BY DESIGN MODERN - the back story

Antiques To Mid-Century Modern......

By Design Modern was born of my family's 52 year furniture business, Sugar Barrel Antiques. Established in 1967 by my father, initially acquiring items locally, then importing traditional antiques from Europe. 

After 30 years of providing locals with quality antiques from our brick and mortar shops, we additionally went online in 1999.

Around 2004 we noticed a shift, more and more people were furnishing their spaces with a sleek, yet simple aesthetic. Mid-century modern was on the rise!




Sourcing local premium items had become difficult, we desired a substantial selection of quality goods. So, in 2005 I made my first trip to Denmark to procure and import Danish mid-century furniture to Vancouver.

17 years have passed since that inaugural trip, I continue to import hundreds of hand selected Danish items every year. I'm passionate about providing unique, quality furniture and lighting to a discerning clientele, those seeking an alternative to big box, cookie cutter options.

We continue to love our work and share our passion for MCM!



What is Danish Modern?

Danish modern is sub style of the overall Mid-Century Modern design movement. Primarily a style of minimalist furniture and housewares from Denmark associated with the Danish design movement.

Danish designer and architect Kaare Klint, in the 1920s, embraced the principles of Bauhaus modernism in furniture design, creating clean, pure lines based on an understanding of classical furniture craftsmanship paired with exhaustive research into materials, proportions and the requirements of the human body.

With designers such as Arne Jacobsen and Hans Wegner and associated cabinetmakers, Danish furniture thrived from the 1940s through the 1960s. Adopting mass-production techniques and concentrating on form rather than just function, Finn Juhl, Borge Mogenesen, Grete Jalk, Poul Kjaerholm and others contributed to the style's success.

Danish modern design was firmly cemented in the collective consciousness of those in North America when, in 1960, Hans Wegner’s PP503 armchairs were used for the first televised presidential debate between Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy.