Scandinavian design holds a special spot in the Dwell world. We love the humanism and organic nature of Nordic design new and old.

In the living room, spare Scandinavian design takes center stage. Hans Wegner’s Wishbone chairs surround an Essay dining table by Cecilie Manz for Fritz Hansen; a mostly wood palette is enhanced by slate-gray brick around the fireplace. The paper lanterns throughout the home are a mixture of classics by Isamu Noguchi alongside those picked up in Japan and France.
Resident Peter Østergaard (with Maja, 6, and Carl, 20 months) and architect and photographer Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen have been best friends since they were 13, which makes for easy collaboration. Says Bjerre-Poulsen: “There are always a lot of challenges in a renovation, 

but Peter and Åsa trusted my judgment and gave me a completely free hand. Usually it’s hard to push people into unconventional solutions, but Peter has 

all these wild and crazy ideas.” One such idea was 

to embed a transparent glass-and-iron door in 

the floor, operated by a 

hydraulic pump, which allows access to the subterranean wine cellar. At night, the lit-up cellar glows, lending the compact living room an increased sense 

of verticality.
A sofa from Design Within Reach opposes a Hi Turn chair by Bensen in the living room.
Sheridan Coakley, owner of the London-based furnishings purveyor SCP, uses his circa-1970s home as a testing ground for the furnishings he carries in his company’s inventory. In the foreground, a Balzac lounge chair by Matthew Hilton is draped with a Donna Wilson blanket.
In keeping with Hayon’s goal of creating a serene and airy home, the master bedroom and sticks to a mostly neutral palette of whites and grays. The bench by the bed is a custom piece designed by Hayon and Klunder and fabricated by their carpenter friend Josep Joffre.
An upstairs bedroom is at once bright and cozy.
Antarctica - Setting foot on the 7th continent

Private tour groups have been visiting Antarctica since 1969. Today there are lots of choices among operators sending ships, planes, and helicopters to Antarctica between November and March (the summer season). Many trips start in Southern Argentina, and ship-bound journeys include on-board lectures and access to experts on the ecology of the Antarctic during the cruise. Passengers can kayak around icebergs, or spend a day watching penguins, seals, and whales off the coast. Photo by: Christopher.Michel
Africa - Summitting and safariing in Tanzania

At 19,341 feet, Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain in Africa. It takes a minimum of six to eight days to reach the summit, during which climbers contend with not only changes in altitude, but changes in climate as well (snowstorms occur close to Kilimanjaro's peak). But reaching the top via one of six routes is a serious achievement, and offers the chance to see both Tanzania and Kenya from above. Serengeti National Park is a five-hour drive, or short flight, from Kilimanjaro airport and is home to some of Tanzania’s biggest animals, including lions, cheetahs, leopards, elephants, and rhinos. The park has safari lodges and campsites, and tour operators organize excursions throughout the park. Photo by: Tambako the Jaguar
Asia - Exploring nature and culture in China

The Chengdu region of China is home to the world's largest population of Giant Pandas. Panda reserves in and around Chengdu focus on protecting the bear’s natural habitat and researching their behavior (best job ever?). Certain reserves allow volunteers to interact with and care for these endangered species. Elsewhere in China, Beijing has some of the country's most important cultural landmarks. Principal among them is the Forbidden City, built during the Ming Dynasty and now home to the Palace Museum. Xi’an, located between Beijing and Chengdu, has the Terra Cotta Warriors archaeological site. This necropolis was originally built for Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China, and is thought to have contained over 4,000 life-size soldiers and other figures sculpted out of terracotta. Photo: Chi King
Australia - Transitioning from Outback to tropics by train

Riding the Ghan makes for a three-day transcontinental train journey over the plains, deserts, and mountains of central Australia. The route starts either near the beaches of Adelaide, the capital of South Australia, or north in Darwin. In between, travelers get a sense of the continent's changing environment as they trundle to Alice Springs, from which a six-hour drive will bring them to Uluru (Ayers Rock). Near the top of the Northern Territory, travelers can stop at Katherine and spend a day at nearby Nitmiluk National Park, a tropical counterpoint to the arid Outback. Photo by: huskyte77
North America - Biking the wine valleys of Northern California

