Stockholm! Part one.

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YAY, I’m finally writing my first Stockholm post! I got back from my trip a week ago, but I’ve been scrambling to recuperate/catch up since then. If you follow me on Instagram then you’ve seen a bunch of snapshots, but holy mackerel (holy lutfisk?)…I took a lot of photos with my camera-camera. I kind of don’t even know where to start.

WHAT A TRIP. I left for Stockholm the evening of Saturday the 1st, lost an entire night of sleep to the 6-hour time change and the 9 hours of traveling, then arrived at noon-ish local time on Sunday. I can’t sleep on planes no matter how hard I try or don’t try, so I was a mess by the time I got to the hotel. I pulled myself together and met up with my aunt and cousin (who was at work 5 minutes from my hotel) for lunch, though, which was really fun! I’d never spent time with my aunt apart from my mother before, and in her absence I felt very moved by how similar they are. They may live thousands of miles apart, but they are sisters to the bone—and I love knowing that there’s another person in the world who reminds me of my mother. (I feel more than a little choked up writing this…)

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From there I met up with Emma, who very kindly took me around to some of her favorite shops in the area despite the icy rain that was falling. Unfortunately a lot of stores are closed on Sunday (or because it gets dark at 4:00 in the afternoon!), so we were a bit limited, but I still managed to take in some of the city and squeeze in fika time at Snickarbacken 7. Mostly it was just so nice to spend time with Emma! We’ve known each other through blogging for years now, but we’d never met in person before. I felt instantly comfortable being with her.

Side note: I love saying “snickarbacken.” Google translate tells me it means “carpenter hill,” but I prefer to imagine it having something to do with peanuts and caramel and maybe a graham cracker crust.

I stayed at the incredibly fancy Nobis Hotel (more on that later), which is in what travelers call an “ideal” location, but it’s really a very touristy/business-y part of the city. I still don’t really have a great sense of Stockholm geography, but I’ve learned that next time I probably want to stay in Södermalm, which I repeatedly heard referred to as “the Brooklyn of Stockholm” and “the Williamsburg of Stockholm.” As a transplanted Brooklynite, I understand what that means (nope, I’m not going to use the H-word)…so, noted!

Anyway, despite being a bit restricted by location, Emma and I had an amazing dinner out at Riche. Their menu is decidedly un-vegan, but the chef was MORE than happy (I’d say he was excited, even) to prepare a special vegan meal on the fly for me. I don’t even remember everything that was on my plate because I was so tired and I wasn’t thinking about foodstagrams, but I do know that there was a vegan risotto, a fennel salad and something with hazelnuts. Whatever it all was, it was DELICIOUS. Such a nice place to sit and talk, too.

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Even though my photos of it aren’t great, I need to mention the Nobis Hotel, who put me up for the three nights I was in Stockholm. The Nobis is by far the fanciest hotel I’ve ever stayed in (though to be fair, it’s competing mostly with fleabag roadside joints—I don’t have much fancy hotel experience). It’s located in a former bank—a very famous bank, in fact—the one where the Norrmalmstorg robbery took place in 1973, and where the term “Stockholm syndrome” comes from. It’s a gorgeous building, with its protected late-1800s interior layout and architecture preserved yet made contemporary by the Swedish firm Claesson Koivisto Rune in 2010. The picture above is of the ceiling over the atrium that houses a lounge area.

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Orla Kiely toiletries, Scandinavian design everywhere, and a collection of great lamps from all over the world in the lobby. I wish I’d taken more photos, but I didn’t have much time at the Nobis during daylight hours. Here’s a really nice collection of both the common areas and the rooms, if you’re interested to see more. So. Damn. Fancy. (Also, the mattress and pillows? They’re making me rethink my entire approach to sleeping at home, where my bed now feels like a pile of rocks in comparison.)

After that first afternoon in Stockholm, I basically had NO free time whatsoever to do anything on my own. There were media events (and the Furniture Fair, of course) scheduled from early morning until late at night, so no time to go to shops or museums or restaurants that weren’t part of the Design Week tour. So Monday and Tuesday were jam-packed, and then I left for New York very early Wednesday morning. Talk about a whirlwind! My sleep schedule was completely crushed, and I brought home a nasty cold and a whole lot of exhaustion with me. It was a amazing trip, yes, but I really wish I could have added on a couple of extra days just to be able to breathe a little and get out to explore Stockholm. Next time.

