Thursday, April 22, 2010

Inspiration: Svenskt Tenn

Sven­skt Tenn, on the Strand­vagen in Stock­holm, is the lovely retail arm of a com­pany founded in 1924 by Estrid Eric­son and designer/architect Josef Frank.  The shop show­cases what I think Swedish design is all about, and I found it both approach­able and inspiring. These pic­tures only hint at the fab­u­los­ity of this place – the col­ors are excit­ing, the com­bi­na­tions chic and interesting.

The store fea­tures a broad selec­tion of tex­tiles designed by Frank, con­sid­ered by many the father of Swedish Mod­ernism. He designed more than 200 tex­tile pat­terns between 1909 and 1950, of which 40 are cur­rently avail­able through the Svenkst Tenn web­site. An avid botany enthu­si­ast, Frank used nature's col­ors and shapes to bring the out­doors in. Given Sweden’s grey win­ters, these fab­rics surely were as warmly embraced then as now.

This club chair, in Josef Frank’s Celo­to­caulis (green on linen), com­plete with the sheep­skin draped over, is the one pic­ture that for me defines today’s Swedish style – opti­mistic but practical!

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