs are what make possible the superior lumbar support you’ll come to love.

6. Long-Lasting Value

High-quality materials are great features to have in your furniture, but how does that translate to value for you? It’s simple, really: long-term value, the kind that creates legacy pieces for new generations.

That single steel rod in every Ekornes Stressless chair or sofa is part of why these pieces last so long. The result of those premium materials like beech, top-grain leather, and steel is furniture so strong and durable. you’ll be able to hand it down for many generations. No matter how much stress you put on the frame, it will hold up and continue to provide amazing comfort.

Top grain leather also adds to the long-term value of your Ekornes furniture. It’s incredibly durable, possesses amazing elasticity, and it’s more stain-resistant than other types of leather. You’ll be able to pass your piece down to subsequent generations and it will look practically like new.

And the solid beech frame? It’s typical of high-end furniture that’s built to last for generations. It’s part of the reason why you’ll see vintage Ekornes Stressless pieces for sale on eBay at prices well over a thousand dollars!

7. Options Galore

Not only can you find seemingly endless styles to match your home decor and your taste, you can also find design options to match your body’s needs. From all the exciting options for leather to the thoughtful custom features, there are a lot of choices to make. Here’s a quick run-down to help you get started so you’re ready when you visit our showroom.

Types of Leather

  • Batick Leather (13 different colors). For families who desire a touch of practicality along with style, comfort and value in their furniture, there’s Batick Leather. The protective lacquer coating means clean-up is a breeze. And if you’re just starting out, you’ll appreciate this option for its affordability.
  • Cori Leather (16 different colors). Style mavens, this one’s for you! The tip-shine of Cori Leather offers a degree of depth to the surface while the substantial quality of the leather means a luxurious feel and long-lasting value. Our craftspeople have worked their magic to correct the leather and improve the pigment for a stunning look that offers an exclusive look that you’ll love. Cori Leather is always uniform in color so your decor dreams always come true. The durable pebble-like grain and the lacquer coating mean Cori Leather is not only beautiful but also practical.
  • Noblesse Leather (7 different colors). If only the best will do, Noblesse Leather is Ekornes’ most luxurious option. Known for its heavy, rich qualities and its soft, breathable texture, it won’t disappoint. To retain its rich, luxurious look, it’s dyed all the way through. It has minimal top coating so it possesses a natural softness found in only the highest quality furniture around the world. As such, it requires a tad more maintenance than the other leather options… but it’s worth it!
  • Paloma Leather (29 different colors). Paloma Leather is only slightly corrected leather so you get a natural variance in appearance that imparts a casual, yet luxurious style. It’s natural-looking and of course it’s oh-so-comfortable. It’s also amazingly soft to the touch so you always feel like you’re wrapped in luxury.

Types of Fabrics

Stressless fabrics are of the same superior quality as the leather. Textiles that are durable but which also offer timeless beauty are tested endlessly in the Ekornes labs to ensure strong, beautiful results. Here’s a summary of the fabric options:

  • Calido. Soft, flexible wool felt that’s naturally water-repellent and breathable.
  • Crocus. Affordable, durable, and strong. Made of 100% polyester that comes in a wide variety of pleasing colors.
  • Iris. For a style upgrade, Iris offers a boucle effect that, like tweed, blends a range of colors into the weave for a multi-dimensional effect.
  • Karma. If your decor calls for a brighter palette, the Karma fabric is a good option. It’s easy to clean and super soft.
  • Silva. Another wool option, Silva is a good option if you desire a classic look.
  • Umbra. Silky velour with a noticeable shine for a modern look.
  • Verona. Lots of modern colors that work in any decor.
  • Siena. For the ultimate in durability, Siena is resistant to almost anything you and your family can throw its way: stains, sea water, sweat… even chlorine and acid!
  • Luna. Like Verona, Luna is soft and suitable for any decor since it comes in a wide array of colors.
  • Dinamica. Sleek modern look due to the ultra microfibre textile. Looks like suede, feels soft to the touch, and is extremely comfortable. It’s also washable and is made with recycled fibers.
  • Ultrasuede. For furniture made in our North Carolina factory, customers may choose Ultrasuede

