Sweden is known for its interior design, and in a retail context, this usually means stripped back minimalism with a lot of wood to emphasise the natural qualities of the great Scandinavian outdoors. And to an extent, the newly refurbished Svensk Tenn store in Stockholm is a case in point.
There is an argument that this is the Swedish equivalent of Liberty, occupying a place filled with arts and crafts in the hearts and minds of shoppers.
Whether this is the case or not, since October Svensk Tenn devotees have been able to step into this enlarged historic store and enjoy features such as a recreated pewter and brass ceiling and a tearoom where founder Estrid Ericson’s (who established the business in 1924) office is highlighted in a permanent exhibit.
There is something of a haberdashery store here, with a long table where rolls of printed Svensk Tenn fabric can be cut to the required size. The difference is that all is white in this area and the white cutting table is trimmed with brass, giving the impression of a pristine work surface, in contrast to the haberdasheries of old. The other point that is writ large is the use of pewter, not only on the ceiling, but more generally in the product range.
In terms of store layout, this one is arranged along domestic lines and you wander from room to room, as if moving between the different areas of a well-appointed house.
There is much that is familiar about what is on view in Svensk Tenn and the job done by UK design consultancy HMKM is to a large degree about restoring the brand’s heritage as much as creating something new.
It is also archetypically Swedish in a positive way that has been much copied in the UK, but rarely at this level.