Design and style from a Scandinavian perspective

Saturday sweets

This weeks bag of eye candy. As you may have noticed, I am very much in to neutrals, and natural materials such as wood, porcelain, paper and wool at the moment, so I'm just hoping that you like this style as much as I do.


Friday flickr favourites

Going all autumnal on you...


A tiny, but beautiful apartment

I just found this small, only 30 sqm, apartment in the latest issue of Sköna Hem. It gave me a lot of inspiration on how to  decorate my livingroom, where I also sleep. The furniture in this apartment is mostly Ikea and fleamarkets, which I think is the case in most homes of young Swedes, incorporated in a way that makes a great mix where none of the styles take over the scheme. Lots of white, storage space everywhere and simple lines makes full use of the limited space without seeming cramped. The things I like the most are the Expedit shelf on the Malm drawers, and the white tull curtain, screening off the bed area.


Another great blog find

Jan over at Poppytalk posted about this great little blog called "a day at a glance", where a couple in San Francisco documents the daily process of renovating their new apartment, complete with before, after and WIP photos. Looks like it's going to be a lovely place!


Aalto for the kids room?

I am not sure if this set of childrens furniture (available from 2modern) is actually a certified mini version of the classic Alvar Aalto designs, or if it is a knock-up, but it doesn't really matter as they look great! This 5 piece set comes in natural or espresso stained birch, and the stain is actually lead free, making it a both child- and eco-friendly product. Another great feature, that I believe most parents will appreciate, is the stool, which definitely makes a more comfortable seating option for adults than the chairs, making it more appealing for parents to sit down with their kids.


Nienke Sybrandy's ASCII curtains

When I visited Sia in Amsterdam this summer, I had lots of time to browse her big collection of interior design magazines, and one of the images I found has been haunting me ever since. It is this one, of Dutch designer Nienke Sybrandy's tree patterned curtains.


Sure, tree silhouettes is nothing new, but this one is different. Look closer, and you will see that it is made up of this totally nerdy ASCII art! (That is short for American Standard Code for Information Interchange, and means the picture is made of numbers and letters, a method that was commonly used before computers could show real graphics.)


New blogs in my blog roll

Ilmari Tapiovaara

Some utterly modern mid-century pieces from Finnish designer Ilmari Tapiovaara (1914-1999) made my day today.


Having worked for Alvar Aalto, Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe, you can definitely see traces of all of them in his designs, but Ilmari still managed to have a recognizable style by himself. His Helsinki office, opened around 1950, was involved in furniture and industrial design commissions for a number of different companies. He embraced the functionalist philosophy that a piece, both its use and structural conception should be understood at first sight.

While his pieces retained a sense of innovation and character, this belief made him an ideal candidate for the design of public spaces like students housing, cinemas, the Leningrad Concert Hall, airplane interiors for Finnair and the Intercontinental Hotel in Helsinki which he finished in 1973. His industrial design projects included the "Polar" series of cutlery for the Hackman Company, radio equipment for Centrum, and color planning for the paint company Winter & Co.


The most amazing apartment I have ever seen

When I saw this apartment I was stunned for several minutes. My eyes watered, my cheeks blushed and I started to sweat. For real. I have never seen a more beautiful apartment in my life. It's for sale right here, and if you buy it, I am afraid I will have to kill you.
Now I am trying to imagine what the current owner's next home will look like. I mean, what is the next step when you move from something like this?


Photographer Ngoc Minh Ngo

Ngoc Minh Ngo and Julian Wass, originally from Vietnam and England respectively, began shooting together as Minh + Wass nearly 10 years ago, specializing in interiors and lifestyle. Their clients include various European and American publications, as well as catalogues for Bergdorf Goodman, Kenneth Cole, and Anthropologie. Since 2004, Ngoc Minh Ngo and Julian Wass have also been shooting separately. Ngoc's pictures have been seen in magazines such as Elle Decoration UK, Domino and Blueprint, and I have to say that I'm totally amazed by the way she captures the light in her photos!


