If you follow me on instagram you will have noticed that I’ve recently been in Sweden. Gothenburg and West Sweden to be precise. It was a full-on three day trip organised by Frida Ramstedt (Trendenser) and the West Sweden Tourist Board to promote West Sweden as a design destination. And they certainly exceeded all expectations with a very special tour of towns, shops, factories, castles, hotels, and restaurants. All fortified with lots of stops for fika. There’s so much to share that I’m going to break it down into cinnamon-bun bite-sized portions, starting today with a run-down of the amazing and trendiest design shops we visited in Gothenburg on day 1.
Rum 21 was without doubt the best introduction to Scandinavian design for the home. It was started as a family company in 2006 in Borås by Helén Rudholm and Gustaf Rudholm and acquired by The Royal Design Group in 2014. Rum 21 has since its inception been steadily growing and today is one of Sweden’s leading retailers of furniture and home furnishings on the internet. But visiting the store is a must. Its layout is in room sets that are designed to inspire and tempt you. Tempted we were. More than once I heard whispered ‘I could just buy everything here’.
Kungsgatan 31-33, 411 15 Göteborg
Engelska Tapetmagasinet is Sweden’s largest online wallpaper store. The Gothenburg shop is situated in an old bank with the original mahogany panelling and period features still in evidence. And they sell much more than wallpaper. They also have a whole department of fabrics, cushions, paintings and interior details for the home. But it’s the wallpaper ranges that make this store stand out. If you can’t find it here, it doesn’t exist. End of.
Engelska Tapetmagasinet images ©Robert Dahlburg
Västra Hamngatan 18. 411 17 Göteborg
The motto at Norrgavel is simplicity. Their furniture and furnishings are made with the utmost care to detail, function and form. A kind of quiet design that you notice more, the more you use it. A chair that really supports the body, a handle that, with its design, helps your fingers and hand to pull out the drawer, for example. And the more you walk around the store, and touch, and examine, the more you understand.
Magasinsgatan 22, 411 18 Gothenburg
Floramor och Krukatos
Across a cobbled courtyard and up some rusty metal stairs I really found my happy place. Floramor och Krukatos is a treasure trove of ceramics, botanical prints, curiosities, ornamental plants and cut flowers in season. The building itself is old and atmospheric, with bare brick, metal shelves, and an abundance of natural light keeping those plants as happy as me. As the name suggests it’s owners are a ceramicist (the mother) and a florist (the daughter). A match made in heaven.
Kaserntorget 8, 411 18 Göteborg
Artilleriet was another of my favourites. A true destination store full of an eclectic collection of rugs, furniture, lighting and accessories. Also situated in an old industrial building, the lack of windows only served to improve the cosy, exciting and inviting atmosphere. And to demonstrate the beautiful lighting on offer. As in everywhere else in Sweden, candles were burning on all of the tables and displays. The founders have filled this store with everything that they love and things they have found on their travels. Its displays change regularly so it’s always the place to go for inspiration, and to find just that thing that you have been looking for. Even if you didn’t know you were looking.
Magasinsgatan 19, 411 18 Göteborg
Artilleriet, The Kitchen
Artilleriet, The Kitchen, is as bright and cheerful as its sister store is dark and atmospheric. Here, you’ll find beautiful handcrafted kitchen products, utensils and unique everyday objects, beautifully presented on aged wooden dressers and marble counters.
Magasinsgatan 19, 411 18 Gothenburg
Grandpa sells Scandinavian and international fashion and interiors. Clothes for both men and women are displayed alongside prints, bags, books, interiors accessories, jewellery and electronics. They only stock brands that fit in with the Grandpa aesthetic and commitment to organic production and sustainability. In their own words, “for us, the brands are never more important than the product itself.”
Vallgatan 3, 411 16 Gothenburg
All of this shopping required a stop for fika and that’s when we visited Da Matteo. Founder Matts Johansson has a passion for coffee. Da Matteo means Matts’ house, of course. They roast their own coffee, and with help from knowledgeable agents among the coffee growers they focus on sustainability and quality. The bread and pasties are also baked on the premises. The cafe itself is located in another of Gothenburg’s old industrial buildings and has been largely left untouched. And pride of place is the giant roaster – see below.
Vallgatan 5, 411 16 Göteborg
This list is not exhaustive by any means. There were so many other shops that we just didn’t have time to visit. All of them are conveniently situated in a very small part of the city. You’ll just have to visit for yourself.
I was a guest of The West Sweden Tourist Board for this visit, but all views, and images unless otherwise credited, are my own.