Custom Features

  • For the base of your recliner, choose from the Classic Base or the Signature Base
  • Choose from a variety of styles for the feet of your recliner or sofa
  • For furniture with visible wood, choose from eight different colors. Beech can be left in its natural, light shade or stained to accommodate any number of styles:
    • Oak
    • Teak
    • Brown
    • Walnut
    • Grey
    • Black
    • Wenge

8. To Top it all Off: Customized Sizing

Ekornes knows people come in all shapes and sizes. That’s why they produce their recliners in three sizes. But that’s only the beginning. Stressless recliners can also be customized with two-way adjustable headrests that can be set to match the angle and the height of your body.

The best way to find your true fit is to visit our Ekorne Stressless showroom and try them all for yourself. And of course we’re here to help answer any questions so you can find the Ekornes Stressless recliner that’s perfect for you in every way.

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing Back-Friendly Furniture for Your Living Room

Your furniture defines the look of your living room. The styles you choose and the colors you love help create the personal vibe you seek. But don’t forget that after all is said and done, it’s important that your chairs and sofas contribute to a healthy lifestyle, not just a beautiful one.

When selecting a new chair or sofa for your living room, don’t forget to consider the impact it will have on your back.

We’ll leave the design options up to you but for help with choosing furniture that won’t break your back, here is a good set of guidelines to follow. They’re worth considering if you care about the health of your spine… and judging by the long hours most of us spend sitting down, you probably do!

What’s Wrong With Your Current Recliner?

To know what to buy, it helps to understand what’s probably wrong with most of the furniture out there. Most people choose their living room furniture according to their own set of design principles:

  • Does the color match the rug?
  • Does it fit my unique sense of style?
  • Do I love the way it looks?

…with some thought given to comfort:

  • How does it feel when I sit in it?
  • Can I stretch out and relax?
  • Does it recline? Is there a matching ottoman?

These are all very good questions. There’s nothing wrong with getting the right look but the way most people approach the comfort element is severely short-sighted.

The feeling you get when you first sink down into a recliner on the showroom floor can be misleading if you don’t know what you’re doing. Does it feel soft?

Wrong question…

A better question would be: Does it support my back and feel comfortable? Another good question: Does it adjust to my body instead of the other way around?

If you chose your current recliner because it felt ‘soft’ when you tried it out, there’s a good chance it doesn’t provide you with the proper support for long-term sitting and relaxing. For people who need to pay attention to spine health (and who doesn’t?), that can turn into a problem — a very uncomfortable problem.

Lucky you, since you’re in the market for a new chair and you can avoid that all-too-common mistake.

Here’s Your Guide to Choosing The Best Ergonomic and Back-Friendly Furniture

So, what should you look for if not temporary show-room comfort and ‘softness’? Here’s what to do to ensure your living room seating pleases the body as well as the eye.

1. Buy the Right Size

small medium large ekornes stressless recliners to fit your needs

Most people don’t think of their furniture the same way they do their clothing. That’s a shame since the right size is a key feature of back-friendly seating. You’ve probably noticed that people come in all different shape and sizes.

Just as Goldilocks discovered, it’s just no good sitting in someone else’s chair.

Just because a chair feels fantastic on Uncle Frank’s back, neck, and tush, it doesn’t mean you’ll find seating Nirvana once you try it out. Seating should be fitted to the person who’s going to be using the chair most often.

Look for seating that comes in various sizes and then select the one that’s right for you. Consider height, of course, but don’t forget to check the width. Don’t assume that a chair that’s too wide will be suitable. It’s not just about making sure you can squeeze into the seat. A chair that’s too wide can mess with your spine just as badly as one that’s too narrow.

For the vast majority of us, any seating that’s not good for the spine is bad news. The percentage of the population that suffers back problems at some point in time is shockingly high: 80 percent(1). If you can alleviate any problems simply by purchasing the correct size seating, this is a good first step.

2. Check for Lumbar Support

stressless recliners with the best lumbar support

If you’ve ever driven a luxury car, one of the first things you might have noticed is how comfortable the seating was.

