Give the gift of light.

An object cannot become a design icon until it has stood the test of time and appears quite naturally in different settings, giving it a symbolic aura of its own.

FlowerPot is just that.

The famous lamp was named after the happy days of Flower Power and the VP4 puts an interesting slant ofn the VP3.
Give the gift of light these holidays.

Bo Bedre: Live Better

Bo Bedre (Live Better) is a Danish Home Magazine.

They are visitng Arne on Monday to interview him re the new Range & collaboration with us!

We cant wait to see the article, in the meantime we thought you might enjoy exploring the mag.

Our favourite section is the one on Classic Designers.

370 Beech Street Highland Park, IL

In the market for real estate? Well the Ferris Bueller house is up for sale again. It went under the hammer a couple of years ago and appears to be back on the market - this time for $500k less - bargain!

Remember the scene when Cameron crashes the Ferrari  through a garage wall and falls into a ravine? 

"The 1961 Ferrari 250GT California. Less than a hundred were made. My father spent three years restoring this car. It is his love, it is his passion. " - "Its his fault he didnt lock the garage" -

Well, that garage (wall intact) and the house that goes with it can be yours for $1.8 million.

Listed by Sudler Sotheby’s, the 5,300-square-foot steel and glass home was designed by A. James Speyer and David Haid in 1953. Located in Highland Park, Illinois, the property is known as the Ben Rose House – the name of the homeowner who lived there for 51 years.  

If only it came with the car...

For additional photos (check out the furniture), click here.

Vodder has landed.

Today was real, it was grounding and I feel a great sense of achievement, this is a whole new chapter for Great Dane.

I had spoken with Arne last night and we talked about how it would be today to see the samples, he was  just as excited as we are.

He is being interviewed this week by Bo Bedre magazine this week, a leading Danish publication and was thrilled to hear about Illums, in his word perfect, this is good news.

Illums Bolighus

We have just found out that Illums Bolighus has decided to take on the Arne Vodder range.

I consider Illums to be one of the most beautiful department stores in the world.

Have a look at, this is a real coup.

Give Great Gifts

Make Christmas great this year by shopping with us. We have gorgeous Scandinavian gifts for him, her and even the littlest Danes.   Spend more than $250 online until December 20 and receive a $50 gift voucher.

We can gift wrap, deliver and even write your cards at our online store! Make sure you visit our complete gift guide here.   Here’s some of our favourites.

The Gense Wine Finer - the perfect gift for the refined (or unrefined!) wine drinker.

After uncorking, simply place the Wine Finer inside the bottle (it will fit snugly and stay put). As wine is poured, it runs through strategically placed holes in the Finer and a screen – serving not only to catch any sediment, but to aerate the wine, eliminating the need for a decanter.

For the littlest Danes - the Jack n Jill coat hooks.

Inspired by the iconic male and female symbols who direct us safely across the street, the Jack n Jill coat hooks are an individual and personable addition to your home, kids rooms or office space.

Just in time for Christmas, the coat hooks are a great gift. Made of powder coated steel and available in black, red and white; the young at heart and the young just might start picking their clothes off the floor - now there’s a gift!

Vodder draws nearer.....

The Vodder production is coming along and as with all new ventures there are hiccups.

We were extremely lucky last month as the cabinet maker that is producing the Vodder range had a fire at his workshop and our 1st production run had been destroyed.  Luckily we had shipped the completed products the day before!  This would have set us back and almost made it impossible to undertake the Stockholm Fair in February.

The samples arrive in 10 days, we have to shoot white background and in-situ shots for a full catalogue and have it to the printers before Christmas, so a tight schedule. I am really looking forward to seeing the range in its entirety, I think only then will I realize the enormity of what we have undertaken.

Along with this, we are getting ready for the Stockholm Furniture Fair, which is only 2 months, 8 weeks!! Our fair stand designer is almost finished even though he doesn’t speak Danish and our cabinet maker, who is making the stand doesn’t speak English........ I hope this google translator is reliable!!!

But we are exicted all the same and I’m sure it will come together and be one of those things we will look back on as a company and realize just what a huge thing it is we have achieved. I am very proud of what we are doing and when I spoke with Arne the other day, I asked him how it made him feel and he chuckled and said and I quote “ it will keep me alive for a few more days!”.