I have SO MUCH MORE to talk about and share from my trip, but it’s too much for one post—I think it might be more like a dozen posts! Next up, lots of studio visits. For now, I leave you with a collection of Instagrams from Stocklhom…a little taste of what’s to come.

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41 comments
  1. MonicaFeb 13, 201412:28 am

    You had me at “Orla Kiely toiletries.” But yes, H-word aside, Södermalm is dreamy…

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  2. Karen (@inateapot)Feb 13, 201412:45 am

    Love all your pictures, but that selfie of you in the far right column? With your arm raised? So. Good. You have such an interesting face.

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  3. JennFeb 13, 20141:16 am

    Your trip to Stockholm looked amazing! I’m super excited to read/see more about the furniture fair. I’m curious – how was it being vegan in Stockholm? We most places happy/able to accommodate a vegan diet?

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  4. SilviaFeb 13, 20144:40 am

    I’ve been to Stockholm once, for one day in 2001.
    Time to visit again, I see (:

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  5. BenitaFeb 13, 20146:09 am

    Too bad you couldn’t stay longer to experience more but I’m glad you got to enjoy a taste of Stockholm aside from the fair.

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  6. tamiFeb 13, 20149:46 am

    OMG this trip sounds amazing!!! LOVE that atrium CEILING!!!!! thank you for sharing :)

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  7. jaclynFeb 13, 20149:48 am

    Sounds amazing so far, Anna!
    Obviously, this was a crazy-quick trip for you but in the future, I find it REALLY saves me to take a good 3 hour nap as soon as I get to the hotel after traveling. I can’t sleep on planes/trains/in the car at all and over the years I’ve learned that no matter what time it is when we arrive, if I sleep right away for a few hours, I can combat jet-lag/exhaustion like a champ!

    Sweden is on my radar for my next vacation so I can’t wait to see the rest of your posts!

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    Anna @ D16 /

    Hi Jaclyn, yeah, I REALLY wanted to take a little nap when I arrived, but that was my only free afternoon—I didn’t want to give it up. Also, my aunt and cousin were already waiting for me in the hotel lobby, hahaha. ;)

  8. Laura CFeb 13, 20149:52 am

    That collection of pendant lights is amazing.

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  9. becca waterlooFeb 13, 20149:54 am

    These are all such great pictures! jealous!

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  10. MarthaFeb 13, 20149:56 am

    in no particular order…

    You met up with Emma! That must have been so fun.

    I loved this, and can definitely relate: “They’re making me rethink my entire approach to sleeping at home, where my bed now feels like a pile of rocks in comparison.”

    The Nobis looks beautiful. I’d love to wander in from the street and just look around the lobby! But yes yes yes to staying in Söder.

    Thanks for sharing, Anna. I look forward to hearing more.

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  11. KellyFeb 13, 201410:20 am

    This is all just the MOST! What an amazing trip! Can’t wait to hear and see more!

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  12. Kristen @ Storefront LifeFeb 13, 201411:03 am

    Your trip looked fantastic! I got the (unexpected) opportunity to head to Copenhagen in April, and now you’ve got me stoked for Scandinavia. I’m considering taking a train to Stockholm for a few days, and I think you’ve cinched it for me.

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  13. jbhatFeb 13, 201412:59 pm

    Gorgeous everything!! I am looking forward to hearing more.

    jbhat

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  14. denaFeb 13, 20141:02 pm

    Could you say more about the beds? I’m in the midst of a total bed revamp and would like (of course) to make things as Swedish as possible in there. Plus, I really want to figure out the duvet/featherbed thing in a practical-for-everyday (i.e., not hotel) life way… Your photos make it all look so appealing!

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    Anna @ D16 /

    I don’t know anything about them, Dena, sorry! You could try contacting the Nobis—I think most fancy hotels are very happy to share the brands of mattresses and pillows they use.

  15. FionaFeb 13, 20141:56 pm

    Yay indeed, I’ve been waiting for this post !!!!! Can’t wait see and hear more :)

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  16. Lizzie ModernFeb 13, 20142:11 pm

    Wonderful photos! Love all the bold colors and stark backgrounds. And so great that you got some family time in as well, that’s really special. Excited to see your other posts!

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  17. kelly wFeb 13, 20142:43 pm

    I had to Google ‘H-word’ *hiding face*

    PS, I still can’t get over that photo of you in the insulated cape. So good.

