From countryside Loppis to city design: on tour in Sweden

I have just returned from a fabulous two weeks holidays in lovely Sweden and am totally rested and inspired (and even a little tanned!). What a totally cool and laidback country….aaahhh…I want to live there. We shopped, sauna’d, sailed, canoed, shopped some more, read books, drank very expensive wine (not by choice – and only a sip for me!) and took heaps of photos. Below I will share some of what inspired me most.
I saw these upcycled cupboards in a shop window in Stockholm’s trendy area Sodermalm. It’s not an actual shop, but the designers used it as an advertising space. Very clever!

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An atmospheric picture of a street and bicycle in Stockholm’s Gamla Stan:

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Needless to say, Stockholm is fabulous for shopping and sightseeing. Plenty to see for the vintage fan as well as the design conscious. You can explore different neighbourhoods on foot or take a ferry across the many bits of water that divide up the city.A nice area to explore is Sodermalm, full of trendy cafes, independent boutiques and galleries.

Here are a few snap shots.

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One place we spent quite some time in was the department store P.U.B. Apart from serving an awsome lunch and home bakes, the store features many great brands and shops. The home interior department was wonderful! I wanted to buy everything with the result that I didn’t buy anything because my brain could not take all the beauty…and I would have to ship it all back by at least three large containers . So I just took lots of photos.

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And of course there were plenty high end designer furniture shops with the familiar names of Arne Jacobsen, Eames, Vitra and many others. Always nice to have a wander around these stores although some times I must admit I get a bit bored by them, as they always look a bit ‘sterile’ to me. Where’s the junk?! Gimme me some junk!

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Well, junk galore once you’re in the countryside, I tell ya. At first I had no clue what the word ‘Loppis’ meant. I thought perhaps people were selling strawberries or something at their farms, so I paid little attention. But soon we were enlightened by our landlady who told us they were nothing less than mini fleamarkets! Hey-ho! So as you can expect, I soon shouted STOP! LOPPIS! at every Loppis sign at the side of the road, driving my husband bonkers. Some barns were full of total rubbish and didn’t have much to offer, but I did find three lovely ‘characterful’ (i.e. cracked) Swedish blue plates though for the grand sum of 30p.

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We also found some more junk: the vintage car cemetary in Båstnäs,Värmland, which has become a bit of a tourist attraction. Hundreds of rusty cars from the 1940s-60s scattered in the field and forest, piled on top of each other with trees growing through the roofs. Bizarre but fascinating! 

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Last but not least, we brought back some plastic rugs from Swedish brand Pappelina and one unknown make but equally cool. In Arvika, a provincial town in the province of Värmland, we came across a fabulous rug shop with rugs in every colour and pattern under the sun. In addition to cool rugs, Arvika also had a rather large amount of crazy old cars in town with dudes driving around in circles trying to look cool. Hilarious. I was told that this is apparently a well known thing in rural Sweden.

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Shame the holidays are over, but it’s a country I definitely want to go back to. Even if it was only for the evening swims in the quiet lakes.

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