Suzy Hoodless + Ingeborg Lundin

The first time I saw this image from the portfolio of the British designer extraordinaire Suzy Hoodless, I gasped. How incredibly pleasing to the eye. This just makes me want more of less. (See more of Suzy’s portfolio here).

Today I went through some files for a fun project I am working on and saw this lovely image again but this time I also noticed Ingeborg Lundin’s famous apple vase, from the fifties. Now I love Suzy Hoodless even more!

Ingeborg Lundin’s (1921-1992) art glass, produced at Orrefors, catches Scandinavian designs’ central attributes; modest beauty and functional simplicity, also described as the Swedish Grace.

In 1947, Ingeborg Lundin became the first woman designer at Orrefors. She gave a new dynamic aspect to engraved glass. Lundin’s “Apple” illustrates the graceful, daring glass of the 1950’s  and it created a worldwide stir.

The Apple was created for the influential Helsingborg 55 exhibition, and remains as a symbol, not only for that exhibition, but for the golden age of Swedish art glass. This design earned her the title “The Balenciaga of glass”.

This Apple vase used to be high up on my wish list for many, many years, but then I kind of gave up… I am immeditely putting it back on my list – today! In a couple of weeks I am leaving for Stockholm, and I might need to give the fabulous store Jacksons (specializes in the best of Scandinavian vintage design 1900 – 2000) a call. The hand blown apple vase is sitting on top of the lovely cabinet in the back. It screams – bring me home!

Written by Splendid Willow in: Art & Antiques,Designers, Illustrators, Photographers, Stylists,Simply Swedish Style | Tags: , ,


Investing In One Good Swedish Antique

I know very little about antiques in general but I do know a little bit about Swedish antiques. I was surrounded by them growing up and I have had my own antique import business. Now I am just an avid collector (hoping for a good lottery win so I can go to my secrets spots in Sweden and buy more!)

My personal design style is to mix very old with very new. I love real contrasts. I can’t think of any other antique style that mixes so well with a contemporary style as the old Swedish – particularly the “simple gray period” 1750 – 1850. Furniture was painted gray before and long after the internationally recognized “Swedish Gustavian” period (1771-1792).

When people ask me what Swedish antique to invest in, I always say start with something simple. I would suggest a good quality sideboard/buffet, a quality bench with upholstery or a quality 3 drawer chest (each preferably with its original paint although they are rare since most of these pieces have been repainted (often many times over) in the 19th century and early 20th centuries). These items are attractive & functional. They are easy to place, easy to sell and  will only go up in value (even if the price tag most often is steep from the beginning).

If you don’t buy them directly from Sweden then there are several professional and really great stores in the US focusing on Swedish antiques. You will want to work with people who live and breathe Swedish antiques and who travel to Sweden to hand pick their pieces (and are, if needed, willing to learn from Swedish experts). Do your research well and you may end up with a really lovely Swedish companion that will be treasured for generations.

Pictures of inventory – (from top):  Lief Almont, Avolli, Evergreen Antiques and Tone-on-Tone.

Written by Splendid Willow in: Art & Antiques,Simply Swedish Style | Tags:


Peter Frie

Peter Frie (born in Sweden 1947) is arguably one of the leading landscape painters in Sweden today. He has won many prestigious awards worldwide. In Sweden he is being represented by the internationally renowned art gallery, Galleri Lars Bohman.

“Peter Frie’s paintings are rooted in the long tradition of landscape painting, and especially in the way of depicting the landscape as a powerfully charged mood. The paintings manifest a powerful sense of place, but they also have a metaphorical dimension, so that any overly explicit link with a certain place tends to become blurred. Frie does not reproduce views, but paints memories. Peter Frie frequently arranges his painted theme so that it is part of a white painted ground, leaving this ‘empty’ space to act as a balancing factor that emphasizes the landscape theme. The large white areas flanking the depicted image permit a sense of expansion, like a screen behind which a continuation of the landscape will be revealed. They also have the capacity to concentrate the image, to intensify the spectator s scrutiny and his emotional response”. Jeremy Lewison, Director of Collections, Tate Gallery, London 1998.

