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Happy July, everyone! This is Allan Torp and it sure is glad to be back with more great finds for you. I have decided to change my 10 faves just a little bit focusing on 8, making it more an interior must-see list with a few great lifestyle tips as well. I hope you like my changes. On another note, how are you liking the summer weather? I am, as you know, spending mine in LA, with very warm days this past weekend. Luckily, I have two new cool projects to keep my mind off of the heart - I am re-doing my office and our guesthouse so we can start having friends over from Europe anytime. Can’t wait to share both projects with you guys, one will be a homage to Danish design.

 1 // FURNITURE:

Is the sheepskin, teddy look taking over the velour trend? A handful of Scandinavian brands, such as andtradition, bylassen, and Finn Juhl have recently launched chairs upholstered in sheepskin, which makes me wonder if this will be a farewell to velour?

What do you think?

Pictured below is andtradtion’s new Little Petra, designed by Viggo Boesen in 1938, where it won numerous design awards. By the way, Viggo named the chair after his mother-in-law.

2 // ART:

You know me, always on the hunt for great art. I am not a snob, and I just as much love to find inexpensive prints, as I do like to save up to a more expensive original. In between are the lithographic, which I think is a good way to start decorating your home with some original artwork. One of my new favorite places to shout for those is at Edition Copenhagen, who have been around for decades, but who now ships worldwide. Search among their 50+ associated artists and find your new piece for your walls.







3 // DECORATE:

I like a good wallpaper, I do think, if you do wallpaper, you need to go all in on a bolder print. I really like the botanical collection by Sandberg Wallpaper, and with a wallpaper like this, you’ll have the best of luck every day. If you think the green is too bold, it actually also comes in a more subtle grey version and a more dramatic blue version.

4 // SLEEP:

Its almost an idyllic village feeling to the Casa Cook hotel on the Greek island of Kos. The hotel is build up with small cubistic one-plan flat roof houses in a scenery of gardens and patios – and with its location in the middle of the wild and brute nature it really is the place to be this summer (or next year, maybe). Did I forget to tell you it is basically on one of the islands best sand beaches, so feel free to dive into the turquoise Aegean Sea.

5 // PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT:

My first new category is this one – product spotlight. Basically, I am just going to focus on one new product that caught my eye in my mailbox. Often these will be not released for a few months, but then you’ll have something to look forward to and start saving up for.

One of Danish Børge Mogensen’s most iconic chairs is celebrating its 60th anniversary, so of course, a limited special edition has been created for the occasion – a solid oak combined with olive green saddle leather version. I wouldn’t say no if I got one. The Spanish Chair 60 years special edition is available from 19 September.

 6 // GROOM:

Throughout these hot summer months, you should never leave the house without your favorite scent by your side. You never want to be a smelly, Sweaty Betty at the end of the day. Pack your scent with you before you leave the house in the morning – or get two, one for home and one for the office. Here are my favorite two for this season that I'm using:

It is no secret I am a big fan of Le Labo’s scents and their Another13 is my ultimate favorite, every time I wear it I get compliments, even from strangers passing by on the street - I am not kidding. The scent, created by Another Magazine, was originally exclusively sold in Colette, Paris, but as they closed last year, Le Labo decided to keep selling it in their own stores worldwide – and lucky for us. As Le Labo writes, it’s composed of ambroxan, a synthetic animal musk, making Another 13 an addictive potion blended with twelve other ingredients such as jasmine, moss and ambrette seeds absolute - which gives it spike and shine.

My other favorite is a new one I discovered via Instagram. And ironically enough, it’s by A. N. OTHER. What I love about them, is the fact that they take creative freedom to the extreme and redefine how fragrance is born & sold. They invest without limits in sustainable ingredients that go into the bottle and onto the skin and strip away everything else. In this case, less is more. From packaging through to delivery; everything is stripped back to the bare essentials. No smoke. No mirrors. No name, mood, gender, designer labels, models, celebrity endorsements, and vanity. This makes it an extremely affordable, high-quality perfume. As of now, there are 4 different ones to choose from and I went with the WD/18 which is both woody and fresh at the same time.

