New Scandi modern: Bolia

Happy birthday to Bolia, which turns 20 this year. For 21st century style with a mid- century modern vibe and terrific eco credentials, it's hard to find a better furniture brand

Lomi sofa Bolia

New this year, the elegant Lomi sofa, available in 2 and 3-seater models, by German designer Meike Harde for Danish furniture company Bolia
*Click on images in article to see them in larger format

If Scandinavian design to you means all those mid-century greats such Arne Jacobsen, Poul Henningsen and Hans Wegner, it’s time to get with the 21st century and feast  your eyes on the work of companies such as Bolia which continue in the spirit of their not so distant forefathers.

Celebrating its 20th birthday this year, it’s a big brand that’s curiously perhaps not as well known as it deserves to be here in the UK. It’s products are in the Heal’s/Conran price range, which means while it’s not high street inexpensive, it is do-able even if it means saving up for a while to make that purchase. And its designs offer that timeless Scandinavian simplicity that appeals to people all over the world. Bolia gives you contemporary furniture that’s easy to live with, comfortable, tactile and laid-back smart without being posh or stuffy.


Bolia's Peyote wood table
Bolia's new outdoor sofa
Bolia's Jerome sofa
rechargeable portable LED lamp from Bolia's 2020 range
Bolia CEO Lars Lyse
Bolia's Maiko light

And perhaps not a surprise as our Scandi brethren have been committed eco-warriors for longer than the rest of us, Bolia is a good green company to do business with. It uses certified materials, such as FSC timbers, it manufactures in European factories where environmental standards are high, it innovates with new materials such as those made from waste plastic and it’s increasingly using fabrics for upholstery that have cradle to cradle certification. Among them is Danish textile company Gabriel’s Gaja fabric, a New Zealand wool available in 35 colours produced using no harmful substances and which is compostable. A lot of pieces are hand-made, Bolia believes in craftsmanship not mass production, and it’s happy to meet bepoke requirements. 

Bolia ceramics - easy elegance for daily use
Bolia concrete planters for indoor use
Bolia's mirror finish Mingei glass vases
Decorative accessories are important for Bolia

Lars Lyse, CEO, reflects on the company’s journey:

‘I joined Bolia in 2005. At that time, it was a very small company with a strong entrepreneurial culture. In 2006 we decided to become a design company and started collaborating with designers. Today, we are more than 600 passionate employees, have over 60 European stores, web shops in 32 European countries, and more than 500 exclusive dealers in more than 50 countries around the world. So creativity is flourishing. But even though we’ve grown a lot, we still feel and act like a small company, open to change and making fast decisions. In our culture, nothing remains stable, everything is moving forward – our concept, our business and ourselves as individuals.’


2020 has been a tough year globally because of Covid19 but that’s not stopped Bolia rolling out its 2020 collections. Key pieces include the lovely Lomi sofa by German designer Meike Harde and new outdoor furniture centred around the Orlando sofa.

CEO Lars Lyse is very aware that what people buy has to resonate with them on many levels. ‘We all have five senses and if you really want to make sure customers perceive the brand as you want, you have to ask the  weird questions; ‘How does my brand sound? How does it taste? What does it smell like? How does it feel?’ and ‘How does it look?’ Today, we’re working with the five senses in basically everything we do.’