Blanka posters

These prints by Matt Willey for Blanka makes an important comment on the deforestation of the Earth (if we keep up  with the current level there will be no rainforest left at all in 2060), plus they look very nice with their monochromatic, graphic lines. Proceeds from the profit goes to Rainforest Action Network charity in San Francisco. Here you have the chance to make a difference and get something stylish for your walls at the same time, for only £ 25.


Absolute Zero°

I am loving the patterns on Absolute Zero°'s Seasonal Wallpapers for Places and Spaces, with the morphing of one pattern into another, symbolizing the transitions of the seasons. Swallows is the autumn design with falling leaves morphing into birds and finally into swallows, this change representing summer becoming autumn. Bees is the spring version of the wallpaper, with a honeycomb structure that morphs into bees and butterflies. A very original pattern idea performed with the popular animal and nature silhouettes that has been so big in the last few seasons.


Kathleen Hills

Kathleen Hills is a designer with an MA in Ceramics and Glass from The Royal College of Art in London. Her work is fantastic, but what interests me even more is her home/studio, that can be rented for photo shoots. Kathleen has a great eye for mixing vintage and new design, and she is really innovative with her furniture, making her place full of surprices and humour. See that living room with the Ikea book shelf, Eames chair, homemade ladder/desk light/table lamp with her own designs, and the graphic art on the wall? A true source of inspiration!


If you are interested in buying her pieces, they are available through her website, or if you live in the US, at smallpond, and in Sweden from Frank Form.

Vote for me!

The Home Rejuvenation blog is doing a survey to find out which are the most influential blogs in the field of design and home decoration. I am very curious about the results, and would be very happy if you, my dear and faithful readers, would vote for me! Just send an email to homereju@gmail.com, and tell them which blogs you think should be on top of their list.


Friday flickr favourites

Some of my recent flickr loves.


Limited edition holiday tray from ISAK

A must have for all you fans of ISAK out there, here is the new special edition Blossom & Bill laminated birch tray. The news came to me from Sandra Isaksson with the sweetest text along with it, you really have to read it:

"Blossom was sitting at her desk reading. The light was dim but she didn't mind. She noticed the note slip under her door and her feet tingled. Outside, Bill skipped down the steps retracing his own footprints in the snow feeling vulnerable, exhilarated and full of hope. Blossom picked up the blank envelope and opened it. Inside was a library ticket. Blossom opened her door, saw the footsteps in the snow and felt their warmth as she followed them with her eyes. On the back of the ticket Bill had scribbled: Please celebrate Christmas with me. Blossom smiled.

She stirred the sauce and sugared the potatoes whilst Bill carved the roast elk. The candlelight flickered and outside the slowly falling crystals of snow fell. Bill opened the champagne and nothing unlit by the candlelight mattered.

She awoke the morning after to the smell of a cinnamon dashed coffe and a saffron flavoured bun sitting on a tray by the bed side table. There was a note from Bill: Had to dash! Will be back by noon to cook you lunch. Don't move!"

The super cute tray is only available through the website, and numbers are limited, so hurry!


New wall stickers from Les Invasions Ephémères

Sofia Antonovich from Les Invasions Ephémères sent me an email with the 2008 catalogue showing all the new gorgeous wall stickers (thanks Sofia!). I might be partial, but my favourite is the one with the Swedish horses... Although the floor sticker, and the transparent window stickers are also great! These designs are made by Sofia Antonovich and Miss Miza, but I think some of the credit should go to photograph Rebecka Oftedal, and stylist Marion Graux who did a splendid job here.


Saturday sweets

A little late, but here is the eye candy of the week, all about the little personal things you add to your house that makes it a home. Artwork, collections of different kinds, postcards, travel memories and natural objects, or just whatever feels like you.


Sköna Hem, September issue

Some pictures from the new issue of Sköna Hem, one of my favourite Swedish interior magazines.