Surreal Reality

Bit hard to remember this day, bit of a blur!

Soren and I arrived early to the cabinet makers so I could sit down with Daniel and go though some business things, we were greeted by a finished sideboard in Oak, it was a little moving really to see it finished in the flesh, pretty cool really I thought, we have done it.

Soren and talked with Daniel and went over the details of the sideboard and the dining table, we also had very fortuitously found a very rare example of one of the bedsides and the hall table in Palisander, which I must say in 6 years of looking for furniture, I have never seen either. It seemed unreal they should be found now of all times, when we are about to re launch the design. On top of which Arne later told me he thinks Sibast only made around 50 of the hall tables, so its quite a find.

Rasmus and Momo (the photographer) showed up, and as Rasmus had not seen any of the prototypes, it was great for him to see the finished one, he was very happy, which is very important as he is the sales agent for the AV range in Scandinavia.

Then Arne cruised in very relaxed with his grandson who had driven him to the cabinet makers, It was quite a moment, perhaps even a bit overwhelming to see Arne looking at his finished sample; for me not Arne, he was very chilled as per usual!

We all looked over the range and talked with each other about how special the day was, then Daniel showed us around the factory as he is working on another couple of things for us and he wanted to show us the progress.

Then the Danish lunch of course, the open sandwiches, with fish and shrimp, and the terrible black coffee (sorry Denmark, it’s really not great). We all talked and Arne chatted about his work and that his famous desk is in Jimmy Carters home, Qaddafi home and a gangster from Chicago, good to know we are in great company!!!
Then we had Momo to take some more photos with Arne and then we all really just seemed to take a little time enjoy what was the day.

I feel exhausted & emotional & incredible proud of what we've all been able to acheive. Now I cant wait to get them home!

Turning the Tables

Here is the 1st Arne Vodder table to be made in almost 40 years.

And the original drawing by Arne that the cabinet maker used to make it!

AV Range will arrive December!

Well I am on the way home now, it has been an amazing trip, quite surreal in fact, I think my head is still spinning from the experience!

Yesterday was a really special, Arne and his wife Jona had me over for lunch, so Arne and I had a really nice chance to just chat.

I was thrilled as Arne shared with me his archive of work since the 50’s, photos, drawings, sketches, but there is one piece in particular which was just stunning; an original water colour by Arne of a chaise lounge he designed for Bovirke, I asked if he did this for all his pieces, but he chuckled and said he was too lazy to do it for all of them!

Arne very kindly allowed me to borrow what I needed, which of course I was thrilled about, so I am guarding them with my life and intend to make copies of all the images and documentation, as they would make some fantastic posters and resources for our clients and just to have.

Arne and I talked about the day at the factory, I wanted to make sure he was happy with the finished sample of the sideboard and dining table, which he was, as was I and even more thrilled to be able to bring back to life Arne’s work and in the right way.

I am really happy to say that the AV range will be available in Australia before anywhere else in the world, as we will get 1st delivery in December 09.

Arne and I also decided for the sideboards we will be numbering the 1st production run, so if you are keen to secure one the first sideboards produced in almost 50 years, you can contact your local showroom for more info.
We sat and talked for hours and discussed Arne’s early work and study under Finn Juhl, who was a lecturer at the Copenhagen Institute and the influence on Arne’s work, it was a great insight into the close relationship Arne had with Finn Juhl, with whom he became friends with.

We also looked through all of the old catalogues and I learnt a great deal about some of the designs not only by Arne but also by other designers he worked with or had 1st hand knowledge of. These chairs made by Sibast were attributed to Arne, but were actually designed by Helge Sibast.

I have attached another chair, which I have always know as Niels Vodder or Finn Juhl, but Arne and I talked about this and he corrected me that this was his work and could really see the influence of Finn Juhl, the organic nature of the chair, the bird like structure, very reminiscent of Juhl.

I have also attached a very rare Arne Vodder design. This coffee table was designed for Bovirke and is often attributed to Niels Vodder, but again is Arne. A very rare piece in a perfect combination of teak with oak legs. It was a great to to sit and chat with Arne, he is charming and funny, and has a wonderful sense of self, humble and inspiring.

I hope you enjoy.

