My Vintage Classroom Poster From Sweden

Hello friends. I am now back to my daily routine — for real. Recharged and happy, summer is sadly officially over for us in Seattle and my children are ready for school equipped with tanned legs, new back packs and shiny shoes. I want to thank you all for the support you gave me during the summer months when I, at times, felt like a lousy blog friend. To my surprise, the blog statistics even show that my traffic is up quite a bit. I don’t know if I deserve it but thank you, thank you!

Now, let’s jump right back into business.

It is hard to miss the “Industrial trend” that has been going on in the design world for a little while — galvanized steel products combined with rough wood and a vintage look & feel. We have also seen a lot of educational posters coming back in vogue.

When visiting Stockholm a few weeks ago, I found a fun store around the corner from the apartment I was staying in, called Brandstationen” (The Firestation). The store is jam packed with lovely and funky, mainly Swedish, vintage design things.

In one of the corners I found a whole stack of lovely vintage classroom posters. I put one on hold.

A few days later, I finally got to meet this lovely lady who I met in the virtual blog world about a year ago (thanks to our Ally!) . Her name is Mia and she is the stylish and creative soul behind the must read blog Solid Frog

I had invited Mia to join me in a design project (I will tell you more about that later) and she drove up to Stockholm with her family to meet up with me. This picture is taken about 20  minutes after we had officially met for the first time and what do I do? I drag her into my newly discovered store to look at vintage posters! No wonder we connected!

Mia and I spent the entire day together and it felt like we had known each other for 20 years. Later in the evening we went out with a couple of my close friends in Stockholm — and the fun just continued!

Anyway, Mia gave one of the educational posters a big nod and it came home with me. I find it very unique with its black dramatic background (I have never seen one like this before. It reminds me of Josef Frank’s famous fabrics). I think it requires a white wall and the guest room might just be the perfect space. I will share with you later where it ends up. Meanwhile, I am just enjoying the colors and the fun details. The poster is from the 40’s and shows all the intricate elements of a Violet. (There is a cheat chart in the back for the teacher). Very often these posters were made by well known Swedish artists.


With all the beauty it offers it also makes me stop in my tracks and reflect a little. Schools (in fact our entire society) are moving away from real books and anything that requires manual (or should we say real?) effort. Instead web based classroom education seems to be the future. I can’t help but wonder what that will do to our kids’ use of their senses? Will they even learn to see in color? I think this poster is a stunning piece of art and I would like to think that the students back then were inspired when the teacher went thoroughly through all the elements of this beautiful flower. Will beauty and art be lost in this web crazy, social media and often surreal world?

I am holding on to my old educational poster and it will work as a reminder to myself  making sure that my kids are exposed to a lot of color and realness in their daily lives.

Before I end today I would like to extend a big thank you to the lovely Manvi, Lana, Charlotta and Mackenzie who all helped out with the second batch of guest posts. You are all oh so so talented and always kind and mega supportive.

Thank you all — it is good to be back in the saddle again!

Images via:
1. Apartment Therapy, 2. Apartment Therapy, 3. Hannis Hem. 4. Olands Byggnadsvard, 5. Unknown (sorry!). All the rest via Splendid Willow.
Written by Splendid Willow in: My Home | Tags:


  • Purple Area says:

    Great post as always, love these old posters!!

    Hoppas att du hade det bra i Stockholm och att ditt ‘projekt’ gick vägen som du tänkt dig. Hade varit kul att träffa dig, får hoppas på en annan gång.


  • Charlotta says:

    Oh what wonderful memories you bring back with that poster Mon! I loved those big ‘roller blind style’ posters that we had in our class room and the ones that my teacher would hang on the black board pending the focus of the term & the season. Do you remember the ‘months of the year’ posters that Elsa Beskow painted!? I have a full year (reproduced) ready to be hung one day, and I love them.

    Yes, I think the one you bought absolutely resembles a Josef Frank design – especially with the black backdrop. Do you know the artist of your one?

    Mia looks as gorgeous as she is nice. So nice that you met and got along so well. What a treat!
    I hope to meet her too one day once we are settled in Sweden. There are a bunch of wonderful Swedish blog girls that I can’t wait to give a huge hug. One of the biggest ones saved for you of course!

    xx sis

  • Carole says:

    Glad to hear you’re back to regular posting Mon!
    I love the poster and looking forward to seeing where you hang it.
    Have a great week.
    Carole x

  • Oh, I love it! What a fabulous find! I personally am a big fan of the industrial trend, have always liked loft living! I found a giant coloring book (giant, like, 15″x20″) of Charles Dickens ‘Pickwick Papers’, in German! It is so cool, I can’t wait to tear out the pages and frame them, hopefully it will come out looking like some of these (it’s black and white, never been colored in). Glad you got to meet Mia, she is one of my favorites! XX!

  • Mia says:

    Hi splendid Mon! I’m really glad you went for the old poster, it’s lovely and as I can see it’s perfect in your very nice home (which I hope to see live some day :)
    Many hugs!

  • Mon, what a wonderful post in celebration of your return to us! It could not be more beautiful. Your ‘new’ poster is breath-taking, and I am more than a little envious! Old charts and posters have always drawn my eye. As a matter of fact, you featured an astrological chart once that I went absolutely crazy over! And can you believe this: I was just clicking around from blog to blog yesterday and landed on Solid Frog! What a coincidence! I know you and Mia had a wonderful time.

    Do post your new find once it has a home. It’s a treasure.

