Oct 17 2019

Lithuanian design – clean with a difference

Anyone who has ever been to Vilnius, Tallinn or Riga has felt the creative energy of the cities. The Baltic countries are making headway and not only when it comes to fashion as seen at Riga Fashion Week every year but also in furniture design. Looking beyond Scandinavia towards the Baltics is worthwhile because young Lithuanian furniture companies such as Jot.Jot, Emko and Viruma are making themselves heard and already conquering the international furniture market successfully. 

Natural materials and unusual design 

What usually comes to mind with the Baltics is handiwork such as embroidery and high-quality products made of linen. However, the Baltic countries and especially Lithuania have a great deal more to offer. As you walk down the streets of Vilnius, you can see right away that the people have a flair for design.

Like the Scandinavians, Lithuanian design is strongly influenced and inspired by nature. This is not surprising since more than one-third of the country is covered by forest. Even today, wood plays a key economic role and Lithuania supplies many foreign furniture companies with its raw material.

Nevertheless, the days of being simply a wood producer are long gone. An increasing number of furniture designs are created right there. The Lithuanian Design Forum is working hard to make Lithuanian design more widely known within the country as well as internationally.

The extraordinary designs of young creatives are giving them the opportunity to do just that: The mostly puristic designs always captivate with a special twist that makes them stand out from the crowd in the international market.

Jot.Jot, Emko and Viruna: Three brands to keep in mind

Jot.Jot stands for simplicity and exclusivity, precision and imagination. And that does not just refer to the brand name. The company has high requirements for its design solutions, therefore it works with both Lithuanian and international designers.  

The “BaBa” collection was created with the Danish design studio Iskos Berlin. For the production and manufacture of the easy chair series, the latest technologies were used to fill the body of the sofa with cast foam.

The density, flexibility and hardness of the cast foam ensures the highest level of sitting comfort and stability of shape even after many years of use. The specially developed 3D weave for the upholstery seamlessly adapts to the shape. 

The Naïve collection from Emko was developed together with Lithuanian design duo etc.etc. Wood plays a leading role here. The chair from the series looks as if it could have been drawn by a child – a seat and six equal length sticks are screwed together to create a perfectly thought-out design.  

The fabric backrest available in four different colours ensures additional comfort and completes the look of the chair. When the chair is not being used, it can be taken apart within minutes and easily packed flat into a pizza-sized box. 

Lithuanian designer Edita Domarkienė has created a modern interpretation of natural materials for Viruna with the Dita sideboard.  The classic shape of the piece is paired with traditional materials yet inspired by today’s trends. The front panels of the sideboard are made of veneer. You can choose between natural, smoked or tinted oak. The minimalist round shape allows the sideboard to be combined with existing interiors in many different ways. 

Competition for furniture from Scandinavia 

Despite the enormous popularity of Scandinavian design and Italian furniture, there is growing pressure from abroad. Countries not exactly known for being a furniture design hot spot are also establishing themselves in the international furniture and design scene.

While in the past these countries only produced furniture from foreign manufacturers, today they are the ones generating creative ideas. The designs of Lithuanian designers offer an interesting diversion from Scandi chic and the extroverted designs from Italy. 

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