7 // INTERIOR CRUSH:

Every month new homes emerge on blogs worldwide, we basically all go mad over specific homes that we just cannot help but share. So, I thought, why not share a few favorite pictures of my favorite home – and if you want to see more, you just visit the blog where I found it. This way, the blogger is also getting some attention and love, so we're creating a nice circle of sharing. How does that sound?

First up is a new project in Vienna by Berlin-based interior designer and stylist Annabell Kutucu, which features custom-made interiors, wooden furniture, rough linen, and carpets, selected mid-century vintage finds and unique objects. This people, is how I want to live one day. If you want to see more, go check out rest of the photos on the Design Chaser.

8 // FOLLOW NOW:

My last new category, I swear, but I want to spread the love, so this category is a shout-out to a cool blog or Instagrammer in the design or lifestyle segment. I will only share a bio or a section of the blog or feed. If you like, go hit follow. This month, it's @strbntst: Tijl — Enjoying the little things in life. ⠀⠀

I hope that you've enjoyed my newly edited list and also my finds for July. See you back here in August - Allan.

⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀

[Editor's Note: All grooming products are gifted as part of reviewing for this column in partnership between Allan Torp and the brands. This review is provided by Allan Torp for decor8, any collaborations are his own. All words and opinions are his own.]

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My friends in the states are always eager to find more Scandinavian products and companies who ship to America. Seems Scandi design has won the hearts of my fellow American friends quite a lot over the years. The clean lines, the simplicity, the quality, it's quite alluring and I must admit to being a sucker of Scandi design myself. That's why I wanted to talk briefly today about this great company I found who makes gorgeous rugs that won't break the bank, and they're called Nordic Knots (they even ship to the USA for FREE!).

Founded by Liza Laserow, Fabian Berglund and Felix Berglund in 2016, Nordic Knots created a family business with a goal to make beautiful rugs with the design inspired by classic Scandinavian patterns while also being affordable. They have a flat weave collection which are skillfully hand woven in 100% high-quality New Zealand wool. They also have a cut-pile selection also made using 100% New Zealand wool.

My favorites from their collection include the flat weave show below left, called Mosaik Gray (I love geometric prints) and the TIGER rug, shown right, in black and cream.

“We wanted to bring something from our home to every home and we realized that at the center for every beautiful Swedish home is a good rug.”
— Nordic Knots Spot any rugs that you can imagine in your home?

By the way, I hope you are all doing great. We're taking our new car up to Denmark this weekend to break it in for its first official road trip! Weeeee! We are packing tonight and tomorrow and will be staying at the gorgeous home of a good friend of mine to babysit her dog for 8 days. I seriously CANNOT WAIT. The house has a swimming pool AND a golden retriever, so it's a full-service dream house for all three of us - and this weekend is our anniversary too, so it's a great time to get away. My little boy won't stop talking about having a dog and a pool - he has been mentioning it each day since we told him a few weeks ago... So cute.

Do you have any summer vacation plans set up? Where will you go?

Love,

Holly

 

 

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Hello everyone! My husband told me that he missed my Etsy Take Five Tuesday column. WHAT? I thought. Okayyyy. I didn’t expect that, but I had authored that column weekly for years and years and YEARS and he, and thousands of others, really depended on it regularly. Maybe you remember it too? Maybe I had featured your business once?

Truth is, I discontinued it because I wrote four books and traveled the world and had a baby (I know, I'm such an underachiever LOL). And yeah, I’m still busy as hell like everyone else, yet I truly really miss being more present on decor8, and I miss some of the columns I once authored here like the Etsy column and the posts where I wrote from my heart on topics that I felt were important to address, and I miss when I showed you my home and talked about how I decorated a room or decided to move (again).

Anyway, I’m happy to say that I'm bringing Etsy Take Five Tuesdays back only under a new name: Etsy Home + Wellness CollectionHome is obvious - anything for the home that falls on my radar, something I'd own and that I think you'd love too. Wellness can be anything from yoga mats to great, all natural skincare and scented candles.