That’s partly due to the extraordinary amount of attention given to lumbar support by designers of premium cars. Not only does good seating have lumbar support but it also comes fully adjustable. That means you can find the ideal setting for your back. It also means you can switch things up when you need a change during those long drives.

It’s the same with back-friendly furniture. You’ll have the best outcome when there’s good lumbar support. Even better is when you can adjust the lumbar settings. That makes a huge difference during those long periods of sitting while bingeing on Netflix or otherwise relaxing for long stretches at a time.

3. Make Sure the Seat Can Adjust to Your Actions

relax stressless recliners adjust to movements

It’s not your typical living room seating that can adjust to the different ways you sit. That’s usually a feature of high-end office seating. It’s also not common to find seating that moves with your body but certain companies specialize in making chairs and sofas that can accommodate different activities.

For instance, when you’re watching TV, it’s good to have neck support so you can see the screen without straining. The same goes for reading, where you’ll want to have your head tilted slightly forward. Your chair should cradle your head at the base, keeping it in a natural position.

Napping, on the other hand, requires a different position. For comfort and maximum spine health, it’s better to have the head rest flat. Chairs that come with movable headrests are optimal so you can easily switch from reading mode to napping. ‘Easily’ is the keyword, since if the headrest is difficult to adjust, you probably won’t end up moving it at all.

4. Look for Other Automatically-Adjusting Features

There’s no such thing as magic furniture, but there are chairs that can automatically adjust to your body weight and your position. That ensures not only maximum comfort but also better support for your back. Again, the keyword is automatic. If it takes any effort at all, most people won’t bother to turn that knob or adjust that lever for better ergonomics.

Picture it yourself: can you imagine fussing with knobs while you’re transitioning from watching TV to slipping off into nap mode? Chairs have to be automatically adjustable (or at the very least, easilyadjustable) in order for you to enjoy the maximum ergonomic benefits your spine craves.

People whose job is to advise other people on ergonomics will always tell their clients to keep moving throughout the day. Having a recliner that adjusts automatically (or at least easily) to a number of different positions will help you keep moving even when you’re sitting down at home.

No matter what position you’re in, however, you’ll want to maintain the natural curve of your spine —especially your lower back. This is recommended by chiropractors giving advice for proper sitting(2). Features that adjust automatically to your spine may do a lot to help you keep the right position while sitting.

5. Watch for the Golden Seal of Approval

ekornes stressless recliners ergonomic chairs american chiropractic association

Finally, there’s one more thing to look for if you’re seeking spine-friendly furniture for your living room. It’s considered the gold standard for ergonomic furniture standards: an endorsement from the American Chiropractic Association (ACA).

The ACA is the largest professional organization in the country for chiropractors. Their public-facing role includes publishing tips for healthy spines, good posture, and endorsements for products that support chiropractic health principles. At the time this guide went to press, there were only six manufacturers who were given the official seal of approval from the ACA:

  1. Ekornes Stressless (ergonomic sofas furniture, reclining sofas, and chairs)
  2. The North Face (outdoor clothing)
  3. MoonRock (bags)
  4. La-z-boy (furniture)
  5. True Innovations (furniture)
  6. Magniflex (mattresses)

This last criterion isn’t required, especially since it’s a rare find. But if you can score approval from the leading spine care organization in the United States, your spine is all but guaranteed a much better experience. Good luck in your search and here’s to your healthy back!



5 Reasons to Invest in Stressless Furniture

Americans spend on average 13 hours a day sitting down. With all that time spent sitting, you want to make sure that you are resting in the most comfortable furniture or your body.

Stressless Furniture innovates comfort for the optimum sitting experience.

We have gathered reasons why our Ekornes Stressless Furniture would be a great addition to your home or office.

Durability to Last Your Family For Years to Come

Ekornes Furniture is worth the larger price tag and the investment because it stays in great condition for a long amount of time.

It practically pays for itself!

This means that you won’t have to keep purchasing cheaper furniture that wears down quickly.

Replacing furniture every few years doesn’t make any sense for your home or your wallet. This quality furniture is a smart investment.

Ekornes Stressless Furniture Understands Your Body

Ekornes furniture comes in recliners, office chairs, reclining sofas, ottomans, and even sectionals. They work well in many different areas of the home and office.