    PPS THAT ATRIUM.

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    Anna @ D16 /

    HAHA. Did Googling actually help?

    kelly w /

    if the H-word = hipster, then yes! ;)

  18. Damn, I need to blog more about decor and design. The offers I get for blogging about non-consumerism are hardly brag-worthy.

    I look forward to more Stockholm posts!

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    Anna @ D16 /

    Katy, I know you meant this as a joke, but just so it’s TOTALLY clear, I was not asked to blog about my trip. Not about the hotel, the fair, or any other aspect of it—I was simply invited. Now, I personally think it would be completely weird if I didn’t (and why wouldn’t I want to?), but it definitely wasn’t a quid pro quo kind of situation.

  19. SaraFeb 13, 20144:37 pm

    I can´t wait to read about your experiences at the Furniture Fair!

    Btw, the beds at the Nobis are DUX, a world renowned Swedish bed (www.dux.com). And the sheets are Egyptian cotton. Pure luxury!

    Hugs from Sweden!

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    Anna @ D16 /

    Thanks, Sara!! I figured they were some fancy Swedish brand. I was too shy to ask, which is typical Anna. ;)

  20. AnnaFeb 13, 20145:23 pm

    I don’t think I’ve ever commented here before, but I wanted to share a link to where I stayed when I went to Stockholm in October: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/441476
    I loved staying there, it’s in a great area (in Södermalm), and there’s a vegan grocery store right around the corner!

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    Anna @ D16 /

    Thanks so much, Anna! That looks like a great apartment.

  21. DeeFeb 13, 20146:43 pm

    The black and white picture of you with the phone in your left and and your right hand raised is the most amazing pic I’ve seen of you. Beautiful!

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    Anna @ D16 /

    Wow, thank you! I was trying to throw a little drama into my morning. ;)

    Matilda /

    I agree with Dee–it’s the most fabulous photo of you I’ve seen. Very Patti Smith in her “Just Kids” years. I nearly squealed with excitement over seeing your first Stockholm report! I’m looking forward to the subsequent post(s)!

  22. RydenFeb 13, 20149:26 pm

    What an amazing trip! It was great following the experience on instagram and the photo of the nobis hotel ceiling is blowing my mind. p.s. tom dixon is my idol

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  23. ShonFeb 13, 201410:49 pm

    Wow, what a lovely place to visit. I am so glad that you had a lovely time with your aunt and friends. I have heard of Nobis and it is so beautiful, but I’m sure the photos don’t do it justice??

    I hope you get some rest and regain a sense routine soon.

    xo

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  24. JoFeb 13, 201411:43 pm

    Love what you wrote about your mom & aunt, I get it & maybe made me teary too!

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  25. ChristinaFeb 14, 20146:11 am

    Nice! Plus I spot a David Trubridge lamp, beautiful kiwi designs. Just curious, but why did you choose to go in the winter?

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    Anna @ D16 /

    Hi Christina, I was invited by the Swedish Consulate to attend the Stockholm Furniture Fair/Design Week, so I didn’t have a choice about when to go—that’s also why I was only there for 2 1/2 days.

    I love love love David Trubridge’s lights—I have a wood one in my hallway. :)

    Christina /

    What a fantastic trip, either way. And snow Stockholm has its own beauty. I saw David Trubridge at TEDx Auckland last year and thought he was fantastic. You might enjoy it too! http://tedxauckland.com/speakers/david-trubridge/

  26. TeresaFeb 15, 201410:39 am

    So glad you are back and looking forward to seeing your trip through your eyes.

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  27. MichelleFeb 16, 20142:07 pm

    Gorgeous, just gorgeous. Now I want to plan a trip.

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  28. FlorianFeb 19, 20141:53 am

    Gorgeous, so gorgeous! Also jealous, so jealous!

    I ADORE that picture on the right, fourth one down – so very Yoko Ono!

    Cannot wait to read more about your trip!

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  29. NoraFeb 19, 20142:48 pm

    oh i love sweden! i just went there myself (helsingborg, malmoe) and i was fascinated how stylish everyone and their homes were. thank you for your impressions, i am waiting for part 2!

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  30. Plum Pretty SugarFeb 19, 20145:46 pm

    Swoon! These are such gorgeous photos to depict the beauty in Stockholm. Thank you for sharing this prettiness!

    xo

    [Reply]

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