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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 pale wood.

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 feature!

Excerpt from
'Stories: 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 folk lifestyle.

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