As the Scots start to moan about the impending snow that has continued to astonish Edinburgh residents the last 3 to 4 consecutive years, I keep my fingers crossed that the snow levels take on a cumulative effect. For the past two hours, I have been browsing through Swedish design blogs, looking at cozy fabrics, textile patterns and fun kitchen wares. I couldn't think of a better way to spend the evening; warm mug of caffeine enveloped in my hands, scrolling through inspirational projects – never mind if I never actually make anything, its the creative fix that makes me feel more alive.
As we fall into Autumn, my mind turns to baking, knitting and reading novels by lamp light. I'll attribute it to the Minnesotan hibernation gene we're all born with. As I have a large oak dining table with benches in a lovely, sociable flat, I have been nominated to host the first dinner party of the season. Living with two other architecture graduates, the presentation is almost as important and enjoyable as the food. I've come across a few nice pieces, some by designers I had heard of before and others completely new, but all Swedish. The first, and possibly my favourite, is this quirky pot by Camilla Engdahl. She said she finds pattern and colour inspiration in magazines from the 1970s, but the 'Arla' bird pot came into being because every shape she made just looked like a bird to her. I think it was a happy accident. These pieces are just the latest addition to a long line of fun, ultra-modern designs.
I have also spotted works by Swedish designer Maria Holmer Dalgren popping up in all my favourite shops around Edinburgh. Her designs are bright, playful and energetic to say the least. She has released a popular line of prints that celebrate the icons and particular culture of a place. So far, in the UK, she has bestowed London and Edinburgh with their own editions. This line is designed for the high-end tourist market, but she designs other tea towels and trays for her own reputable company, Metagram. In the US, many of her products can be bought at Huset. For the style slaves in the UK, I've really come to love Utility. A fantastic plastic tomato shaped ketchup container is currently waiting in my shopping bag.
The Scandinavian blog, Mackapar, features beautiful pictures of interiors, things and people. Awhile back, writer Ulrika Kullenberg highlighted the new ceramic collection by Höganäs. Simple, sturdy and beautiful, the kitchen set is classic Scandinavian. The wooden coaster that fits snuggly and quietly atop the cup, keeping the beverage warm, is brilliant and obvious at the same time. The black and white are classic, but the line features many rich colours that are perfect for the autumn season and long winters. I had forgotten, but I had actually seen this new line at the Rohsska Museum in Goteburg, Sweden last December. More information and beautiful photos can be found at the Höganäs Keramik blog. I think the child in second photo below is actually wearing trousers in a Maria Holmer Dahlgren design.
Caroline Engel for Danish Teak Classics