How Menu’s furniture and accessories foster collaboration and define the soft minimalist aesthetic
As part of our efforts to humanize the online shopping experience, we’re sharing the story behind Danish design brand Menu. We’ll illustrate their design philosophy, their collaborative approach to design, and walk you through both new and well-loved pieces from their ever-growing collection.
Sit back, grab your favorite drink, and take in the story of Menu Danish design.
Meet Menu Design
Menu is a Danish design brand with a simple purpose: “to make the world more beautiful, less complicated, and a little bit nicer to wake up to.”
Established in 1978, Menu’s modern Scandinavian furniture, kitchenware, bath fixtures, lighting, and vases infuse a sense of calm through minimalist lines and natural tones, plus high comfort and functionality that simplifies and enriches modern living.
Every single piece is produced with real life in mind, ready to withstand plentiful use in a modern home or office space.
Danish design with a soft minimalist aesthetic
Menu defines the soft minimalist aesthetic with three key principles:
- Clean: minimal, with a focus on details and fine materials
- Clever: smart solutions that serve real human needs
- Natural: natural tones and warm hues
Defining the soft minimalist aesthetic is part of what makes Menu the globally renowned Danish design brand it is today.
Menu: designs by and for humans
With the soft minimalist aesthetic as its foundation, Menu harnesses the skills of top designers and craftspeople from around the world to create contemporary and timeless pieces.
Driven by a fascination with how individuals and spaces can be united through great design, Menu’s collection has grown to include legacy designers, which they describe as “masters whose work has stood the test of time and serves as a reminder of what it means to be a modern classic.”
Here’s more on their community approach to design:
“We truly believe that when we work collectively, we achieve more than we do individually: the sum of our work and of our connections is always greater than its parts, and our softly minimal designs and collaborative spirit help to join the dots between the home, the workplace, and the service industry, redefining how we use space and, ultimately, how we connect to those around us.”
A look at Menu’s designers
Let’s shed light on a few of the designers behind some of Menu’s most notable pieces.
Norm Architects is a Danish design group that finds inspiration in the norms and traditions within architecture and design––especially modern Scandinavian design. Founded in Copenhagen in 2008, Norm Architects has regularly worked with Menu, exploring “ideas that not only look good but also feel good.”
Menu’s Plinth Shelf, Carrie Lamp, and Bottle Grinders were all designed in collaboration with Norm Architects. The group notes that their “expertise lies in finding the balance—when there’s nothing more to either add or take away."
Arthur Umanoff is a legacy designer most known for his contribution to the American mid-century modern movement. Born in 1923, Umanoff believed that design should not only be beautiful and functional, but attainable. The result was versatile home furniture and accessories “that were celebrated for their quality as for their simplified, functional forms and staying power.”
Copenhagen-based Krøyer-Sætter-Lassen was founded in 2016 by Mads Sætter-Lassen and Emil Krøyer. The duo prefers “to make the conscious choice of turning a joint or assembly into a visible design asset instead of concealing it––keeping true to the industrial way.” Notable Menu items from this Danish design duo include the all-new Corbel Shelf, Passage Stool, and Passage Lounge Tables.
New & Popular Menu Furniture + Home Accessories
Now, let’s dive into new and well-loved Menu furniture, vases, kitchenware, and lighting.
Menu Furniture & Shelving
The Passage Stool is a purposeful piece with a modern look that’s sensitive to its heritage. Made with FSC-certified solid oak with either a natural oak or dark lacquered oak finish, this versatile and flexible piece is useful in countless ways. It’s an ideal home for an indoor plant, a pile of books, or a cozy lamp. Stack multiples together when not in use.
There’s a distinct tactility to the Passage Lounge Tables also made from FSC-certified solid wood in natural or dark lacquered oak. With three sizes––small, medium, and large––you can pair multiple together in a nest-like formation, even contrasting the two complementary finishes.
Whether they hold drinks and snacks to enjoy with a movie or house a stack of books, The Passage Lounge Tables bring a feeling of soft serenity to spaces thanks to their calming round shape and wood construction.
Designed to be beautiful and functional, the Umanoff Side Table is one of several reissued mid-century modern designs by Arthur Umanoff. Tapered legs, rounded forms, and unexpected details result in a unique piece of timeless design.
Championing natural materials and modern technology, the Umanoff Side Table challenges convention with its walnut frame and polished brass touches.
View more of our favorite side tables here.
