Like kids to candy, Scandinavian design lovers flock to the Far North to brave the chilling darkness of winter in Stockholm for one week each year. It's the combined Stockholm Furniture and Northern Light Fair, where 40,000 visitors tuck in for a fix of blond wood furniture and a glimpse at the future of cool. Here is a sneak peek at a few of my top picks that made their big debut this year.
(btw: if you're thinking minimalist or monochrome, you're way off base.)
1 - Balance by GamFratesi - Guest of Honor 2014
The Danish-Italian design studio GamFratesi were Guest of Honor for the Stockholm Furniture Fair 2014. As such, they got to design the prominent exhibition and meeting area at the entrance of the fair. Quite appropriately, they called it "Balance".
Suspended over many of the various furniture pieces they've designed for Swedese, Fredericia, FontanaArte, Casamania, Ligne Roset and others, were large Calder-like hanging textile pieces that swung and whirled ever so gently. According to the designers, it was meant to represent the everyday struggle to find balance in life, and emphasize the movement of the fair's visitors through the space. Besides being beautiful, the sculptural pieces worked as room dividers and sound absorbers. Photos: Tiffany Orvet
2 - Pocket Cupboard and wood tailoring by Färg & Blanche
Fredrik Färg and Emma Marga Blanche are known for applying fashion tailoring to furniture. In their latest experiment, they use an industrial strength sewing machine to sew through plywood, creating stitched layers of wood in different hues to dramatic effect. My favorite is the "Pocket Cupboard" where they've stitched leather pockets directly onto the plywood cabinet covers. If you open the cupboard doors you'll see that the stitches go all the way through. Portrait photo: Tiffany Orvet
3 - Plymå bench by Mattias Stenberg for Nola
The smooth curves of this indoor bench may look a bit like plush upholstered furniture, but the resemblance ends there. With its ash wood seats and optional backrest, and limestone table surface, it's durable enough for hardwearing public spaces with a softer side. Photo: courtesy of Nola
4 - Suburban Skyline lamp by Folkform for Örsjo Belysning
Taking its inspiration from Stockholm's suburban skyline, this lamp is made up of block-like shapes in brass that are different from every angle. You may have seen it's sibling pendant, but this was its first foray as a floor lamp. And as if we needed any support that it was classy enough, Queen Silvia of Sweden received one of her own from the country's Prime Minister earlier this winter. Folkform were quite chuffed to install it themselves at the Royal Palace. Detail photo: Tiffany Orvet
And there's more
My full Top 10 slideshow is over at Dwell.com. Check it out