Design and style from a Scandinavian perspective

Iris Hantverk catalogue

Iris Hantverk is a Swedish organisation that has been employing blind and sight impaired persons to make high quality household items since 1903. Perhaps some of you have heard of them or at least seen their brushes or other products? I personally think they are wonderful. And after seeing their new catalogue, I like them even more! It's styled by Cia Wedin, shot by Anna Kern and designed by Anna Larsson.

Anyway, the Swedish government has decided to discontinue their benefits towards Iris Hantverk, so now they have to make it on their own. I'd be really sad to see them go, so please, if you can, show your support by buying something from Iris Hantverk. They have two stores in Stockholm, one in Kungsgatan 55, and one in Västerlånggatan 24. If you don't live in Stockholm they have lots of retailers abroad. They are planning a webshop, but until then you can find some of their products online for example here.

Merci by AnoukB

Just taking a break from my magazine job to show you some fantastic styling by AnoukB, shot by Marjon Hoogervorst, inspired by their trip to Paris this summer.

Smallable FW11

French webshop Smallable, focused on kids fashion and decor, is one of my longtime sponsors here and I think they are worth some extra attention. Right now the store is full of stylish new products from the Autumn/Winter collections of brands like Stella McCartney, Finger in the Nose, Isabel Marant and Mini Rodini. I made a little autumn moodboard of my favorite products, but for some real inspiration you should check out their online magazine!

The Straw Hat Factory

Yesterday was the big reveal of a new apartment project here in Stockholm. An old straw hat factory is being rebuilt and carefully renovated to become luxurious city apartments. Below are some 3D sketches. Looks promising, right?

Grey by Petra Bindel + A winner!

Photographer Petra Bindel has some great new grey shots in her portfolio! Styled by the always excellent Tina Hellberg.
And in other news, the winner of the pint from Nordic Art House is Monkey Gone to Heaven (funny name btw)! Please contact me and give me your address so that we can send you the print!

Metropolis by De Intuïtiefabriek

I never post about products here, at least not for the last few years. But I'm making an exception for this. I think the photos below will make you understand why. And this isn't mainly about products, it's about the art installation called Metropolis that the designers made of their products, and the wonderful photos shot by Ine Van Den Elsen.

Hot Fluoro

I love fluoro details, like hot pink or orange, against a neutral background. The owner of this flat, Silke Neumann, shows som real guts with her bright pink wall at the entrance of her home, giving the light of the whole room a soft pinkish glow. The fluoro theme continues throughout her home without taking over or becoming too much.

My Helsinki Trip

As I wrote last week, I was invited by World Design Capital Helsinki 2012 to visit the Helsinki Design Week and also to get a preview of what will happen in the city next year. We had a very full schedule, touring the city and some other places nearby, looking at lots of design related things like architecture, restaurants, schools, design studios and stores, so I thought I would share some of the highlights of my trip with you!

One of the things that made a big impression on me is the huge pride the Finns take in their country. Finnish design is present in literally all cafés and restaurants in the form of Iittala or Marimekko plates and glasses. Another thing that they are really proud of is their food. Finland is one of the cleanest countries in the world, and that makes for excellent organic produce, berries and vegetables with strong and pure tastes. I got to try some great food made in the simple Finnish tradition, and here are some of the restaurants and cafés that I liked:

SIS Deli is a café/deli chain started by two sisters looking for quick and healthy food, and in lack of thereof they made their own. The idea is simple and healthy organic food made with locally produced ingredients, packed in biodegradable and stylish packages. I tried the SIS Deli at WeeGee Design Centre in Espoo, where they had a small shop in the café as well, with both their own carefully made candy and snacks as well as other nice brands of organic food.


Another stylish restaurant in Espoo is Tiger Sushi, a small sushi chain that you can find in three additional locations. The restaurant is designed by Joanna Laajisto, and while sushi might not seem very Finnish, you should know that Finland has some great tasting fish swimming around in their clean seas!


On my last day in Helsinki I had the pleasure to have lunch at Shanghai Cowboy, where, as the name suggests, they serve a mix of modern asian and mexican cuisine. At lunch you get to choose between two dishes, and with that you get to take your pick from a nice buffe of vegetables and hearty side dishes like noodle salads and couscous. The interiors are quite raw, with seating made of particle board and visible pipes on the walls and ceiling.


One restaurant/bar I unfortunately didn't get to go to was Siltanen, but I heard so many good things about it that it had to be included. Apparently their weekend brunches are to die for!

(photo borrowed from here)


Now on to the shopping! Helsinki has so many great shops and I'm sure I missed lots of great places, but I hope to go back soon... Helsinki has an area called Design District, consisting of 25 streets where you can find lots of stylish places to shop or eat.