My goal is to bring to light the wonderful SMALL business owners out there once again, who don't get a lot of time on blogs anymore. Have you noticed? It's rare to see small sellers and companies blogged about or featured on Instagram, simply because monetization has caused a lot of the large blogs to change their content. Many pro blogs are working mostly with sponsored content, ad companies, agencies, and affiliate links, so it is highly unlikely that most of the little guys selling online out there stand a chance at being blogged about these days. It's not 2006 anymore.

But can we bring back some of the old school in blogging? Please?

A small business with low or NO budget cannot pay to be on a blog and so most are pushed aside and told, "later, babes", or worse, pushed out completely without even a return email. I guess this completely unsponsored Etsy column is my attempt to show good old school retro circa 2006-2010 blog support for small business - no strings attached. 

With no further ado, I present my picks for the first run of this new (but formerly known as Etsy Take Five Tuesday) column:




ABOVE: Boobs poster by calivirek, Mobile brass dots by Lappalainen, white ceramic bowl by NOTON Keramik, Koolt Dining Table by Aggregat







ABOVE: Wood planter by Minumum Design, Wall mounted black paper roller by George & Willy, 2V Geometric Hanging Planter from Convivial Production, Copper table mirror by Calvill, Botanical Print Vintage poster from Mighty Vintage, Ceramic Chubby Cat Planter by Barruntando, Mini cotton bouquet by Alice Blue Florist





ABOVE: Ceramic serving bowl from Free Folding, Ceramic espresso cups set by 1220 Ceramics Studio, French navy ticking linen bedding from House of Baltic Linen, Pampus grass Bouquet from Art Finds Boutique,

ABOVE: Bonita bean bag chair from Seven Seas Home, Swallow landscape removable wallpaper mural from Floral Apartments, African mud cloth pillow from Sew + Cloth



ABOVE: Foxes removable wallpaper from Floral Apartments, Vasculum botanical box by Arminho

I hope you've enjoyed my finds for the first home and wellness ETSY collections column on decor8.

Have a lovely day!

Love,

Holly

 

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Hello everyone, how are you? I've been thinking a lot about the smaller, independent brands and artists out there whom I used to highlight so often on decor8, and how I wish to get back to that here on the site. I find so many inspiring people in my travels, from the fairs I attend and speak at, to the design weeks I'm invited to in places like Eindhoven and Milan. Fact is, my radar is always on and I'm constantly absorbing so much content and beauty - and meeting so many fascinating people - yet I've not taken a lot of time to really WRITE about these experiences as I used to. My goal going forward is to get back to giving smaller brands a platform.

Today, I want to highlight LRNCE. I've followed them for over a year now on Instagram and just adore their very clear edit. Straight out of Marrakesh, this small independent interiors brand is so well done that they deserve your attention. I love their ceramics, mirrors, sandals and rugs most of all.

"LRNCE is a Marrakesh based lifestyle brand focusing on interior decoration and accessories. It was founded in 2013 by Belgian sun chaser Laurence Leenaert, who revises materials’ purpose and spontaneously combines elements to create uniquely designed pieces. By sourcing its production in North Africa, LRNCE captures the essence of craftsmanship and stays close to the creating process of its carefully handmade products."

What do you think about these things that you see above? I really like them - I tend to like everything they post on their Instagram - endless inspiration to me. I want to go to their shop in Marrakesh now - in fact, I want to get back to Africa again someday, my dream is to go back to Morocco and also to Lamu (Kenya) and South Africa too. Would be an amazing experience to travel from top to bottom in such a fascinating and diverse continent. 

Hope you have a fantastic day today. Big hugs to you all.

Love,

Holly

(PHOTOS: LRNCE)

 

 

 

 

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Hello everyone! How are you doing? The Restaurant & Bar Design Awards, now in its tenth year, is a globally recognized competition dedicated to the design of food and beverage spaces. I thought today we could look at some of my favorites from their 2018 entries, and with each, I will give you a tip on how to bring some of the ideas home. So often, I've been out lunching with a friend and spotted a good design idea to apply in my living space. You too?  So let's look at 12 great interior examples below and see what we can learn from the talents firms who designed them.

