Behind the Brand: Nordic House

Nordic House founders Alan and Sandie I have to start this post with a disclaimer: Scandi interiors boutique Nordic House is one of the clients of my digital comms agency DECORUM. The company is run by husband and wife dream team Sandie and Alan Wallman (pictured above). But even if they weren't one of my clients, I'd still be posting this, because theirs is one of the loveliest online shops I've ever come across, and all their products are totally adorable and irresistible. And just to make it even better, they are some of the nicest people I've ever worked with. And they live BY THE SEA in Cornwall, and have a warehouse made up entirely of female staff...

Yes, they are brilliant. And yes, this is basically a gushfest. So let's begin...

Carved wall panels

How long ago did you set up Nordic House?

We set it up at the end of 2008, and initially launched just to friends and family. Then in March 2009, we really started trading properly.

How did the idea for the business come about?

Owning a business in Sweden for many years made us fall in love with all things Scandinavian. When we moved to Cornwall in 2005, we bought a derelict property to bring back to life and set off in search of gorgeous Scandinavian-style pieces to fill it with. We enjoyed the process so much, we decided to turn it into a business.

Large Stainless Steel Lanterns

What inspired you?

We find inspiration everywhere – from our years spent working in Sweden to the ever-changing nature of having a home by the water and of course... Pinterest! We love contemporary design, vintage treasures, crafts, texture, originality, making mood boards, everything artisan, our team, people, Scandinavia and Cornwall… the list goes on!

Describe a typical day in the Nordic House team.

It is usually madly busy all day, as we are responsible for every aspect of the business! We divide our time between sourcing, buying, photography, PR, Marketing, HR, our team, the warehouse, website maintenance and development.... etc

Knitted Poufs

What do you enjoy the most about your job?

Working with a great team of people!

What's the most interesting thing you've learnt since starting the company?

To trust my instinct...

What's your proudest achievement so far?

There have been many but among the best - first and foremost, is our fantastic team... and the moment I saw a product featured in a major interiors magazine for the first time! It was GoodHomes mag back in February 2009. We also love travelling around Scandinavia, sourcing new products for our collections and making them come to life on our website.

Any particular products you want to shout about/favourites?

Personal favourites - hmmm that’s a difficult one! From our current collection, I love our big stainless steel lanterns, the vintage zinc trunks and quirky knitted poufs.

I have just finished putting together our new Autumn/Winter collection and there are so many gorgeous new pieces in there too... All will be revealed soon!

Vintage style zinc trunks

How would you describe your personal design ethos?

Relaxed, affordable, quirky, mixing old and new, vintage and above all different!

Can you describe your own home?

It's our nest....for sharing with friends and loved ones. It's light, airy and open, with lots of pale wood, whites and blues, reflecting the water outside....

How does your life by the sea influence your work?

I find living by the sea so inspirational, ever changing, calming. The ability to go for a walk on the beach after work stimulates the soul.

What's your hope for the company's future?

To continue to grow our team, our collections and source fabulous products for our customers!

Nordic House's summer sale is now on, with up to 50% off certain items - check it out now, and prepare to spend!