Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Mirrorcube: A fantasy for grown-ups

As a kid, the idea of having a treehouse was the most exciting thing ever, and well, as a grown-up, it still is, especially if it's the Mirrorcube (Tham & Videgard Arkitekter), a product of Treehotel in Northern Sweden.  The glass room, almost invisible to the human eye seems to defy gravity and as it blends so well into the landscape, an infrared film has been installed within the glass to keep birds from crashing into the cube! It accomodates up to 4 persons, and the interior, with its rustic feel and warm wood offers a stunning contrast with the futuristic exterior.
To sleep in a room that brings you close to nature has a price: about 450 euros a night for 2. And I don't think you can bring your tent to camp next to it instead. If you have a nice spot in your backyard, you can also buy it for about 250 000 euros (approximately 335 000$). I know...
Still, if you're in Sweden and are looking for a unique experience, have a look at the Treehotel rooms. The design and the location are great, and you'll be able to brag about your night in the UFO or the Bird's Nest!

          Images from Mirrorcube

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Antique Swedish tiled stoves

Image from Sköna Hem

It's been snowing for 2 days now. A beautiful, heavy snow! My love for antique swedish "kakelugnar" is nothing new, but on a day like today, I wish I had one! They look absolutely amazing in modern and minimalist interiors. They were quite common in upper class homes in the 19th and early 20th century, but sadly, many of them were thrown away in the 60's, as people didn't need or like them anymore. I'm really mad when I think of all those ceramic tiles in the dumpster... I wish I had a time machine to go back and save them all! Luckily, people appreciate them again today, and if you want your own kakelugn, some antique dealers in Sweden collect them and give them a new life!

Image from Desire to Inspire

Image from Inspiring Interiors

Image from Elle Decor

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Love Swedish Hasbeens!

Image from Nordiska Style

I'm a huge fan of Swedish Hasbeens. For the simplicity, the clean lines, the quality of the leather, the 70's style. I only have a clutch for the moment, but I'm definitely going to invest in some clogs as soon as I can take my socks off (aka in 4 months as I'm in Montreal right now...). I see girls in magazines or fashion blogs looking great wearing open toe shoes with socks, but for me, it's a big NO! Even their sky high shoes are comfortable! (says the girl who managed to fall off her flats a few times). I love the fact that their shoes are hand-made with natural materials, and that if you take good care of them, your kids will be able to inherit them! It reminds me that my mom used to wear clogs when I was a little girl, and I spent lots of time sneaking in her closet, trying on her clogs, of course way too big for me. I'm glad I'm still alive today, as I used to run down the stairs wearing them... Crazy kids!
 For the new Spring-Summer collection, Swedish Hasbeens launched shoes and accessories with new colors, and now I'm in love with everything that's mint green.The flats in that color are already sold out, so please, if you're a size 38, do not buy the green 'Margot' shoes. They're mine!!!

Images from Swedish Hasbeens

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Earth tones & mid-century swedish design

Earth colors look great in every interior. It's classic, warm but with a calming effect, and it brings a touch of nature in a room. This vase, the "Spiral vase", designed in 1950-51 by the Swedish ceramist Ingrid Atterberg (1920-2008) is one of my favorite. The simple yet stunning pattern with white and yellow glazed spirals over a matte brown ceramic is now an icon and a must-have for any mid-century ceramics collector. Atterberg designed the series while working with Uppsala-Ekeby (1944-1963), and it includes vases in different sizes, lided jars and plates. I wish I could find the floor vase, it's quite spectacular!
   The print (screen print?) was found in a thrift store, and as soon as I saw it, I loved it, for the colors, the exotic subject, and the gorgeous teak frame. I can't read the signature, unfortunately, but it's dated 1955. If someone has any info about the artist, I'd be super happy to hear about it!

Images from Nordiska Style

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Rune Guneriussen photography

I'm captivated by the work of Rune Guneriussen (born 1977), a norwegian artist who combines art installation and photography. The amazing light, combined with household objects that seems to live their own lives in the beautiful norwegian nature... I really feel like I'm in some surreal, mysterious and magical world where man-made objects look like some strange creatures in the wild. His poetic photographs can also lead to an interesting reflexion about our imprint on nature. "It is an approach to the balance between nature and culture, but also a multiple reading of stories." 
See more on his website!

