Concrete Candlesticks – Lovely Twist On “Old Swedish”

I have admired Tove Adman’s candlesticks for years. They are immensely popular in Sweden and are often featured in leading design magazines.

The talented, Swedish designer Tove Adman has put her own modern twist on candlesticks from classic Swedish antique periods — Swedish Baroque (ca 1600-1715) and Rococo (1750-1775) and The Gustavian period (ca 1772 – 1810).

Here is the “real” deal:

A pair of original Swedish Baroque candlesticks

A pair of original Swedish Rococo candlesticks

A pair of original Swedish Gustavian candlesticks

And here are Tove’s interpretations:

“Swedish Style mix” – Baroque and Rococo (Tove’s first model from 1994).




All candlesticks are handmade in Sweden, on the beautiful island Gotland (from where the viking sheep pelts we carry in our store also come from).

I think they are absolutely fabulous and they suit this gray loving and edgy classic lady to a tee.

Happy to share that we will be carrying them in our “NEW” store (yes, I have told you I have been a busy beaver lately!), launching very soon.

(Let me know – – if you are interested in reserving a candlestick or two from the first shipment. Baroque candlestick approx. $68/each. Note: The Gustavian candlestick is sold as a pair, approx. $133/set of 2).

I will be placing mine on my old, beloved secretaire. I will show you once they are “home”.

 Happy Memorial weekend to my fellow American readers.

Warm hugs to you all.


Photo credit: No. 1 via Anna-Malin Helt Enkelt/Skona Hem, no. 9 via Splendid Willow.

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


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 |


Collectively Dreaming Of A Second Home In Sweden

I have a bunch of really good Swedish friends here in Seattle. A really fun, smart and highly entertaining group of people, I must say! (Mariana and Pernilla I still can’t get over the fact that you deserted us… I miss you.). The lovely & lively, former theater maven, Sofia, just sent out a link to a house for sale in the southern parts of Sweden, that she knows very well. The hostess with the mostess, beautiful Ulrika, quickly chimed in and suggested that we all pitch in and get it as a collective “vacation home away from home”. And as with anything with these ladies, e-mails & energizing ideas quickly started flying.

Here it is. The house is 100+ years old and it goes under the name “The Main Cottage”.

It is situated in the very desirable town Bastad (top Tennis & Beach spot in Sweden).

My first reflection. Oh how fresh! The Swedes know a thing or two about keeping things light and airy. (The country is dark and cold for many months of the year, Swedes need light to get through it!). And the homes are generally easy to clean!

White is clearly a must for a Swede. White walls or white floors or both. That will be the colors for my new master bedroom. Yep. You will see).

White is so easy to add punches of color to.

View from a bedroom.

And here is “The Little Cottage”, the guest house.

I can totally see myself co-sharing this vacation home. (Who is in charge of the money collection jar, ladies?).

Happy rest of the week to everyone.

An official and warm welcome to so many new followers. My blog subscription list is growing by leaps and bounds. What an honor! Thank you. And thank you again.

Images: no. 1 Killebacken 21, all other images via Eklund.


Written by Splendid Willow in: The Best of Sweden,White rooms |


Swedish Antiques Splendor

Busy, busy over here. Sorry for the lack of blog visits this week. I have some serious blog catching up to do.

My lovely, local blog sis, Marianne, recently gave me an article from Architectural Digest. As some of you know, I had fun for a couple of years importing high-quality Swedish antiques to the US. I stopped when the economy tanked and then started my blog instead.

But I have not ruled out doing it again. I love Swedish antiques. I grew up with them and they never get boring to me.

Swedes like to keep things simple, soothing and “quiet” and that is why so many of the old Swedish pieces still work centuries later. Swedish antiques are beautiful on their own but, because of the simple lines and neutral color palette, they can easily be mixed with other styles & eras. There are very few antique “styles” you can say that about.

The article Marianne gave me was about Jill Dienst moving her antiques gallery (Dienst + Dotter Antikviteter) from Sag Harbor to Manhattan. I have mentioned Ms. Dienst on my blog before but the Manhattan store is all news to me.

When I saw the pictures of her new store, I almost started to hyperventilate. Man oh Man. Swedish antiques are, in my opinion, out of this world gorgeous. And see how lovely they blend with Danish mid-century furniture. I am so visiting this gallery on my planned spring trip to NY.

Jill’s good friend Martha Stewart (via Kevin Sharkey) showed some pictures of the store opening on her blog.

Martha will have to fight me for this column cabinet. (In the old days, secret liquor was often stored in them!).

I also want a silver vessel to store my store business cards in…

Speaking of store. A big thank you to two dear blog friends for their unexpected shout-outs for my store. What a treat! And this coming from you — two ladies with tremendous style and taste! It means a lot.

Thank you Laura (Laura Casey Interiors)!

Thank you Teresa (Splendid Sass)!

I follow both blogs loyally. You should too.

Happy rest of the week, friends.

Images: No. 1, 6-9 via Martha Stewart/Kevin Sharkey, no. 2-5 via AD.

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


What I Brought With Me From Sweden

After having been on this planet for quite a while I am still not sure I understand the concept of traveling lightly… Ask my great long time friend Sanne (I love you girlfriend!), who always kidnaps me from the city to her lovely home outside of Stockholm for a night or two before I fly back to the US. We adore hanging out together but after knowing each other for some 30 years (!), Sanne still raises her eyebrows everytime she sees my luggage! (Not to mention what my Hubby says when he picks me up at the airport…).

This time the suitcases were filled with gifts from family & friends, design things for my store, things from my Mom’s home, many gifts for loved ones, Swedish designer clothes and shoes, Swedish food & books, and some extra special things just because I can’t find them on the other side of the planet! Trust me when I say that I am normally not a shopaholic EXCEPT when I go back to my Mother land. I do tend to go a little nutty then.  (Perhaps I am desperately trying to hold on to my roots? Who knows…).

Just a few highlights:

1. A few new stunning Asa Lindstrom ceramic cups (handmade with 18K gold rim). I slowly keep adding to my collection. I don’t “collect” many things — but these cups I go absolutely crazy for.

This is where they hang out. I plan to fill all 25 cubbies!

 2. An old, original letter from 1649. Just pretty. (I framed it when I got home).

3. This little Swedish ceramic guy. A fox with an attitude perhaps? He puts a grin on my face and he lives in a cup. That is funny to me!

4. Chocolate from the fine chocolate store, “Chokladfabriken (Chocolate Factory) a few steps from my Mom’s home. A store bestseller is Swedish liquirice dipped in chocolate with a tad of sea salt on top. Only a true Scandinavian (or someone brave) will appreciate that!

5. A few classic mini glass vases from Svenskt Tenn (the most classic interior design institution in Sweden). I wish I could have brought a sofa with me…

These glasses are called Acorn” vases. The founder of Svenskt Tenn, Estrid Ericson, had gigantic acorn trees at her summer house in the 40’s. She designed this vase specifically for acorn growth.You are supposed to let an acorn sit on a moist piece of paper towel for a few weeks (preferably in the refrigerator). Once the acorn starts to sprout, you pop it into the vase and then watch a simple green branch start to embrace life.

That is all I dare to share today.

Do you also go shopping crazy when you travel? Please, let my Hubby know that I am not alone!

Happy long weekend! (Monday is President’s day here in the US).

 Image credits: No. 1 via Bon Appetit Hon, no. 2-6 via Splendid Willow, no. 9 via HouseMartin.


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

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