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Ljungbergs Textiles (Sweden)

I love to learn the history behind some of my favorite companies because their beginnings are often based on real experiences that I can relate to as a freelancer; passion, struggle, determination, a genuine love for the trade, and a willingness to reach ones personal best, no matter how hard or how uphill it may seem at times.

It’s one thing to be a writer or a design consultant. Quite another to own your own printery like one of my favorite textile manufacturers, Ljungbergs. I imagine the process of perfecting the prints, fine tuning the colors, hiring trained staff, operating large machinery, all of it must take a great deal of patience and much time to ‘get right’. Especially since being the best printer means being an absolute perfectionist.

Ljungbergs is a printery founded by Erik Ljungberg in 1949, one of the most skilled textile printers in Sweden in his time. Ljungberg was hired by Svenskt Tenn to produce Josef Frank fabrics, which are still in production today, all hand printed and gorgeous. Long after Ljungberg passed in 1983, his dream lives on and the printing continues.

One bit I didn’t know about Ljungbergs is that they not only take on large commissions, but will gladly work with anyone on a small project, printing patterns on cotton or linen. Another interesting fact is that they have a showroom in Stockholm, Area, and an outlet store in Floda, not far from G?teborg. If you ever hear I’m visiting Sweden, you know where to find me.

Ljungbergs shares a brief history behind their signature fabric, which I found completely fascinating. “Signed Textiles took its start in 1954 when the Swedish department store NK launched a new collection of fabrics for the expanding public sector in Sweden. The idea was to improve the status of textile design as an art form by letting the artists sign their work. The copyright regulations regarding art work at this time was still neglected.”
Learn more about their signature fabric here.

Like most of you, my best ideas flow freely when I see something I connect with on some level, no matter how small or insignificant the same item may be to someone else, it doesn’t matter because it’s my experience and what I take away from it that gives me the inspiration I need. I’m certain you process things much the same. I’m a very tactile and expressive person, so I love fabric because I can not only touch it for instant pleasure, but also shape and sew it into many different forms so it can serve as something pleasing to the eye, functional, or both – allowing me to express myself. When I see a pattern that stimulates my mind, ideas flow so freely that I have to write them all down to keep up. The textiles that Ljungbergs prints sends my brain into absolute overdrive.

How do you respond to prints and patterns?

(images from ljungbergs)

Posted in Objects, shopping, travel on March 15, 2007

Dishing Top Design – Episode #6 Open Thread

Here’s our Top Design open thread for Wednesday, March 14th. Meet you back here after the show, and if you’re too tired to post tonight, we can dish tomorrow… :)

(image from top design)

Posted in reality tv on March 15, 2007

Green Tea Design – 10% Discount for decor8 Readers!

Green Tea Design, a decor8 sponsor, offers beautiful Asian-inspired design and wants to extend a 10% discount to decor8 readers from now until March 31st. Whether you visit their Toronto storefront or phone in your order, just mention that you read about them on decor8 and you’ll receive a 10% discount off your order total.

As someone that loves an eclectic interior, I’m relatively open-minded when it comes to design and merging various styles. I could easily incorporate some of these peices into a more contemporary space, especially the wood panels (above left) – paint them a bright coat of teal (see this post for inspiration or this post for an idea) and display them on the wall or in front of a window. Or, add legs and top with glass and you have a sofa table. The red bench shown above would look great with a customized cushion – use a print like the modern Japanese floral or these terrific circles + squares pilows from one of my absolute favorite designers, Florence Broadhurst (sold at Weego Home) and you’ve bumped the bench up to that glamorous Hollywood style that’s so huge right now in the world of interiors. Imagine how gorgeous an entryway would be with her wallpaper and a table from Green Tea Design…

Pillows from Weego Home.

Even some of the papers shown below, from Walnut Wallpaper, would work with many peices from Green Tea Design. You can even go a little outside of the lines with this and purchase an ornate table, like the above piece shown in red, and paper the wall behind it with the dotted ovals from Neisha Crosland or Kelly Wearstler’s updated trellis pattern. Mix and match styles, have no fear!

Wallpaper that works with this style.

There’s more to Asian than meets the eye, so explore the ideas and be careful not to limit yourself to seeing Asian only in one way, in a completely Zen den way. Flip through the pages of Elle Decor magazine, look through the portfolio of Kelly Wearstler, Asian furnishings can blend in beautifully in an array of living spaces.

Interior inspiration from KWID

Thanks so much Green Tea Design for extending this special discount to all of us. We really appreciate your generous spirit! To learn more about them and to tour thier showroom, watch this video. Green Tea Design offers worldwide shipping, too.

Interior inspiration from KWID

(images from green tea design, weego home, domino mag, and walnut)

Posted in discounts, Objects, shopping, travel on March 14, 2007

Maiden (and my moroccan wedding quilt dreams)

I hope every single person reading this purchases the Independent London Store Guide by Moritz Steiger & Effie Fotaki. Joy first tuned us in to this great read, and Danielle received her copy over the weekend and seems to love it to, because she’s been blogging a few of her favorite stores from this amazing guide over on the Style Files. With over 165 shops featured, from furniture to art, food to fashion, this is the best London guide ever. My copy arrived this past Saturday and I finally had a moment to look it over last night. Brilliant!

One store I found through its pages is Maiden, a very laid-back approach to home decor with a focus on natural materials, French and Swedish country style, and items that display a sense of character – that worn charm that we all love. I adore the images on their website and that you can shop them online. As I looked over the site, it was no surprise to learn that owner, Anna Unwin, is both a stylist and a interior designer.

I really like Maiden’s decorative accessories, especially the handblown glass baubles. Even more than that, I love how these baubles are displayed, casually strung together over a wooden hanger on a doorknob. What a great idea. It would even be fun to do this with lightbulbs, especially those slim candle bulbs meant for chandeliers.

Isn’t this original Swedish dresser gorgeous? I love the color and the drawers – so much storage – this would work so well in a home office to tuck away files, art supplies, and such. What really has me drooling though is this handmade Moroccan wedding pillow. I don’t really want the pillow, but to see it reminded me of something I’ve lusted over for at least 10 years already (or more). I’ve always wanted a Moroccan wedding quilt, in this exact natural color palette. I absolutely love them and hope that someday, if I ever get over to Marrekesh to visit my friends Maryam and Julie, I will find one at a local bazaar or something… I actually dream about the day that I have a Moroccan wedding quilt on my bed. Maybe I’ll write to Anna and see if she can point me to a resource.

Do you have a similar fixation on something? Please tell me about it so I don’t feel alone in this. I know it’s a material object, but I really have to own one…

(images from maiden)

Posted in shopping, travel on March 14, 2007


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