In the manner of the nineteenth century British artists J.M.W Turner and John Constable, Frie creates contemporary landscapes that are unashamedly beautiful and intensely arresting. In the tradition of German artist Caspar David Friedrich, Frie’s landscapes are simultaneously intimate and expressive. His work also shares an affinity with other Northern Romantic artists such as the Norwegian painter Johan Christian Claussen Dahl (1788-1857) who sought to convey human emotion through his landscapes. (Oil on canvas on wood blocks from The New Art Centre in the UK).

Since 1988 Frie’s paintings have been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions throughout Europe. His work is included in the collection of the Moderna Museet, Stockholm, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, and the Friesichen Museum, Leeuwarden, Holland as well as private collections in Europe and the United States.

If you ever get an opportunity, do not hesitate to visit one of his exhibitions. I can guarantee you that you will not be disappointed. Peter Frie is a master painter and his abstract landscapes really capture the brilliance of the Scandinavian terrain.

Written by Splendid Willow in: Art & Antiques,The Best of Sweden | Tags:


Living Well With Art in Sweden

Here is an opportunity for all the Swedes (or people interested in moving to Sweden!) who have a real passion for art, have some money under their mattresses and are looking for something meaningful to do. Maybe getting ready for a complete life change.

Take over this thriving art gallery situated in the most beautiful surroundings with its own cafe and wine cellar and get your own lovely living space on top of the gallery! The “Kabusa” art gallery is located in Glemmingebro along the popular and beautiful cost line Osterlen, in the southeastern parts of Sweden.

Life is short. I am a bit tempted myself! I really hope this lovely piece of property & history ends up in great hands and that it continues to do well.

The main building, built in 1899, used to be an old starch manufacturer but was in the 1900-hundreds turned into an art hall/museum. The building is situated on a huge lot, part of the most idyllic scenery. (Skeppsholmen Makleri is the real estate agency behind the listing. See here for more information).

This would be your new art gallery! Almost a royal feel with the old, beautiful stone floors and high ceilings with old rustic wooden beams.

The gallery is famous for its wonderful atmosphere and light.

A lovely and friendly cafe is part of the gallery, serving only good home made comfort foods and treats.

Summer time the cafe doors are open to this lovely and unpretentious stone terrace. How peaceful.

Welcome to your new living quarters! The area is designed to showcase your own private art collection.

State of the art kitchen. You are in Sweden after all.

Huge living room connected with the open kitchen. White walls and white washed hard wood floors capture all the light.

Spacious, private office.

Master bed room with lovely views over the property and breathtaking surroundings.

Master bathroom. Clearly not the same old, same old. Wonderful materials. It even has its own sauna.

Guest bath room.

The water and the long beach within a short distance. The Kabusa art hall is situated right where the water begins to meet the lightly sandy hills. I can breathe that fresh air. I can feel new, wonderful beginnings for someone really, really lucky!

Written by Splendid Willow in: Art & Antiques,Real Estate in Sweden,The Best of Sweden | Tags: ,


Swedish Timeless Grandfather Clocks

This contemporary concrete grandfather floor clock from Forsberg Form in Sweden is already considered a classic. It has won a lot of recognition and is represented at many galleries and ambassador residences all over the world.

Each clock is signed and numbered and the total limited edition is 180.  Simple, current and timeless in one great package.

Now the same could be said for this beautiful Swedish painted classical tall case clock, ca 1820, which I found at Tone-On-Tone in Maryland (Swedish Heirlooms in Seattle also offers similar clocks off and on). Simple, stunning & timeless. You can never go wrong with a piece like that.

Which one do I prefer? I am so mixed in my design style that I drive myself crazy at times. To capture myself  I would really need them both! I would place each of them in totally opposite and unexpected environments. At least I am always loyal to a specific color scheme, Swedish gray!

Written by Splendid Willow in: Art & Antiques,Home Goods & Accessories,Simply Swedish Style | Tags:

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