Back From Stockholm (With Good Memories & Heavy Suitcases)

Hello (or Hej in Swedish) friends! I am back from Stockholm and grinning from ear to ear. Having spent quality time with family and enjoying a beautiful and festive Stockholm gives me fantastic energy for the next few months.

Trotting the streets in Stockholm also gave me tons of design inspiration and ideas. And I brought some of that back with me home.

1. Hyacinths EVERYWHERE

Fragrant hyacinths have got to be the most popular flower plant in Sweden during the winter season. Swedes make the most pretty and inspirational Hyacinth arrangements, often with treasures from mother nature. I LOVE hyacinths myself and I can’t imagine Christmas without them.

2. Modern Rustic Gnomes

Forget cheerful elves. The Swedes prefer quiet & witty gnomes to protect their homes. And the ones you see everywhere have their funky hats pulled down over their heads and are dressed in more neutral colors. A traditional gnome with a modern twist. Of course I brought a few fellows with me home.

 3. Reindeer hides

So pretty and winter rustic. You can find them in just about every design magazine and in decorated store windows all over Sweden.

I bought my first hide for my own home. Right now it is placed over one end of my dining table. But I’m sure it will travel around to the house and serve many purposes.

I am so happy with my gorgeous reindeer hide that we now have teamed up with the Swedish company selling them. They are based 80 km north of the Arctic Circle and the family business is on its third generation offering reindeer products. (Note: The hides are by-products of the food industry).

Reindeer hides are on their way from Sweden to our store, Splendid Avenue. We will only carry a limited edition — so place your order now if you want one. I expect them to go quickly.

 I also brought home a few other things for the store:

1. Several wonderful Swedish antique engravings (some as old as the 17th century)

2. Charming Swedish tile stoves (kakelugn) tea-light holders

I found this handmade beauty in the Old Town of Stockholm.

Tile stoves have a long history in Sweden. In the 1700’s, due to concerns over dwindling wood supplies in Sweden, two Swedes came up with a new energy efficient design (the internationally renowned “Kakelugn”) and by the late 1700’s Sweden had become famous for its cosy indoor temperatures.  Apart from providing an excellent source of heat, the “kakelugn” is also an object of great beauty.

The tea-light holder is made of ceramic by the talented artist Katarina Andersson and is as close to a real Swedish “kakelugn” as we will get here in the US!

3. Swedish Moccasins

Ok, I used to wear non-slip moccasins when I was a kid! And all my own children wore them. But none of them have been as cute as these Mocklis moccasins! All handmade in Sweden, with fun and unique patterns. We are super thrilled to now be carrying them in our store! (We will have them in stock around Dec. 10th).

Other than that I came home with tons of Swedish candy, clothes, home decor, food items, gifts, deodorant (US deodorants suck!), but most importantly loads of fun and precious memories.

Gigantic hugs to: Erik, Olle, Gunilla, Sanne, Anki, Sussi, Camilla, Sara, Adde, Monica, Petra & Anna.

You are the best and most beautiful friends!

This is my daughter Frida on our last day in Sweden. Surrounded by glorious, quiet, white snow!

Now switching gears from Sweden to Seattle… If you are interested in learning about my favorite winter holiday activities in Seattle, I invite you to my good friend Barbara’s Blog — HausDesign.

You can read my guest post here. And say hello to Ms. Barbara too! She is one lovely lady and friend. I am so glad that she moved to my city (after spending a few years in Germany).  Her blog is jam packed with beautiful home inspiration. That girl has excellent taste!

There you have it. A whirlwind trip to Sweden and now I am back in Seattle, busy decorating for the holidays! Thank you for tuning in. I look forward to hearing what you have been up to.

Hugs to you all. It is good to be back.


Written by Splendid Willow in: My Home,Store News,The Best of Sweden |


  • Greet says:

    Oh dear, oh dear !!! Love everything you brought from Sweden!! The reindeer hide and that cute little stove!!!
    You brought me good ideas my friend!!
    Thank you for sharing this with us!!

  • Charlotta says:

    Welcome back!
    I envisage you arriving like Santa with your sack packed with all these goodies. What fun to open that suitcase and share with the rest of the family.
    All that you shared above is fantastic and I particularly love the gnomes. And you are so right in that we tend to prefer the more grounded protectors of nature over the whimsical airy fairy ones! :)
    I am slowly dressing my home for Xmas, though not too much just yet. I prefer the restraint until Lucia, then I let myself go. Am scanning the forest for lovely treats to turn into decor – so much fun!

    SMSa mig när det passar att jag ringer, eller när jag kan posta mer deodorant!! Puss!

  • Delishhh says:

    So jealous! What a wonderful trip!! Do you know I am gnome crazy!!! Those are the cutest ones I have ever seen!! So glad you had a good trip! The picture of Frida is just gorgeous!!!

  • Welcome home, I have missed you! Frida is too cute…..pretty girl! I bet she had a blast. Looks like such fun, I love hyacinths, and that gorgeous botanical is simply beautiful. Nothing like coming home from a great trip loaded with goodies as keepsakes. Glad it was great and happy you are home safe..just in time for the Christmas chaos:)

  • Franki Parde says:

    I can feel your happiness clear on the East Coast!! Frida’s smile! franki

  • Gina says:


    So glad your trip was great. Miss talking to you. Your trip sounded wonderful!