Images from Rune Guneriussen

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A cold day in Copenhagen

This is what Copenhagen looked like last Friday. We are in the south of Sweden, so it takes about half and hour to get there by car, even less by train, and we decided to spend a few hours in the Danish capital to do important things (i.e. buy some some liquor for a birthday party). It's funny how when it's time to stock your bar, prices can be so different between Scandinavian countries. Norwegians buy their booze in Sweden, Swedes buy theirs in Denmark, and I guess Danes go to Germany to shop. And Germans go to.... Ok, I disgress, I'll stop before I start writing about my love for gin & tonics.

I just wanted to share a view of the city in the beautiful winter light. Look at the frozen canal, it was so cold, but with warm clothes (I looked very sexy with my long underwear under my jeans) and a few stops for a soup or a hot chocolate, it was actually great! But when is Spring coming again?

 Images from Nordiska Style

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Coffee and semla on a Sunday afternoon

Image from Nordiska Style

Sunday afternoon, it snows lightly, and after waking up late and reading the papers for hours, it's now time for another cup of coffee with one of my favorite indulgence, a semla! Semlor (plural) are wheat-flour cardamom spiced buns with almond paste and whipped cream. Yummy! Traditionally, it was eaten before and during Lent only, but nowadays, they're available in shops after Christmas, and the "semla season" last roughly 3 months (but nothing stops you to make you own semlor in May if you want to! Personally, I don't as I prefer to have something to look forward to in January/February!). These buns are a serious matter here in Sweden, and every year in the newspaper, you can find a list of the best semlor in town. And now, if you excuse me, I have to find out myself in the semla above deserves a place in my personal top 10...
   Have a lovely Sunday!

P.S. The vintage tray, thermos and Rörstrand cups are thrift stores finds! 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Ovalia Egg Chair

Now, that's an icon! The fabulous Ovalia Egg Chair has always been a favorite of mine, I could look at it forever, the way I would look at a painting or a sculpture at the museum, it's just so...perfect! It's funny how I like to wear mostly neutrals, but when it comes to interior design, I love strong, warm colors that pops. This chair was designed in 1968 by Henrik Thor-Larsen, an industrial designer and inventor (posing in the chair in the picture below), and it was exhibited for the first time at the Scandinavian Furniture Fair that same year. It was a success from the beginning, and Ovalia was sold up to 1978. It has been relaunched a while ago as a limited edition (900) with a few cool updates like the optional hidden, fully upholstered speaker system by JBL, but there is no visible change to the design.
   If I had this beauty in my living room, I would probably read in it, meditate in it, watch movies in it, eat in it, sometimes fall asleep in it. I would basically live in it. Which could be a good thing considering I would probably not have a roof over my head anymore after spending 7700$ on it... Well, maybe one day! And as I like to say, it's not "spending", it's "investing"!

 Images from Ovalia  

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Blossom & Bill for ISAK - Hippie nudists!

Have you ever wish you had a nordic-hippie-nudist couple around to help you out with little things like cleaning the dishes or carrying your drinks? Well, me neither. Until now! Meet Blossom & Bill, the cool hairy pair, a design created by "the design vikings" Blossom & Bill, produced for ISAK, a scandi brit fusion brand founded by Sandra Isaksson, who's also the head designer. Their range of playful home accessories will put a smile on your face, just have a look!
I really have a soft spot for Blossom & Bill! The trays are made from 7 layers of pressed birchwood coming from sustainable Scandinavians forests. Notebooks, mugs and tea towels featuring the happy couple are also available. Lovely!