My absolute favorite shop was Pino, where the products were displayed so nicely I just couldn't resist getting some things that I know are available in Stockholm too! Pino is the place to go for unique and functional office supplies, vintage shop sign letters and small storage products like boxes and bags. The design and branding concept, created by local-based creative agency Bond, is taken from the name – "Pino" means pile or stack. I also got to talk to the very nice woman behind the counter, Mari Leppälä, who showed me some really nice rugs, baskets and bags that she makes herself. They are crocheted with handles made from vintage belts, and you can see them here.

(top pic borrowed from here)


Aero, for the best 20th century design classics in the city.

(photo from here)


Lux was unfortunately closed when I was there, but it looked like a store I would have loved! Last week there was a pop-up-store within the store by Jeti, a clothing brand that also made some plywood prints I really would have wanted to take a closer look at.


I also went to the Design Museum, where they not only have excellent exhibitions but also a small museum shop and a café that looked quite nice.


If you are looking for new Finnish design talents, just go to Design Forum Finland, a shop/exhibition space/showroom/office/café promoting just that.

And finally one last store that you shouldn't miss: Armas!

And then of course there are the classic giants like Marimekko, Iittala, Artek and Ivana Helsinki (photo below).



Phew, I think that was all for now! I hope you enjoyed reading it!



I just came home from Helsinki, and while collect my thoughts, photos and links to have something slightly intelligible to share with you, here is a nice Danish home from Boligmagasinet.

Photo: Kristian Septimius Krogh

Voice No. 5

Last time I assisted Lotta at a shoot, it was for Swedish furniture manufacturer Voice. They have developed a new storage system which they call No. 5, designed by industrial designer Jesper Ståhl.


Styling: Lotta Agaton
Photo: Petra Bindel

Leaving for Helsinki

I'm leaving for Helsinki tomorrow, for Helsinki Design Week, Finland's largest design fair Habitare, and a preview of World Design Capital Helsinki 2012. And I will be meeting Susanna Vento and Minna Jones, editors of two of my favorite blogs!
I'll be posting updates from my trip on the blog's Facebook page, but I don't think I will have time for normal posts here until I'm back home on Saturday. Until then, take a look at Hotel Klaus K where I will be staying!

*edit* This wasn't supposed to be published until tomorrow, but now that it's up, well, I'll just leave it up...

Photos: Press photos from Klaus K, tweaked by me

Kråkvik & D'Orazio

Speaking of Kråkvik & D'Orazio, here are some more beautiful pics from their portfolio. It doesn't say so on the site, but my guess is that they were all shot by Siren Lauvdal.

Jotun releases new color charts for Lady

These are the latest pics from Jotun, one of the world's biggest paint manufacturers. They are part of a campaign for the new color charts they made for the Lady paint range, based on three different trends right now: the warm, the comfy and the elegant.

As always, they hired the excellent Norwegian stylist team Kråkvik & D'Orazio and photographer Siren Lauvdal.


Saturday Sweets

Bolaget is blogging!

Today I'd like to share these lovely lofts for sale through Bolaget, to celebrate the fact that Bolaget just started a blog, with styling tips, product news and interesting background stories about the homes they are selling.

More blog love!

Another great blogger, who also is an amazing photographer and has a wonderful sense of style, is Sofia from Mokkasin! She is just about to start her own webshop, launching September 20, and I'm very curious to see it as I'm sure it's going to be full of great stuff!

Blog Love

I just scrolled through Weronica's blog En Mammas Dag and felt I had to share these photos of hers with you all. She is such a great photographer and stylist!

Fall trends interpreted by Ikea

Ikea went to the Formex fair last week and posted their own interpretation of the coming trends on their blog Livet Hemma. It's in Swedish, but you can use google translate to read it. Otherwise, here is a short summary:
Natural materials, untreated wood, leather, fur and metal, either shiny or rusty. Colorwise, anything from bright orange to oxblood and cognac is hot.

Photo by Nina Broberg.

More green!

Giveaway: Ink print by Erika Blomgren, from Nordic Art House

To cheer up this gloomy Monday, I thought I would host a new giveaway here! This time the prize is a 70x100 cm giclee art print by Erika Blomgren, worth € 150 and sold through Nordic Art House. The name of the print is Ink, but that is all I know about this mysterious woman, so I thought it would be fun if you could give her a little more background... So please answer these questions to have a chance to win the print:

1. How many different prints by Erika Blomgren are available at Nordic Art House?
2. Get your imagination going and make up a
short background story about the woman in the picture. Who is she?

A winner will be chosen by representatives from Nordic Art House by next Monday, Sept 12.

Good luck everyone!


Table settings by Sara Sjögren

White + wood + green

Sometimes people ask me to pick a bright colour that I like, probably because my style is so monochromatic and they want to challenge me... I am usually not drawn to bright colours at all, but green can be quite nice!
Below, just a few shots from an apartment for sale through Bolaget.



Saturday Sweets