Print Tradition in Sweden
Swedes prefer monochrome and bright design - but is that really true? We asked Pauline von Rosen, whose company Frank & Cordinata has represented Morris & Co for over 15 years, what Sweden's print tradition is actually all about.
It's easy to choose white because it goes with everything and you don't really need to think about it. Choosing a print needs more care and effort. Personally, I like to have something to look at, and print is a more practical choice, because it's not as sensitive to dirt. Maybe Swedes do choose white but we've got a print tradition that goes way back.
What is the Swedish print tradition?
Sweden has always been guided by leading countries such as France and England and imitated trends as well as we could with tourin painters and cheaply printed paper wallpapers that were supposed to represent woven textiles. You can see how this inspired for example the historic Hälsinge farmhouses.
The Gustavian style is a simpler and slightly paler style of colours and prints. We Scandinavians simply like to keep things clean - with block colours, stripes and checks to make prints feel relevant.
Karin & Carl Larsson were greatly inspired and influenced by William Morris and his friends, which means that we have had many of their prints in our culture for as long as they have been prominent England, almost becoming a bit "commonplace". If you look at William Morris's design, we Swedes like to style his designs with a monochrome light-grey sofa and striped curtains - NOT with oak panelling, dark ceilings and a suit of armour in a corner.
How to include patterns in a simple and more minimalist interior design style?
Start with patterned bedding and pillows, or a feature wall if you feel ready for something more permanent. Think about rags and carpets. A patterned rug really adds character to your home. But remember to always take things home and try them out before you decide!
And my best piece of advice - don't ask what your friends think, try and work out what makes you happy.
Ready to use patterns at home? Check out the collaboration Morris & Co. X Mille Notti here >