Scandinavian Living in the Heart of Sydney

Fred International has re-vamped its warehouse. It now shows off 200 square metres of exclusive Scandinavian design. 

There are plenty of new stores and restaurants in Sydney deferring to Scandinavian design’s signature clean, sculptural aesthetic. Fred International is one of the country’s prime distributors of furniture, lighting and homewares from Norway, Finland, Sweden and Denmark. All of the brands it carries are exclusive to its Rosebery warehouse and website, both of which have undergone an extensive redesign. 

Founder Michael Liira, and managing director Melissa Walker, worked with interior stylist Simone Haag and interior designer Angela Harry to transform the space. The idea was to make it feel like a Scandinavian living room or home, “so you get a feeling of how they live, and how we live ourselves,” says Walker. “We’ve lived and breathed Scandinavian design for a decade now.”

The showroom is segmented into large-scale dioramas; each working in isolation to present the different ways brands and materials can work together. The colour palettes are warm and neutral, to best display a cross-section of metals and woods. Walker says the space is about “creating marriages” across their product categories. “For example, we have beautiful birch wood Secto lights beside those from Rubn, which use copper materials,” she says. 

Walker loves showcasing classic brands alongside contemporary ones. Some of her favourite pieces, such as By Lassen’s “Saxe” chair, made of oak and natural leather, were originally designed in the 1930s, and have gone back into production. “The way Scandinavians approach design is from a place of function and form,” says Walker. “The ergonomics of a chair work perfectly from a perspective of comfort first, then they overlay the aesthetic. Everything is designed and manufactured in its country of origin, so it’s all about authenticity, too.”

Walker feels that Scandinavian design is finally getting the recognition it deserves. “For so long it was all about Italian brands, but Scandinavian designers are finally coming to the fore,” says Walker. 

Originally published on Broadsheet