Scandinavian Designs Sofa Review (Good Quality Or Not?)

scandinavian-designs-revie

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Scandinavian Designs (not to be confused with the actual Scandinavian style) is a furniture retailer with 44 stores across 14 states in the US.  

The company is focused on modern, contemporary, mid-century modern furniture with designs inspired by Scandinavian design influences.

My conclusion on Scandinavian Designs and the quality of its furniture?

Scandinavian Designs does not manufacture its own furniture, and instead sources from other manufactures in areas like China, Southeast Asia, Italy and Europe.

The company does also partner with other brands (notably Ekornes) however the majority of its furniture is white labeled.

Overall, the designs are attractive, and quality will vary by product. I did find that many of the Chinese made products are inferior to some of those made in Italy or elsewhere. 

If you have any experience with Scandinavian Designs furniture, please leave a comment below or feel free to email me personally at tom@bestleathercouches.com

scandinavian-logo

Summary:

Scandinavian Designs got its start in 1963 in San Rafael, California, when its founder - Erling Eide decided to pursue his love of Nordic culture. The family run business today sells contemporary, mid-century modern furniture at an affordable price point. 

Key  Features:

  • Stylish, contemporary designs at a very affordable price point
  • Not manufacturing its own furniture, thus, some concerns about quality control with its partners
  • Limited product information on the website
  • Warranty not all that attractive. Based on the manufacturer warranty which will vary by the product

overall 

3/5

Quality

Value

Warranty

Reviews

What's The Background Of Scandinavian Designs?

Scandinavian Designs is a furniture company that specializes in modern and contemporary furniture with Scandinavian design influences. The company was founded in 1963 in San Rafael, California, by Erling Eide, a Norwegian immigrant. 

Eide had a love of Nordic design and started importing furniture from Scandinavian factories. In 1963 he opened his first store in San Rafael, which is today, one of the company's flagship stores.

scandinavian-designs-store

In the 1980's, Eide expanded the company's footprint, first to Southern California, and then Seattle. Around this time, the company also launched the sister Dania brand. 

Today the second generation of the Eide family (brothers Kristan and Cody) lead the company's day to day affairs. 

Today, there are 44 Scandinavian Designs stores throughout the US, with the most stores in California with a total of 18 stores.  

Is Scandinavian Designs Legit?

There are a few things to consider when determining whether or not Scandinavian Designs is a legitimate company.

First, the company has been in business for over 60 years now. This is generally a good sign that the company is legitimate. Scandinavian Designs is a contemporary furniture store that was founded in 1963 in San Mateo, California by a Norwegian immigrant named Erling Eide.

Today, the company is family owned with over $25 Million in annual sales with over 200 employees. They have stores across 14 states in the US with a concentration on the West coast.

Note that there is also a sister furniture company called Dania Furniture.

Is Scandinavian Designs Accredited With The Better Business Bureau?

Scandinavian Designs is not accredited with the Better Business Bureau. To note:

Businesses are under no obligation to seek BBB accreditation, and some businesses are not accredited because they have not sought BBB accreditation.

However, the company has an F Rating with the BBB. There are only two reviews though with 13 complaints closed in the last three years, with only a 23% company response rate. Due to the low volume, this is not something I take into account with my review of the company. However, my recommendation to Scandinavian Designs would be to apply to the BBB and stay on top of these complaints. 

bbb-scandinavian

The biggest complaints about Scandinavian Designs?

Most of the issues lodged at BBB seem to revolve around damage to the products upon receipt to the customers home. This is certainly a concern of mine, in that Scandinavian Designs as a smaller company might be lacking proper quality control. 

I ordered a bed frame from Scandinavian Designs which was delivered and set up. One of the pieces of wood is warped. I've called the company multiple times and they don't return my call. I also emailed my previous point of contact and they ignore my email.

Overall, you can be confident that Scandinavian Designs is a legitimate company, however the customer complaints with the BBB are of concern. 

Does Scandinavian Designs Make Its Own Furniture?

No, Scandinavian Designs sources furniture from vendors across the world. 

It does not design its own furniture and instead partners with furniture makers across the globe.  

In my discussions with the company they said that they are essentially choosing from what the overseas furniture makers have to offer. 

arturo-leather

Thus, it is entirely possible that another furniture store or brand could be selling a similar product to what Scandinavian Designs is selling.

In fact I did find one piece sold by Scandinavian (Arturo Leather Sofa) sold by another unknown furniture retailer. Which makes me wonder how it might be easy to access the same manufacturers that Scandinavian Designs works with. 

I also asked if there is one region that they focus on and the answer was no--that there is no 'primary manufacturing partner' for their leather sofas.

However, in my research it appears that China is the main source for most of their products.

They do also partner with a few branded products of higher quality. The most notable being Stresless Ekornes and their unbelievably comfortable (although expensive) reclining chairs.

ekornes-stressless


What's The Quality Of Scandinavian Designs Furniture?

First, lets dig into the materials used for Scandinavian Designs leather sofas. 

As we've discussed, they are importing from product partners, mostly in China. The materials used can differ by product, but let's examine a few different pieces to get a general idea.

Arturo Leather Sofa

This is one of Scandinavian's pieces that is made in Italy and not China. 

arturo-leather

Arturo Leather Sofa From Scandinavian Designs

Quick note too, here's a piece that I have found from several other retailers, sold under a completely different name. Thus, Scandinavian as I mentioned above is just white labeling products from from manufacturing partners in China, Italy and other countries. 

Curious to see if the company you are buying from is just a dropshipper or if they are making their own furniture? I highly recommend using Google Images before you buy any sofas online. It's quite easy. Just go to Google Images click the little photo in the search bar and upload a photo or provide a link to the image. 

