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Stockholm–Mad About Design

There must be something in the icy, snowbound winters with their short days, or the endless daylight and mild temperatures of summer that sparks so much creativity in the Scandinavian countries. Or, might the source of inspiration be the vast, leafy forests and myriad lakes? Whatever lies behind the secret, the fact is that the visitor to Stockholm never fails to be stunned by the sheer reach and quality of design there. It is present in the architecture, the apparel, the decoration in shops, bars and restaurants, hotel interiors and the privacy of people’s homes. It is all-enveloping and exerts a fascination on the traveller. Their flair for creating soothing environments based on simple, yet warm lines never ceases to be a source of wonder. In a nutshell, it can be defined in just three words – modern, simple and functional.

Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair

Needless to say, Stockholm hosts one of the leading design fairs in Europe, the Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair, where the latest trends in Scandinavian design are rolled out. This year it will be held from 9 to 13 February and will feature all kinds of relevant activities. As with previous years, the lounge in the main entrance will be designed by an international designer or studio. On this occasion, the Britons Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby will do the honours, as well as chairing a mass seminar for all atendees at the Stockholm Design Talks. Among the novelties at this year’s edition is Established, a section dedicated to promoting designers and studios with small-scale production, also known as makers.Young designers and design schools have also been addressed at this fair, as they have their own section, Greenhouse, a display window produced by the studio, Form Us With Love.

Stockholm Design Week

Stockholm Design Week will be held from 8 to 14 February, overlapping the Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair. It will involve all kinds of design-related activities, including lectures, presentations, events and inaugurations, to be hosted in a wide variety of showrooms and other venues in the city. Check out the full programme here.

Still More Design!

If you’ve still got the energy after so much activity, or you aren’t able to attend the fair, you can always steep yourself in design by touring some of the city’s leading districts and even pick up the odd souvenir. Following are some pointers:

Östermalm is Stockholm’s most exclusive district, where you are best positioned to find the major upmarket brands. There, everything is distributed by areas. If you’re looking for the best fashion labels, you would head for Biblioteksgatan and Bibliotekstan. If, on the contrary, you’re hunting for the big international brands, and stores specialising in design, fashion and jewellery, the best places are Birger Jarlsgatan and the area around Stureplan. If antiquities are your thing, then pay a visit to  Arsenalsgatan and Nybrogatan, where you will also come across some of Stockholm’s major auction houses. Lastly, the area ringed by Sibyllegatan, Östermalmstorg, Karlavägen, Stureplan and Strandvägen boasts some of the best interior design stores in the city.

Then there is Södermalm, on the South Island. It is more of a small hipster town than a district. It goes without saying that vintage fashion and design are the all rage here, as are long beards (albeit well trimmed) and organic cuisine. Everything is centred around Götgatan, Skånegatan and the area known as SoFo, the abbreviated form of “south of Folkungagatan”. Finally, there are a number of craft shops near Slussen and in Hornsgatan.

To wind up, in contrast to the aforementioned areas, you should make a point of visiting Gamla Stan to find out what the city was like before the design craze set in. Gamla Stan, the old city, is one of Europe’s largest and best preserved medieval cities and one of Stockholm’s major landmarks. This is where the city was founded in 1252. Indeed, the whole district is from a wholly different era. You will, of course, come across tourists but, unless you get caught up with the flow, and if you pay attention, you will have the odd pleasant surprise in the form of a traditional Swedish craft shop.

Ready to soak up good design in Stockholm? Choose your flight here.

 

Text by ISABELYLUIS Comunicación

Images by Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair