Saturday, July 26, 2008

My Somewhat Sorry Story

We're in London for a week, before flying home to Australia. One of the main reasons I came to London was to visit Story, the interiors shop owned by Ann Shore. Unfortunately, this is all I'll get to see of it because it only opens on Sundays and I'll be visiting friends in Gloucestershire then:

Having suffered this crushing disappointment, I optimistically made my way to the second reason for coming to London - Emily Chalmers's store Caravan at Spitalfields Markets:

Unfortunately, these were the only tantalising glimpses I had of it:

The card on the window says it all. Closed now, and re-opening in a new location in September:

Oh well, at least I have an excuse to come back next year.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Boatshed Chic - the Swedish Way

After ten weeks on this European odyssey, I must confess to feeling a little homesick for the boatshed. So today, I was drawn to the weatherboard walls of two shops in the sweet little town of Mariefred, on the water not far from Stockholm. The first shop was called, appropriately enough, Waterlily:

It presents the whitewashed palette in an elegant and minimalist way:

The second store is called Karin Lindstrom:

I love the green of this table and the way it is teamed with pink:

I love what they do with the classic white palette too:

This armoire has been painted blue and given glass doors. And the pink dress, what can I say:

More white:

Another two weeks and I´ll be back at the boatshed, having been on this fantastic trip, which has exposed me to so many fresh influences and given me tons of new ideas.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

More Scandinavian Style

I've been feeling like I've been driving around inside an Ikea catálogue for the past few days, so thought I´d check out the real thing. And I found that the Ikea store near here has some really lovely things, like this chair from the 'Stockholm' range:

This lighting effect:

And this circular bed:

I also visited a store called Nordiska Galeriet. No words need be spoken:

Whether you´re a fan of these jewel-like colours, or prefer a white palette, it was all there:

Today we drove to a pretty little town on the water called Vaxholm, which has lovely pastel weatherboard buildings, one of which is a Marimekko store:

This is the town´s hotel, where we had lunch:

The traditional Swedish dish of marinated herring with potatoes and dill was delicious:

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Signs of the Times

These signs are part of an exhibition called 'Sign Spotting' here in Stockholm, put together by the 'Lonely Planet' travel guide people:


These images are for my daughter, Iris, who is a Marimekko fan. They were taken at the store at Norrmalmstorg 4, Stockholm:

Love the green cushions in particular:

I also adore the glassware:

The H & M store here put out a 'Tribute to Marimekko' range this summer:

Svenskt Tenn, Stockholm

While in Scandinavia, I´m trying to broaden my design horizons. I´m essentially quite conservative in my decorating choices, but have been exposed to some bright and colourful alternatives here, none more so than at the Svenskt Tenn store in Stockholm:

I love the fabric on this daybed:

The watermelon pink in these next two images looks great in two very different colour combinations:

I was also quite drawn to this little footstool:

The designers are certainly not afraid to mix patterns and colours. The store can be found at Strandvagen 5.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Mamma Mia - I´m in Stockholm!

Well, here we are on our eighth and final homeswap, in Stockholm. And I couldn´t resist going to see the 'Mamma Mia' film while I´m in the home of Abba. Apart from the fantastic music, who would've thought that the film would provide such eye candy? And, no, I´m afraid I´m not talking about Colin Firth or Pierce Brosnan. Or, although more tempting than either of the latter, the stunning Adriatic. Or is it the Aegean? No, I´m talking about the sheer visual feast of the hippy-esque, beach-ish decor, with its pink, blue and turquoise palette. As much as I love Meryl Streep, I think I love what she´s sitting on here just a little bit more. That apple green with the pink striped material against that celadon wall is yummy:

And the red, pink and white bed-linen against this powder blue wall is just as scrumptious:

When we arrived here yesterday, we were treated to some Swedish hospitality by the owners of the apartment, Gunnar and Sonja, who are really lovely. They had cooked us a lovely chicken and mushroom dish, with home-made lingonberry jam, and cloudberries for dessert. We were very privileged:

Thanks, guys! We´ll always remember Stockholm.The movie stills are courtesy of

Danish Design

While in Copenhagen, I was exposed to some amazing designs, such as the IQ Light by Danish designer Holger Strom in 1973. It consists of interlocking plastic quadrilaterals which can form various shapes. This spherical one was in our swap apartment in Copenhagen:

As was this one, which had a slightly different shape:

In Copenhagen, I also went to the Danish design Centre, which had examples of chairs such as the wishbone chair and this Thonet chair, not Danish but by the Austrian Michael Thonet in 1859:

A Series 7 by Arne Jacobsen:
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