SWEDEN THROUGH A LENS

Torvsätter

I am enchanted by Anders Mohlins photographs! Mohlin works for the Swedish Public Service Broadcaster SVT, but it is his private photos that manage to capture "my Sweden" the way I see it before my inner eyes. He offers glimpses of the rural countryside, the urban capital, and small towns. Browse the public albums to see more, or if you're Swedish, go directly to the album Summer for a nice dose of homesickness.
IMAGE: TORVSÄTTER NOVEMBER 2011 BY ANDERS MOHLIN, VIA FLICKR, CC SOME RIGHTS RESERVED

FINALLY!

Smoke detectors are not optional in Scandinavia, they are legally required. Life savers, but eye sores all the same. Until now! What took everyone so long? 

Harry Koskinen of Block lamp fame, has designed a great looking smoke detector available in  5 colours from Jalo Helsinki. In Sweden you can get it at Hemtex, but expect it to pop up in a store near you soon! 
IMAGE: PRODUCT IMAGE HEMTEX 

MY KIND OF RETRO


Petite tray with floral motif from the guest chambers of the Gripsholm castle. I bet you know someone who'd love this as a Christmas gift. Me, for instance.

Available at Kungliga Slottsboden in Stockholm.
IMAGE: PRODUCT IMAGE KUNGLIGA SLOTTSBODEN 

TENN LYS

Yesterday morning when I turned on the TV, I learned the news about the attacks in Paris last night. I have to admit, Christmas blogging feels petty and self absorbed. Attacks on civilans, a full blown refugee crisis, and an escalating hostility in Europe, and here sit I, blogging about dinnerware, music and gifts.

At the same time I feel as if it compels me to continue. Because if we keep changing our lives out of fear, fear being the purpose of such attacks, then we have admitted defeat. Yet, that sort of shallow defiance makes little difference to those who suffer now.

I will celebrate Christmas, and I will make sure that I make it an inclusive one, extending friendship beyond my present comfort zone. I will celebrate a simpler Christmas, donate more and spend more time involved with charity. I will sing, I will pray, I will light candles for a season of peace.

Better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness.

AND SO IT BEGINS

Jul på dansk

This is the first weekend after Allhelgona, and my christmas preparations can officially kick off. No, I will not pop the julmust bottles, or turn to a christmas playlist. It is too soon to actually celebrate christmas. This weekend is dedicated to replacing old lampshades, reorganising bedrooms, and purchasing new lighting for the living room. We've stocked up on fire wood, and it's time to restock on candles, tea lights and greenery. Even the boys are looking forward to it since they get to bring home a small (fake) tree that will be theirs to decorate come December.

Europe and the Middle East are facing a troublesome winter, reminding us that decorations, toys, gadgets and most things are nothing, but making memories with family is everything.
IMAGE: DANISH CHRISTMAS PHOTOGRAPHED BY SVEN TURK, THE ROYAL LIBRARY OF DENMARK 

PUT A LID ON IT


Not sure if this is a Svenskt Tenn knock off or just a good looking little gem of a box. My affinity for boxes with lids is still as true as ever before. Since our house is filled with three boys and a mama, I also appreciate design that is not overtly masculine or feminine, and this box is neither of those.
IMAGE: PRODUCT IMAGE H&M HOME 

WEEKEND READS

  

Breathtakingly beautiful photography in Sveriges Nationalparker. I wrote about this book in 2013 but it still remains one of my top choices for books to gift. Stunning, simply stunning.

Previous attempts to interest my children in beans have been futile. Perhaps I'll find renewed courage in Bönor Ärtor Linser. Pods for my pods.

It's a new season, and Ernst has a genuine ability to combine season with simplicity. I'll turn to Året med Ernst, until his christmas show kicks off.

Follow the links to preview each book.
IMAGE: BOOK COVERS VIA ISSUU 

BRILLIANCE


Swedish glassware company Kosta Boda has been around since 1742, but it's been a few financially rough decades lately. What a wonderful thing that Sweden's largest food chain ICA teams up with Kosta Boda to produce beautiful crystal glasses for the masses at amazing prices! A win/win for consumers, ICA and Kosta Boda. 

I've been looking for plain, beautiful, crystal stemware at a price that doesn't keep them in my cupboard at all times... These I would dare to use even at family dinners. Available online and at ICA Maxi stores. 
IMAGE: PRODUCT IMAGE ICA HEMMA

THE LAST WEEKEND OF OCTOBER

If you are looking for a classy compromise between an American Halloween and Scandinavian style, here it is. Thank you Iittala.  
IMAGE: PRESS IMAGE IITTALA 

A SOFT SPOT


Somehow I seem to have missed the new line of throw pillows at Bruka Design and, with the exception of the moose pattern,  I really like the mix of patterns in soft neutrals. Available in linen and cotton at Bruka Design.
IMAGE: PRODUCT IMAGE BRUKA DESIGN

"ORDEN"



Sara Hogman & Esbjörn Hazelius in a cold Stockholm.

TO LIGHTEN MY LOAD


If I were to nominate THE most unnecessary yet most frequent purchase for Scandinavian homes, it would be tea light holders. Because truly, you just need a small glass jar with a wide enough mouth. So why do I persist in wanting another set? Specifically, this hand painted specimen from Royal Copenhagen. From the Black fluted mega series. Gah. 
IMAGE: ROYAL COPENHAGEN WEBSHOP

BARKING UP THE RIGHT TREE



I adore the wooden ornaments from Åhlens. I have few roosters for my Easter branches, but the forest animals from previous years sold out before I could get my hands on them. This year the kids will get their own little "FEJKA" tree to decorate and these canine creatures are on their wish list. I think its splendid with ornaments that can't shatter, and won't shed glitter across the home!
IMAGE: PRESS IMAGE ÅHLENS

T-BANE UNDERGROUND TUNNELBANA SUBWAY

Stockholm subway radhuset 20050808 002.jpg

Travelling by subway in Oslo I am reminded once again that random things can trigger homesickness. Two days ago I missed the decorated caves underground that are the subway stations in Stockholm, something I never imagined I would long for!

IMAGE: "Stockholm subway radhuset 20050808 002" by Jonas Bergsten - Photo taken by Jonas Bergsten using a Canon PowerShot G3.. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

ROCK IT OUT


Such a funny cake tray/cookie stand/etagere! Silicone and wood! Would suit the Queen of hearts in Alice in Wonderland. Our 7-year old needs a place to unload his pockets, and display his ever growing rock collection. This is a fancy option, but kind of cool too. Designed by KG Design, and available in several colours at Inreda.com.
IMAGE: PRODUCT IMAGE FROM INREDA.COM