As summer starts to feel almost within reach, the Houseology team are delighted to reveal some of our exciting new outdoor furniture collections. Curated to ensure that this summer is your most stylish yet, our outdoor collection is filled with innovative designer brands including one of our newest ranges to arrive on Houseology.com, Skargaarden.
Based in Sweden and with an ethos of creating outdoor furnishings that are beautiful enough to celebrate the short Swedish summer, Skargaarden's collections are both stylish and practical, built to stand both the test of time and the elements. We chat to Skargaarden designer, Matilda Lindblom, about her inspirational style...
Q: When did you start working with Skargaarden?
A: It was many years ago just after I had finished studying, Skargaarden were a start-up business at the time and they had seen some of my other pieces and we began a collaboration. The first pieces was the Oxno collection and it started with a chair – I wanted to make a wooden chair with contemporary lines and I thought that it was very important that it was stackable but still warm and inviting – it’s a very unique piece of furniture, there are a lot of details in it that I like.
Q: What other collections have you worked on with the brand?
A: The year after Oxno, I developed a different chair with Skargaarden called Grinda. All my chairs are very different, I think it’s important to have a wide a range of furniture and it’s much more fun to make unique pieces that have different personalities. For Grinda I wanted to make a smaller, neater chair and I wanted it to be more relaxing. It’s a Bauhaus construction and you can sway in it if you lean back – I think of it as a chair you would sit in after a day at the beach with a glass of rose!
I always think that a piece should be beautiful all the way round, but comfortable too - it’s super important that a chair fits your body. What I think is unique about Grinda is that it’s made up of stacked wooden pieces on a metal frame, there aren’t visible screws, you only see the beautiful wood finish both to the back and to the front. This makes it feel really luxurious and gives the chair a beautiful smoothness – the details are very important.
Q: How would you describe the overall Skargaarden look?
A: It’s very natural and the teak used is very high quality. All the designs are also very warm, I think it’s very classical but with a modern angle, using beautiful materials.
Q: What sort of style of spaces do you think Skargaarden pieces work best in?
A: Skargaarden has so many ranges that they can fit in many different spaces; they work beautifully on a little balcony or in an outdoor restaurant. I think all the pieces can be looked at for a long time without you becoming tired of the timeless designs. You can also multiply the pieces so they work well for commercial settings such as hotels and restaurants as well as in the home. I think there is a wide range of personalities that Skargaarden appeals to.
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your own design process?
A: The process can be really varied. Sometimes I'll get a brief from a company and that can be really fun - there will be a need and I'll have to create a piece that fits that need. Sometimes I make up that need myself, for me, sometimes the process is a feeling and sometimes it’s more of a mission. It's important to create goals for the final piece, the goals might be that the chair needs to be made in a particular material and then I'll have to work around that and be creative and find ways to work with the material. You have to be very precise and the narrower the brief and the more rules you have the easier it is, if you don’t have rules in place there are too many choices and design is all about making decisions and moving forward.
Q: Do you have a favourite piece in your collection?
A: I’m very proud of a chair I created called the Excelsa, I designed it during a tough time in my life and I think creating it was a good process for me at the time, it has good memories and a lot of feeling went into it. I learned so much doing this one and it opened a lot of doors in the industry for me going forward.
Q: Which other designers do you admire?
A: There are so many! I love Patricia Urquiola, I think her designs are lovely and they have a lot of feeling.
Q: How would you describe your own style?
A: I think my interior style is very Scandinavian – it’s very light with a lot of wood and light oak. I have very light grey walls and a lot of greenery – I have a lot of oversized plants, lighting is also very important.
Q: Do you have golden rules for decorating a space?
A: I like to use a lot of pictures for ideas; magazines and Pinterest are such good inspiration but I think it’s also important to listen to your own thoughts and your gut feeling. There's so much media today and I think it’s important to follow it but to keep your own personality as well. I like designs that are clean but that also have warmth, you need a mixture of materials and colours; use wood, stone, metal, carpeting and fabrics to create a feeling of warmth. I also believe that lighting is key to everything.