All posts tagged: Scandinavia

Travel Guide: A design-packed weekend in Copenhagen

Travel Guide: A design-packed weekend in Copenhagen

Copenhagen is certainly one of the most stylish of the Scandinavian cities but it’s not bragging about it or singing it’s own praises. It’s a relaxed, down-to-earth place, with effortlessly well-dressed Danes casually cycling past, bustling cafes spilling out onto the tranquil waterfronts and smart design shops waiting to be explored. Copenhagen ranks high in surveys of quality of life, and it’s not hard to see why the Danes have it so good – that magic formula of good city planning, lively culture, tasty cuisine and a strong emphasis on community. It may have been because it was the summer when I visited in August, but people weren’t rushing about like in London; everyone seemed to be in a calm, quietly content mood, slowly going about their business. The sun was shining and Copenhagen was soaking it up. Copenhagen is a city built on decades of design heritage and culture – from mid-century icons such as Finn Juhl and Arne Jacobsen paving the way, to young contemporary designers like Muuto and Ferm Living making their mark on the city, and indeed the design world, today. …

I wish I lived here: all white is alright in Gothenburg

I love the cleanliness of fresh white walls, just like in this white home in Gothenburg. The space looks so light and airy, especially with the painted white floorboards in the kitchen and sanded floorboards in the living space. It sets off those black Arne Jacobsen Series 7 chairs and mid-century dining table nicely – I often think furniture like that looks best against a plain backdrop. And you know how I can’t resist a set of String shelves! Normally you would think to put them halfway between the floor and ceiling, but I quite like how they are positioned just off the ground, in a row of three, with space for posters above. It almost gives the impression of a sideboard, but much lighter and minimal. A beautiful Scandi space, but could you live with all white walls? All images Anders Bergstedt for Entrance

I wish I lived: shades of grey in Stockholm

I do love a good grey (after all, my boyfriend’s surname even translates as ‘The Grey’ in English, though I can’t say that’s the only reason I’m going out with him…!) and this Stockholm apartment has plenty – I’m desperately trying to avoid referencing 50 Shades, but I couldn’t resist with the title… There’s the deep grey of the kitchen units, the dappled white marble of the worktop, the soft grey linen sofa and the muted tones of the bedroom – I love it all. It’s so hard to get the right shade of grey – in some lights they can look brown or purple, while in others they can look cold and harsh. A good tip I learnt was to test the paint out in the corner of the room, that way you can see what it will look like on two walls at once, and often two walls with different lighting conditions (my favourite is French Grey by Little Greene). This apartment’s got it spot on though and the grey’s not too overpowering, carefully balanced …

I wish I lived here: a monochrome home in Stockholm

This three bedroom apartment in Stockholm has been styled in three completely different ways by three different stylists. My personal fave is the moody, monochrome look seen here, created by stylist and writer Tina Hellberg. While Hans Blomquist opted for a dark, almost festive look, and Mikael Beckman a bright, blingy vibe, Tina has created a calming space using natural tones, accents of chocolate brown and modern Scandinavian furniture. I love the use of sharp, black lighting and Ray Eames’ Small Dot cushion (above and below) that seems to have inspired the whole scheme. Painting a wall half black is good idea too (see the desk space below), especially, if like me, you’re a bit cautious of using dark colours everywhere… Images: Fastighetsbyran

Five new products from Muuto

Muuto is undoubtedly one of my absolute favourite Scandinavian brands. It’s name is inspired by the Finnish word muutos, which means new perspective. It handpicks the brightest up-and-coming young designers and creates beautiful everyday objects. Its Autumn/Winter 2014 collection, to be debuted at Maison & Objet, features a range of furniture and homeware by Nordic designers. Here, I pick my favourites: The Push Coffee Maker, designed by Mette Duedahl, is my favourite; it just looks so tactile with its bulbous handle. It has a brown-grey stoneware body with a transparent lid and beech wood grip. And you don’t have to use it for coffee alone, it would make a stylish water jug too. Mette Duedahl says: Push puts a new perspective on coffee making – pushing coffee drinking to a higher level. The soft and pleasant feel of the stoneware is reflected in the rounded, smooth shape of the jug. I wanted to make a coffee press, which is both soft to look at and soft to hold. The friendly shape goes hand in hand with the warm …

