We were lucky enough to meet Roger Burgett from Scandinavian by Design some time ago when we came across his beautiful stand at the Bath Decorative Fair. He is also a regular exhibitor at the Modern Shows – his distinct and slick style is always a stand-out addition to the exhibition.
Roger is a great conversationalist, his passion for Scandinavian design is evident and he genuinely loves what he does. He is a great ambassador for customer service as he strives to make sure that his customers truly love the pieces that they buy from him. For this reason, he more often than not delivers the pieces personally so that he can ensure complete satisfaction, something very rare in this day and age.
What did you do before you became a dealer?
I worked for many years in the defence industry and my job involved a great deal of travel so I was always picking up pieces particularly from Europe and bringing them home. I think I have always had an appreciation for beautiful things and great design.
What made you decide to move into the trade?
I began buying and selling oak and pine pieces back in the day when they were popular. I also used to restore very substantial butchers blocks which I loved doing but these pieces were huge and heavy which presented logistics problems.The demand for this eventually began to waiver and I spotted the trend for mid century pieces.
It all began with a Falcon chair which I picked up from Denmark for about £50, I threw it in to the back of my car to take it home. Almost by chance I sold this very quickly and the seeds were sown.
Have you always been interested in design?
Yes I have always loved design. I spent a great deal of time in Miami some years ago, as I had an apartment there, and was inspired greatly by this. I was fortunate enough to be alongside some truly creative people and was invited into some spectacular homes. This really sparked off my penchant and appreciation for great design.
How do you manage to create so much interest at the Fairs? Your stand is always busy!
I always try to engage with people as much as possible as they are a great source of information and I love to just have a conversation. I also try to make the stand as interesting as possible with unusual and functional pieces.
How do you choose your pieces?
I buy the things I love myself – its as simple as that! I adore the iconic Falcon chair by Sigurd Ressell and I am now known as the place to go for these beautiful design pieces. They are the most comfortable chair in the world, they will compliment any type of space and they take up virtually no ‘real estate’ at all.
Which countries do you source from?
I source everything from Scandinavia as my wife is Danish so I have a particular affinity to this part of the world. We used to travel almost every month by car and ferry and pick up the pieces ourselves – but now I tend to fly over, choose the pieces and then have them all transported over here.
What is the most spectacular find that blew you away?
Probably the original Falcon chair that started the whole thing off!
Do you have a similar style at home?
I live in quite a traditional stone built home but if I had the choice again I would build a very modern highly designed home. That said, I do have one of my beloved Falcon chairs which I am often found in fast asleep.
Do you have a favourite piece that you are selling at the moment?
Yes, we have found a beautiful and rare piece called the Parrot chair. It’s a beauty!
Who is your typical customer?
They are more often than not young professionals with an eye for design although this is not always the case. I also collaborate with some design shops in London who appreciate my eye and stock some of my pieces.
What do you love most about being a dealer?
I took early retirement because I started to tire of the politics. Being able to make my own decisions and be involved in a very positive (sometimes challenging) trade makes things very exciting and rewarding. I am a naturally optimistic person so it is perfect for me.
What do you do when you are not working?
I live in a very beautiful part of the world on the edge of the Stourhead National Trust gardens and when I am not playing tennis, I adore walking with my lovely Skye terrier and exploring the beautiful countryside. We also have a boat which I love to take out as much as I can.
Do you have any exciting plans for the future?
It would be great to be able to create a space where I am able to showcase my pieces aside from online. I have some stables which I may clear out and polish up. Other than this, I will continue to source pieces from Scandinavia and carry on with my high level of customer focus.