A former movie theatre in the heart of Stockholm’s design district has been reborn as the first physical space of Nordic Knots, the Swedish rug label that’s redefining what Scandinavian design is expected to be. Since it was launched in 2016, Nordic Knots’ marriage of traditional craftsmanship and a sensuality rarely associated with Swedish design today had set it apart from the crowd. Rooted in functionality while still embracing a minimalist ethos, its rugs each exhibit a texture, warmth and individuality that makes a memorable impression.
Nordic Knots Stockholm showroom: design, heritage and quality
Nordic Knots’ new showroom space was perfect for specific reasons. Dating back to early 1900, the Eriksbergsteatern cinema screened its first film in 1918 and its last in 1986. From 1973 to its last day of operation, the cinema was romantically named Woodstock.
‘We wanted to find a space that was special and not just another classic Stockholm store front,’ recall Fabian Berglund and Liza Laserow, the husband-and-wife duo who co-founded the company with Fabian’s brother Felix Berglund. ‘Not that there's anything wrong with that, but we wanted something that had a story and a character beyond just being a beautiful space. We were actually just looking for a new office at first but then this space popped up and from a tiny thumbnail in an online listing, we could see that this was something special. It was more space than we needed, with a storefront that we were not really looking for, and it needed quite a bit of work; it had the bones that we just had to have.’
‘When we first stepped into the space, we felt that [its] history and energy were great. It's been an important meeting place for a lot of people, throughout the years it existed, which spoke to us and we liked the challenge as well as the opportunity to be able to restore and again make it a destination for people to come and see. We knew it could be our home.’
To make the space inhabitable, the Berglunds called upon the New York-based architect and interior designer Giancarlo Valle, whom they met on a recent trip to the Big Apple, where the couple had lived and conceived of Nordic Knots years before. A shared appreciation for each other’s work as well as timeless, refined and unexpected design led them to collaborate on overhauling the showroom space in Stockholm, as well a collection of rugs inspired by Valle’s Latin American heritage and Sweden’s rich folklore.
From preserving the interior’s mottled green marble, sprawling terrazzo floor and dramatic Grand Carrara marble staircase to creating a dynamic, rotating installation display of the company’s wares – under lighting created by the Mexican designer Carlos H Matos – and a coffee bar (an essential in Sweden), the new flagship space puts Nordic Knots’ collections, heritage and quality front and centre.
‘Giancarlo really understood how to use the great original details that were already there and then complement these with a contemporary playful design,’ say the couple. ‘It gives a modern feel and yet [the space is] timeless and classic at the same time. Studio Giancarlo Valle nailed balancing the different materials and how to scale the furniture perfectly in the space. They also understood the needs and practical aspects of the store and translated that into something beautiful and lovely to look at. There is also a real shared love for quality, both in construction and materials, that we think makes a huge difference.’
Valle adds, ‘When Fab and Liza asked us to explore this project, it was an easy sell. Sweden, to me, represents one of the richest and most sophisticated design cultures in the world; it has a deep history of decorative arts and always manages to move itself forward in new and original ways without losing its roots. I saw this partnership as an opportunity to continue this great legacy, but through an outsider’s lens. Swedish attention to craft, detail, material, and proportion is something we wanted to respect, but at the same time, we wove it together in our own way.’
Birger Jarlsgatan, 58 Stockholm
Receive our daily digest of inspiration, escapism and design stories from around the world direct to your inbox
Pei-Ru Keh is a former US Editor at Wallpaper*. Born and raised in Singapore, she has been a New Yorker since 2013. Pei-Ru held various titles at Wallpaper* between 2007 and 2023. She reports on design, tech, art, architecture, fashion, beauty and lifestyle happenings in the United States, both in print and digitally. Pei-Ru took a key role in championing diversity and representation within Wallpaper's content pillars, actively seeking out stories that reflect a wide range of perspectives. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children, and is currently learning how to drive.
BMW i5 Flow NOSTOKANA brings Esther Mahlangu’s art to life at Frieze LA
BMW’s Art Car Project has rarely impacted on the company’s everyday business of building cars. With the BMW i5 Flow NOSTOKANA, could all that be about to change?
By Jonathan Bell Published
This Walter S White house in Indio is given a new lease of life
This Walter S White house in Indio, California, has been redesigned for the 21st century by Sean Gaston
By Hadani Ditmars Published
The Arts Foundation Futures Awards 2024 celebrate UK’s rising creatives
Here are The Arts Foundation Futures Awards 2024 winners, spanning theatre writing, jazz composition and regenerative design
By Tianna Williams Published
Highlights from Stockholm Design Week 2024
At Stockholm Design Week 2024 (until 11 February), emerging designers and icons of Swedish heritage combine design's past and future
By Mary Cleary Published
Svenskt Tenn gets a summer makeover courtesy of Margherita Missoni
At Svenskt Tenn, Margherita Missoni curates 'A postcard from Italy,' a summer takeover of the Stockholm gallery (until 27 August 2023), as well as special edition pieces
By Rosa Bertoli Published
Stockholm Furniture Fair launches Älvsjö Gård collectible design platform
Stockholm Design Week 2023: Stockholm Furniture Fair has launched Älvsjö Gård, its first platform for collectible design
By Laura May Todd Published
‘Pleated for Frank’ at Svenskt Tenn pays homage to a beloved 20th-century designer
Folkform and Svenskt Tenn present a homage to the classic plissé lampshades by Josef Frank (until 19 May 2023)
By Laura May Todd Last updated
These home accessories by Massproductions feature ‘the rules plus some magic’
Stockholm Design Week 2022: Massproductions launches a collection of everyday accessories, designed by the company’s design director, Chris Martin
By Rosa Bertoli Last updated
India Mahdavi interprets Josef Frank’s legacy at Svenskt Tenn
Stockholm Design Week 2022: India Mahdavi and Svenskt Tenn present ‘Frankly Yours’ (until 23 October 2022), an exhibition juxtaposing the company’s iconic prints with Mahdavi’s visual language
By Rosa Bertoli Last updated
Introducing the calming Swedish designs of NRJD
Exploring the close-knit design partnership of founders Oscar Kylberg and HRH Prince Carl Philip of Sweden
By Emma O'Kelly Last updated
Factory fun: Nordic students create innovative products for Lammhults
By Sujata Burman Last updated