With all of those style options, you want to make sure that you are getting the most comfort in each piece.

This furniture has a mind of its own which is adjustable with body interaction. This ergonomic support helps make the furniture adaptable to many different scenarios and people.

Stressless recliners have done away with some of the preset positions you are used to. It allows the furniture to read and work with the body to find the best reclining position.

The proper support is one of the many reasons people love Ekornes furniture.

Where Style Meets Functionality

Ekornes furniture has been combining functionality and utility with style for decades. They are experts in furniture that works well and looks beautiful as well.

Many designs and materials to choose from that will ensure the furniture fits the rest of the features in that particular room. This allows you to customize the piece to best fit your needs.

They have mastered the little details that make the design. There are a wide selection and variety of colors for the leather and stains for the wood base.

This isn’t a one-size-fits-all furniture situation. This furniture is guaranteed to become one of your favorite pieces because you help design the look of it.

The Unique Technology

What makes the Ekornes Stressless furniture stand out from others on the market is their innovative technology.

Plus(TM) System

  • Lumbar support
  • Works with natural body curvature
  • Headrest and footrest
  • Springs that follow the body shape
  • Automatic adjustment

The Comfort-Zones(TM) Technology

  • Dual-layered foam over a curved steel frame
  • Air pockets in the foam for comfort flexibility

Stressless(R) Glide System

  • Signature wheel system
  • Adaptive to each user based on weight and shape
  • 360-degree swivel base
  • Automatic shifting of position

This is how the furniture works with your body to provide the most comfort for your specific body and position while resting.

Unmatched Comfort

The last thing you want to do is waste time in uncomfortable furniture.

Take a look at all the Stressless furniture options that we have to offer to complete your home.

4 Incredible Benefits of Stressless Furniture

Have you ever tried sitting in a piece of Ekornes Stressless furniture? If you haven’t, you have to go try it out now. Trust us when we say it is an amazing feeling.

But what makes this furniture so much more comfortable than other types? Let’s look at 4 benefits to show you why this furniture is so amazing.

Proper Support

Hands down Stressless furniture offers amazing head, neck, and lumbar support. Proper ergonomics in an office chair is vital. Around 33% of all work injuries are musculoskeletal disorders. These result largely from sitting incorrectly for hours on end.

The back support and headrest are both completely adjustable. Choose whether you want to be upright or in a reclining position. It’s easy to get into a comfortable position. Simply make easy hand adjustments to get there.

360 Degree Swivel

You are not confined to one direction while seated in our chairs. We know that once the chair envelopes your body you won’t want to stand up again anytime soon. But with the 360-degree swivel base, you can easily change directions. All it takes is a gentle push with your foot.

The bases feature a double stem design that makes them super stable. In fact, these are the most stable of all swiveling recliners.

Easy Adjustment

Stressless furniture uses a unique system called the Glide. The system adjusts the position of the chair with ease.

On either side of the chair, you’ll find a rod with a tension knob or wheel. Simply set the knob when seated in the chair. This will set the tension for your particular body weight.

Now all you have to do is lie back and the chair will move with you. It is the same for coming back upright again. Simply shift your body weight and the chair will move. It’s completely handsfree which is so helpful in many cases.

To ensure authenticity, check for the Stressless logo on the little wheel.

Customization and Durability

Another awesome thing about Stressless is how the furniture looks. There are several materials that you can choose from. All are of the highest quality and rest assured they will last for years.

Ekornes chooses only top-grain leather hides. Each has to pass their strict quality control tests. They come in a variety of colors so you are not restricted to only a few options. You can also choose any of the microfiber or woven fabrics they offer.

The company makes the base from European beech. But there is a variety of stains you can choose from. This gives you flexible design options so you can create your favorite look.

Ready to Buy Stressless Furniture?

Are you starting to see Stressless furniture in your future? With all these amazing benefits and the furniture’s affordability, it only makes sense.

Take a look at our virtual showroom or better yet come visit our store! Once you sit in a Stressless recliner you will be ready to buy one. When you do, your back, neck, and shoulders will all thank you for it.

Interested in seeing pics from our satisfied customers? Check out our Video Here