Swedish Folk Style relies on simple structures, exuberant art
embellishment on walls, ceilings, and furniture, and an overall
sense of harmony. Painted wooden furniture, often with neoclassical
lines, becomes a mainstay. On the walls and ceilings, trompe-l'oeil
paintings suggest draperies and sculpture. The palette is natural,
the accessories functional and uncluttered, the floors unfinished
The drama of the outdoors -- wild fjords, deep forests, and the long
night of winter -- has encouraged the Swedish to create design in
harmony with nature. Flowers, birds, and fruit, the longed-for
shapes of spring, decorate furniture, walls, and ceilings. A loose
and novice painting style imparts a warmth of color and subject
matter that seem to belie the earthy environment. Simple choices in
antique linens, tapestry, and embroidery, as well as painted wood
carvings of animals and fruit, lend an unpretentious air. A
few ornate touches -- a gilded mirror or a crystal chandelier -- can
add a hint of manor-house elegance.
Special artSparx artisan
How an artist creates a masterpiece'.
by Tobias Freccia
"I was approached to transform a very generic dresser
into an interesting and unique piece of painted
furniture. I wanted to present the piece as an old,
decorative painted piece, perhaps something found in a
dusty old shop, that could strongly resonate with
history. I choose to work with a colorful palette and
create a piece of ersatz folk art."
For more stories visit
In winter, you may find the path to the door is lit with ice candles
set in the snow, and in each window a single taper burns. Gilded
rococo mirrors reflect precious light from wrought-iron chandeliers.
Vivid embroidered tapestries and a glowing ceramic-tiled stove keep
the cold at bay.
In the summertime, Swedes throw their houses open to sunlight and
fresh air. The tapestries and draperies are removed to reveal pale,
scrubbed wood floors, an open, airy floor plan, and subtle colors on
walls and furnishings: white, slate, gray-green, cerulean blue.
Flowers are planted in every available corner of the garden. A
summer smorgasbord of fresh vegetables, fish, flowers and herbs is
set outdoors on plain blue and white dishes. At the windows, sheer
curtains, perhaps in pretty botanical prints, are pulled back to
welcome the light.
Overall, a sense of whimsy prevails in Swedish folk design. The
friendliness of people and countryside are reflected in the home, on
furnishings and fabrics and in the essential rhythms of the Swedish