As many of you know, this past September I went on a three week adventure to Scandinavia. One of the highlights of my trip was seeing the surface design work of the late Swedish designer, artist and architect Josef Frank. Frank, who was born in Austria but emigrated to Sweden in 1933, was a pioneer in the Swedish Modern movement of the 20th century and a member of the Stockholm design company Svenskt Tenn. Frank, who also painted and designed houses & furniture, is particularly well known for his pattern design. These designs are ubiquitous in Sweden, and so it was particularly thrilling for me to go there and see them first hand.
One of the most exciting places I visited was Svenskt Tenn, which was founded in 1924 by Estrid Ericson, who recruited Josef Frank to her company 10 years later. Together they created the boldly patterned interior design style that continues today. Visiting the brick and mortar shop, located at Strandvägen 5 in Stockholm’s posh Ostermalm district, is like stepping back in time, and also into another world. Even the interior of the elevator is wallpapered!
Admittedly, I love Frank’s designs as accents, and am not sure I’d ever want an entire sofa covered in his fabric (as beautiful as it is) or an entire room covered in his wallpaper.
But as a pattern designer myself, I am in awe of Frank’s forward thinking designs and find them to be incredibly beautiful and intricately detailed works of art. If you read Swedish artist Elisabeth Dunker’s blog Fine Little Day, you may recognize this Josef Frank wallpaper that is in her gorgeous kitchen. I love how Elisabeth incorporates this traditional Swedish pattern into her cozy modern home.
You can read more about my Scandinavian adventure in the Travel & Adventure section of this blog (scroll through to find images from Stockholm). I also wrote a shopping guide to Scandinavia for The Fox is Black, which you can find here.
Have a great Thursday!