Nirvan Richter, founder, CEO and designer at furniture maker Norrgavel, believes that furniture should not be too intrusive.
Established in Malmö, Sweden 1991, Norrgavel is a design brand built on sustainability. Richter began to create a name synonymous with timeless, functional design, extolling the virtues of locally sourced wood such as birch, beech and oak. In addition to function, Richter also wanted to design collections made from renewable raw materials that could be reused and passed down through the generations.
Today the brand is known for solid craftsmanship, creativity, knowledge of the subject and a rebellious playfulness. It can be characterized with words like simplicity, feeling and presence, honesty and sagaciousness.
“I want to create furniture that gives us a gateway to what’s important in life and that brings us closer to the essence of life,” says Nirvan Richter. And we believe it is the honesty behind the furniture that is part of the brand’s success. Originally rejecting the confines of modernism, today it embraces certain elements of the modernist idea in its own updated version.
Norrgavel is not primarily selling furniture, but rather an attitude to interior design, actually to life in general, emphasizing on natural materials that breathe. This is furniture that should easily blend into existing surroundings and look a part of the home without any effort. Wood is allowed to behave in exactly the way it should, untreated, or instead painted with an egg oil tempera which allows the grain to breathe over time.
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It’s hardly surprising then that they received the acclaimed Nordic Swan Ecolabel as a mark of the brands commitment to the environment. As stated on their website, at Norrgavel, “they want to create relationships with our customers. Rather than encourage passive consumption, we try to make it easy for customers to be present in the purchasing moment and to have a relationship with the things they choose to surround themselves with – encouraging them, quite simply, to consume less but to give themselves permission to have things of greater quality”.
Norrgavel has tried to capture this holistic view of interior design in the description of their values as humanist, ecological and existential.
Having created furniture for more than 25 years, Richter’s inspiration comes from the peasants in Swedish Dalarne, the Shakers in the US and the Wabi-Sabi in Japan. The high-backed spine arm chair was one of the first pieces designed by Richter.
“The consistent selection of natural materials in our offering is ultimately about a deep respect for nature and its lifecycle. Our furniture is allowed to age beautifully, which is the hallmark of the Wabi-Sabi aesthetic,” says Richter.
Nirvan Richter is an architect from the Royal Institute of Technology, and trained in carpentry at the Carl Malmsten School. Ecological thinking permeated the company right from the start.
Swedish Furniture Rooted in Nature, written by Tor Kjolberg