Sunday, 21 September 2008

Inspiration 3: Sweden

Above: a very pleasing book display in a shop window on the island of Sodermalm, one of the extremely lovely floating precincts of Stockholm.

Above: book jacket detail from the store above, showing lovely floral pattern. (I find European book jackets in general to be more pleasing than ours.)

Above: another shop window in Sodermalm: antiques placed on a piece of pretty floral wallpaper.

Above: even a supermarket advertisement can be aesthetically pleasing.

Above: detail from a cushion designed in the 1940's by Carl Malmsten. I love the various patterning overlaid on each coloured section, like textile design over textile design. This cushion lives in Florence now with my cousin. A nice bit of Sweden in Italy. (Could you get two more disparate but equally appealing European cultures?!)

Above: my proud purchase from Under, a cute little shop next to the hotel I stayed in on the Sodermalm. It sells new and vintage clothes, books and decoration mostly for children. All very now and very Swedish with that bright, simple aesthetic. [The following is an amendment made on September 29] A detail from my Barbapapa curtain/wall hanging. Barbapapa (French for fairy floss, or literally 'father's beard') was created in France in the 1970s. According to Wikipedia: "Barbapapa ... is a generally pear-shaped, pink blob-like creature who stumbles upon the human world and tries to fit in." I can relate to that, especially lately as I have been eating too much chocolate.
Above: fabric at home, wrapped and waiting to become a cushion cover. Printed linen purchased after hours agape at Svenskt Tenn, an incredible, legendary design house on the Strandvagen that has to be seen to be believed. This design from the Josef Frank archive is called "Poisons", although whether both grapes and tobacco are poisons is a matter for debate. Svenskt Tenn designs are simultaneously elegant and crazy and that's why I love them. I bought enough to make a large cushion and a handbag, and then I had no kroner left for dinner. One day when I am wealthy I will order a length of Frank's kitsch and beautiful Italian Dinner, and I will be satiated forever.


hopeful~ for happy said...

I love the "Moomins" too, though I didn't know that's what they're called! I had a book of them when I was a kid (in English), but haven't been able to find anything recently other than in french. In Paris (in the Louvre, of all places), I found a shop that has recent Moomin merchandise (and Babar too!). I went nuts and bought about 7 melamine dishes.

Sandra Eterovic said...

Hey H for Happy,
The woman in the shop was surprised that they were only vaguely familiar to me. I think Australia missed the Moomin wave somehow: the books are available in tons of languages (the net tells me). I think if I had been at the Louvre I would have bought those dishes too. Let's catch up soon. The lovely newly married Swede is back too! Ciao Bella :)

Sandra Eterovic said...

Although you may never read this (part of my blog again), apologies H for Happy for getting the characters wrong -- they are indeed the Barbapapa family. No wonder you spotted them at The Louvre!

hopeful~ for happy said...

Yeeeesss.... I did think they were called the Babapapas! But I'm often confused. Yes, let's meet the Swede and mini-Swede too.