The story behind Fan Stool & Deer Shelf

This exclusive series was created to celebrate our 10th anniversary, which takes place this fall. Follow the series to get a fresh look at BEdesign and a deeper insight into our exciting journey, which began already more than ten years ago. The series includes behind-the-scenes photos that have never been shared before and a visit to our designer Bette Eklund's home in our hometown Turku on the southwest coast of Finland.

This is the third part of the series. Here, we will share the story behind two of today’s BEdesign icons.

Part 3: Today's BEdesign icons

Every product tells a story.

Already during her studies in Furniture Design, Bette Eklund designed two of today’s BEdesign icons. In the university workshop, she turned her sketches into prototypes, which were tested and modified. After refining and validating various prototypes, Bette eventually crafted the final products. She exhibited them at various galleries and fairs and sold smaller items at local Christmas markets in Turku, Finland.

Fan Stool - a fresh twist on a classic shape

"I was inspired by sun rays seeping through a Finnish forest of birch trees, which created an absolutely breathtaking scenery before my eyes." - Bette Eklund

Bette Eklund designed Fan Stool in 2010 as part of her thesis in Furniture Design. The Finnish furniture manufacturer HKT Korhonen, which is best known as a manufacturer of Artek furniture designed by Alvar Aalto, bent the wooden parts for Bette, who finalized the first prototype in the university workshop. Compared to today's Fan Stool, the prototype was larger in size.After some modifications were made to the prototype, the first batch of Fan Stool was manufactured in 2012. Until 2015, HKT Korhonen was the manufacturer of Fan Stool and today it is manufactured in the same way by LK Taivute, which is located in Lahtis, Finland.

The design language embodies Bette’s passion for minimalism, drawn from her family heritage in architecture and design. With the stool's 90-degree shape, she approached the problem of often unused corners of a room.

Fan Stool is a multifunctional piece of furniture, useful for many different spaces. It can be used alone, as a stool or a table, or be combined into a bench in various ways - the perfect addition to any space in need of storage or seating. Fan Stool embodies the main elements of Scandinavian design: simplicity, functionality and craftsmanship.

Fan Stool is made of high-quality PEFC-certified birch plywood by craftsmen in Southwest Finland. The technique used to bend the plywood is distinctive for Finnish design. This technique was the result of a number of experiments in the late 1920s, conducted by architect and designer Alvar Aalto and cabinet maker Otto Korhonen. Ever since then, the technique has been used for several of Alvar Aalto's iconic wooden furniture, but has also been refined over decades.Throughout the years, Fan Stool has been featured at several international fairs and in 2018 it was awarded the Design Shanghai Picks Award at Design Shanghai Fair in Shanghai, China.

For more than 10 years Fan Stool has stood the test of time to become a full-fledged BEdesign icon. It continues to captivate design lovers around the world and is today one of our most popular products.

Explore Fan Stool here.Photo credit: @strandproperties.⁠

To celebrate Fan Stool’s 10th anniversary, we launched it in the new colour “Mud”. Mud is an earthy and soft colour, which is easy to combine with different materials and blends seamlessly into a variety of interiors.

Rediscover Fan Stool Mud here.

Deer Shelf Oak - the BEdesign signature piece

The shape and dimensions of today's Deer Shelf Oak are the same as the original design. Bette got the inspiration for the shelf from a combination of nature, functionality and traditional craftsmanship. First came the version in solid oak, afterwards the one in powder-coated steel.

Deer Shelf Oak is a guaranteed eye-catcher, beautiful on its own and perfect for displaying your favourite items. It will definitely add a touch of attitude and wow-feeling to your surroundings.Deer Shelf Oak is handmade in Finland by skilled craftsmen who share our passion for the craft and the smallest details. Due to its complex design, the craft requires utmost precision and artisanal skill. By acquiring a Deer Shelf Oak, you are directly supporting traditional Finnish craftsmanship.

Each shelf has its own unique wood grain pattern. The untreated wood surface responds to its environment and ages naturally over time, creating a beautiful patina that enhances the unique character of the shelf. Each Deer Shelf Oak is marked with a serial number and comes with a certification document. Together, the serial number and certification document work as a certificate of authenticity, which proves that you have purchased an authentic BEdesign product designed and made in Finland. Deer Shelf Oak is always made to order.

Explore Deer Shelf Oak here.

We strive to make a lasting positive impression, both in your home and on this planet. We put an emphasis on every step in the design- and manufacturing process, recognizing that everything is borrowed from nature and will one day return. In the following part of this series, you can read more about our view on sustainability, responsibility and transparency.

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