Tag Archives: Sweden

Scandinavian texiles

I saw a green, floral patterned sofa in a Florida thrift store about two years ago, and I’ve been unable to put in out of my mind. So, when I buy a new sofa, it’s not going to be plain, or neutral, it’s going to be upholstered in a gorgeous floral patterned fabric. And don’t say I’ll get bored of it, or it’ll go out of style, because there are plenty of much more important/dull decisions that need to be made based on what I’ll be doing in ten years, so I might as well have fun when it’s a only a sofa. I’ve long been a lover of  Scandinavian fabrics, especially the botanical ones on a dark ground, so the colour jumps out at you – the absolute cream of the crop is Swedish designer Gocken Jobs’ bright and beautiful flower prints, actually rather more like botanical drawings than the usual stylised Scandinavian style, and slightly weird in its choice of flora (rhubarb anyone?). I’ve yet to find anything that comes close in my price bracket, but a lengthy search did throw up some other beauties – not all of them upholstery fabrics, but good for curtains, cushions etc – that are pretty reasonable. My absolute top tip, if you’re a sucker for higher-end Nordic brands like Marimekko but have no cash,  is to get yourself to Ikea; its fabric ranges have all the graphic punch and occasional forays into surrealism, but at much nicer prices (it’s also often the quietest place in the whole shop, useful if you’re suffering from Ikea Stress Syndrome). Here are my finds; and if anyone can find me a Gocken Jobs-alike for under £70 a metre, let me know….

Eivor Leva, £7/m, Ikea

Cherry orchard by Marianne Westman, £28.94/m, from New House Textiles

Rhubarb, by Jobs Handtryck, £143/m, Skandium

Amalfi Ofelia by Sandberg, £71.50/m, Tangletree Interiors

Spira Haga, £29.95/m, Hus & Hem

Kvitter blue, £22.95/m Hus & Hem

New home: summerhouse in Skåne, by LASC Studio

Youthful Danish architectural studio LASC’s first completed project is this summer house in Österien, Sweden. It’s a former traditional farmhouse opened up with the removal of many of the internal walls and the addition of a few more windows. It has a modesty of scale and materials that befits a place intended for rest and relaxation, but a cheeky exuberance in its use of colour that says “Woo! I’m on holiday!” There are a few ideas to take away here, including the bright hues used in unexpected places (doorways, staircases, storage), the informality of the mis-matched furniture, and clever small-space solutions like the extended windowsill doubling up as a perch for a laptop. Spotted on designboom.

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A Scandinavian summerhouse

Swedish mag Hus&Hem this month features what I would think of as the classic Scandinavian summerhouse – the kind that thousands of families flee to from the city every weekend at this time of year. To say that I am jealous of this cultural tradition would be a massive understatement; imagine how much more bearable the working week would be if you could hit the road at the end of it and stay here. This place has got the studied informality of Scandinavian design down to a tee – a white shell with lots of colourful accessories; a few old pieces plus a handful of contemporary classics. I will be thinking of its lucky owners as I spend another weekend in the grimy city. (But at least, come December, I will get, ooh, six hours of daylight. Yeah! Take that, Scandis!)

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