Here is the same sofa sold at Jennifer Furniture, under the Venere brand name.

venere-jennifer

By searching the image, we can also look at another seller's website to see if there is information that one might be leaving out. And in this case, I get a lot more pertinent info from Jennifer Furniture. The most crucial piece of information is the manufacturer name is given - Gio Italia. 

Starting with the frame, there are minimal details provided, just that it uses solid hardwood and hardwood plywood.

What the heck does this mean? It's just a reference to how the frame is constructed and for most lower to mid-tier manufacturers, plywood is a big part of frame construction. It all depends however on if they are using quality, furniture grade plywoods.

They use Elastic Webbing for their support system of the sofa, which is an okay solution, albeit not as good as an 8-way hand tied suspension or drop in coils.

**note that the suspension systems will differ by sofa, some I discovered use sinuous springs

The issue in evaluating quality at Scandinavian Designs is that they don't use one specific supplier.

For another example, this Peruna Leather Sectional is made in China. And there are a whole host of complaints on their own website. Not good, especially for a sectional that costs close to $5000. 

peruna-sectional
This sectional looks and feels dignified at first, but it is actually very poorly made. STEER CLEAR and do not be seduced by its cognac color and low profile. The leather is sadly so paper thin that it not only will wear away with a short time, but the feather quills on the top of the seat cushions are actually stabbing through the leather itself, making horrible marks on the leather from the inside of the sectional itself

Overall, Scandinavian Designs' furniture construction is a mixed bag and is highly dependent on the product purchased and what country it is sourced from. I would recommend reading all of the reviews on their website, doing a google image search and trying to find similar products to see if they are at the same price point with any more details omitted by Scandinavian Designs. 

What Sort Of Leather Does Scandinavian Designs Use?

Scandinavian Designs' sofas are made by different manufacturers, so the quality and the sourcing of leathers will vary by manufacturer and country. From my reviews of all their sofas, it appears that all leather sofas use a top-grain leather.

I did have a major concern in reviewing some of the leather sofas they import from China, thus I might be a bit hesitant on any of the China made couches.

Scandinavian Designs Sofa Reviews

I did some digging online (and not on their own website) to see what word on the street is for Scandinavian Designs. The findings?

Oddly there aren't a ton of product specific reviews out there. You can find specific reviews on all of the local Yelp review pages, but most don't actually shout to specific products. 

Overall, Scandinavian Design customers seem to like their furniture and their leather sofas, and, the reviews outside of their own website are actually quite good. 

I did find that most of the Italian imported products seem to have better overall consensus reviews. For example, this beautiful Warren leather mid-century sofa gets great reviews from actual buyers. 

scandinavian-warren
the warren couch is the perfect leather—polished with organic weathering that leaves it feeling chic and lived in. feels exceptionally high quality for the price and delivery was very seamless. there's some minimal assembly (putting legs on) that was quite easy. love it!

Using the google image tool, I did discover something on this sofa as well. It looks very very close to the Poly & Bark Mateo Sofa. The lines on the cushions are a bit different, but the backs of the sofas look nearly identical.

mateo-leather-poly-bark

And Poly & Bark references Italian leather as well, so there's a good chance these sofas were made in the same Italian factory. However, just based on an eye test, the Warren sofa appears to have a bit more attention to detail.

How Long Does It Take Scandinavian Designs To Ship A Couch?

Shipping times will vary on all Scandinavian Design leather sofas, depending on where the product is being shipped from. Reminder that they are sourcing products from China, Italy and other Southeast Asian countries, thus they are highly dependent on the availability and the reliability of the manufacturer. 

Many of their local stores have better availability of product. They state on their website that they will only ship something if it is available in a local distribution center.

I will also note that they do charge for shipping with standard delivery starting at $300. 

You can find more information about shipping times and costs here

Does Scandinavian Designs Offer Discounts?

Scandinavian Designs has a clearance page where they do occassionally have some nice offers on leather furniture. 

They also offer free delivery up to $99 for any members of the military.

As I was researching for this article, I came across this Andreas Leather Sofa, which looked awfully temping at 20% off the list price. 

andreas-leather

What Sort Of Warranty Does Scandinavian Designs Offer?

Warranties are based on the specific manufacturer of the product you are buying. It is super annoying that this information is not provided on the website. Basically need to jump through hoops to figure out what you might be entitled to. 

They do say this as well...

Most merchandise comes with a manufacturer's warranty which takes precedence over any other warranty. If the manufacturer does not provide a warranty or the manufacturer's warranty is less than one year, we provide the original retail purchaser with a one-year warranty against manufacturer defects...It is the responsibility of the purchaser to arrange for and pay for returning the items subject to a warranty claim to either the manufacturer or to us.

Final Thoughts

I would think of Scandinavian Designs like you might a Wayfair, in that the company is not making its own furniture but reselling that of different furniture makers across the globe. There are definitely some decent sofas that they sell and then some that aren't so decent. Thus, it's hard to get an idea of the specific product quality, unless you really know what's in the materials and construction.

Unfortunately, their website is a bit vague in regards to all of this. The value is there for a lot of their leather sofas, but I would do a LOT of homework if you find a piece you like. Even consider comparing against true Scandinavian design in IKEA, which probably gets more of a bad rap than deserved. 

Do you have any experience with Scandinavian Designs furniture, good or bad?

Please let us know in the comments section below. 

About the author Tom

When I started shopping for a leather couch two years ago, I was confused and overwhelmed by the information available to me. I decided to launch Best Leather Couches in order to create the best resource for shoppers looking for a new leather couch. I hope you enjoy the site. Feel free to drop me a line anytime at tom@best@leathercouches.com

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