STOCKHOLM - The most designed places

Stockholm - When Functionality Meets Beauty

When I was invited, at the beginning of a hot summer, to a design award ceremony in the italian city Como, I decided to treat myself prize and travel from there to an especially designed destination. The choice was simple – Stockholm (a city rife with awards) met all the requirements. And so, at the end of two exciting days in Como, we flew not only to one peaceful island, but to 14 islands connected by 57 bridges, surrounded by a sea and lake.

Simplicity, minimalism and functionality are the three magic components of Swedish design. Modernism based on the desire to invoke light and air, contrast, clarity and precision. The Scandinavian style is characterized by a calm palette of colors against a black and white background, contrasting and complementing old and new objects, combined with natural materials, inspired by nature. In Sweden, fashion design and interior design speak the same language, and assemble a relaxed harmony, effortless and whole. In this relaxed and beautiful city, a large number of design shops combine furniture, lighting, and accessories with cafés and plants. The need for light and the desire to illuminate everyday life are expressed in Sweden through an emphasis on the design of lighting fixtures, a large variety of candles, and a significant attention to art. 

Osterlmalm – the City’s Design District

Ostermalm has a design district with many design shops and galleries, including cafés and restaurants, as well as the Ostermalmstorg indoors food market. Each store is unique:

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Accessories by worldwide fashion brands, in Nordiska. In the photo, an exhibition by Alessi.

Asplund – was founded by brothers Michael (art dealer) and Thomas (banker) Asplund, as a gallery for iconic and collectable furniture. The place, which is currently a combination between a gallery and a shop, displays the Asplund collection along with items by esteemed designers and brands, such as Cappellini, Flos Living Divani and Artemide, as well as works by major designers such as Tom Dixon, Jasper Morrison, Mark Newson and contemporary Swedish designers. The philosophy of the place is “Good design is an item that you can use and incorporate into almost any design and will look as though it had always been there.”

 

STOCKHOLM - The most designed places
Accessories by worldwide fashion brands, in Nordiska. In the photo, an exhibition by Alessi.

Nordiska Galleriet 1912 – This is where you’ll find the classics of internationally renowned design brands: Vitra, Flexform, B&B Italia and Cassin; works by Piero Lysoni, Antonio Citario, Patricia Orquiola and many others.

Another leading gallery for design collectibles, also located in the design district, is Jackson Design AB. The gallery displays extensive collections of vintage Scandinavian and international design from the 20th century.

STOCKHOLM - The most designed places
Handmade glass lamps at Modernity

Right across the road you’ll find Modernity, a design collectibles gallery specializing in curating and selling rare furniture, ceramics, glass, lighting and jewelry by the most acclaimed Scandinavian designers.

Dis Inredning on the next street is a design shop with a contemporary atmosphere. Another trendy young shop is Granit, which combines homewares, stationery, garden accessories and a hairdresser.

STOCKHOLM - The most designed places
An abundance of natural plants, pots and glass vases at Granit
STOCKHOLM - The most designed places
Accessories and art pieces at Dis Inredning

Struplan Square and the Luxurious Biblioteksgatan Street

Not too far away is the luxury shops area, each store beautifully designed, and among them, a great number of design shops.

STOCKHOLM - The most designed places
STOCKHOLM - The most designed places
J.LINDEBERG - Flagship Store
STOCKHOLM - The most designed places
Hope
STOCKHOLM - The most designed places
One of the display windows at the luxurious department store NK Stockholm, featuring the fashion house of Com De Garcon
STOCKHOLM - The most designed places
And of course, Ikea, that embodies a large number of the Swedish design principles.
STOCKHOLM - The most designed places

Near the Opera House is the inspiring Malmstenbutiken, a furniture store for designs by Carl Malmasten, who started designing furniture 75 years ago. The store also offers furniture and artifacts by other designers and companies.

Right next door lies one of the city’s especially designed surprisesthe Svenskt Tenn design shop. The shop was founded in 1924 by Astrid Erickson, who recruited Joseph Frank 10 years later, and together they created their personal, elegant and colorful style.

STOCKHOLM - The most designed places
Books by Joseph Frank who implemented the vivid colorfulness that’s at the heart of the store.
STOCKHOLM - The most designed places
A combination of fabrics, textures, and rich colors
STOCKHOLM - The most designed places
Magic in colors in Svenskt Tenn
STOCKHOLM - The most designed places
The design store Svenskt Tenn
STOCKHOLM - The most designed places
Nordic design in the old town

In the city’s old town, among many souvenir shops and tourist restaurants, is Designfirman Gamla Stan Ab, a design shop with a collection of Scandinavian   design items, combining functionality with surprising and unique elements. These two brands can be found in most design stores mentioned here, as well as in department store design aisles, such as NK and others.