    Welcome home, Mon! Love, Donna

  • Lana says:

    Yay, you’re back! Hope you’re well rested after your holiday, I love your description of your children ready for school, “equipped with tanned legs, new back packs and shiny shoes.” It brings back nostalgic memories of school!

    Also love your poster, am a big fan of botanical drawings and yours is stunning!xx

  • I would love to go “the firestation”, what fun! So glad you are back in the swing of things, I am almost there…

  • Willow Decor says:

    Welcome Back!! So glad your trip went well! LOVE the poster. Excited to work on our project.

  • Great to have you back as a regular poster. And of course, you started back with a beautiful post – no surprise! Cheers…

  • Hi Monika!
    It was so lovely to
    wake up to your sweet
    messages, this morning.
    Sounds like your summer
    was amazing. My kids
    are back at it today, too.
    Doesn’t seem fair that
    it’s 90 and sunny and
    they are inside : (
    LOVE this great find;
    would be thrilled to
    own one, myself. You
    are SO right about this
    techy age we live in.
    Not sure of the impact,
    down the road….
    Welcome back!
    xx Suzanne

  • Delishhh says:

    Monika – Welcome back. Brings back so many memories from school seeing these posters on the wall. I am so glad you had a good time in Sweden. Love this post!

  • Anci says:

    Hej !
    Den där affären hoppas jag kunna besöka snart. Du har möjligtvis inte adressen ?
    Kul att du är nöjd med din Sverigevistelse.

    Ha det så bra !


  • welcome back, darling Mon! hope you had a wonderful time on vacation! love the poster! I’m a bit worried about the internet monopoly too. xo

  • Stacey says:

    It’s nice to have you back and i adore your poster too! I am also a big fan of educational posters being used as decor in an interior(it may be because i’m a teacher, who knows?). Also, Mia sounds like a sweetheart. xx

  • escapade says:

    Yay you’re back! Hope you had the most wonderful time!
    Isn’t it funny how time/perspective changes things? I’ve been wanting one of these ‘institutional posters’ since I saw one used in a Dwell Studio catalogue a while back, all those years staring at them in a classroom I never thought I’d be wishing for one :)

    That shop looks like such a treasure trove – every corner filled with beautiful finds… And I was so happy for this post + now discovering Mia’s (who is stunning!) work! I rode horses almost all my life and am now lusting after one of her beautiful pieces.

    So glad you’re back!

  • Hey Monika!!!!!!!!!!
    Missed you!!!!! Not that I am sure your blog was well taken care of but so nice th have you back and so glad you had a great time in Sweden!!!!!!!!I can’ wait to see all the goodies and places you found…… love the poster, and thanks for the sweet comment on my blog…….xoxoxoxoMaryanne

  • Welcome back! I can’t get over how gorgeous these posters are! They are so very Josef Frank (and you know how I feel about him)! I’m so happy you got a chance to meet Mia. I only wish I could have been there too! It’s great to have you back, my dear! xoxo

  • Sarah Klassen says:

    It’s so so good to have you back! We really enjoyed the lovely guests you lined up, but still missed you :)

    I love these posters you show! I really enjoy how you reflect on design and style, but also about life and things that are happening right now, whether they are trends or our future children. Personally, I believe I will always be fond of live learning — I refused even one online class and don’t regret it at all.

    Off to check out your new friend’s blog… wishing you a wonderful evening, my friend :)


  • Leigha says:

    The third picture took my breath away. Need I say more? Off to track down that picture (and I’ll swing by to say hello to Solid Frog, too).

  • Piper says:

    It’s so nice to have you back!! I can’t get over how cool and beautiful the posters are – WOW!!! And what a great find to bring home with you – I love those things that remind you of your vacation!! Lovely post

  • That’s an awesome story Monika! I love stories like this….

    Glad you’re back sweetie!


  • The Zhush says:

    And its so nice to see you back in the saddle again! These posters and prints are gorgeous! Enjoyed reading more about your travels and your meet up with the lovely lady behind Solid Frog…love these types of stories.

  • Tina says:

    Nice to see that you´re back! Love all of the pictures! The last poster is my favourite. Absolutely stunning!
    Will for sure look up *Branstationen’, once I get to Stockholm. Love all these amazing Vintage stores!
    Have a great day!

  • Janell Beals says:

    Welcome back! Love your poster and very interesting thoughts about how so much of the learning is done online these days and what will that do for the development of our children’s senses. I’m sure someone is studying this!

    And yes, fall is here, I am so completely sad, I will miss the warm days and the kids hanging out with me all day! Janell

  • Jamilyn says:

    I know what you mean, I have been out of it this summer too. I am back too now that school just started! Anyway, love your poster. It is beautiful. Enjoy it!

  • Therese Long says:

    Welcome back, you’ve been missed!
    Love your vintage poster!
    I’m sure you had the summer to remember!!
    Much love to you Mon!

  • Emma says:

    What a fabulous poster. I agree a white wall would be perfect. The subject is so beautiful. So often, the educational posters I see are from the Biology classroom and feature dissections and other things you wouldn’t want on your walls!!

  • What a GORGEOUS poster this is! Such a gem to have hanging in your guest room.

    I;m so glad you and Mia had such a great time & connected instantly- it’s always so fun when that happens!


  • Oh, I love vintage classroom posters..! And yours is stunning, Mon. (And yes, don;t even get me started on the state of education..! Sigh.)

    But gorgeous photographs and a beautiful poster for your guest bedroom. And glad to hear you met with a blogger friend and connected.


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