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Inspiration & Tips/Inspiration/Design House Stockholm – the captivating design house that publishes design like stories
A small table in white oak from Design House Stockholm, on it rests the lamp Block and Elsa Beskow mugs Uncle Blue on stacks of books in a stylish living room.

Design House Stockholm – the captivating design house that publishes design like stories

Dive into to a world where design tell its own story - both about how it came to be and the function it fulfils in your home. Design House Stockholm has been enchanting us with thoughtful design since 1992 and their work with prominent designers, well, that's a story in itself.
Wednesday 26th April 2023
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Stylish living room with products from Design House Stockholm in the form of Lulu pouf, Frame shelf in oak, Knot cushion in lavender and Elsa Beskow mug.

Founded in 1992, Design House Stockholm collects design ideas from emerging and experienced designers.

Frame shelf S 58 cm
oak-white
$349.90$389

ONCE UPON A TIME THERE WAS A DESIGN PUBLISHER…

Stepping into Götgatan 14, where Design House Stockholm has its home, is like stepping into a magical treasure trove. It's not long before you're greeted by Knot – the quirky pillow that was discovered on a trip to Iceland and was originally supposed to be the legs of a knitted teddy but took slightly different turn along the way. In one of the large windows facing the cobbled street, a stone's throw from Old Town in Stockholm, rests Block - a lamp that, like a literary classic, has been with us since 1996.

Stylish dining area with wooden table from Design House Stockholm, Family chair, linen cloth and porcelain in the form of bowls and teapot in black.
Something for everyone - Design House Stockholm's curated selection has something for every home.

At a quick glance you see a stylish range of modern Scandinavian design, a deeper look reveals the chapters that tell the story of Design House Stockholm (DHS). The tale begins back in 1992 when Anders Färdig founded the brand with a clear ambition of becoming a design publisher rather than a design producer. What this means is that DHS finds and nurtures design collaborations with unknown designers as well as big names in the design world or as they would say, DHS "scouts out" new design:

- "We want products that have a strong design language and that have that something special. This can be both function and expression - simply that little bit extra," says Margot Barolo, Head of Design and Product Development at DHS.

Knot cushions from Design House Stockholm in blue, purple and apricot in the arms of a woman.

Knot is a beloved classic today but took shape by pure chance.

COLLABORATION IS AT THE HEART OF THE STORY

Over its 30+ years, DHS has built an impressive collection of collaborations with designers such as Alexander Lervik, Harri Koskinnen, Catharina Kippel and Lena Bergström.

- "We have great confidence in using design as our main tool and stamp of quality. To create inspiring new design, we need the help of the amazing designers out there. We see designers as our natural resource and the relationship and co-operation between them, our manufacturers and us is crucial for a successful product," says Margot and continues:

- "The respect and trust for each other in a co-operation must always be there. Another important element is our relationship with our manufacturers. A lot of those we work with have been close friends for many years, which helps us to have open and straightforward conversations and to work on the conditions relating to social and environmental sustainability.

Table in white oak from Design House Stockholm, on which rests the lamp Block and the Elsa Beskow mug Uncle Blue.

At DHS, trust and collaboration with designers is at the heart of the business - resulting in products that all tell a story.

By working closely [together], we constantly find new ways to get better.

SEVERAL AUTHORS - ONE STORY

During its three impressive decades on the design scene, Design House Stockholm has opened up the world of Scandinavian design, not only for consumers to enjoy but equally for those who wish to design. Whilst they collaborate with many the story stays the same - the DHS story.

- "For us, it [modern Scandinavian design] is part of a lifestyle that embraces a way of thinking about how we relate to the objects we want to surround ourselves with. It's not nationalised, we work with designers from many different countries. Rather, [Scandinavian design] unites all of us who value materiality, quality and function, bringing one or more of these into a single form. It often involves a complexity that is seemingly simple but delicately balanced," says Margot and continues:

A sense of the material is important, not to hide but rather to emphasise the materials. That the focus is on form more often than decoration.
Two boys are sitting at a dinner table from Design House Stockholm, the picture also shows the Lulu pouf and bowls from the NM&Sand series.

Have you heard the story of how your favourite DHS product was created?

CHAPTER BY CHAPTER CREATE A HOME TO LOVE

No matter which DHS product elevates your home, there's something for everyone. But did you know how your favourite products came to be?

BLOCK TAKES SHAPE

The Block lamp has become synonymous with DHS over the years, but did you know the lamp started its life as a wedding gift? In 1996, Finnish designer Harri Koskinen was pondering over how to mould two blocks together to make an attractive wedding gift before he landed on the idea of turning the mould into a lamp Harri Koskinen secretly made some samples and presented them to friends and acquaintances and one of these friends knew Anders Färdig who had just founded Design House Stockholm.

- We were a bit hesitant about the functionality of the lamp as a light source, but we decided to launch the Block Lamp as a mood enhancer in the form of a light sculpture," Anders Färdig, founder of DHS tells us.

- Today [the Block lamp] is part of the permanent collections of several museums such as the National Museum in Stockholm and MoMa in New York. 'It was undoubtedly the Block Lamp that first put the Design House Stockholm brand on the international design map,' says Anders.

Block lamp from Design House Stockholm with a black cable.

Block - the lamp that put Design House Stockholm on the international design scene & exhibited at MoMa in New York.

A CHAIR FOR EVERYONE

From Block to Family Chair. In 2008, DHS teamed up with Lina Nordqvist, who had an idea for everyone in a family of four to have their own designer chair at the dining table. The project went from a thesis project at the Beckaman School of Design to being launched at MoMa in New York a year later. Today, two of Lina's sleek dining chairs are sold by DHS.

THE STEPS YOU WON'T WANT TO PUT AWAY

In 2011, the tale of Karl Malmvall and Design House Stockholm begins when the Step ladder is developed. The intention behind the design was to create a ladder so beautiful you’d want to hang it on the wall.

- Perhaps the ladder, designed by Karl Malmvall, is one of the best examples of what Design House Stockholm is all about, says Anders.

We love products that combine imagination and function.

- We want to solve everyday problems, like [the problem] of squeezing a ladder into an already full storage cupboard. Karl had an idea for a folding chair that could be completely flat when folded. That started a discussion that we call creative magnetism in the company. We twist and turn the experiences that had just gathered in the room. Suddenly the discussion leads to an experience that is sometimes difficult to explain. We had solved the problem of the ladder taking up too much space in the storage cupboard by hanging it on the wall in the front room or hallway. The folding chair thus became a ladder that you can now find in most design shops around the world.

Step – ladder in oak from Design House Stockholm on a staircase with a black planter next to it, a Grow terrariums with a flower in it and a green Elsa Beskow mug.
Family Chair – a dining chair in oak from Design House Stockholm?

A unique chair for everyone in the family - the Family Chair began life as a project for a degree.

CUPS FOR ENCHANTING FIKA MOMENTS

Design House Stockholm's commitment to becoming a publisher of Scandinavian design ideas was cemented when Catharina Kippel released a series of beautiful mugs celebrating the beloved Swedish children’s author Elsa Beskow. From Aunt Brown to The Strawberry Family, each mug celebrates a different Elsa Beskow motif and anchors DHS's approach to design, like the best book publishers in the literary world.

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES

The familiar fairy tales we are used to almost always come to an end, but we don't want to see an end to Design House Stockholm. This exciting design publisher still has many stories left to tell. Maybe you've already met Lulu?

Styling: Arijana Kapic

Photography: Elof Martinsson, Design House Stockholm

Arijana Rosso
Writer

Design House Stockholm

See more from DHS

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