Images by Brian Ferry
Over the last couple of decades, the American obsession with Swedish design has become essentially a matter of fact. And so the recent U.S. invasion of Stockholm-based Hem has seemed almost inevitable, if not way overdue.
Indeed, the brand (whose name simply means “home”), was founded in 1983, at a time when the States were more concerned with outré movements like Memphis. But a new, post-millennial wave of style magazines have ceaselessly exalted all things Scandinavia, paving the way for a primary 21st Century aesthetic that hasn’t much tolerance for wacky shapes and pastel colors. Hem actually opened its first outpost just last year in Downtown Los Angeles; and now it has unveiled its first New York studio, a 2500 square foot historic loft on Soho’s Broome Street—long where the city’s best design shops have clustered.
Hem has ever been known for its simple but elegantly modern lines, with an emphasis on craftsmanship over ostentation. And to be sure, classics like the Kumo Sofa, Last Stool, Alle Tables, Touchwood and Udon chairs, and the Alphabeta pendants will all be on offer, alongside new pieces like the Max Lamb Max Table and Bench, and the Powder-Vases by Jenny Nordberg—all of the latter making their first appearances in the States.
Fully embracing their new NYC home, which is a typically high ceilinged Soho space, a notable feature is the site-specific sculptural installation by Brooklyn duo Chen & Kai, which stands at around ten feet feet tall, and is characterized by 20 mirrored panels. So guests can take in a kind of “broken” or schizophrenic view of themselves…though Hem describe it as a kind of deconstructed skyscraper.
“New York has been our single most important market since Hem’s inception,” enthuses Petrus Palmér, CEO and Founder. “It is a city filled with creativity and entrepreneurial ambitions and home to many architects and designers we admire. While it took some time to find the perfect space, Soho was always a must for us, as one of the most walkable and visually striking parts of the city, and center for so much of its design and creative leaders. We’re thrilled to make it our home.”
For those who cannot make it to one of the Hem U.S. locations, shopping online is also an option.