H&M dominates the streets of Stockholm. Ten brand concept stores have opened across Europe in the past year, two of them in Stockholm.

STOCKHOLM - The most designed places
A selection of Nordic lighting fixtures in H&M Home concept store.
STOCKHOLM - The most designed places
H&M Home – Nordic design at affordable prices

Hotels and Trendy Spots

The especially decorated hotels boast trendy bars, usually on building rooftops with views of the city surrounded by sea.

New and exceptionally shiny is the Bank Hotel. The hotel promotes young Sweidh artists, whose artworks are displayed throughout the public areas and in various rooms.

Bunnies is a restaurant at the hotel, designed with a French flair. The highlight of the place is Le Hibou rooftop bar, overlooking the nearby harbor and inspired by a Parisian apartment.

STOCKHOLM - The most designed places
Le Hibou – A view of the city from the rooftop hotel bar

ETT HEM – This 12-room hotel is located in a private residential building constructed in 1910, in a peaceful residential neighborhood far from Stockholm city center.

The Urban Escape is a complex comprised of the At Six, Hobo, and Nordic Choice hotels, all who share a rooftop space of Stockholm Under The Stars Brunkebergstorg.

At Six Hotel – this hotel offers elegance with a youthful and non-conformist twist. Designed as an art gallery, the hotel combines meticulously collected art by leading artists, with elegant and impressive décor.  

STOCKHOLM - The most designed places
Art as concept in At Six Hotel
STOCKHOLM - The most designed places
The trendy Hubo hotel
STOCKHOLM - The most designed places
A mix of bars and restaurants on the joint rooftop.

Nobis Hotel, where we stayed, lied on the intersection between Hope and Acne; two very hot Swedish fashion brands, whose flagship stores were on both sides of the hotel. Four of the bank employees, where the Acne store now is, were held hostage for five and a half days in the bank vault by the robber (who stayed with them). Set in 2 historic buildings from the 19th century, the hotel’s interior design is contrasting, intertwining elegance and timeless modernity.     

 

STOCKHOLM - The most designed places
The Nobis Hotel elegant lobby
STOCKHOLM - The most designed places
The Golden Bar at the Nobis

The chain also has the Miss Clara Hotel and has recently opened Blique by Nobis, a boutique hotel that combines architecture and design.  The building was meticulously preserved and new creative aspects of contemporary industrial design were added to it.

STOCKHOLM - The most designed places
Blique by Nobis
STOCKHOLM - The most designed places
Contemporary Swedish food at the Miss Clara Hotel by Nobis

Great Food, Cafés and Designed Restaurants

Swedish food is based on what is available (sea food), casual and cozy (a lot of great breads and pasteries).

There is a wide range of international cuisines in Stockholm alongside the traditional Swedish food, and the most interesting restaurants are those serving fusion cuisines that incorporate the best of all worlds.

Such as place is Tak at the Stockholm Under Stjärnorna Brunkebergstorg complex, which stretches across two floors and overlooks a panoramic view of the city and the sea around it. Th place serves excellent Japanese food which uses organic ingredients in a Nordic styled environment.

Kale & crave is an organic and gluten-free restaurant designed in the clean freshness spirit of the brand.

Bianchi Café & Cycle is a combination of a trendy restaurant inside a bicycle store. The restaurant operates at the heart of a bustling store with a vast array of bicycles and a repair shop.

Near the King’s Palace, at the entrance to the Old City, we found Restuarang Tradition. The very long line (they do not accept reservations) is worth the exquisite combination of traditional Swedish cuisine in a classic Scandinavian-designed space.

 

STOCKHOLM - The most designed places
 Kale & crave
STOCKHOLM - The most designed places
A restaurant in the middle of a busy bicycle store – Bianchi Café & Cycle
STOCKHOLM - The most designed places
Tak – Swedish Japanese fusion with a breathtaking view
STOCKHOLM - The most designed places
A restaurant in the middle of a busy bicycle store – Bianchi Café & Cycle

Rosendals Trädgård is a plants and natural herbs growing experience in a natural forest at the outskirts of the city. At the heart of this truly magical place, in the greenhouses and outside garden are a café and deli that make use of the place’s produce. There is also a plant nursery that sells the vegetation growing in the gardens and all required tools. There are also private events and exhibitions held there. Thank you. Sarit Sela, who lives in Stockholm and writes the Minimalist Me blog and recommended this place.

