It is widely known that Iceland is home to an abundance of natural beauty, but the island has a deep well of man-made beauty to explore too. Mikado, a curated interior design store located in the center of Reykjavik, provides carefully selected items with mindfulness in focus. The store opened in 2020 and has turned into a hub for enthusiastic design lovers, providing the perfect lifestyle products for a sophisticated home.

What does the name ‘Mikado’ stand for? ”The name draws on many different influences – we wanted a name that embedded the various facets that we stand for, something that isn’t Icelandic nor English, yet easy to remember,” say Aron Heimisson and Einar Guðmundsson, the founders of the store. “Mikado means emperor in Japanese, it’s the name of our favourite colour – mustard yellow – and it’s also the name of a popular game played all over the world throughout many cultures. It’s easy to pronounce regardless of language, memorable and we think it represents who we are in a subtle, perfect way.”

Mikado: An aesthetic fusion of Japanese and Scandinavian culture

Prints, vases and details.

Graphic design as entry point

The pair, who started out as graphic designers, were working in Lisbon when the idea for their own store arose. ”We moved from our home in Iceland to Lisbon for a change of scenery – and more sun – but decided it was time to return to our roots after a couple of years. We’ve been fascinated by the Japanese culture ever since art school and we’ve been passionate about design on a personal and professional level for as long as we can remember, and when we realised there was a big a gap in the Icelandic market for this segment of unique products, we decided to create something on our own; it’s been a dream of ours for a long time,” Einar says.

In 2020 Mikado opened, and since day one, the store had an incredible response with a devoted group of followers helping the concept grow and progress. “We recently moved to a new location where both new and old customers have found their way into our store – the physical one as well as online,” says Einar.

Mikado: An aesthetic fusion of Japanese and Scandinavian culture

The perfume Le Labo is part of Mikado’s premium brands selection.

Japanese and Scandinavian influences

Mikado provides a curated mix of refined brands, carefully selected in line with the shop’s well-established concept, Japanese and Scandinavian influences expressed in unique products made with profound care. Despite the geographical distance, there are a number of unifying attributes that link the two cultures tightly, says Aron. “Both the Scandinavian and the Japanese culture are defined by a minimalist modesty, proximity to nature, and a heavy emphasis on craftsmanship and widespread use of natural materials, wood and earthy colours.” He continues: “Japanese products are incredibly detailed – they have a profound story that stretches centuries back in history, often made by one family with an incredible attention to detail. They have a soothing effect on the environment and it’s a joy to work closely with these cultures through our products, to see how they elevate everyday living.”

Mikado: An aesthetic fusion of Japanese and Scandinavian culture

The founders Einar and Aron.

Products selected with care

Mikado’s portfolio is full of handpicked products famous for craftsmanship and quality, ranging from prints, vases, furniture, perfume, cloths, ceramics and much more. Frama, Wästberg, Hein Studio, Hima Jomo, Kettl Tea, Cinnamon Projects, Pigmentarium, Hasami Porcelain, AOIRO, are just a few of the brands presented in the store. Additionally, Le Labo, a renowned perfume brand, opened their first physical outlet in Iceland within Mikado, something Aron and Einar, who have been avid supporters for a long time, were extremely pleased with. The duo has also started producing blankets under the Mikado brand, made from Icelandic wool and produced in Reykjavik, with great success.

Mikado: An aesthetic fusion of Japanese and Scandinavian culture

Blankets made with Icelandic wool by Mikado.

The prints on sale in Mikado are made by Einar and Aron as well as a number of Icelandic artists. “We work directly with the designers and we want to promote local talent on our island by bringing their skill into the melting pot of the Scandinavian and Japanese style,” the duo explains and concludes: “We are also looking forward to expanding the Mikado brand further – we started with blankets, but are looking into more products that we could create in line with our vision. We have the opportunity to shape something truly unique here and we will broaden our portfolio as we go – with a mindful, sophisticated harmony that brings a silent joy to the core of everyday life.”

Mikado: An aesthetic fusion of Japanese and Scandinavian culture

The shop embodies sophistication and style.

Instagram: @mikado.reykjavik
Facebook: Mikado Reykjavík

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