I wish I lived here: an arty retreat in Malmo

I spotted this lovely home on the website of Scandinavian estate agent Bolaget. It sits on the top floor of a block that was built in 1939, in a leafy district of Malmo. The original space was reconfigured by an architect into what you see here. I love the curated arrangements of artwork and posters in the living room, and the arty touches throughout the apartment, from neat piles of books to a creative working space in the bedroom. I could definitely find myself living here, I might even knick the idea for a light mint-coloured kitchen. Images: Bolaget

I wish I lived here: the home of an artist in Copenhagen

This delightful Copenhagen home belongs to artist and designer Anne Sofie and her actor boyfriend. Anne Sofie creates paintings and illustrations as well as ceramics and jewellery. You can check out her shop here. At home, she is in charge of the decor, preferring a simple palette of white with pops of primary colours. Anne Sofie suggests lamps at different heights to create life and soul in a room and dimmers on lamps to make spaces feel cosier. I think the mixture of textures in this house is perfect; the rough concrete dining table, the painted floorboards and the untreated plywood shelves. Images: Femina

I wish I lived here: A black kitchen

I have to admit I’m not very daring when it comes to decorating, I paint all my walls white and leave it at that. But this kitchen, in a lovely home in Stockholm, features a stunning black kitchen– it made me go ‘wow’ at first glance. The wood panels of the kitchen doors are made of painted oak (probably a nightmare to keep nice but I love the texture) and feature leather handles by SuperFront (a fantastic website for all your Ikea hacking wants and needs). This is offset by painted light grey floors, white tiles and white cupboards above to calm the whole effect. The rest of the apartment is equally well decorated, I love the mix of vintage and mid-century Scandinavian furniture and the old drawings of birds. Maybe next time I decorate a kitchen I will be more daring and go BLACK! Images: Stadshem

The Scandinavian retro prints of Gunna Ydri

While trawling the internet for ideas for my new living room, I discovered these fantastic retro prints by London-based Danish textile designer Gunna Ydri on Etsy. She graduated from Chelsea College of Art & Design as well as the RCA and specialises in printed textiles and illustrations, including my favourite design of hers- a cushion featuring a graphic dachshund print. She also designs a range of frames, brooches, screen prints and other equally cute accessories. Commenting on her design process, she said: “I have always been inspired by the constant change of the city which contrasts with my rural upbringing in Denmark where I spent most of my childhood. I have a natural passion for Nordic folklore designs and ethnic patterns, which constantly inspires and infuses my work.” Don’t forget to check out her Etsy page here and check out her blog too. For the cushions, Gunna uses water based non toxic pigments and the cushion covers are hand screen printed.   

Take a moment: five things that caught my eye this week

Here’s a pick of some of the posts I enjoyed the most on my favourite blogs and design websites this week. 1. Disegno magazine shared an interview with Sou Fujimoto, the architect chosen for this year’s Serpentine pavilion. In the interview, the Japanese architect pays tribute to the great American architect Louis Kahn. 2. I went to the opening of the Venice Takeaway exhibition at the RIBA in London this week. Venice Takeaway was first shown at the British Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale last year,  which I had the pleasure of working on during the summer. The colourful and thought-provoking exhibition is on until April 27. 3. French Voguettes posted this unbelievably cute Acne advert featuring a dashing pair of weimaraners wearing Borsalino hats. 4. Domus showed us some archive images of the 1967 Montreal Expo. The geodesic dome was designed by Richard Buckminster Fuller and photographed by Charles Eames. 5. The lovely French By Design blog featured this gorgeous Scandinavian apartment, which I’m absolutely in love with. The owners decided to furnish the grand apartment sparingly and not …