A perfect fit

Just looking at the new AV prototypes.

I have loaded these images so you can compare. The black door is from an original AV sideboard, the new production is so close to the original, the measurements so precise, an old door will fit in the new cabinet!

The best department store in the world!

Illhums Bolighus - Copenhagen's Premium Department Store - with more than 450 of the best Scandinavian and international brands. I always visit here as it is a great source of inspiration for me - check out their current Finn Juhl installation - so beautiful. This is Scandinavian Emporium at its finest.

Illums opened up in 1925 under the name Bo. In 1941 was Bo taken over by the families Illum, Berg and Trock-Jensen. The name changed from Bo to Illums Bolighus.

Their building at Amagertorv was designed in 1961 by the Architect M.A.A. Kay Kørbin. They stock home accessories from world known designer brands, such as: Holmgaard, Rosendahl, George Jensen and many more.

Illums Bolighus Interior Design offers personal consultation on your interior design in Denmark or anywhere in the world. Illum Bolighus also has a small shop at Kastrup airport where smaller items are avaliable.

Dansk Kunst

Our new Sales Agent Rasmus took me the to Dansk Kunst museum today, othwerwise known as the Danish Musuem of Art & Design. I remember last time I was here with my very round, very pregnant wife!

It is a museum in Copenhagen for Danish and international design and crafts. It features works of famous Danish designers like Arne Jacobsen, Jacob Jensen & Kaare Klint, who was one of the two architects who remodeled the former Fredericks Hospital (built 1752–57) into a museum in the 1920s.

The museum houses the biggest library for design in Scandinavia. It also hosts a fully annotated and illustrated database of all furniture made in Denmark from 1900 to 2000, originally compiled by Reese and Marilyn Palley and later donated to and further developed by the museum. This very famous collection is known as the

Rasmus has a contact there, Christian who runs the museum. We met and had a great chat about AV’s work. He was thrilled to find out we were putting it back into production and asked if we might be able to organize for a vintage piece of AV’s work for them and for any of Arne’s drawings or sketches for their collection. It was great to meet someone who lives and breathes what we do every day.

Check out, the most complete index of all furniture design from Denmark for the last 100 years!

The Arne Vodder Range becomes a reality

The plane trip was a reminder of the distance we go to do what we do, especially being apart from my baby girl and wife.

I spend some time thinking about what we have been talking about and planning for over the last 6 months and it feels a little surreal. To be working with Arne and giving his products a new life is a once in a lifetime experience, especially as Arne is actually involved.

Our meeting is with Cabinet maker Daniel on Thursday, Arne will be there, Daniel, myself and Rasmus Koch, who is our agent in Denmark, it will be a bit of a momentous occasion, and I will try to organize a bottle of schnapps to make a toast. We have organised a photographer to capture the day and more importantly the feeling on the day. Hygge!!

Arne and I are meeting in the next day to talk about what else is possible in regards to designs and I am excited at the prospect of looking over old drawings and sketches he has done, we are particularly interested in some of his easy chairs and I also hope to ask if we can look at designing a sofa together!

I do not want people to read this and think I am being self indulgent or that I take this for granted, I feel extremely privileged to be where I am today and hope you as our clients feel this. I hoped this event would come about and felt confident I could make it happen, but never did I once presume.

We are really re launching the Arne Vodder brand back into the market after 50 years, and this is special. We have decided the best way to do this is to take the AV range and launch it ourselves at the Stockholm furniture fair in Sweden in Feb 2010, very exciting. We are setting up an office in Copenhagen this week, so we have a base here.

I am also of course here searching out beautiful vintage furniture for our clients and know I will be sending back some stunning examples, I intent to post a few this time, which I normally don’t, to give you a sneak peak.

Copenhagen in summer is beautiful, full of European tourists the walking streets are alive with buskers and you could easily hear half a dozen different languages while walking. The bikes are out, people are sunbaking and its only 25 degrees, they really soak it up when its here.

It is a very different place in summer, the strawberries you can smell as you pass the little corner stores and tulips are in bloom in the window boxes of the old apartments, the city has a lightness that is only in summer. The people are out to enjoy it.

