Poul Henningsen Cabinets: To Have and to Hold

Poul Henningsen (PH), in keeping with Scandinavian design traditions and the Bauhaus influences of the 1930s he would adopt, believed in uncomplicated environments. PH realised that for a home to be truly functional, there must be space for storage. Initially inspired by a commission to create furniture for the apartment of a newly married couple in Copenhagen in 1919 and driven by a wider desire to improve the quality of daily life for everyone who owned his designs, PH devoted much thought to addressing the need for tidiness in his furniture creations. PH realised that for a life to be fully lived then possessions are not just a necessity but also a pleasure and a comfort. Whilst PH believed in streamlined interiors, he did not take minimalism to extremes, but rather balanced the concept against day-to-day practicality.

The PH Grand Chest of Drawers is intelligently designed so that it may be positioned away from a wall, since it is finished on all four sides, rather than the usual three often expected of traditional chests. It is a design set free from the idea that storage furniture always needs to be restricted by placement at the edge of a room.  PH realised that storage furniture need not be just about function, but it could also be beautiful and need not be hidden: the PH Grand Chest of drawers can be a centrepiece.

The beauty of the PH Small Chest of Drawers designed by Poul Henningsen can be found in the exquisite attention to detail in the design and finishing of this piece. PH adored powerful primary colors and used them frequently in his furniture designs: covered in the finest nappa lamb leather in rich red or elegant green, this piece of furniture becomes almost jewel-like. Like the Grand Chest of Drawers, the Small Chest of Drawers can be also be finished in black oak, natural oak and mahogany.

Beautiful, strong and powerful of presence yet still light in appearance, the PH Cabinet is intended to be displayed as well as to display. The PH Cabinet has ample room for concealing items in the lower two compartments, while the top part of the cabinet can be left open in order to make a feature of the things inside. As with PH’s Dressing Table and PH Office Desk designs, the interior of the PH Cabinet is as well constructed and beautifully finished as the outside. The importance of privacy was also considered: the PH Cabinet can be locked in the the same way as the top drawer of the PH Office Desk.

PH Furniture have realised Poul Henningsen’s twentieth century furniture designs with longevity in mind. Built by carefully selected European manufacturers using the highest quality timber and leather, this is furniture that it designed to last for many, many years.  Poul Henningsen understood that inevitably a sense of subconscious intimacy builds between ourselves and the objects that we see and touch every day and this consideration is reflected in not just the superior function of his furniture designs, but also their finish. Given the importance of the relationship people have with their surroundings and the impact this has on their everyday enjoyment of their living spaces, PH sought to ensure that his furniture designs were made of the most luxurious and pleasurably tactile materials as well as being entirely practical. PH’s storage furniture is to have and to hold for now and for many generations ahead.