STOCKHOLM - The most designed places
Plants and marvelous pieces at Rosendals Trädgård
STOCKHOLM - The most designed places
A colorful variety of plants and pots in the magical nature café

A City Packed with Art-Museums, Galleries and an Auction House

First is the Nationalmuseum – Sweden’s National Museum of Art and Design. On our visits at the museum, we saw the exhibition by Finn Juhl: Architectural Furniture Designer. The exhibition was dedicated to the works of Danish architect and furniture designer Finn Johl, one of the most influential Scandinavian furniture designers of the mid-twentieth century.

STOCKHOLM - The most designed places
An exhibition for designer Finn Juhl
STOCKHOLM - The most designed places
The design section at the national museum

Bukowskis – the 150 years-old auction house chain, considered as a leader in the Nordic market. Sales are performed the authentic way, with a gavel, online auctions, exhibitions and private auctions. The classic auctioning complex takes place at the public auction house at Berzelii Park, Stockholm.

STOCKHOLM - The most designed places

The Hallwyl Museum

Home of Walter and Wilhelmina von Hallwyl, which is used as a Museum of the Countess’ collections. It is a residential house bult between 1893-98 by Isak Calson, the most renowned architecture in Sweden at the time, as a Winter house for the wealthiest couple in Sweden. The design style is mainly eclectic, and its uniqueness is in the use of modern technologies and comfort such as central heating, phones and electric lighting. The house was designed to be a museum from the very beginning and in 1920 the couple donated their house, on all it content, to the state, conditioning it by the house remaining mostly unchanged. The place was opened for the public in 193, eght ears after Wilhelmina’s passing. The house was preserved exactly as it was and is exhibiting private artifacts such as a piece of the owner’s beard, among others, alongside many art pieces. An authentic tour of an astonishing house with content that preserves the family’s life.

Andréhn-Schiptjenko is an art gallery at the heart of the Ostermalm design quarter. The gallery was established in 1991 and is regarded as one of the leading galleries in Scandinavia, acting to promote artist from all over the world in painting, sculpting, photography and video. The gallery recently opened a new exhibition space in Paris.

STOCKHOLM - The most designed places
A new exhibition at the gallery Andréhn-Schiptjenko

Art At the Subway Stations As Well

The art that is a significant part of the Swedish world of culture and design also seeps into the underground stations.

The subway has 100 stations of which 90 are decorated with art. There are guided tours, and you can do as we did, go to the subway after rush hour, when it is almost empty, with an online guide and roam through the stations of the three main lines: blue, red and green. The artworks are spread around the stations in various spots, not only on the platforms. Each station was decorated by different artists in different periods since the subway was opened in 1950.

STOCKHOLM - The most designed places
Stadion station – one of the “cave” stations carved from rock and titled “rainbow”.
STOCKHOLM - The most designed places
Universitetet Station – the train station under the University of Stockholm, portraying on the ceramic tiles the expeditions of Carl Linnaeus, a renowned Swedish explorer.
STOCKHOLM - The most designed places
T-Centralen Station – through which pass all lines of the underground train. The dock has been there since 1957 and is covered with geometric tiles.

בתחנת Odenplan אין אומנות והגענו אליה כדי לצאת לנשום אוויר ולבקר בספרייה הציבורית של שטוקהולם הקיימת מאז 1928. במקום אולם קריאה מדהים ביופיו בן 3 קומות.

STOCKHOLM - The most designed places
The reading hall at Stockholm’s national library

I have a great affinity to libraries and one that begs to be visited is the Kungliga biblioteket National Library – the collection contains items that are over 1,000 years old. The library collects and restores almost everything ever published in Sweden, manuscripts, books, newspapers, music, television shows and photographs. In 1661, a law was passed in Sweden that every publisher must send a copy of its work to the national library, as means of censorship and supervision. That ancient law, which was revised during the years, applies to all media and technology means developed over the years, from music to computer games and any electronical communication mean. That is how the national library curated over 18 million items, which assets of the Swedish culture.

STOCKHOLM - The most designed places

This post is especially long. Stockholm is great, varied and full of great atmosphere and exceptionally beloved design.

The choice on where to go and what to write was a challenging one.

Thank you for reaching this far. If you have any comments, notes, experiences and especially designed places to recommend, please contact us by leaving a comment below.

See you in other designed places around the world.

 

A bit about me – I’m an interior designer with 20 years of experience. The studio specializes in luxury apartments, luxury privet houses, commercial and business design. As part of my job, I travel to perfectly designed places around the world and am delighted to share those experiences with you, while offering my personal and professional perspective. All this in the blog Design & the City, which is also published monthly at the Designer magazine by HaAretz newspaper.

yours,

Nurit

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