Hotdogs, still love the hotdogs, but I was disappointed at the hotel Axel where I stay, as I tell everyone about these blueberry’s they have. I’m still not sure if they are dried or semi dried, but when you bite into them, its as if you have tasted the pure essence of a blueberry, its as if they have extracted the flavour! Anyway they have stopped buying them, so they have kindly offered to buy me a box and I am determined to import them somehow. I have tried finding something in Australia, but they are Canandian or from New York and the don’t have that same intense flavour, I will keep you posted, contact me if you interested in buying some, maybe we will try to bring them out at Christmas; a special one off delivery!!!

I hope you enjoyed this, I will blog again after I had our meeting re AV.

Back in CPH

I'm back in Denmark - the weather here is beautiful, lots of sunlight which makes the Danes even happier than they usually are.

Have had a chance to drop my bag & take this happy snap of the view from my hotel window! Even this small shot is so Scandinavian done you think?

Its a huge trip as Arne Vodder & I are meeting our cabinet maker to see how the prototypes for the range are going.

In case you are not up to date I'll add the post from May to fill you in. But have a read of February's posts as well.

Stay tuned.

The Arne Vodder Range takes from May

When I first started working with Arne Vodder (AV) in February, we only really discussed the famous sideboard as it is such an iconic piece and depending on the model and wood is fetching around $15,000 AUD. I have been collecting and putting away a small range of Arne’s work, including his bedside chests, chests of drawers and a sideboard all of which have the distinctive organic handle/drawer and I intend to bring these pieces out of hiding when we launch the new AV range.

As thrilled as I was with the sideboard going back into production for Great Dane, in my heart I really was hoping Arne and I could talk about the entire range, so when I caught up with Arne on my last visit to Denmark we started talking about bringing back to life the entire AV range!

Arne and I discussed and talked about his designs at length and pulled together a stunning range including 2 dining tables, hall table/servery, bedside chest, chest of drawers sideboard and coffee table, creating a stunning range that will be a world wide exclusive for Great Dane, something I am very proud of.

I have attached images of the original catalogue drawings of the sideboard/chest of drawers, dining table, bedside chest and a photo of a rare vintage hall table/serving table, and a sketch by Arne of a coffee table he designed for P Jeppesen in 1969; all of these along with the famous Arne Vodder sideboard will make up the AV range.

The 1st 10 items produced of each design will be numbered and signed by Arne Vodder himself, and will be offering these exclusively to our Great Dane clients.

I will keep you posted, hope you enjoy the images.

Great Giving

They tell me its approaching that time of year again - you know, the time when people make that huge leap into Happily Ever After??

Well, if this is you, then you might be interested to hear that Great Dane offers a unique gift registry service.

Before your special day select a piece you have always wanted and our Showroom will set up a registry. Your guests and friends then make a contribution! Not like the average service where you compile a list of chachkas for people to chose from, here you select one very special thing & your guests get together to make that happen for you.

It's that simple to take home your most coveted Great Dane piece - ask us for more information.

Great Dane Goes Commercial

We have a passion: to keep classic Scandinavian design alive, ensuring its continued prominence in 21st century Australian life. Offering designs for the home since 2003, we have been building a commercial collection for the last 6 years and are now launching it in the market.

After many years of developing exclusive relationships with a range of Scandinavian designers and manufacturers we are excited to be able to offer such a unique range of new products to the commercial market.

I really feel this collection adds great depth to the already extensive offering Great Dane has built over the last 6 years, bringing the unique aesthetic of Danish design to commercial projects. I hope you enjoy the range as much as I've enjoyed putting it together!

The collection of furniture and lighting design welcomes pieces from makers such as PP Mobler, Getama, J.L. Moller, Finn Juhl and Unique Interiors– to name a few.

The range has been growing a strong commercial following most recently with particular stand outs; the Mega Bulb pendant light by Sophie Refer (pictured), the #77 dining chair by N.O Moller and the Erich Buch bar stool, all being placed in high profile commercial fit outs in the last 6 months.

Learn more about how this unique commercial collection can introduce Scandinavian design to your next project. Visit the Great Dane Showrooms in Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane, download the catalogue here or contact your nearest outlet to organize a visit from one of our Great Dane contract team.

Furniture Restoration Service

The Great Dane Workshop specialises in the repair and restoration of Danish furniture.

