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Swedish Modern Design for Spring

Swedish Modern Design for Spring
Swedish modern furniture celebrates spring colors and patterns,
Swedish modern design never seems to go out of style, and spring seems a good time to revisit it as inspiration for furnishing a new home. There is the famous lounge chair by Swedish American designer Jens Risom, first produced

by Knoll in 1943 and still being manufactured today. The warm wood, sinuous shape, and woven straps make for a compelling image of comfortable modernity. Dwell recently wished him a happy 100th birthday (image courtesy Knoll). A while ago I 

mentioned the unusual "House of Clicks" project designed by Tham & Videgård Arkitekter, which was programmed by two million Swedes who clicked on the big property site, Hemnet. And then there is the hard-to-put-down Stieg Larsson trilogy from a few years ago about the brilliant, quirky, but severely wronged Swedish computer hacker Lisbeth Salander. Lisbeth and her fellow protagonist, journalist Mikael Blomkvist, seem to make themselves coffee and sandwiches quite a lot so I started thinking about what furniture they might use for such impromptu meals. (Besides IKEA, that is, which we’ll get to in a moment.) A little computer sleuthing of my own and there you are! Or — Där är du! in Swedish.

Enter the tray table, like this current one from Svenskt Tenn, a famous Stockholm interior design store (this image and the one at the top of this post courtesy ST). Perhaps something to go with the Risom lounge chair.

It’s a clever design — the top is a metal tray (there are two sizes: 65 cm diameter or 49 cm diameter) that can be changed. Trays are as varied as the plot twists in the Larsson  novels. They’re based on fabric patterns by the Viennese architect Joseph Frank, who settled in Stockholm in 1933 and became the principal designer for  Svengst Tenn. In fact Frank is considered one of the founders of Swedish modern design and much of his work, including pendant lamps, chairs, and mirrors (examples shown below) is still being produced today by Svenskt Tenn.

But Lisbeth’s taste in furniture is all IKEA. According to the second book in the series — The Girl Who Played With Fire –  Lisbeth buys an expensive view-oriented apartment and selects a huge array of items from IKEA to fill it. IKEA is perfect for Lisbeth — contemporary, adaptable, instant — just the way she is with the Internet. In reality, IKEA cabinetry is relatively inexpensive, so today's architects, designers, builders, and homeowners regularly use it for kitchens and bathrooms, often adding semi-custom cabinet fronts for a very custom look.

Now if a Stieg Larsson character built a new house, what would it be? I think Mikael Blomkvist might build something modern, as a getaway for weekends, after retiring on the proceeds of his journalistic triumphs.

He'd want it quickly so a ready-made design, like Plan 918-4 by Small House Lab, might do the trick. It's a contemporary one bedroom cottage with a boat dock for all those water-oriented sites in the Swedish archipelago. 
It's not Swedish but shares a compact geometry with the "House of Clicks" and like the Larsson novels' plots, makes full use of the Web. 
Design begins with a dream — and perhaps a novel or two, not to mention programming and some financing — and Där är du! 

This post updates an earlier one written for my previous blog Eye On Design.

Swedish Modern Design for Spring Inspiration

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