1// Above: Superbaba (Vancouver, Canada) Studio Roslyn

DECOR TIP: Color Blocking with paint! Be daring!

2// Above: The Budapest Cafe (Chengdu, China) Biasol

DECOR TIP: More color blocking with paint on walls and stairs, and sticking to a limited palette.

3// Above: Sean Connolly (Dubai, United Arab Emirates) Alexander & Co

DECOR TIP: Mix in brushed metals for elegance.

4// Above: 4City (Odessa, Ukraine) 2b Group

DECOR TIP: Add texture to the walls

5 // Above: ATX Cocina (Austin, United States) Michael Hsu Office of Architecture

DECOR TIP: Mix warm colors and wood with gray for an unexpected mix.

6// Above: Don Francisco’s Coffee Casa Cubana (Los Angeles, United States) Omgivning

DECOR TIP: Add decorative tile as an  accent, not in the entire space.

7 // Above: Le Petite Tree House Cafe (Dubai, United Arab Emirates) Sneha Divias Atelier

DECOR TIP: Work around a theme and build from there.

8 // Above: Mana 75º (Barcelona, Spain) Turell Sorensen Arquitectos

DECOR TIP: Mix nautical stripes with patterns that are unexpected, like from textiles found in Turkey, for instance.

9 // Neobio (Shanghai, China) X+Living

DECOR TIP: When designing a kids' room, mix patterns and colors and have fun first of all. The sky is the limit!

10 // Above: Pot Bellied Pig..

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It's official! Summer is here and I, Allan Torp, am back with great new finds and favorites that I'm hoping you'll like as much as I do. Have you made your summer plans already? I just came back from a visit to Lisbon, Portugal, and can highly recommend a visit, definitely check out no. 4 below, which is a few words about my stay at a very homey guesthouse. I will be spending the rest of my summer in Los Angeles working on updating my office and our own guesthouse, which might be listed on Airbnb at some point, who knows... If so, I'll let you know.

1 // FURNITURE:

Honestly, this Danish brand has not been on my mind much for the past years, but just recently  Klip Klap launched three new pieces of furniture, which made their way to my radar. A new console table, a lounge chair, and a bench, all produced with oak and a touch of velvet. Together, you can have a complete lounge arrangement that feels polished but not unrelated to Klip Klap's initial design. Very stylish, minimalistic, and perfectly Scandinavian.

2 // ART:

I heard that you'll want to book ahead for this one and you should probably expect queues for, 1932 – Love, Fame, Tragedy. Tate Modern’s first solo Picasso exhibition (VIDEO HERE) is a month-by-month journey through the artist’s prolific, “year of wonders”. The 100-plus works include Girl Before a Mirror, which seldom leaves New York’s MoMA, and The Dream, which has never been shown in the UK before. It also reunites three reclining nudes – of his lover Marie-Thérèse Walter – for the first time in 85 years. The exhibition is open until September 9th, so there is plenty of time to line up.

“I paint the way some people write an autobiography. The paintings, finished or not, are the pages from my diary.”
— Pablo Picasso 3 // DECORATE:

An item I’m seeing used more and more, which also has been overlooked in the décor world for a while, is the screen or room divider, which is really making a comeback. They come in many sizes, colors, and materials, one that I really like is the all natural oak screen by Danish brand Hübsch.

4 // SLEEP:

As mentioned in my opening hello, I went to visit Lisbon recently and loved it. This was certainly not my last visit. We were a group of 16 people and all of us stayed at the wonderfully modern and very homey guesthouse, Mi Casa En Lisbon, nested on the Graça hill overlooking Lisbon. Perfectly located, and within walking distance to all the great sites. It’s a beautiful house designed by Ábaton Architecture with interior design by María Ulecia, creator of the concept, owner, and soul of the place. The house has nine bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms and beautiful common areas to be shared by guests and friends with stunning views to be enjoyed from almost every corner of the house.

