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.