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Carl Hansen & Søn Furniture
Carl Hansen & Søn is a family-run Danish design company bringing visionary design concepts to life for more than a century with passionate craftsmanship behind every timeless piece.
With Carl Hansen and Søn furniture, everything revolves around the belief that iconic design is "a combination of simplicity, aesthetics, and functionality brought to life through skillful work with the highest quality materials."
Shop our collection of premium imported furniture by Carl Hansen & Søn
It all started in 1908 when Carl Hansen, a Danish cabinetmaker, opened a small furniture workshop on the Danish island of Funen. While Carl Hansen started by producing heavy, Victorian-style furniture for wealthy folks, he saw an opportunity to meet the needs of working-class folks living in small apartments by manufacturing simpler furniture that had a lighter and more modern aesthetic.
Danish design classics and principles passed from one generation to the next
In 1934, Holger Hansen, son of Carl Hansen, took over.
When he died suddenly in 1962, the business was at risk of being sold. Thankfully, his wife Ella Hansen took over, keeping the company within the family––a very unusual move for a woman during a time when 'housewife' was the only role expected of her. Ella had to start from practically nothing, yet she persisted, having a talent for knowing what designs would and wouldn't sell, which brought the company great success over the 20 years.
Eventually, Knud Erik Hansen took over as CEO and owner in 2002. Since then, he has channeled his passion for Danish design into reviving masterpieces from the 'golden era' of Danish design. "Timeless beauty, comfort, craftsmanship, and sustainability are so deeply ingrained in all our furniture works that only sight and touch are required to understand and fall in love with them," says Knud Erik Hansen, CEO and owner.
Collaborations with exceptional designers from the "golden age" of Danish design to preserve timeless pieces
One of Carl Hansen and Søn's most notable and long-term collaborations is with one of the greatest designers of all time: Hans J. Wegner. Back in 1949, Holger Hansen took a chance on the somewhat rookie designer, proposing that he design a collection of shares that the company would produce and sell directly. This new furniture marketing concept ended up being a great success. Wegner ended up developing several successful furniture series and a number of timeless pieces, including the now-iconic Wishbone Chair.
"They had a mutual need for each other," explains Knud Erik Hansen about the relationship between his father and Wegner. "The commercial side was driven by a love of wood and the desire to produce quality wooden furniture. Both were excellent cabinetmakers, but my father was also a businessman. So they complemented each other, and also had a very strong friendship." In the 1950s, considered the golden age of Danish design, Wegner was a driving force in the international success of the Danish Modern design movement and continues to be Carl Hansen & Søn’s bestselling designer. Many of his timeless pieces, including a wide range of chairs, are considered modern classics and treasured collector's items.
"Imagine if you could design just one good chair in your lifetime – but that simply cannot be done," Wegner in 1952. While seemingly paradoxical due to his success as a chair designer for Carl Hansen & Søn, this quote from early on in his career shows his never-ending conviction to design the "perfect" chair.
Wegner was a designer who pioneered organic modernism, where design is centered around the interaction between product and user, as well as an organic sense of form. Wegner believed that a design experience went beyond the visual. For example, a chair should speak to all senses, especially comfort. “Many foreigners have asked me how we created the Danish style," said Wegner in an interview. "And I’ve answered that it was a continuous process of purification and of simplification – to cut down to the simplest possible design of four legs, a seat, and a combined back- and armrest.”
Preserving Danish design classics
When Wegner died, he left behind yet-to-be-released designs, and his family gave Carl Hansen & Søn permission to put some of these designs into production. Today, Carl Hansen & Søn continues the world's largest producer of Wegner's furniture. "I grew up with Wegner's furniture, having run around the workshop all my life," Knud Erik Hansen. "His understanding of the possibilities inherent in shaping wood is unsurpassed. All the furniture he created emanates something solid, simple, and organic. And the more you understand what lies behind it, the more you respect his work. Each piece of furniture passes through numerous expert hands, and there is full focus on making them perfect throughout – just like there was in 1908 when it all began."