5 // LISTEN:

I am obsessed with the Fab5 on Netflix, and season 2 just launched. Binge watched it yet? It really is some of the only feel good TV on right now, as everything is else is kind of dark. Anyway together with Betty Who the five guys have released a new version of the theme song All Things Just Keep Getting Better, which seriously makes me smile every time I hear it.

6 // GROOM:

I came across Nimu, an Italian company founded in Rome, and while they produce the most amazing home textiles, I simply needed to try out their handmade natural soaps. In Denmark, we traditionally don’t use soap bars but liquid soaps.  However, I find soap bars much nicer – extra bonus is the great scents you get in your bathroom as well. My favorite is probably the olive oil soap, as it’s basically nothing else than olive oil in a bar – ideal for your freshly tan but dryish skin.

Also this summer I'm packing products by The Lost Explorer, which is also 100% natural skincare. I’ve been using the Oil Free Moisturizer and Volcanic Face Scrub almost every night before bed on my travels which is making my face look clean, fresh and almost glowing in the morning. All of the products come in carry-on travel sizes, so no need to check-in your bags just because you’re bringing nice toiletries.

7 // READ:

I don’t always love Instagram, most days I do, but sometimes it can feel like a burden. I do look at it like its part of my job to share and curate my feed for all my followers. I sometimes find though that several weeks pass without visiting or seeing anything interesting. I have often asked myself: How many likes will this get? Am I funny enough? Hot enough? Does this look too edited? Or too real?  I am surely not the only one asking these questions! Just a few weeks ago, I came across an article, “ The Dark Side Of Social Media”, written by Emma Hope Allwood, which I really enjoyed, asking the question if Instagram is becoming a trap and seriously harming our mental health.

WHAT DO YOU THINK? 8 // EAT:

I'm always on the hunt for new restaurants, especially in cities I know I’ll soon be visiting. A new Middle Eastern hot spot just popped up in LA’s Arts District called Bavel, with interiors influenced by Morocco and Turkey. Chefs Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis have roots in Israel, Morocco, Turkey, and Egypt, so they wanted to open a restaurant that showcases the cuisine from their family lineage. Who doesn’t love a nicely designed restaurant with equally gorgeous food? I am for sure ordering lots of hummus, baba ghanoush, and flatbread when I arrive soon!

9 // SHOP:

If you find yourself in Stockholm this summer, drop by the modern family-owned concept store, 28quadrat, located in the center of Stockholm. They carry a cool selection of great designs from all over the world. Their assortment mainly consists of interior design and fashion accessories from contemporary and innovative design brands. They work with well-renowned brands but also with smaller, talented designers. Bonus: The store is always open for an espresso and a chat at around the big table when you stop by.

10 // ONE LAST THING:

Do yourself a favor and serve a Ripple Rhapsody – a taste of home according to Danish design brand Ferm Living, who created this amazing, easy to mix, cocktail which is perfect for the summer. Cheers!

See you in July for my favorite things! - Allan Torp

[Editor's Note: All grooming products are gifted as part of reviewing for this column on decor8 in partnership between Allan Torp and the brands. This review is provided by Allan Torp for decor8, any collaborations are his own. All words and opinions are his own.]

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Would you like to see 4 very easy and affordable ways to create an indoor garden dinner party for summer? Hello, this is Anke with another tabletop-column, cherishing the month of June and the color green! I love the rich green outside that come with summer season! Most of us like to spend as much time as possible outdoors during this time of the year, right? But as not all of us has a garden so thought about bringing the garden-party theme inside.

1/ Start with Flowers & Branches

First for this theme, I cut wild Mock Orange Bush (which is known under the name „Farmer ́s Jasmine“ in Germany because of its stunning citrus fragrance) and arranged the branches in a tall glass vase. The smaller vases on the table are filled with white Peonies, Nigellas, Grasses and Matthiola.

2/ Simple Tableware & Linens

For a very natural look, I opted for plain white plates, small water glasses, and green linen napkins. Crystal glasses for the summery aperitif add a little nostalgic glamour. In addition, I decorated with just a few green accessories -- like a dark green little bowl with a floral decor and a rose-shaped candle holder.

