Tärnsjö Tannery Partnership With NK Interior Titillates in Together

04.03.24 | By
Tärnsjö Tannery Partnership With NK Interior Titillates in Together

NK Interior – a department of Nordiska Kompaniet (NK), Scandinavia’s premiere shopping destination and one of few last standing bastions for the brick and mortar retail experience – asserts that Scandinavian creativity is anticipatory of the future, but what does that mean? Does it tease of tantalizing new objects? Perhaps it promises that production methods move the needle on design as lifestyles change. How will it evolve, what feelings might it evoke, and can home furnishings compound interest in added emotional value for consumers over time?

During Stockholm Design Week, NK Interior answers those questions when they host their annual initiative – and associated scholarship – in celebration of Swedish craft with a focus on sustainability, elevated materiality, and local production prowess. Aptly named Together, NK Interior teamed up with the historic Tärnsjö Garveri Tannery to help realize the forward thinking proposals by designers Lisa Hilland, Pia Wallén, Maxjenny, Anki Gneib, Sami Kallio, Jonas Bohlin, Julie Amira, and 2023 Together Scholarship holder Olivia Åhman, in a showcase of unique leather goods that were exclusively presented and sold through the department store.

A dimly lit store display window showcasing an eclectic collection of NK Interior's designer home furnishings.

NK Department Store window display showcasing Together

Chrome-free since 1988, the Tärnsjö-made projects are crafted from 100% vegetable-tanned leather, which utilizes natural bark extracts free from harmful chemicals, then complemented by water-based finishes. Their methods result in an artifact that naturally bears the marks of time as it patinates. And these eco-conscious practices represent only a modicum of manufacturing processes – from tanning, finishing, and saddlery – that ensure the final product’s biodegradability. “The project was a remarkable convergence of creativity, craftsmanship, and contemporary relevance,” says Ulrika Andersson, CEO of Tärnsjö Tannery

Though the windows are undressed and the objects have moved on to clients’ homes and permanent collections, the implications of Together continue to reach new global audiences. “The unexpected collaborations are intriguing. Many designers have not used these materials and techniques before; the partnering companies get new contacts, challenges, and ideas for the product development.” says Kadi Harjak, CEO of NK Interior. “The true spirit and the strength of the project is supporting each other and doing things together.”

The goal is for showcased items to enter commercial production, but while you wait, window shop the roundup below and learn more about each piece featured.

Julie Amira \\\ Grammy

The Grammy desk lamp borrows its iconic form from the gramophone signaling to the user an investment in timeless design. Like a flower in bloom, the lamp shade takes on an almost animated personality thanks to the saddler’s craft in accentuated stitching and gathered material where it makes connection to the pillar.

Woman sitting on the floor holding a desk lamp.

Julie Amira with her Grammy desk lamp

A red leather lamp standing upright on a white surface against a light grey background.

Lisa Hilland \\\ Pirouette

The moniker Pirouette references one of the most difficult movements in horse dressage – a reflection of the skill also required in manufacturing the chair and shade design – where the animal turns around on its hind legs to create a circular movement pattern. The braided saddlery creates an ornamental pattern and near visual weightlessness once employed as a malleable surface.

Woman sitting next to a decorative circular object, wearing a floral dress and black boots.

Lisa Hilland with her Pirouette chair and lamp shade

A modern chair and pendant light with matching geometric designs against a white background.

Anki Gneib \\\ Piaff

The Piaff room divider exercises the tradition of Tärnsjö Tannery’s roots in saddlery and the designer’s love of horses. With a network of custom horse-bit snaffles, the screen surface pattern establishes a clear boundary while the woven construction allows for visual porosity.

Woman in a black dress standing beside a geometric leather screen.

Anki Gneib with her Piaff room screen

A geometric pattern of interconnected metal circles and leather on a white background.

Maxjenny \\\ Pouf

Maxjenny’s statement pouf strikes a pleasant balance between a camp, floral form and an understated elegance in its muted leather upholstery to prove home furnishings can be fun while maintaining their utility. It is also indicative of younger consumers demanding environmental wellness from luxury goods brought to market.

Woman in a printed dress and sunglasses posing next to a decorative pouf.

The Maxjenny artistic pouf

Beige ottoman/pouf resembling a blooming flower with petal-like extensions on a white pedestal.

Pia Wallén \\\ First Aid Bag

Wallén’s iconic crosses take new shape, literally, with the First Aid Bag. A study in duality, this bag marries two weights of leather to form the shell, considers the meaning of red as an expressive color, and the semantics of the cruciform – a heavy lift for a chic bag but it carries on well.

A woman in a black outfit holds a large red tote bag above her head.

Pia Wallen’s First Aid Bag

Red tote bag with cross symbols on a plain background.

Sami Kallio \\\ Pixel stool & bench

Pixel explores braiding and geometry in a cheeky nod to the digital aesthetic. The bench is constructed in solid smoked oak and the stool in solid ash, both with seats woven from tone-on-tone Tärnsjö leather. The unique construction and customizable weave dimensions allow for customizable variation and contrast based on the desired visual impact.

Man with a beard sitting on a small wooden bench.

Sami Kallio with his Pixel stool and bench

Two modern stools with interlocking wooden and leather designs, one dark brown and one light beige, against a white background.

Olivia Åhman \\\ Leather chair

Winner of the 2023 Together scholarship and participant in the 2024 Together initiative, Åhman delivers a subversive take on form and materiality with the Leather chair. Equal parts sculpture and seating, it argues that beauty comes with the fulfillment of utility, not at its sacrifice.

Woman in a black suit sitting next to a large curved wooden structure on a white background.

Olivia Ahman, the 2023 Together scholarship holder, with her leather chair.

Modern chair with a curved design and two-tone color scheme.

Jonas Bohlin \\\ Larv

The Larv task lamp captivates with its experimental design and is included in this showcase as an exemplary object whose design explores the potential of vegetable-tanned leather. Its pliable form allows for the accommodation of many tasks as well as in situ placements.

An older man with a beard standing next to an upright tripod with a sinuous flashlight attached to it.

Jonas Bohlin with his Larv adjustable lamp

One extended, adjustable flashlight wrapped in black material, rested on white sticks against a light gray background.

Photography by Alina Berkovskaia.

With professional degrees in architecture and journalism, Joseph has a desire to make living beautifully accessible. His work seeks to enrich the lives of others with visual communication and storytelling through design. Previously a regular contributor to titles under the SANDOW Design Group, including Luxe and Metropolis, Joseph now serves the Design Milk team as their Managing Editor. When not practicing, he teaches visual communication, theory, and design. The New York-based writer has also contributed to exhibitions hosted by the AIA New York’s Center for Architecture and Architectural Digest, and recently published essays and collage illustrations with Proseterity, a literary publication.