The capital of Sweden shows the best of itself in every season, whether there are meters of snow that make it seem out of a fairy tale; or during the height of summer when the sun sets only for a few hours and illuminates the city with a golden light.
In the last years, Stockholm has become the new destination for all design lovers, particularly during Stockholm Design Week, which runs from February 4 to 10 this year. The plethora of Swedish furniture makers and design studios, together with their inspiring collections, have contributed to popularising Scandinavian design around the world.
While the city may be associated with the enigmatic films of Ingmar Bergman, the dala horses (the traditional wooden toys) and kanelbullar (the Swedish cinnamon brioche), the Stockholm of today is also synonymous with designers as famous as superstars, Michelin-starred restaurants and numerous design shops to explore.
We pick out the design-driven destinations to explore on your next trip to the city:
1. Where To Stay: Strand Stockholm
After an extensive interior renovation by Swedish architectural studio Wingårdhs, the latest Radisson Collection hotel opened its doors last Autumn. Strand Stockholm, which was originally opened in 1912 to coincide with the Stockholm Olympics, is situated in central Stockholm in the bustling area of Nybrokajen Bay and is just a short walk from the old town area of Gamla Stan.
The new interiors feature soft textures and rich colours, alongside natural materials such as oak and walnut. The studio has introduced a serene palette of grey tones that run throughout the hotel and has also added recognisable design classics from the likes of Flos and Fritz Hansen to the communal areas as well as the guest rooms. Visit radissoncollection.com/en/strandhotel-stockholm.
2. Where To Dine: La Bocca
Mix Italian food with Swedish design and you have the La Bocca restaurant. The name of this restaurant means “the mouth” in Italian; taste its delectable dishes and you’ll understand why. The interiors of La Bocca has been designed by Note Design Studio.
The original project was first made for the lounge area inside the Stockholm fair during the Stockholm Design Week in 2017; it was adapted for La Bocca when it opened its restaurant in Östermalm, one of the coolest areas in Stockholm. The menu offers Italian tradition food and its wine cellar is one of the biggest in town. Visit labocca.se.
3. Where To Dine: Gastrologik
Helmed by Jacob Holmström and Anton Bjuhr, the one Michelin-starred Gastrologik is a multi-award winning restaurant founded by two friends who met while they were working in Gothenburg. After travelling the world and living in different cities, including Oslo, Paris, Dubai and Seoul, the two chefs finally moved back to Stockholm and opened Gastrologik, with the philosophy of using only Swedish ingredients.
The menu changes every day, surprising you with a always different mix of flavours. The interior is as charming; elegant and warm, the restaurant is decorated with white furniture, brass lightings and cosy burgundy sofas. Visit gastrologik.se.
4. Where To Shop: Design Torget
For design lovers, Design Torget is the address to remember when in Stockholm. You can buy all the best novelties from a carefully edited selection of home furnishings, kitchenware, toys, books, postcards and jewellery.
What makes Design Torget a very interesting shopping address is that all the items you can buy are produced by the biggest Scandinavian companies including Normann Copenhagen, Menu, Muuto and so on, as well as precious items by emerging Swedish artists and designers; what you can buy today might just become an iconic design piece in years to come. Visit designtorget.se.
5. Where To Shop: Nordiska Galleriet
At the heart of Stockholm is another important design gallery you can't miss if you want to see the best of contemporary and classic Scandinavian design. Founded in the 1912, Nordiska Galleriet has always been “the place” with the most tasteful selection of furniture, featuring leading furniture manufacturers including Cassina, Carl Hansen & Son, Classicon and Vitra.
The store is located in a heritage building, and a walk through its storied spaces is simply enchanting. It has also a web-shop retailing furniture, that also offers decorating advice, as well as interior and architectural services. Visit nordiskagalleriet.se.
6. Where To Visit: Nationalmuseum
View an extensive collection of paintings, sculptures, drawings and prints at this applied arts museum, which houses art and decorative objects from the early Middle Ages up until present day.
Located just opposite the Royal Palace, the Nationalmuseum holds numerous exhibitions on design, photography, sculptures and antique furniture throughout the year. After the tour of the museum, don't miss its shop where you can find products closely connected to the temporary exhibitions, the museum and its collections of art. Inside the museum is also a lovely bar where you can enjoy the famed Swedish cinnamon buns. Visit nationalmuseum.se.
(See also: 4 Steps To Designing A Stylish Dining Room)