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Good Design {For All} In Stockholm

One thing amongst many that I completely loved about Stockholm is that good design truly is accessible to all income levels. It wasn’t just at DesignTorget, ?hl?ns, or Svenskt Tenn, but great things could be found in even the budget shops and especially the vintage and antiques stores.

Some textiles that I purchased, I love the new Elisabeth Dunker pattern to the far right called Str?ssel, I have 2 yards now for sewing a roman shade for my kitchen and it cost about $80 USD total for the fabric from ?hl?ns.

(this image only via Elisabeth)


This (below) is ?hl?ns, it’s right in the center of Stockholm so you can jump off the train at Central station and go directly upstairs to ?hl?ns, DesignTorget, even an inexpensive store called Lagerhaus that we discovered while roaming around that I’d not heard of before. I’ll show you Lagerhaus further down in this post. But first, back to ?hl?ns. It reminded me a lot of Herrods in London or KaDeWe in Berlin.


The sales lady in their fabric department was so sweet, she even allowed me to take a few photos. Look at these gorgeous bolts of drool-inducing Scandinavian prints. I had to hold myself back because I truly wanted to buy a yard or two of each for further projects.
I should add that this store not only has amazing textiles, but the best selection of things for the home, like curtains, duvets, cookware, and I can’t even get into their floor of fashion. I could have dropped several thousand dollars on each floor, everything was so on target with my personal taste that I felt like I had walked into a giant decor8 blog or that perhaps the entire store wasn’t called ?hl?ns at all, but Holly-Land perhaps? Have you ever been into a store where you could own everything? For me, ?hl?ns was such a store. (Along with Pure And Simple, a boutique store near our hotel.)


Of course, good design should be available to all, and in Stockholm, it truly is. Lagerhaus located at Birger Jarlsgatan 18 was so inexpensive that I had to pinch myself, in some cases prices were lower than IKEA. From tin tea cans to bread boards, curtains, pillows, decals, postcards, mugs… Okay just about anything you can think of, Lagerhaus had it in abundance at great prices. I snapped a few quick photos while inside their store to give you a glimpse. Most of what you see is under $10!


Speaking of affordable, Swedish blogger Emma took me to a Salvation Army store in SoFo that is a fair trade store and they had some incredible stuff for the lowest prices. Of course, there’s a lot of vintage shops around the city, a few of my favorites include Retro Etc., where I found this bread board that is 30 years old for under $20. This shop was so color loaded that you nearly need sunglasses to walk through the front door. And it’s not just retro vintage stuff, there’s lots of brand new goodies to look through like Mibo lighting and Orla Kiely deliciousness.


I also must comment on how easy it was to find gorgeous textiles in Sweden. Almost every store that offered pillows or curtains also sold the same fabric from bolts, you could purchase whatever you wanted and as a sewer, I appreciated seeing this so much. My ‘issue’ back in America is all the “to the trade only” nonsense, and although I can walk in and buy what I need, many cannot so they’re banned from these items unless they have an contact or hire a designer, etc.

Back home, the common shopper, and I say common with all due respect just to mean someone who doesn’t belong to the trade, has to go to fabric stores in either the big cities or the suburban chain fabric stores and hope to find some stylish textiles because what they really want is only available to certain people, if you know what I mean, those trade people. And I dislike this very much.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think this whole “to the trade” even exists in Sweden because again, good fabric was all over the city and anyone could walk up to a sales clerk and purchase yardage in their favorite print. I couldn’t believe it. I really wish that in America, this whole practice is eventually done away with because it shuts out so many from things that they would otherwise own if only they had access to it.

I like Elle Decor, House and Garden, and other high end glossies for their gorgeous style and eye for design, but when I check the resource guide and see 90% of everything shown in the magazine is mostly to the trade only, I get this sinking feeling because I know that my friends are shut out and it’s not fair. Then, on the opposite side of the spectrum, you have design-friendly and extremely accessible and savvy Stockholm. Another reason why this city completely rocked.

{I’m heading out to a fusion Japanese Jazz concert with friends, so I’ll be back tomorrow with more Stockholm finds for you to enjoy.}

(images from holly becker for decor8)

Posted in textiles, travel on October 10, 2007

Flying Duck

Craig wrote to me from a Manchester(UK) based company called Flying Duck that offers a range of handmade products from wall art to pillows and handbags. All designs are batik prints and some are made with wax, designed by Craig and his colleagues at Flying Duck.

Though they’re based in the UK, the good news is that they’ll ship worldwide. So for those of you in love with ethnic prints, you can select some of these vibrant beauties for your home with no worries in regards to that. Yay! For UK residents, the news gets even better: shipping within the UK is completely free of charge.


Thank you Craig for writing in!

(images from flying duck)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, textiles on September 27, 2007

Pure Deco, L?onor Mataillet, and Atelier LZC

I never tire of fluffy colorful pillows, it’s a sickness I have and baby, I’m not looking to be cured so don’t even try! It’s the one accessory that I turn to when I need to freshen a corner of my home. I’ve confessed a million times before that I’m completely aware of my design ADD and tire of things quickly, but I’m not the only one. It’s perfectly normal for design addicts like us to tire of things we look at each day. Since most of us can’t replace the sofa that we’re not sick to death of, we have to find alternative solutions to make things fresh and current. This is where our puffy friends step in…

When designing on the cheap, I look to pillows, throws, area rugs, affordable art, and mini collections of things carefully styled to turn up the volume. A tip for pillow addicts, try to purchase pillow covers that either zip or button on and keep reusing the inserts as you swap out the patterns each season. They’re also easier to store this way, just fold and tuck away into your linen closet. And always use down inserts because they make the entire pillow look better and more relaxed than those overstuffed polyfil ones, and never, ever karate chop them because despite how many times you see this done on television, it really does look dumb. Freshly chopped pillows arranged like little bow ties give me that same oh-no-please feeling that I have whenever I’m watching some design show on TV and there’s yet another throw rug shown on an angle. I think Becky from Design Public’s blog Hatch will laugh when she reads this, as I know we’ve had many a conversation about weird design ‘tricks’ we’ve seen on reality shows that in real life, look odd and dated – not in a cool vintage find way, more like in a parachute pants way.

I just adore the bold graphics on these L?onor Mataillet pillows available at Pure Deco, and of course the folkloric prints on the Atelier LZC cushions.

(images from pure decor)

Posted in textiles on September 27, 2007

Volksfaden: Online Fabric Store

Have you heard of the online fabric shop called Volksfaden based out of Berlin? Volksfaden, translated as the “people’s threads”, have such an exciting array of fabrics imported from Japan and the United States. I’m tickled to learn about Volksfaden because when I’m in Germany I never know where to find such fabrics and now I do, I can order from a local online fabric store in case I require some additional yardage for a project. Shipping will be a breeze.


With names like Amy Butler, Kyo Yasai and My Folklore by Lecien, Free Spirit, Erin Michael, and Joel Dewberry, you can be certain that there’s something for you. And check out how they collage fabrics with vintage photos on their website. The more I look at them, the more I think of mixed media collages and what a great idea this would be for creating mini DIY art.

Thank you Linda for writing to me today about your shop. It’s great.

(images from volkfaden)

Posted in shopping, textiles, travel on September 20, 2007

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