Wednesday, August 3, 2011

From Fleamarkets to high end design: on tour in Sweden

I have just returned from a fabulous two weeks holidays in lovely Sweden and am totally rested and inspired (and even a little tanned!). What a totally cool and laidback country....aaahhh...I want to live there. We shopped, sauna'd, sailed, canoed, shopped some more, read books, drank very expensive wine (not by choice - and only a sip for me!) and took heaps of photos. Below I will share some of what inspired me most.
I saw these upcycled cupboards in a shop window in Stockholm's trendy area Sodermalm. It's not an actual shop, but the designers used it as an advertising space. Very clever!


A great lamp shop in Sodermalm, with lamps in antique, retro and contemporary styles.


An atmospheric picture of a street and bicycle in Stockholm's Gamla Stan:


This was our idyllic sauna on the waterfront on the island of Lidingö near Stockholm. Lovely. You could bring your own candles and make it a cosy retreat in the evening. Once all heated up you dive straight into the sea water. Brrrrrr....


Here's me enjoying some sunshine on the ferry in Stockholm.


One place we spent quite some time in was the department store P.U.B. Apart from serving an awsome lunch and home bakes, the store features many great brands and shops. The home interior department was wonderful! I wanted to buy everything wih the result that I didn't buy anything because my brain could not take all the beauty...and I would have to ship it all back by at least three large containers . So I just took lots of photos.

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And of course there were plenty high end designer furniture shops with the familiar names of Arne Jacobsen, Eames, Vitra and many others. Always nice to have a wander around these stores although some times I must admit I get a bit bored by them, as they always look a bit 'sterile' to me. Where's the junk?! Gimme me some junk!


Well, junk galore once you're in the countryside, I tell ya. At first I had no clue what the word 'Loppis' meant. I thought perhaps people were selling strawberries or something at their farms, so I paid little attention. But soon we were enlightened by our landlady who told us they were nothing less than mini fleamarkets! Hey-ho! So as you can expect, I soon shouted STOP! LOPPIS! at every Loppis sign at the side of the road, driving my husband bonkers. Some barns were full of total rubbish and didn't have much to offer, but I did find three lovely 'characterful' (i.e. cracked) Swedish blue plates though for the grand sum of 30p.

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We also found some more junk: the vintage car cemetary in Båstnäs,Värmland, which has become a bit of a tourist attraction. Hundreds of rusty cars from the 1940s-60s scattered in the field and forest, piled on top of each other with trees growing through the roofs. Bizarre but fascinating! 


Last but not least, we brought back some plastic rugs from Swedish brand Pappelina and one unknown make but equally cool. In Arvika, a provincial town in the province of Värmland, we came across a fabulous rug shop with rugs in every colour and pattern under the sun. 


Shame the holidays are over, but it's a country I definitely want to go back to. Even if it was only for the evening swims in the quiet lakes.



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