We are now able to offer our valued clients a restoration service for their furniture.

We repair and restore:

· wobbly chair legs
· scratches on surfaces
· water or burn marks
· sticky drawers & doors
· structural weaknesses
· re-upholstery

We also undertake valuations for insurance or other purposes.

Contact us to rejuvenate or value your pieces.

Pink V Bike


Help us raise money for breast cancer research this month.

Our friends at Skeppshult have produced four limited edition Pink V Bikes, exclusively for the National Breast Cancer Foundation and individually signed by Fifi Box, Deborah Hutton, Lizzy Lovette and Adam Spencer to raise money for Breast Cancer Research.

To get your hands on one of these exclusive bikes an online auction will take place on eBay from: Tuesday 26 May 2009 - Tuesday 2 June 2009. Click here for more:

Or, if you've always wanted a Pink V Bike, then there are 4 unsigned for sale - 100% of the profits of these going towards the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

We have set up a special Pink V Bike page and have also created a facebook group .

By the way, I ride a bright red one of these every day & its the only way to travel!

Happy bidding!

Arne & Anton

I spent the day today with Arne Vodder, we met at the train station with Kim from Nielaeus, a small manufacturer, who has dealt with Arne for many years. Kim is the son of the founder and now works very closely with Arne in regards to some of his later work, especially contract furniture.

Kim and Arne and I had lunch together at the local golf club and enjoyed a glass of wine whilst discussing some of the goings on with the cabinet maker. When we met Daniel he mentioned through Kim’s translation he had been working on the cabinets until very early in the morning to have them prepared for Arne and myslef to look at!

We arrived at Daniel’s workshop, to see 3 really fantastic samples of Arne's cabinets, one in Oak, one in Walnut and one in Wenge. Arne and I looked at them and spent the next hours discussing the cabinets in great detail. This was a very special moment, as I truly felt involved in the process, as it should be (Arne kindly pointed out), the designer, the cabinet maker and the seller, all in one place to discuss the product and ensure that we all ended up with something that works.

Arne asked me how important is it that we are true to the original design, I replied very important, as long as it didn’t effect the integrity of the product in regards to its production. Both Arne and I felt the straight metal/wooden leg and the slight softness of the edge of the cabinet, were very important aspects of the design, which the cabinet maker had changed ever so slightly, so it was agreed to be changed back.

We also agreed that the colours doors should be same as the original for the walnut, but perhaps for the oak, we should look at some of Finn Juhl's colours from the period, as they would fit well with the oak. Both Arne and I talked about a Finn Juhl blue, which we both felt would work really well with the sideboard. Arne actually studied under Finn Juhl and was a very good friend of his. Finn Juhl, along with Arne were the 2 designers from the period that took the risk of putting colour with wood.

This day was a culmination of years of thinking how it would feel to be actually working with one of Denmark's great designers, and will always hold a very special place in my heart.

Arne and I then spent a very chatty 4 hours hours on the train back to Copenhagen talking about designers of today, laughing about stories from when he was working in the 50’s ad 60’s. Arne talked about how he ran his own office with another desigener named Anton (odd really) for many years, and how they used to tell the staff they were going to a meeting in CPH, but actually went out sailng for the afternoon. The Danes really are good at appreciating life's small miracles.

I look forward to catching up with him again soon.

The History of Moller

Had a meeting with Snerkergaarden, they make Nanna Ditzel Easy Chairs which we love and are planning to have by the end of this year. Surprisingly, only because they seemed quite old school they had some really outstanding designs, one by an old guy who also works with Frederica and a young guy apparently about 30, and the table the young guy designed was fantastic, quite modern, but all wood and with some really beautiful details, it really reminded me of some of Haslev's work, but with a bit more of an edge to it.

The factory has been around I think since about 1905, and mainly focuses on the cabinet making, and really lovely work made all with solid wood.

Then we drove to Moller to pick up a chair to see if it would work with another new table that is being made by Axel Kirsko. We bumped into John Moller, the son of Niels Moller, the grandson of J.L Moller. He was a real character and we just couldnt stop him reminiscing about his childhood and the history of Moller.