    I MUST HAVE the tiled stove tea lights. How can I order them? They are amazing. Let me know so I can send you the $$$.



  • I’m so pleased that you had a such a lovely trip and thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. I’m loving those sweet little Gnomes and Reindeer hides!

  • Joe Clarke says:

    Welcome back, Mon. Your post have been missed.

    Look at all your new store goodies! LOVE the hides and the moccasins and the art and that tealight holder. Unique and lovely. You are on a roll!


    P.S Need to find some fragrant hyacinths, presto.

  • Welcome back Mon- Sounds like you had a fantastic time. The photo of your daughter is very sweet and I’m sure you both had such fun. I’m loving all your swedish inspiration-the art engravings are beautiful.
    Happy Holidays! XO

  • i am so thrilled to hear you had a fruitful trip to stockholm filled with wonder and inspiration. and that you were able to share it with frida–extra special. someday i will see it for myself.

    the hide looks gorgeous on the dining table, and all your touches are never wasted on me! i could move right in.

    love to you, friend. so glad you are safe at home.


  • classiq says:

    Hello, Monika. I love everything about this post, including the name. Precious memories, that’s the most wonderful gift, especially after a family reunion.

  • leslie says:

    Welcome back! Sounds like you had a wonderful time and are fully inspired :) Look at those goodies you brought back! Love the hides and moccasins (perfect for a cold and dark Seattle day:) xxleslie

  • romy says:

    Finally I know how those stoves are called! and with a little bite of history, thanks! I always notice them on Swedish houses, but I didn’t know anything about them.

  • Sylvia Rieck says:

    Welcome Home Mon! No snow here for you, but lots of rain :(
    Frida looks like a mini you! What a wonderful memories you 2 will have from this trip!

  • Tracey says:

    Okay, first off, your daughter is so adorable!!! I can smell those hyacinths from here and I want one of those knomes. Do you sell them? That fur is so fabulous looking.

  • Loi Thai says:

    Hey Mon – Welcome back! Your dining room is gorgeous….love those chairs, all the antique leather books and the hide draped over your table! The botanical print is fabulous. On my way to check out your shop ~

  • So happy that you are back, Monica! I know that you had a wonderful time in your homeland. Love everything that your brought back with you. The hides and the gnomes are perfect1
    Enjoyed Barbara’s post too, sweet lady.
    Happy Tuesday.

  • LiveLikeYou says:

    LOVE everything,so pretty and so Swedish! It’s making me homesick. Your daughter is adorable! And you are an amazing photographer, seriously.

  • Marianne says:

    Welcome back!!! So glad to hear you had a wonderful time! Can’t wait to catch up with you soon to hear all the details. xo

  • I meant to say yesterday that I looked at the engravings and they’re REALLY beautiful! But I saw the little flag ornaments again and thought they’d be perfect for a Swedish friend of mine. You’ve got some really unique, wonderful items!

  • Ingela says:

    Hej Monica,
    idag prövar vädrets makter oss, vi har snökaos här i Stockholm bl.a.

    Sina rötter bär man alltid med och du delar dom så fint med både familj,
    vänner och läsare.

    Nu ska jag försöka knuffa upp dörren och skotta fram trappan och bilen.
    Maken är på väg hem från Chicago, han göra resten sen.

    Må så gott och njut av ditt fina svenska julpynt!

    Xo Ingela @ Love your homes

  • Meredith says:

    Welcome back and what beautiful products you have brought back from your country! Swedish folk designs are so gorgeous. FYI, besides some fantastic design inspiration, your blog always reminds me of the exchange student from Stockholm who came to my high school in Las Vegas years ago. He was soooooo dreamy and we always gave each other shy glances when passing in the hallway. Oh…. what could have been!

    Peter C. Reply:

    I just have to chime in here…As a fellow who found his dream girl in Stockholm (Hi Mon;) I fully endorse heading over there and making your dream a reality. At the very least, it’s a fantastic city and as an American…Well…Let me just say, the Swedes dig us 😉
    Big cheers,
    Oh and…Hej Frida!

  • Linda says:

    Envious!! Sounds like you had a fantastic trip. Love this post. And… I agree about the deodorant. They do suck in the U.S. Have a good weekend!

  • Robin Horton | Urban Gardens says:

    Oh how the Scandinavians have a knack for great style and design! And you have so beautifully curated and selected from some of what I dream of seeing for myself. Years ago I took my son to Iceland and was amazed to find such great design there too. I may have to sang a reindeer hide for myself….thanks for the the lovely share. Have a great holiday!

  • Gunilla says:

    Hej cutipie(s)! We were so lucky to have you here – and so happy to spend so much time with you. Last night when we went out to dinner Alicia just kept saying “Monika and Frida”, “Monika & Frida” – well obviously you made an impact! Oh how I wish we lived closer..

  • Jody says:

    Your daughter is so beautiful !

    Love Sweden…my husband`s grandfather was born there. My husband and I have had many wonderful trips to Stockholm.

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