The Carl Hansen & Søn collaboration with Wegner inspired even more designer collaborations
The success of the Carl Hansen & Søn x Wegner collaboration, as well as the many that followed, shows what can happen when unprecedented design and uncompromising production come together. Over the years, Carl Hansen & Søn has collaborated with many iconic Danish designers to create furniture masterpieces.
Carl Hansen & Søn collaborates with influential new designers as well:
Thomas Bo Kastholm
Naja Utzon Popov.
Carl Hansen & Søn's uncompromising commitment to the finest craftsmanship
Carl Hansen & Søn furniture designs essential masterpieces that are built to last, which is why they are intentional with every step of the production process. In Carl Hansen & Søn factories, healthy and safe working conditions are a priority. All Carl Hansen & Søn materials are responsibly sourced, including wood purchased from responsibly managed forests and sawmills. Every bit of wood sourced is used, with scraps used as fuel providing warmth to more than 400 homes in Gelsted, Denmark. As is true for most Scandinavian design brands, Carl Hansen & Søn furniture is crafted to last a lifetime, in hopes that each piece will be passed down and enjoyed for generations to come. That's why Carl Hansen & Søn furniture offers in-house repair and refurbishment services so that even well-worn and well-loved pieces of furniture can be restored.
Plus, Carl Hansen & Søn is committed to training more Danish cabinet makers and craftspeople to meet the ever-growing demand for Danish design furniture by creating , a workshop for apprentices located in their Gelsted factory. Apprenticeships last three years and nine months, combining workshop time, production time, and education time at a technical college. Apprentices get to learn how to make different kinds of joints, sanding methods, and many other machine and hand skills. "We are one of very few furniture manufacturers still producing in Denmark, thereby creating jobs and growth, and the global demand for our furniture is high," explains Carl Hansen & Søn's CEO and owner. "It is therefore extremely important that our production can keep up, by having skilled employees who can deliver the quality and finish that Carl Hansen & Søn produces. But they are hard to find. Training new cabinetmakers is therefore crucial to fulfilling our future growth aims."
Global presence, Danish heritage
You can find Carl Hansen & Søn designs all around the world, from tables and sofas in private residences to furnishings at the world's best restaurants, airports, and other landmarks. Select designs can be found in the permanent collections at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Carl Hansen & Søn has stores and showrooms across the world––New York, San Francisco, Tokyo, Osaka, London, Milan, Stockholm, Oslo, Copenhagen, Gelsted, Hamburg, Paris, and Warsaw––and subsidiaries in the United States, Japan, and Hong Kong.
Despite a global presence, everything continues to be manufactured at modern facilities in Denmark to ensure perfection and honor Danish design tradition. The highest quality standards are followed by combining timeless traditional techniques with new technologies, evident in the details seen in each Carl Hansen & Søn piece.
Batten Home Favorites from Carl Hansen & Søn
Here at Batten Home, we're always on the search for timeless pieces that honor the Danish design tradition. Carl Hansen & Søn's approach to design resonates with our values, which is why we're honored to bring them to you. While we stand behind each and every Carl Hansen & Søn piece featured on our site, we can't help but share a few favorites for you to explore:
TheMG501 Outdoor Cuba Chair: designed in 1997 by Morten Gøttler, this folding chair combines excellent support with sophisticated craftsmanship
TheBM1871 Outdoor Bench: draws inspiration from the clean lines and functional details found in Shaker furniture; first designed by Børge Mogensen in 1971, and reintroduced later on. et on a sturdy but elegant wooden frame, graphic slats provide a durable and decorative seat perfect for impromptu outdoor gatherings. We love the optional cushion for added comfort.
TheBM5565 Outdoor Deck Chair with Footrest: also a part of Børge Mogensen's series reintroduced by Carl Hansen & Søn. He wanted to design pieces that could be folded flat and stored away or hung on the wall as a decorative element when not in use. The result is a series of outdoor furniture that is comfortable, functional, space-saving, and made with quality untreated Teak wood. The chair's slats are intentionally shaped to support the body.