The factory was started by his grandfather before WWII, around 1930’s in typical Danish style, he made a piece of furniture for himself and then the neighbor asked him to make one for him. It grew to 8 people, but unfortunately he had passed away and left the company to his wife, who had no experience. The Foreman was left to run the company, who unfortunately was taking her for a ride and then the war came and the company collapsed and she bought back the shares that had been sold to the foreman.

Then it was Nils Moller who started it again. He was a cabinet maker and worked in the UK for a while and then studied in Orhus. He then started designing. I asked Jorn where his inspiration came from and it was mainly from jewelry in Museums. He would drag Jorn around to the Museums on the weekends and would finD forms and shapes in the jewellery that appealed to him.

Having known this for the first time, I can see the inspiration, especially as his chairs are so organic and certainly have a fine delicate nature that you see in jewelry. He designed the 71 in the late 30’s and Jorn said his dad would design then work with the makers and then would put the chair away for a year to let it rest, so he could look at it with fresh eyes. He would do this 4-5 times so it would take 5 years for every new design. Now that is how to resolve something!

Jorn and his friends were roped into working at the factory, putting on the metal stamps that are on all the old versions, he said he was paid less than 1 cent per piece. There was a guy there who I have seen every time I go to the factory, I always wondered how old he was, 73 and had worked for more than 40 years at the factory papercording. He was a charming old guy and remembered when Jorn was a boy.

Jorn showed us through the factory, and though I had been through before with the manager Morten, is always interesting to see it from the owners point of view.

Copenhagen Feeling

I arrived this morning in Copenhagen, after not being here for quite a while. As soon as I stepped through the plane door the smell of CPH was there. If only I could bottle that first smell, grasp it and hold onto that feeling, its crispness and warmth at the same time.

I have forgotten how important it is for me to feel connected to this place as the soul of our business, I had forgotten how much I consciously and sub consciously grab onto it and bring back with me every time I come here.

I stay at Hotel Guldsmeden. Ironically it has not a single piece of Danish furniture in it, yet I feel it is the warmest, coziest place I can stay when I am here. Maybe it is because my wife Emma found it and we both stayed here together first. It was when she was pregnant with our daughter Persia, perhaps this is part of the reason I feel so good here. I feel they are both with me in some way.

I am jetlagged, but there is little point in sleeping, as it is 7pm at home, I try to stay awake for the day if I can. Breakfast; the almonds covered in honey, yoghurt and muesli, the fresh breads, dark rye, light rye, pumpernickel, white crusty, stewed blueberries, bad coffee!, wonderful pastries, smelly cheeses, all make up a breakfast. I sit and look out the window and feel very much at home, a young family sits near me with a baby and it feels right. This place is such a wonderful mix of old world values.

Looking out the window, surrounded by all this history and a really lovely warm sense of belonging, I feel at home. I look forward to my stroll down the walking streets, as I watch the city come alive on a Sunday morning. It is cold but clear, the city is a really beautiful place at this time of year, I will head straight for Illums to get my fix of a ‘klassic’ department store, I can only compare it to a combination of ‘Are You Being Served’ and Georges (Melb), It stands next to Georg Jensen and in front of a beautiful fountain, and on Sunday it will become full of tourists and families exploring the shops and sitting on benches and soaking up the sun, while enjoying a good Danish hotdog!

I guess I feel as if this is what I am trying to bring to our showrooms, I want our customers, to come in and feel at home, to experience all their senses being tickled, to gain some sense of what I feel when I am in Denmark.

Return to Copenhagen

I am just about to return to Denmark, and this would have to be one of the most exciting trip I have had. I am meeting with Arne Vodder and his cabinet maker to go over the samples of the Vodder sideboard they have made for us, to ensure we are all happy with the result.

I have been working on this now for almost a year and cannot tell you how fantastic it will be to actually clap eyes on the samples that Daniel (the cabinet maker) has produced. Having Arne and the cabinet maker together will really provide me with an understanding of how these guys did it 60 years ago, when the designer actually worked with the cabinet maker, collaborating to ensuring the end result is true to the original design, but at the same time of practical and can actually be produced.

I intend to take my video cam with me, (which I must admit was really purchased for my wife for Xmas to video our daughter Persia), in the hope of being able to bring to you a sense of this unique experience. I am also meeting with several other manufactures in the hope of re introducing a few more old designs back into production. I will keep you posted. Hygge!