3/ Affordable & Pretty Wall Decoration

Another idea that is easy, quick and affordable is this wall decoration. I searched through all of my favorite magazines for green, garden, and countryside-themed pictures and attached them to the wall in my dining room using masking tape. The result is a big green mood board which beautifully emphasizes the theme of my indoor garden party.

4/ A Signature Summer Drink/Aperitif

Next, how about a toast with a Peach, Thyme & Elderflower Cooler? You can pour some elderflower syrup in a carafe, then add just-sliced peaches, thyme twigs and fresh elderflowers. Top with sparkling wine and some sparkling water. Cheers to summer!

Let me wish you a beautiful summer season with many memorable moments with your loved ones outside in the garden, on the balcony, at the lake, by the sea or indoors in your dining room!

I will see you again here at deco8 in August when I return from our annual family vacation!

Love, Anke

(Photography, Styling, Text: Anke Illner)

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What a difference a good friend can make! About 8 years ago, I met Charlotte Gueniau, the Founder and Creative Director of RICE Denmark. I was working for a day in her gorgeous lakeside home in the Danish countryside as Interior Stylist along with Photographer Debi Treloar, and we were shooting for my first best-selling book, Decorate. At that time, I was so green, so young, so new to everything and the industry in general. I was also new to Europe, I had just immigrated here less than 8 months prior. I also had NO CLUE that my first book would become such a success story, so you can imagine a younger, very naive me on one of my first photoshoots EVER. I was confident and excited, but also very nervous!

When I met Charlotte though, my anxiety melted away. She was this ray of love and light, but also a real powerhouse, an unstoppable creative force, and I had nothing but heart eyes and respect for her. So many years later, I still feel the same way. She's a real go-getter and has so much power inside - she's been nothing but a role model to me. Over the years, we've met up many times, she's been to Hannover, I've visited her in several cities (she's always on the go) and we even did a girl's weekend in London years ago that left me inspired and feeling quite empowered. She also gave me so much support when I wanted to have a baby - after our conversation about family, I made it happen and the result is that I had my beautiful son Aidan. A good friend can really impact your life.

That's why when I heard she was launching the EVERYDAY MAGIC porcelain collection, made in Portugal, I wanted to share it here on decor8. To show support for all she's done for me AND to share these lovely tabletop pieces that I am sure many of you will like and enjoy to set your table with - they are whimsical and fun!

“Our wish is to surround you with objects that are down to earth but still funky, fun and functional.”
— - RICE

Rice is a Danish homewares and accessories company known for colorful melamine, baskets, party goods, and storage. With this new collection, they've expanded into Portuguese porcelain and it's, in my opinion, a great new direction. Some of my favorites from this collection include the watercolor floral plate shown directly above, the marbled motif in pink and the leopard and cockatoo motifs on plates and mugs. The leopard mug is definitely my favorite of them all! Do you see anything that catches your eye?

VIEW THE CATALOG SHOWING THIS COLLECTION HERE

Thank you, Charlotte for inspiring me throughout the years, and all the best on your new collection!

Love,

Holly

(Photography with permission from RICE DK)

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As a fan and follower of Danish interiors firm (with a German name), Hübsch, I was thrilled today when I read about their brand new "Occasions" collection. Some of my favorites include their herringbone-patterned wood console and cabinet and their colorful glass candlestick holders.

I also have a massive crush on the chair shown above, the curved back is just gorgeous. 

View the Occasions Catalog here.

"With a dream of building something unique and with a passion for good design, Hübsch was formed in 2010 by Flemming Hussak, Jannie Krüger and Daniel Henriksen. Since then, Hübsch has grown in size and is today regarded as one of Scandinavia's leading home interior brands."

Whenever I'm at fairs, I always look for the Hübsch stand to see what's new and find new things to fall in love with. They are part of my rounds each year at Ambiente in Frankfurt (I've had photo shoots in their stand for two years in a row) and also Formland in Herning. (By the way, I'll be working with Formland again for their upcoming fair from 16-19 August, in case you are there - would love to meet up.)

