How do you make a new kind of design concept for one of the established hotels? Make it local. Early June saw the opening of my new concept with only local talents, local production and local materials. And mainly local wood. Hence the name Knock on Wood.
As a trendhunter I see that our needs and behaviour is changing. Local production has grown in importance. We eat locally sourced food and participate in local experiences when we travel. We no longer want the same burger shack with the same music as we find everywhere. Instead, we want the local flair. This issue is of course associated with sustainability, but we mainly want products that are locally sourced, well-designed and preferably in smaller batches.
In February 2021 I was asked by Clarion Sign Hotel to make a new concept for their larger suites. I took this local approach and redid everything. I made an interior by selecting and curating the best of Swedish design where all details, from floor to ceiling is made of local wood. The carpet, the lamps, bottles and even the shoes are made of Swedish wood. Also, the wardrobe and the floor you are standing on, are made of Swedish wood.
I didn’t want to compromise on the design level and I wanted to work with brands that are available on the market. By doing so, this is then the best of local Swedish design with local materials.The only thing that isn’t made of local wood would then be the TV.
To my knowledge – this has never been done before anywhere.
In total I brought together approximately 25 brands for this.
The room is about 65 sqm and has a bedroom with a lounge area. When you enter the room you will walk on a carpet by Fabric Forest. This carpet is made of paper threads, all produced in Sweden. The bench is from westcoast brand Sloydlab. Hooks and mirror by designer Marie-Louise Hellgren.
The colours of the room is based on one of the trends I was working on together with colour experts NCS. I call it Balearic Breeze. It is a soft and warm base with lots of sand, yellow and colour highlights of olive green and a light blue.
I deliberately wanted to make the room move from a strict business attitude to a warmer and friendlier feeling.
The room comes with large windows overlooking the city. The floors are new and from Sveden and Hornbach. The whole room is shaped like a triangle so the tip of the room used to be an area where you just put flower pots. I raised the floor a bit and made it a cosy corner for you to sit in, drink coffee and overlook the city.
Cosy corner. Pillows in paper thread again by Fabric Forest. Lamps by Matilda Hunyadi for Sloydlab. Room divider by Louise Hederström. This is a piece you might have seen here before. Louise did an exhibition with me at Designgalleriet a few years back, and this is one piece. Made of local wood in Skåne. And also a chair by amazing chair designer David Ericsson for Blå Station.
In this project I have been working closely with the organisation Svenskt Trä (Swedish Wood). They have helped me with know-how and understanding. Together we have talked about content, materials and the situation for wood in Sweden. Notice for instance the chair. Nowadays you rarely see remains of twigs or twig holes in wood.
One aspect of the research I did for this project was to call the majority of all Swedish producers. “Do you have anything in local wood?”. And the most common response was “no”. The majority of Swedish design producers import wood from other countries. Sweden produce 19 milion cubic metres of wood annually. And still we feel we need to import wood for furniture…
One of the first to say that they actually did a few things in local wood was Karl Andersson & Söner. Here they use ash for their piedestals. Same design and concept also for the white sofa table.
On the piedestals you see a lamp by Sloydlab, wood bottles by Bunkerhill and wooden shoes.
The woodens shoes. We need to talk about the wooden shoes.
A few years ago I met two guys starting a new concept in Stockholm. I assume you know what coworking space is. What if you had a coworking woodshop? Go for an hour or get a members fee. Use any of the machines as you want.
They call themselves Toolspace and one of the things they do is 3D printing. So I asked “could you not do someting in 3D printed Swedish wood?”. And together with material supplier Add:North they did these funky sneakers.
Wood diamonds by Emma Olbers, also from an exhibition at Designgalleriet.
Roomdivider in birch wood by Lisa Hilland for her brand Mylhta.
This is the lounge area. Come and sit.
In February a new brand was launched in Sweden. They got a lot of attention and rightfully so. The sofa is designed by Mia Cullin for Verk. Verk is walking the extra mile to find local materials. They even produce their own joints, screws and bolts locally.
Also in the picture you see the rug designed by Marie-Louise Hellgren for Asplunds. This is made in tencel. Fibrers made of local wood.
The bedroom and work area. I deliberately moved the desk from the lounge to here. I wanted to separate leisure and work. And also – look at the view. Amazing workspace.
Table and chair by Stolab. Lamps by Sloydlab. Bedrest by Karl Andersson & Söner. Wood box by Iris Hantverk.
The bed is local. Produced in Lysekil by Carpe Diem Beds – but most importantly the frame is made of local wood.
Magazine racks by Daniel Svahn, uniquely made for this project.
Painted plates by myself. I had to contribute with something on my own.
In the bedroom I also added pieces by BonniBonne. This is a design studio from northern parts of Sweden and where these two girls make a fantastic selection of locally sourced objects. Here a small table and bowl. Below a nice chair.
Kimono made by Fabric Forest.
Wardrobe or closet by Kvänum made of local oak from Visingsö.
And of course – yours truly.
All pictures here are by photographer Åke Eson Lindman.