Jens Risom 1916 - 2016

I just learned that the distinguished Danish furniture designer, Jens Risom, died peacefully in his Connecticut home, aged a 100 years. 

He was truly one of the giants, and instead of a long text by me, go study the wikipedia article here.

To honor his memory, I will post some images from a stunning article Dwell made in 2012, about his modest Rhode Island summer house.

This house is really a gem - and it is something else as well: it is so incredibly Danish. Let's bear in mind that Jens Risom lived in the United States almost all his life, and is - by the way - much more acclaimed and well known in the USA. But this house shows just how deeply rooted he was in Danish design tradition and the whole Scandinavian mindset.

The house was built in 1967 from cheap prefab modules he found in a mail order catalogue, and was so ingeniously and beautifully carried out, that LIFE magazine dedicated a whole photo article to this crazy cheap house, built by the rich and famous furniture architect.

I will let the images speak.
(credits and a few more links at the end) 

All images are from Dwell, except the last one, which is by Tony Loung.

Dwell also did a little film (just five minutes) there, it is directed by Gary Nadeau, and it's just great!
Check it out, here on Vimeo - and imagine how lovely those summers on Block Island must have been. And listen to Jens Risom (aged 97 when they made the film) and his thoughtful words about design and about how to plan a perfect, little no-nonsense house.

Just for fun, I'll add this photo I found, from that LIFE article, back from when the house was new!


  1. I'm so glad you posted this and thank you for linking to the video.

    1. Thank you, Ann - and how could I not link to that wonderful little video? It's just beautiful. I spent some holiday time in that coastal area (Block Island is a bit south of Boston, but maybe you know all about that), and I love this part of the US East coast, also the architecture, the light - the whole vibe. It's interesting that it is like a bigger and wilder version of a lot of Danish coastal nature - I can understand why Jens Risom felt good there.

    2. Yes, a truly beautiful video. I haven't been to Block Island, but have visited islands off the coast of Maine and feel similarly about them.

  2. What a lovely piece. I own one of his end tables. It is fun to see how the man lived and what collections he curated for himself

    1. Thank you, Chris - so glad you liked it! Happy Holidays to you.