Formex through my eyes

I thought you might enjoy some mixed photos from my trip to Formex, just to see how it really was. I'll be putting the photos pretty much in the same order as I shot them, so it will be like you were walking through the fair with me (although you will be missing most of the boring stuff). Enjoy your Formex visit!


Feeling a bit tired? Yeah, me too. Let's have some tea and cookies, and then we can continue!


I think that will have to be it, because now we are all visually exhausted! But do tell me if you saw anything you liked, I'll try my best to give you the name and web address of the producer.

Lamps from Bantie

I wrote about Bantie when they released their first collection this spring, because I think they have some amazing patterns, and now they are here with a new fabric pattern named Salamander, and some new colours for the older ones. They also showed these really nice new lamps at Formex, available in all of their six patterns, and in two different models.


Qaskad, another find from Formex

Now, for something completely different than loud neons and disco music... I found this wonderful rug, from the small Swedish company Qaskad.


It is made from carefully selected sheep skins, all natural, all good. The whole production is made on the idyllic island of Gotland, from raising the sheep on their own farm, to sowing the skins together to make both their own designs and custom versions of the products. I'd love to bury my toes in these super soft rugs!


Trend forecasting from Formex

I told you before about the autumn trends that the Swedish Fashion Council presented at the Formex fair, but I feel I must give you my personal view on this as well. I am actually not very impressed. The Fashion Council are usually ahead of everyone, and has all the clues about what is going on and what is coming. But this time, I hope they are wrong. Otherwise, I have totally lost my ability to know what is trendy. I just can't find the Eighties glam and glitz, neon colours, mirror balls and weird plastic materials that they are talking about, in anything that I see around me. Well, I'm happy that I can't find it, because I think it is totally hideous!


The other trends they are forecasting, the Art Deco glamour with deep, dark colours and luxurious materials, and the Surreal World, with it's illusions, humour and fairy tales, are definitely here, and have been so for quite a while...

And I must say I'm deeply disappointed there wasn't a show designated to green, eco friendly designs. This trend is so huge right now, it's all over the place! How can you not do an exhibition on it?

No, Lotta Ahlvar (head of the fashion council) you have to do better next time! You couldn't even pronounce the name of one of Swedens best up and coming designers! (Anna Irinarchos) Get out in the streets, go to the design schools, look at what's happening on the Internet, travel, please just do something to get in touch with reality. No trendy person is going to decorate their home in black, chocking pink, flourescent green and silver, at least not this year.

Big news from Splendid Baby

Splendid Baby is a well known company here in Sweden, since 2003 they have been producing lovely, well made baby and kids interior products from colourful, printed textiles. Now they are releasing their first collection of fabrics and wallpapers. Bold, graphic patterns in lots of different colour schemes, just what kids like!


10 Swedish Designers

The classic textiles design group 10 Swedish Designers showed off their new Food Collection, with these new patterns:

Sticks by Ingela Håkansson

Peppers by Birgitta Hahn

Honey by Tom Hedqvist

All patterns will be available by running meters in cotton or oil cloth, and in a great variety of ready made products such as bags, trays and napkins.

Sen-Sen surprised me

To me, the Danish company Sen-Sen has always been mostly about skull patterns on pillows and party accessories, but when I saw them on Formex I realized how wrong I have been! There is so much more to their collection, like the new wall stickers, beautiful cushions, bed linen and storage boxes, and even a kids pyjamas. And their inspirational pictures have a really cool style, showing that black and white doesn't have to be boring and minimalistic.

Organic ceramics from Lindform

Lindform used to have a shop here in Stockholm, but now they have decided to only do whole sale orders, so you will have to go to Hasseludden Yasuragi to buy their products. After being on Formex though, they will probably have more retailers selling their gorgeous organically shaped porcelain vases, salt and pepper pots and tea light holders from Thailand. I love the neutral colours and the shapes which remind me of mid century ceramics from masters like Stig Lindberg.