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Alexandra Lange

What I Would Have Bought in Sweden


Had the exchange rate not been so disastrous, my luggage so stuffed. Pattern porn, if you will.


10 Swedish Designers, Rope oilcloth


Svenskt Tenn, Elephant linen


Polarn O. Pyret, onesie, Landscape Print


Lotta Kuhlhorn pear mugs


Maria Dahlgren, Breakfast in Bed Tray (so many trays!)


Mon Amie porcelain, Rorstrand


Viola Grasten "Festivo" fabric, Ljungbergs Textiltryck

A theme emerges. While the Swedish modern architecture we saw ran to blank surfaces of stone, glass and stucco, every store was bursting with color and pattern — all of the above designed by women. Even the stripes were better: one could have done a photo essay on the different thicks and thins and combinations on the striated hats of every Swedish child. (Those that were visible. All babies were invisible, deeply swaddled in buntings, fleeces, and new-model enormous prams).

The two Swedish homes I entered had the light floors featured daily on From Scandinavia With Love, plus patterned floor cushions and little rugs. I had a whole discussion with one hostess about Royal Copenhagen's Mega teacups. She had just one or two with the blown-up pattern, the others plain white, deployed on coasters in yet another pattern. Her children were eating quince soup (from a mix) with whipped cream and croutons for snack. It was like another world, the world of the textile fairies.

Posted in: Product Design

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Alexandra Lange Alexandra Lange is an architecture and design critic, and author of Writing about Architecture: Mastering the Language of Buildings and Cities. (Princeton Architectural Press, 2012). Her work has appeared in The Architect’s Newspaper, Architectural Record, Dwell, Metropolis, Print, New York Magazine and The New York Times.

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