Almost half of the wineries in the United States are located in California, and many of those are in the valleys north of San Francisco. Wine tasting and winery tours are a drunkenly entertaining way to learn how grapes become wine, but the process involves more than crushing and fermenting grapes. One needs to see the agriculture that goes into America’s wine making, and touch the grapes on the vine, to really appreciate the drink. Work off that hangover by cycling along the winding roads of Napa and Sonoma. Photo by: needoptic
South America - Volunteering in the Peruvian Amazon

The Peruvian Amazon is only home to 5% of Peru’s human population, but about 5,500 plant species and 760 animal species unique to Peru live here. Animal rehabilitation centers protect sections of this diverse ecosystem, and trained conservationists help create a safe place for wounded and sick animals. The goal of these reserves is to release healthy animals back into the jungle and teach visitors about the importance of the Amazon. Many encourage volunteers to become involved in the care and preservation of the Peruvian Amazon, giving them a firsthand understanding of the region's ecological diversity. Photo by: cavallotkd
Europe - Touring the cultural centers of Central and Eastern Europe

Paris and Rome are beautiful, but there's more to Europe than taking the elevator to the top of the Eiffel Tower and eating gelato at the Colosseum. Eastern Europe is home to castles, cathedrals, world-famous symphonies, modern art museums, and great beer, wine, and pastries. The cities of Berlin, Warsaw, Krakow, Prague, and Budapest are important cultural centers with citywide art and architecture dating back to the Renaissance. Charles Bridge in Prague has been standing since the 12th century, and Vienna’s city center is home to both Habsburg architecture and modern design. Photo by: Dimitry B
A palette of wood, concrete, and painted brick forms a neutral backdrop for Kathryn Tyler’s vintage treasures, including a 

$30 dining table, $3 poster, and a set of 1950s Carl Jacobs Jason chairs she snagged on eBay for $400.
Life for the couple centers on an open kitchen-dining-living area. Nautical references are kept to a minimum, but a few touches nod toward the home’s habitat. A Rais wood-burning stove recalls a ship’s furnace; soft green and blue fiberglass Eames chairs echo the color of the sea, which is a constant presence thanks to floor-to-ceiling glass doors. The custom dining table sits beneath a sculptural Titania pendant by Alberto Meda. Their yellow Labrador, Buster, rests next to a Hay sofa.
The clients had an impressive collection of Scandinavian midcentury teak furniture that now pops beautifully against the concrete floors, white-painted brick, and pine v-joint walls.
The Scandinavian pavilion will be decked out with furniture and accessories that embody Hygge—a Danish term implying warmth, coziness, and friendliness. This renovated loft in Copenhagen by Vipp Chief Designer online Morten Bo Jensen and his wife, Kristina May Olsen highlights that concept.

Photo by Anders Hviid.
Walker carried the aquatic color palette over to the new den, which sits just off of the kitchen-dining area.
The Blues Are Still Blue

Grinding down the concrete floor was too costly, so the Benoits had it painted blue with inexpensive Benjamin Moore latex floor-and-patio paint and then sealed with Zinsser shellac—a natural, nontoxic product that brushes on and can be easily touched up. It darkened the blue paint a bit and gives the floor a hand-worked luster. 

benjaminmoore.com

rustoleum.com/zinsserhp.asp

Scandinavian Grace

The Benoits bought their Scandinavian modern table from Klassik Living in Berkeley. “Their prices are very reasonable for the uniqueness and quality offered,” says Peter. They chose teak since it darkens nicely and naturally when exposed to sunlight—–helpful since their table gets blasted by morning rays. 

klassikliving.com
Los Angeles purveyor of Scandinavian wares Austere created a lounge equipped with Alvar Aalto's classic Artek stools.