I often wonder how Danish design will evolve in the years to come - so far, my predictions that they'd be adding a bit more "bling" and shiny statement pieces to their interiors have been a correct guess... I'm seeing more and more statement pieces and interiors objects that add contrast to the minimalist, simple, clean lines found in traditional Danish design. It's a nice mix - on that table above for instance - the classic table shape and materials, the overall simplicity, married with the rather "un-Danish" chairs (definitely not wooden but mimicking the style of a typical wooden chair) and the jewel-toned glass candle holders. This juxtaposition adds a healthy tension that I feel some interiors need to inject more life and personality.

How do you see Danish design evolving in the years to come?

(Photography: Hübsch)

 


 

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Do you believe that if you fall on to your right path in life, everything just falls into place for you? Hi everyone, it’s Mel here and this month I’m introducing you to a talented ceramicist here in Sweden and her story of how exactly that happened for her.

I first discovered Erika Petersdotter’s studio-in-shop a couple of months after first arriving in Stockholm. It was December 2016 and we had some good friends visiting from France, with the goal to fill their luggage with Scandinavian Christmas presents for their lucky family back home. Together we wandered the streets of Södermalm, I didn’t really know where to take them as I was only just discovering our new home myself. We took a shortcut towards the main shopping street and just before reaching it, we stumbled upon the sweetest little store full of handmade ceramics. What made this store even more special was that we could see Erika in the back room throwing her bowls. 

Our friends made their purchases and as we were about to head out the door, I grabbed a card, as I knew that I’d like to come back to do a feature story. I misplaced the card though, and I couldn’t remember for the life of me where the studio was, until around the same time of year the following year, I went walking in the neighborhood and found it again. 

I’m glad that this happened though; because now Erika has brought her potter’s wheel to the front of the store and it’s here that her customers can truly experience the magic of how their purchases are made. It’s these tangible differences that are needed, to give retail an edge, and interestingly something that Tom Dixon touched on when I interviewed him recently. It’s giving people something more than just a browsing experience. 

In her early twenties, Erika moved to Stockholm from her hometown of Umeå in Northern Sweden, to be with her partner and now, father of her children. She was looking for work in her new city, not entirely sure what to do, however, one thing that stayed with her since her final years of school was her love of pottery and the feeling that she felt when touching the clay.  Erika found her current store, which was then run by a well-known local ceramicist, Mikaela Willers. She became her intern for a year and during that time, learned a lot about not only potting but also about being an entrepreneur. 

Mikaela then decided to sell and move to middle Sweden.  She had a buyer for the store, however, at the last minute, it fell through. She called Erika to say that it was now time to take the step. That was five years ago. Erika was twenty-five at the time and she is so grateful that her mentor believed in her, despite her young age. She still calls Mikaela, her ‘Mother Potter’ today.  

Initially, she shared the space with other artists and sold mostly other people’s work to take the pressure off while she practiced her craft and found her style. She has certainly found it and throws most of her ceramics, leaving the forms simple and clean, letting the clay show and lead the way of the final look. Quite often she will mix lava with white clay and experiment with firing.

 

Her creations are for every day, it might be a favorite cup or bowl to hold and love. The style is Northern Swedish with a touch of Japanese inspiration.

Watching Erika at the wheel is truly mesmerizing and I wonder if she could ever get stressed doing what she does. She admits that it really is a dream scenario for her. Along with her store, she holds workshops so that others can experience the magic of throwing and showcases a few other ceramicists work in the store. 

“When you are on the right path of what you’re meant to be doing, it’s like everything conspires to help you and quite often, a teacher appears.”
— Mel Chesneau

 

Listening to Erika’s story affirmed what I have always believed in, which is, when you are on the right path of what you’re meant to be doing, it’s like everything conspires to help you and quite often, a teacher appears. Do you believe that dear readers? Have you ever had someone that made a difference to you by believing in you and showing you the way? Or perhaps right now you’re at a crossroad and you just need to follow your heart and make the right turn. 

See you in April! -

(Photos, Text: Mel Chesneau)

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