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Stockholm with furniture designer, Daniel Enoksson

Published 7 months ago

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Often billed as the ‘Venice of the North’ due to its maze of interlocking waterways, Stockholm lays a strong claim to being Scandinavia’s cultural epicentre. Situated across 14 islands on the Baltic Sea, the city is a hub for creatives. Historic cobbled streets dating back to the 13th century, Art Noveau architecture and an internationally renowned gastronomic scene are what it offers today’s visitor.

To take us around the city that requires crossing a bridge to get anywhere, we tapped up minimalist furniture designer & surfing enthusiast, Daniel Enoksson. Active since 2008, the Stockholm native’s work has been presented at leading contemporary design exhibitions across Europe and he counts Danish interior design colossus, HAY, among clients.

How does he define ‘good design’? Less theory, more emotion: “Essentially, it’s a gut feeling when you see something and it feels right. Sometimes it’s also that which goes unnoticed”.

There’s certainly no shortage of inspiration around him. As Daniel tells us, “Stockholm combines avant-garde art and design with innovative dining”.

From the Michelin-starred open-fire restaurant Ekstedt to the 16 art galleries dotted across the archipelago, cultural expression is never more than a stone’s throw away. “Innovation has been fused into the Swedish mentality for decades”, but Stockholm retains an edge, in his mind, because of its ability to continually draw in aspiring creatives with new ideas.

If museums, exhibits and experimental dining aren’t your thing, the Swedish capital is worth visiting for the warmth and openness of the inhabitants alone: “Fantastic when it comes to equality… The social structure is very flat, so you can strike up a conversation with anyone”.

“Stockholm combines avant-garde art and design with innovative dining”

The best-kept secret? A morning swim to offset the previous night’s festivities: “Since the whole city is surrounded by water it’s common that after a night out, you go swimming in the first morning light to refresh and revitalise”. Having been “married to the sea” since a 1996 Bali trip culminated in an inaugural surf, Daniel takes advantage of all the ‘city that floats on water’ has to offer.

If a Nordic escape is on your radar, our guide recommends avoiding the temptation to come in the summer, and instead opting for early autumn. Swedes prefer to escape the city during the warmer months, meaning it can feel a little touristy. Post-summer Stockholm “really starts to come alive” as the natives flock back.

Daniel's places to see

1. Södermalm: The trendiest district in Stockholm known for great drinks

“Nestled in Södermalm is Haktet. What used to be a jail now offers everything from fine dining to cocktail bars, situated in different buildings around a yard. My favourite is the small bar hidden behind the kitchen called Ölbaren (Beer Bar). It always has a lively atmosphere with an eclectic crowd — it kind of feels like you’re at someone’s house”. 

2.Restaurant Konstnärsbaren: The 1930s-art-inspired restaurant serving traditional dishes

“If you are in Östermalm and want to get out from the busy streets, Konstnärsbaren is the perfect retreat for a beer or a meal of classic Swedish cooking. The place feels like it’s 100 years old”. 

3. St Mark's Church: The brutalist church built by a master 20th century architect

“My grandmother used to live in Björkhagen, a leafy suburb south of the city centre. This is where the magnificent St Mark’s Church, designed by Sigurd Lewrens, is situated. The brutalist brick building is a masterpiece of architecture. Well worth a visit”. 

  1. Nationalmuseum: The country's museum of art & design

“Having closed its doors in 2013, the museum underwent five years of renovations. It reopened in 2018. Contemporary designers and interior architects had free hands to create unique pieces for the reopening, which celebrate and promote Nordic design”. 

5. Torö Stenstrand: The fresh air haven for Stockholm's outdoor enthusiasts

“Just seventy kilometres south of the city, Torö Stenstrand is Stockholm’s most accessible surf spot. During late summer, the camper vans stack up and you can hear guitar music playing and smell the outdoor stoves cooking meals into the night. It’s a lovely place even if you’re not a surfer, with a humid coastal forest that offers perfect conditions for various fresh mushrooms to grow”. 

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