Wednesday, 19 February 2014

In the Garden Again

With two weeks of "sport holidays" ahead of us and a very mild winter hopefully almost behind us, I intend to be in the garden getting it ready for summer.  To call it a garden is perhaps a bit of an understatement.  The country house is on a large piece of land and there are many gardens to be tended.

Leading up to the old wash house that sits on the banks of the stream is a row of rocks and stones originally intended to secure grading.  Over the decades the rocks became overgrown and as a result were barely detectable.  While clearing some of the overgrowth we uncovered a great opportunity for a small garden above the stone "wall" and a sprinkling of smaller flowers to line the bottom.  To contrast the traditional red of the old wash house, which will soon be repainted and renovated, I think I will go with white poppies.  The poppy is a stunning flower.  Many of my neighbors in Toronto had them and I was always more than a little jealous.


And naturally I'll need a few of the purple variety for our purple garden at the front of the house. (click here to get caught up)

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Stockholm Directory - Bokslukaren - Mariatorget Sodermalm

My sisters-in-law introduced me to this lovely little kids' bookstore in Stockholm's Mariatorget in Sodermalm.  I wanted to add it to the Stockholm Directory because it is a nice place to be.  I know, you're thinking, "but Ange, what does this have to do with design?".  Nothing.  We'll call it a lifestyle post and leave it at that.  Bokslukaren is a small business that relies on the patronage of locals and a lot of word of mouth.  There is a little cafe in the back, which is a cozy place to look at books with the kids and grab your caffeine fix.  And if you're an expat like me with very limited Swedish, then (some of) the books here are close to your level.  Side Note:  I was getting confident that I could read Swedish as I've been able to translate a particular kid's book into English for my 4 year old (he hates hearing me pronounce Swedish words) but then I picked up a Bamse comic book and was put right back in my place...

Translation just in ... Bokslukaren means eating books or to enjoy reading lots of books.  What do we call that in English?  Bookworm?  Anyone got anything better?

Mariatorget 2
118 48 Stockholm

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Round Up - Stockholm Furniture and Light Fair 2014

Top 5 Chair Designs

1. Deli by Skandiform

These are certainly not new to Scandinavian chair design but the Deli is just simply a great looking chair.  Deli works in meeting rooms for office spaces or on an ultra-Modern dining room.

2. Frame by Materia

Materia specializes in furniture for office spaces.  Frame is their latest design introduced at the Stockholm Furniture and Light Fair 2014.  Practical? meh... Fun?  Absolutely!

3. Chippensteel 0.5 by Zieta

Chippensteel is made of inflated steel.  The process involves "lots of pressure".  The result is a super sturdy chair that looks like a plastic pool toy.

4. Cowrie Chair by Made In Ratio

Simply a great looking chair that would be a showstopper anywhere you put it.

5. Lavitta by Poiat

Finnish design, this chair has only 2 components.  It is so Scandinavian in appearance with its smooth wood surface and ultra clean lines.  It can also be stacked horizontally, which looks fantastic.

I covered urban street furniture at the Stockholm Furniture and Light Fair 2014 for Sweden's English newspaper The

Click here for the intro and a direct link to the gallery here

Design for kids was an article that I also did for The Local.  Click here for the introduction and for the gallery here.


Thursday, 6 February 2014

Out of Office Programming Note - Stockholm Furniture and Light Fair 2014

Design Stockholm is spending this week at the Stockholm Furniture and Light Fair 2014.  I will be back on Monday with a full round-up of the Best of the Best.  For some play-by-play fun you can check out the Design Stockholm Instagram or Twitter by clicking the icon on the right side.

Until then, have a great weekend!

Monday, 3 February 2014

Apartment Hunting - Sodermalm Classic Gustavian Dining Room

Let's move over to the dining room of our Södermalm apartment.  I am posting from my ipad today so please forgive any wonky formatting.

I  found a fantastic dining table at NK last month and I thought it would look great in our Sodermalm dining room.  The colours easily fit into the Gustavian look and as I mentioned last time (click here for that) it breaks up the sameness by being rustic and contemporary.  I love the high sheen lacquer of this table and I want to play that up as much as possible.  We are going to make the dining room very glamourous and exciting in just a couple of steps.

Piet Hein Eek Dining Table at NK Stockholm

For paint, I think we should go with Farrow and Ball's Calluna.  It won't compete with the blue in the table, instead it will compliment that very difficult shade of blue.  Remember that paint colour never translates well on-screen so go check out the paint in person at a local dealer.

Farrow and Ball - Calunna

Now, lets put a classic Gustavian crystal chandelier above the table.  We can go with one big chandelier or 2 smaller ones;  that's a completely personal decision.  This one is an original Swedish chandelier from but you can find a reproduction, perhaps not as stunning as this one but something close.


I like either of these dining chairs.  The classic rounded chair will give the least competition to the show-stopper table but the Swedish Demi is a really, really great chair.  As I said, both work, so again this one is up to you.

Vintage Round and Swedish Demi - Restoration Hardware

The next thing that we can do is to fill that room with mirrors.  The mirrors will act as reflectors for the light that sparkles from the chandelier.  I like this Hemnes in gray brown from IKEA.  The natural wood colour will bring out the rustic elements in the table and will look great against the blue-gray Calluna paint.  

                                                              Hemnes mirror - IKEA

The final step would be a rug.  That table gives you so much freedom as far as what colours will work well.  Swedes would likely go with a light coloured rug, which will give the room an airy feeling.  I think I would go with medium gray.  The darker colour will ground the room and add a nice contrast to the light colours in the table.