2017-06-16: He is passionate about color and shape, is detail oriented and finds the most inspiration in the past. Often in classic Scandinavian furniture design. Hans Bergström at Beslag Design has seen trends come and go with his 40 years in the furniture hardware industry.
Beslag Design started 1972
Hans and Björn Bergström are the owners of Beslag Design. Their father started the company in 1972, and the sons started working in the business in the 70s. At that time there were 150 products on the shelf. Today the product range consists of 4000 handles, knobs, hooks, latches, table legs, lighting and other interior products.
- Dad started with a few knobs and an entry hall shelf. At that time it was a completely different market. Handles and knobs were only about pure function, not form or design at all, says Hans Bergström, who is responsible for product development at Beslag Design.
Pine and brown
Brass was a popular material even then, but most of it was made of pine or stained pine, he says.
- Rillan knob in pine was one of our first knobs and when we launched it in oak it was considered as a great innovation.
The early 1980s, something happened that affected the furniture hardware industry: the white kitchen saw the light.
- There was much talk about how inconvenient it was. A kitchen was supposed to be in pine and preferably brown. Practical and functional so no dirt could be seen. But the Swedes liked their light and fresh kitchens and it triggered a change in the cabinet and furniture hardware industry.
It started with spray-painted wooden pulls and knobs and then pulls and knobs in beech and oak and such. We were quick to embrace the trends and became very successful.
The Wild West with dimensions
In the 80s the experiment began with trying different types of handles in the kitchen. One example is the shell handle, at that time associated with furniture and store interiors. Today the shell handle is a great product for the kitchen.
- At this time mainly the Italians came with more advanced and designed handles in brass and steel. It was something completely new and furniture hardware quickly became an important part of the decor. At the same time the standard measures of the fittings were established. Before that it was like the Wild West with cc-dimensions.
Stainless steel and aluminium were hot interior design materials in the 90s and early 2000s. The handles were longer and often covered the entire door or cabinet.
- Another important milestone was the handles, knobs and fittings that matched each other. It had not been done before. Now we always manufacture collections with cabinet and furniture hardware that match, but it is a relatively new phenomenon.
The bestsellers sat on a 50s dresser
Beslag Design manufactures kitchen accessories, table legs and bathroom accessories in addition to handles, knobs and hooks. Another product that is growing strongly is the LED lighting for the kitchen and home.
- We focus on the kitchen, bathroom, furniture and storage in the home so there will be a broad and good product mix.
Inspiration from design fairs in Denmark and Italy
Beslag Designs strength is to develop products and remain at the forefront of design and materials, and to draw inspiration from all over the world, especially from Italy and Denmark.
- Furniture Fair, Milan Fair and similar forums are important to visit to keep track of where the trends are pointing. But the most inspiration can be found in history, I think. Antique furniture, vintage gadgets and early Scandinavian design are great sources for the inspiration.
The knob Dalby in brass and copper is one of Beslag Designs big seller today. That model was found on a 50s dresser in an antique shop in Copenhagen.
- That is what’s the most enjoyable with my job, developing new forms, creating and pushing the boundaries and then be there and see the end result. It can often look easy once you see the finished product, but it is a job that requires a sense of detail from the drawing board all the way to the factory.
Leather, brass and even glass, why not?
Brass, copper, leather and retro design, are strong trends within cabinet and furniture hardware today, but what about the future?
- It's a bit funny, but we almost completely removed brass a few years ago. Back then nobody wanted it. I believe strongly in the brass handles and pulls and to a certain extent even copper ones for the next, coming years. Copper and brass fit very well in with today's black and gray interiors.
Leather continues as a strong trend and our Loop leather handle and leather knobs have been a success. I also believe that materials like stainless steel, chrome, nickel-plated and even glass will come back, concludes Hans Bergström.
All Beslag Designs pulls & knobs can be found here: Beslag Design products