Just days after arriving in Älmhult, it was time to hit the road again for the Furniture & Light Fair at Stockholm Design Week. The Swedish capital is a five-hour train ride north, winding through pine forests, cheery villages and rolling, snowy fields. Arriving at Stockholmsmässen, the scenery got a whole lot more energetic as acres of exhibits from some of Western Europe’s top industrial designers unfolded before us.
There’s a gallery at the bottom of this post with photos of fifty of my favorite pieces from the show. There were a few design choices that were very popular, and while some of these trends were predictable (mid-century modern? In Sweden?), others were interesting surprises. Here are some of both:
1. Blonde wood: It being a Scandinavian show, this trend was a given. Most of the wooden pieces on display were pale and graceful, and there was an even split between modern minimalist and simple rustic styles.
2. Textile upholstery: Leather furniture was scarce; in fact, out of the hundreds of booths, I can only remember a handful of leather pieces. Upholstery was king, and popular colours included heather gray, mustard yellow, and burnt orange.
I loved this chair, though don’t ask me what’s on the wall behind it. I don’t remember anyone tripping with a supersized Coke in their hands, so I’m guessing it’s an unfortunate effect of the unvarnished wood.
3. Warm-toned metal lighting pieces: One of the big surprises of the show was the huge number of brassy, coppery chandeliers and pendant lamps. While some designers went for fine detail and delicate shapes, most opted for massive, chunky pieces that seemed destined to hang from exposed beam ceilings.
4. Northern African-inspired colours in lighting: Building on the popularity of Moroccan lamps from a few years ago, several designers incorporated materials that evoked the shades, if not the shapes, of North African textiles.
5. Puffy white chandeliers: Another long-standing European lighting trend, and still going strong. I have a real fondness for this style of fixture though I wonder if, and when, this trend will wear itself out.
6. Geometric pendant lamps: Many of my favorite lighting pieces at the show fell into this category. Structured, simple and lovely.
7. Leafy lights: These pieces had the effect of bringing a sunny park into the interior space without drifting too far into whimsical territory.
There will hopefully be more to share as we hit some other big shows in Western Europe this spring. Meanwhile, I’ll leave you with the full image gallery and this terrific head-scratcher:
And here’s the gallery: