It’s easy to identify furniture classics from the middle of the last century, but considerably more difficult to decide when more recent designs have become classics. The Snow series by ASPLUND has managed to defy this by becoming something very few furniture series can ever hope for; a modern classic in its own time.
SNOW started life in 1994 as a brief by the entrepreneur Björn Sandell to create a well designed quality furniture series that could provide employment for the company Forminord, located near the Artic Circle. The task fell to Jonas Bohlin and Thomas Sandell, two young creatives from a new generation, embracing traditional Swedish design elements while also having an international outlook - and injecting a fresh sense of humor into their designs. The Snow series was purposely simple, in the same way that boxy 1970s Volvo cars look childlike in their design. The cutout handles provided the only decorative element, while also being functional by providing a comfortable grip.
The first collection was available in the colours rust red, cream, anthracite and the Bohlin favourite purple blue, while the solid wood birch plinths spoke of Swedish forests. The configurations of cabinet types remain much the same today, as the designers correctly identified the users needs from the very start; various chests of drawers, desk units and glass fronted bookshelves.
ASPLUND soon became the biggest buyer of the Snow cabinet series, so it was logical that by 1997/1998 we also took over sales and distribution. Some colours have been added over the years – white being an obvious one – and some other have been removed, but the Snow series essentially remains just like Jonas Bohlin and Thomas Sandell intended it a quarter of a century ago. Both men have since gone on to become institutions in the Swedish design and architecture world.
Today the production takes place in the small town of Tibro in southern Sweden, a place with a furniture making tradition stretching back to the mid 19th century. Tibro is close to our customers and export points so it also makes environmental sense to reduce the transportation distances. The production process is more streamlined than before as the sales volume has continued to grow with each year, but Snow is still fundamentally a hand made product, made to order.
The furniture series has a very loyal following; we have couples who bought their first Snow cabinets when they set up home and started a family, returning again because their children have outgrown their parental abode but still need good storage. This position of a beloved classic has been further underlined by some endearing eatable reproductions; we have seen Snow made into both sweet cakes and gingerbreads!
What makes a classic remain pertinent is that it can adapt yet quintessentially stay the same. One thing is for sure – the Snow series by Asplund still remains relevant 25 years on.