Within such an elegantly ornate interior, the bold mix of contemporary art and Scandinavian design classics creates a tension that feels utterly harmonious in this Stockholm apartment.
In the wood-panelled office, pale, angular furniture with simple, masculine forms counter balance the intensely decorative interior. Textures contrast wildly, too: rich, honey-coloured woodwork and an emerald green marble fireplace neither over-power nor dominate with a contemporary shaggy rug to soften the effect.
Classic furniture pieces feature throughout, including 1930s Artek chairs and a coffee table by Poul Kjaerholm. Other iconic Alvar Aalto pieces can be found in the children’s room; the Artek Chair 66, and Table 90A. I love this room with its collection of snow globes (one of my personal favourite collectibles), and colourful Russian dolls, all vivid reds against the light wood and neutral walls. And there is nothing retiring about the lighting, with 1950s Orrefors chandeliers hanging all about, and the Flos Taccia lamp adding drama to a sideboard vignette.
A development of five apartments in Melbourne caught my eye whilst scouring the internet, as did the design blog of its author, pages from my moleskine (well worth a peek, here). Although undecorated and uninhabited, a bland developer’s palette has been avoided with rich, subtle texture and beautifully detailed finishes. French grey parquetry flooring, palest timber veneer panelling and honed limestone provide the neutral backdrop. Generous proportions are evident with full height doors, and weighty stone benchtops. Plate sized, bespoke turned timber handles are the only extraneous elements. The black shutters of the facade create the only pattern within – that of the sunlight striping across the floor.
The otherwise achromatic colour scheme is only broken in the Powder room, with rich, grey/green mosaic tiles, and a single Alvar Aalto-designed A330 brass pendant floating assymetrically in the space. I love this palette of materials most of all.
Gorgeous photographs by Derek Swalwell give life to the otherwise vacant spaces.
Could you live here? Toorak apartments, Melbourne by Chamberlain Javens Architects, via
Having grown up in Australia, I made my first acquaintance with the Moomins rather later than my Swedish/Finnish counterparts. Enchanted still, I love the expressive, stylised images and beautiful linework of Tove Jansson’s illustrations, not to mention the characters themselves. Alvar Aalto stools are the archetypal stool (I have two, and they won’t be my last). Finnish brand Artek is releasing four pieces from the Aalto collection with Moomin characters lolloping across the face. Table 90B, Stool 60, Children’s Stool NE60 and Children’s chair N65 are all participating. More Artek re-releases from an earlier post, here. More from Artek, here.
Another exciting re-issue, Louis Poulsen’s wonderful, iconic PH5 (I wrote about a perfect pendant, here) has been released with new colour combinations, including coconut white, army green/dark grey, dark grey/turquoise and wasabi green. The spacers which hold the shades in position are finished in bronze, and they are all a soft, matt finish.
I love the soft coconut white-on-white, and the dark grey/turquoise; what about you? More, here.
Also love this round-up of five modern design icons in Dwell, including Eero Aarnio and Lina Bo Bardi, here.
Often referred to as the Hand Grenade, A110 ceiling lamp was designed by Alvar Aalto for the building of the Finnish Engineers’ Association in 1952. It mixes midcentury with minimalism (how perfect!) – two cylinders, one inside the other, with a gap so the light is reflected upwards, and a perforated brass ring at the bottom diffuses the light downwards. Made of lacquered aluminium with a polished brass ring, the lamp looks fabulous hung individually or in a group.
A new version has been added with a slight reworking and a new colour combination of white and yellow or black and red: Special Edition A110 lamp designed by Mike Meiré. He was also responsible for the special edition Stool 60 (here). The white version represents day and the black version represents night.
How perfect is that?
1 + 2 Original A110 lamp
3 + 4 Special Edition A110 lamp
Manufactured by Artek. You can get one, here. Feature image via