February 23, 2013 by Robin Plaskoff Horton
While on assignment during Stockholm Design Week, our friend Linda Hales scouted some cool indoor/outdoor products for us. Like many other international design fairs, the “grow your own” trend was ever present in Stockholm with furniture, lighting, and other products designed to include plants. Here are some of our favorites:
1. Modular Planted Furniture
Street is a painted metal plant house designed by Sara Larsson for the Swedish furniture brand A2, whose motto is “Only the imagination sets the limits.”
Displayed during Stockholm Design Week at Show Off, an exhibition of emerging designers and a collaboration between eight independent Swedish design brands, Street is a collection of stackable units for storage and the display of magazines, books, and plants in both public and private spaces.
The system consists of four parts: a frame, house, and high and low units which combine in different ways as a shelf or room divider.
Known for contract wall systems that are easy on the budget and easy to assemble, Swedish design brand String unveiled a workstation, below, to which they’d added a three-pot planter shelf.
2. Greenhouse of Emerging Design
Greenhouse is the Stockholm Furniture Fair’s juried exhibition that this year derived much of its inspiration from the garden. A venue for showcasing emerging talent, Greenhouse is also a gathering place that is, as Note Design Studio’s Johannes Carlström describes it, “a hotbed for new knowledge, new ideas and new projects…where new ideas are given space to be noticed and begin to grow. We took our inspiration from baroque gardens with their iconic style of blocks, parterres and spatialities. We see Greenhouse as the Fair’s oasis; a place that allows more freedom of design and thought.”
One of the new talents spotted at Greenhouse was designer Caroline Brahme, whose Grey to Green series of paving stones for S:t Eriks hosts vegetation in its randomly spaced holes. Brahme’s goal is to integrate more greenery into the urban setting, introducing more green into stretches of cold grey concrete.
Brahme notes that, “cities depend on nature’s ecosystem to function properly. In the future we must find new ways to integrate green structure into the cities more efficiently. The aim is to build dense, green and sustainable.”
Think of the pavers as modular tiles that enable flexible designs while encouraging plants to grow “in the cracks.”
3. Pastels and Bright Colors
Outdoor furniture turned up in a rainbow of colors in Stockholm, the newest in soft pastels, as in Phillipe Starck’s Zoltan chair for Magis, below.
But there were also bright hues on display. Home Structures lined up a row of colorful seating including stackable chairs by Fabrizio Batoni for Resol Dd and some aluminum Tavolo Bistro seating from Fiam.
German brand Flötotto showed off their orange and chartreuse Pro chair by designer Konstantin Grcic, above, and Swedish company Nola demonstrated its long Sidewalk bench, part of a series of urban pieces that can be configured in multiple ways for public and private outdoor spaces.
4. Rubber Candelabra
Inspired by crystal, the soft gray faceted rubber candelabra by Danish design company Muuto is great for outdoor entertaining.
The candelabra has cool garland-like arms pressed in durable powder coated steel. It’s up the the user to assemble it symmetrically or not, and you can extend the candelabra with additional sets.
5. Green Walls and Halls
Vertical gardens are still in vogue. Walls and hallways at the Stockholm Furniture Fair were lined with them.
Swedish brand Greenworks proposed a free-standing hedge on wheels, with water contained in a stylish white tank. The mobile green wall could serve as a room divider while also absorbing sound and purifying the air.
Greenworks also offered up a hanging plexiglass sphere, Bablyone, that serves as a pendant light and planter. With five openings, stems and leaves can flow out over the edge of the globe.
Bablyone’s bottom contains pumice with high water retention as well as minerals and micro nutrients that feed the plants. Because it stays hydrated, it’s easy to care for as plants only need watering and maintenance every third week.
For infinite versatility without total commitment to a vertical garden, Finnish company Kekkila has created a white aluminum pot wall kit with three pots, each including a shelf and saucer–and to make it even easier, it installs with just a screw. Read about Kekkila’s glass greenhouse garden shed.
6. Grow Your Own Trend Show
Designer and TV personality Jan Rundgren presented this year’s trend exhibitions, one of which was Grow Your Own. Speaking to consumer interest in DIY, grow your own and other garden influences were clearly visible throughout the fair.
At last, a stylish grow light system for nurturing seedlings. With an adjustable lamp to accommodate growing plants and a sturdy white tray to collect water, Kekkila’s beech and white-painted steel Grow Light looks great on a table or desk. Unfortunately, this is for EU residents only as the electrical system is not yet designed for the U.S. market.
7. Scalloped Planter
Nola unveiled more for the outdoor or indoor garden with its scalloped oval “Daisy” white-painted metal planter, which looked great with tulips. The design by Mia Gammelgård is intended for use in heavy duty locations like city squares and outdoor cafés–but it could be just as nice in a residential setting.
8. Mesh Chairs
Crafted from steel tubes and an expanded metal mesh, the Jig series of outdoor furniture by Massproductions includes new versions of their original chair, armchair, and easy chair as well as a completely new stackable bar stool which is available in two seat heights.
9. Swedish Seaside Metal Chair
Swedish Masters of Design (SMD) debuted their curvy steel gray Seaside chair designed by Lotta Ahlvar, below. Love the arms.
Trellises featured several times at the furniture fair. Stina Sandwall for SMD designed a heavy aluminum harvest pot and a minimalist trellis support, while designers Tony Almén and Peter Gest presented a wall-mounted bent sheet steel climbing frame for Nola, below.
Plantrellis, below, by Luca Nichetto for Swedish company Berga is a modular system consisting of three various shaped and sized rounded concrete planters with minimalist metal trellises.
Curved frames soften the edges of a strict grid while the soft colors including pale green, white and red, give the trellises personality on their own. Stockholm-based Italian designer Nichetto envisions the collection as a flexible system in which groups of planters or single pots are used with or without trellises to create unique environments in which plants flourish, enrich the environment, and refresh the air.
11. Lounging in Style
Doze the summer away on a bright orange Jakarta terrace daybed by Claesson Koivisto Rune for Berga. It’s heavy enough to not blow off the roof deck on a windy day.
12. Wired for Style
Tokyo designer Oki Sato of Nendo presented a collection of black wire frame vases in the shape of dishware containing a small glass insert that transforms the wire frame into a vase.
The Cascade wire frame stackable chair by Bjorn Dahlstrom for Nola is made of super durable electro zinc-plated, gold-chromed and powder-lacquered bent steel wire.
About our Spotter: Linda Hales, a landscape designer and former design critic at The Washington Post, writes about architecture and design for a variety of publications including Metropolis. She was a founding contributor at Architect Magazine, wrote for Home & Design Magazine, and was the Editor of Special Reports for The International Herald Tribune. Hales holds a master’s degree in sustainable landscape design and advocates the use of native plants and the preservation of natural habitats. She is editing a book about the landscape of the U.S. Capitol for the Architect of the Capitol. Hales can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Unless otherwise noted, all photos supplied by the manufacturers.