A brand out of Copenhagen, Denmark has quickly gotten the attention of many Americans—especially Chicago. Hay, a manufacturer of furniture and housewares, opened its third U.S. location in Lincoln Park.
Expect modern furniture, cheery glassware, and bright textiles throughout the 3,500-square-foot store at 755 W. North Avenue which opened Friday, September 20. This particular corner is a bit of a design and furniture store hot spot—just a few steps away there’s Design Within Reach, CB2, Crate & Barrel, and West Elm.
Hay will showcase “distinct vignettes to create a seamless shopping experience” that’s meant to feel cozy and natural. There’s one local detail at the entrance, look out for the reclaimed Chicago brick pavers on vestibule floor.
Chicagoans are already in love with Hay as it’s one of the company’s strongest online markets. While that’s likely a significant factor in why the city was chosen, the founders are also admirers of the Midwest hub’s reputation as a design city and manufacturing history. Rolf and Mette Hay, husband and wife, launched the Hay together in 2002.
“Chicagoans are discerning, especially when it comes to design. I think there’s also a parallel in that Chicago’s climate is similar to Copenhagen, so city dwellers crave furnishings and products to make their home feel warm and inviting,” Rolf Hay tells Curbed Chicago in an email.
Hay’s founders studied the Scandinavian masters like Finn Juhl, Hans Wegner, Arne Jacobsen. It led them to adopt a level of craftsmanship that produces high-quality items along with many design collaborations (like George Sowden’s water bottle). What’s more is that many of the items, often created by high-brow artists, are priced fairly reasonably.
“We strive to make good design accessible to the largest possible audience,” Rolf wrote. “We are curious about the American lifestyle, the Chicago lifestyle, and we are sure that the learnings from being here will be taken into consideration and potentially inform the way we design and develop products in the future.”