A versatile floating ledge for use as a bedside, side table, or a display platform for much-loved treasures, the Corbel Shelf takes its name and design cues from architectural weight-bearing brackets traditionally made from stone or wood. This modernist, wall-mounted podium combines marble, wood, and metal in one functional piece. Its minimalist silhouette is expressive yet understated, effortlessly adapting to any setting.
The symmetrical proportions of the Plinth Shelf create a sense of harmony. Handcrafted in Portugal from Grey Kendzo with a brilliant white veined marble selected for its inherent beauty and light-reflecting qualities, the minimalist Plinth Shelf is equal parts elegant and purposeful. Put it to use for cups and plates in the kitchen, mount it horizontally or vertically to display your favorite design objects, or use it as a traditional bookshelf in the bedroom or living room. Whether displaying everyday objects or one-of-a-kind pieces, this shelf makes it an elegant affair.
Menu Vases and Design Objects
The Échasse Collection of vases and bowls––now in amber-colored glass––are the perfect combination of old and new.
Create personal scenes with multiple sizes and colors just waiting to be filled with flowers, fruits, or decorative objects. The Échasse Vase comes in three sizes: small, medium, and large. The large Échasse Vase, shown above, is big enough to display on the floor!
Menu’s soft minimalist aesthetic is the bridge between different designers, as shown by the Menu furniture and design objects styled in this scene. The ceramic Cyclades Vase designed by Nick Ross (and styled atop Krøyer-Sætter-Lassen’s Passage Stool) draws inspiration from the female idols of the Cycladic culture, a group of islands in the Aegean sea between 3200-2000 B.C.
Krøyer-Sætter-Lassen also designed the Duca Candleholder (styled atop their medium-sized Passage Lounge Table). Cast in polished or bronzed brass and detailed with rattan, this timeless candle holder is designed to be adjusted at different levels based on the height of your candle and the look you wish to achieve.
Embrace the trend for tactile ceramics with the new Bottle Grinders, now with a ceramic stoneware option glazed with an ivory or grey finish. These ever-so-popular Bottle Grinders from Norm Architects have a powerful ceramic mill designed to make light work of salt, pepper, and many other spices. A reminder of the importance of function and form, the Ceramic Bottle Grinders are shaped to fit the hand comfortably with a lovely matte finish. The deliberate surface imperfections on the stoneware lend a handmade look and feel.
Driven by careful craftsmanship, clever details, and exquisite material combinations, the Umanoff Wine Rack brings the work of the late Arthur Umanoff to a larger audience, reviving his legacy. The sculptural, standalone design in steel and leather puts practical use of space at a premium thanks to its streamlined design that holds up to eight bottles.
Enjoy your bottle of wine from the Umanoff Wine Rack with Menu’s Wine Breather Carafe, a conversation-worthy design from Norm Architects. Place the carafe over the bottleneck and flip it all upside down, allowing the wine to run through the decanting unit and into the carafe for 10 times the oxygen! Flip it around again to get the wine back into its original bottle, then pour, taste, and enjoy.
For more minimalist kitchen essentials, check out this blog post.
The quintessential Danish design concept of “hygge” inspired the Carrie Lamp. Its brushed brass finish lends a sense of richness and elegant texture to the sleek lines of its portable design. Let the cozy and comforting LED light brightens anywhere you go: use its functional handle to move the light from your reading corner to your bedside table, your balcony to your picnic basket––the options are endless! The light charges via USB and lasts up to 10 hours.
Flood spaces with light with the all-new Levitate Pendant. Hovering in the air, challenging our perceptions of gravity and light, the Levitate Pendant gracefully illuminates spaces by casting light both upwards and downwards. With its saturated shades and browned brass fixtures, it comes in two sizes––small and large––ideal for suspending in any room.
Designed for Menu by Aleksandar Lazic, the new Reverse Table Lamp creates cozy illumination that appears to stem from the raw travertine base. When creating this piece, Lazic looked to Italian marble tables from the 1970s and the understated but ever-present beauty of natural materials. The bronzed aluminum shade defines the lamp’s perfectly balanced expression that works beautifully on a bedside table, cabinet, or anywhere else you wish to place it. Take a look at some of our favorite modern table lamps from other celebrated Danish design brands.
Shop all of Menu’s soft minimalist designs. There’s always something new to discover at Batten Home. Discover new & noteworthy designs right here.
Batten Home carefully curates Scandinavian furniture designs and minimalist decor objects for the modern home. We are inspired by a Scandinavian aesthetic and Danish design philosophies with a new modern design feel we like to call new Nordic design.Have any questions for us? We’re family-owned and independently operated, and we’d love to hear from you. Drop us a line at email@example.com or find more inspiration on Pinterest.