Last year, around the same time as I launched Nordic Notes, two inspiring ladies from Scotland where also making their own Scandinavian dreams a reality.
Karin McDougall and Kate Heggie, aka The Nordic Edit, founded their web-shop and showroom in the grounds of the picturesque Belhaven Fruit Farm, Dunbar on the East Lothian coast.
A must visit for all Nordic lifestyle and design lovers, their collection includes kitchen and dining pieces, kids’ accessories, wallpaper, furniture, storage, gifts, lighting and textiles.
Here’s more about their exciting story:
What, or should I say where, was the inspiration behind the Nordic Edit?
Karin: Stockholm! Kate suggested that we take a trip with some friends and I just fell in love with the straightforward nature and beautiful simplicity I saw on every street corner. I think we frustrated our friends with our incessant lingering by shop windows and instagramming everything in sight!
Everything and everyone looked gorgeous and well put-together in a understated kind of way. When we got home to Scotland, I was really struck by the difference in the authentic Scandinavian style I had discovered in Stockholm and what was been marketed as ‘Scandi-style’ here in the UK.
I also found that these brands that I fell in love with weren’t actually all that easy to find. When Kate and I arranged a play-date for our kids, we realised we felt the same way and the caffeine hit convinced us that we would source and sell these amazing finds ourselves!
So we took ourselves back to Stockholm and over to Copenhagen, to design fairs, to meet designers and work out if two ladies with no retail background could actually pull this off – and late last year we did it!
What makes the Nordic Edit so unique?
Kate: As a Scandinavian homeware shop, I think we are pretty unique! We are particularly passionate about Nordic design, and therefore we only stock products from the Scandinavian countries.
A lot of shops offer ‘Scandi’ style products, but for us, it has to be authentic. Because Scandinavian design is about more than a look, or a trend. It’s a culture of considered, useful, simple and beautiful design, that really enhances the space that it inhabits, and the experience for the person using it.
We also believe that design should be for everyone. We are not about very expensive designer items which would stress you out in a house full of kids and pets – we’re about items that are meant to be used and loved, and don’t have to cost a fortune.
We also run monthly events and workshops from our showroom, which we call our ‘Fika Weekends’. These are a chance to eat together, and make/discuss/learn something which relates to life in Scandinavia. And of course it involves coffee and cake. Or it wouldn’t be a proper Fika!
What do you love most about the Nordic way of life?
Karin: Two things really. The considered thinking that goes into how everything is designed makes life so much easier and simpler. Things just work better – whether that it taking the train or hanging up a picture – thanks to smart design and that just makes life better.
The other thing I love is the appreciation of nature. Plants on stands, living walls, herb pots and botanical prints are literally everywhere in Nordic countries and consistently seeing greenery is enriching and soothing.
Enamelware is really popular for outdoor eating and the use of small trays for open sandwiches that can just be wiped down really made me reconsider my habit of filling my dishwasher every day.
We have been inspired to think about our packaging and so we use recycled tissue paper to wrap all purchases and try and re-use as many boxes that our own deliveries come in as much as we can.
What for you are the ‘must have’ items for a Nordic inspired home?
Kate: My top ‘must-have’ item for a Nordic inspired home would have to be about light. The Scandinavians really know how to use light to enhance a space; it can change the atmosphere of a room, highlight certain areas, and create a fabulous focal point.
My favourite at the moment is the Carmina lampshade by Danish brand Vita Copenhagen. There is something strong yet simple about the lines and curves, and it diffuses the most wonderful soft light.
And then it would be candles. Scandinavians burn more candles than anyone else, and you can understand why. The soft flicker of a candle on a dining table – instant hygge! And the scented candles from Skandinavisk smell heavenly. I particularly love the ‘Ro’ candle, which means ‘tranquillity’.
Which Nordic brands should we all be looking out for right now?
Karin: For me, RIG-TIG is a must. It will revolutionise your kitchen with multi-functional products are achingly gorgeous to look at. This is the only time in my life that I have been excited by a dish-rack and washer!
For anyone looking for a present for a new home owner or a wedding gift – I would definitely recommend looking at our range. My personal favourite is the baking mat and rolling pin which come as one product. The roller is transparent, the mat which is sorted inside the roller, comes with sizes printed on it to help you on track and then it can be popped straight into the oven. It’s just genius!
Another little find has been Muurla – not a new Finnish brand by any means as it’s been in business for over 40 years but their enamelware is amazingly affordable and just perfect for summer picnics. I have a family collection of the Nordic mugs now!
What’s still to come for the Nordic Edit?
Kate: We’re always looking for new brands, and have some new designers being added to our collection very soon. Look out for the fabulous picture frames and coaster designs from Julia Nielson of Hippstory arriving over the summer.
We’ve also some great workshops coming up later this year including terrarium making, a workshop run by a colour expert, and talks about green living and innovative ways to reduce your carbon footprint at home.
We’re keen to run more pop ups, raise awareness of the free gift list service we offer and shortly we will be going into partnership with Trouva which is also very exciting!
Thank you so much to Karin and Kate for chatting to me.
Exciting news! I’ve teamed up with the lovely Karin and Kate to create an Instagram competition. One lucky Nordic Notes reader will win a collection of pieces from the Nordic Edit worth £70. The prize includes Iittala Kastehelmi Bowl in grey, Iittala Kastehelmi tumblers in grey, Rig-Tig Hold-on Trivet in light grey and a Scandinaviaform Consilium vase in grey.
To enter: Just follow Nordic Notes and the Nordic Edit on Instagram, like the competition photo, and leave a comment tagging a friend who may be interested. You can tag as many people as you like, and each tag counts as one entry.
Disclaimer: The giveaway is open to those in the UK only and ends at midnight GMT on Monday 9th July. The winner will be announced on my Instagram account afterwards. Good luck!
Please note this competition is in no way associated with or endorsed by Instagram.
Images 2 and 3 courtesy of The Nordic Edit, images 1 and 4 by Nicola Capper.