Skandium is a collection of cool and contemporary stores showcasing the best lifestyle products from the united Scandinavian nations. It all began back in September 1999 when 3 Scandinavians with a passion for design set up shop in Wigmore Street, W1. Today you can find Skandium shops at Marylebone High Street and Brompton Road, a concession in Selfridges and a Republic of Fritz Hansen store in Margaret Street. They sell Scandinavian furniture, contemporary lighting and unique home accessories from Scandinavian designers – Marimekko, Vitra, Knoll and Fritz Hansen.
The people behind Skandium are; Managing Director Magnus Englund with a background in fashion wholesale, retailing and the author of 2 best-selling books on Scandinavian design. Chystina Schmidt is the Creative Director, a fashion and lifestyle photographer. Christopher Seidenfaden is the Non-Executive Director with a background in business journalism and finances. In fact, his family built up the Danish lighting manufactures Louis Poulsen PH Lamps. They are like a Scandinavian design dream team!
Chystina tells me “the name ‘Skandium’ reflects the Scandinavian attachment. It’s actually a rare earth metal, one of the base metals in the mineral chart. It’s very rare and has been found on an island near Stockholm where Magnus grew up.”
They sell leading brands like Marimekko, Design House Stockholm, Vitra, Knoll and Fritz Hansen. To give you an idea what you’ll find in-store here are 5 recommendations from the owners …
- Skandium – Grace Two Cabinet by Eva Schildt, £1,745
- Marimekko – Vatruska Fabric by Aino-Maija Metsola, £39 per meter
- Vitra – Tip Ton Chair by Barber Osgerby, £197
- Woodnotes – Bridge Rug by Ritva Puotila, £941-£1,331
- Skandium – Doorstop by Chystina Schmidt, £10.50
So if you appreciate high quality design combined with products and furniture with longevity, this is the place to shop. The experience is first class all the way – from the knowledgeable staff to the surroundings and the way it’s merchandised. Step inside and you’ll find the stores are light, airy and uncluttered and the product displayed rather like a candy store – fun, and upbeat with an amazing mix of merchandise …
Chystina tells me that the best thing about owning a store is “you get to indulge in what you like every day.” Of course there is a downside – “lack of sleep and aging quickly!” The words of wisdom Chystina would pass on to wannabe store owners are – “work hard and get to know who your customer is.”
You can visit Skandium in London at the following locations; 86 Marylebone High Street, London W1U 4QS / 245-249 Brompton Road, London SW3 2EP / Skandium at Selfridges, 400 Oxford Street, London W1A 1AB / Republic of Fritz Hansen, 13 Margaret Street, London W1W 8RN. Or you can buy goods from the website Skandium. The stores are open Monday to Wednesday 10-6.30, Thursday 10-7, Friday and Saturday 11-5. They also have some great in-store events which you can find out about via the website.
Credits: text by Homegirl London, images courtesy of Skandium, special thanks to Chystina Schmidt and Jessica Jones.