Images from ISAK

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Marimekko Helsinki-Helsingfors fabric

Images from Nordiska Style

So this is the new fabric from the Marimekko Spring 2012 collection! Well, actually, the pattern is not new as it was designed in 1952 by Per-Olof Nyström, but Marimekko re-released it to celebrate the Finnish capital, as Helsinki is the World Design Capital 2012. Exciting! This fantastic fabric features Helsinki's best-known landmarks, and this pattern was first intended to celebrate the Helsinki 1952 Summer Olympics. I absolutely love it, and the Marimekko team did a great job restoring the lost original print film, from a sample and an old photograph. This pattern is also available on mugs, tea towels, trays and bags. Ahh, Marimekko and their always fabulous bags! It's all here, and if you're planning a trip to Helsinki, have a look at the Marimekko map of Helsinki!

    Image from Marimekko

Monday, February 6, 2012

50's vintage swedish charts for the kitchen

I was lucky enough to find these vintage prints from the 50's in a thrift store in Malmö (and for almost nothing). The first one I found is about herbs and spices, with lots of useful information about their uses, how to make curry powder, a 'bouquet garni', plus various recipes. I don't really use it as a cooking guide, but I love the look of it. The washed-out colors, the design, the 50's look, it just looks great in the kitchen! This one is dated 1956.
The other one is a wine guide, but also includes information about beer and spirits. You can even see on the bottom left a list of what people used to eat and drink at a typical wedding reception in...1851! I really hope I can find more of these, but I don't have the early riser gene, so I'm having a hard time to be the first in line at the thrift store when they open (yes, there is a line!). And quite often, all the nice stuff is gone by noon... Time to change my bad habits, maybe?

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Marbelous wood by Snedker Studio

While browsing Nordic Design, I came across this amazing wooden floor, and I could not resist sharing it here! Pernille Snedker Hansen (Snedker Studio) "has repurposed an old marbling technique giving the wood a supernatural, organic, colorful and vibrant pattern". If I had a big loft with brick walls and a minimalist interior (this description looks nothing like my flat right now!), I would dream about having a floor like this one. I would probably become a weird girl spending hours at home just looking at the floor, but I wouldn't mind!
Marbelous Wood was nominated for the Biennial Prize at the Danish Biennial for Crafts and Design 2011. Here's the jury's statement:
      "The very idea is striking. To marble an entire floor, using an old and almost forgotten technique to vitalise a simple pinewood floor and turn it into a powerful visual, almost psychedelic experience - now, that is truly remarkable and worthy of recognition! With a huge work effort, the designer adds synthetic, caramel-like marbling to the humble pinewood, thus turning this plain Nordic raw material into a valuable object that one yearns to own and see unfolded on floors and walls".
I could not agree more!

Images from Snedker Studio

Friday, February 3, 2012

50's swedish textiles: Markelius and Bonniér

Sweden is well-known for its textile design, and even if the the 50's production is my favorite, contemporary designers still create amazing things! Here's two mid-century textile designers in my top 5: Sven Markelius and Olle Bonniér. Markelius (1889-1972), one of the most famous modernist architect from Sweden designed 'Pythagoras' in 1952 for the UN building in New York. This design is obviously strongly influenced by mathematics and you can't forget his architect background, which is a great thing for a geometric pattern lover like me! It's still in production today and 'Pythagoras' is available printed on linen or velvet.

Olle Bonnier (1925-?) was a graphic artist, a painter and a sculptor who belonged to a group of Concrete art. The pattern below, 'Raxt' has been described as follows: "This composition sounds what it looks like: "Raxt"- the sound of the jet-planes in black thunderbolts." (Ljungbergs) Striking!

                                                                  Images from Ljungbergs

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Hildur Yeoman Bags

Hildur Yeoman is an Icelandic fashion designer, and she designed those delightful crochet bags. Isn't that poodle adorable? And there is also a swan bag! I'm very fond of her playful and original designs and hope to see more very soon! You can shop here and here.

                                                             Images from Hildur Yeoman
Hildur is also a talented fashion illustrator, have a look at her website, it's worth it. 'Garden of Enchantment', below, is a collaboration between Yeoman and fellow Icelandic artist, the London based photographer Saga Sig: "We combined our forces, my photography and her illustrations to create a magical world where our own tales inspired by greek mythology and russian fairy tales are combined in an icelandic winter wonder land". Dreamy!

                                                   Images from Hildur Yeoman and Saga Sig