On my Nordic bookshelf

13th January 2018

As a total bookworm I find Christmas is the perfect time to restock my reading list. Not only are those strange middle days between Christmas and New Year the perfect time to put your feet up with a good book. But in the weeks leading up to the big day itself, whenever a friend or loved one asks me what I’d like it as a gift, the first thing that springs to mind is always a book, and usually a Nordic one at that.

Well I haven’t been left disappointed by this year’s haul I can tell you, so here is a little bit more about my current favourites:

Scandinavian Style at Home – Allan Torp

I was lucky enough to win a copy of this essential style book before Christmas on the beautiful Hannah in the House blog. I’ve never won anything in my life before so you can imagine my excitement.

Working through one room at a time, Allan shows us through detailed case studies, what colour schemes to use, as well what classic items and signature pieces to include if you want to create the Scandinavian look in your home.

The Danish writer and blogger also gives his readers a detailed history of Scandi style as well as introductions to its key designers and materials, such as metal, ceramics and glass, from both traditional and new Nordic points of view. I must say this was the first time I’ve read about Swedish Grace but it certainly won’t be the last.

Real Nordic Living – Dorothea Gundtoft

It was while reading the ‘further resources’ in the back of Allan’s book that I noticed Dorothea had a new book out too. 

I devoured her New Nordic Design book and this follow-up title has been everything and more since it arrived last weekend. Helpfully everything is split into four sections: design and interiors, food and drink, art and artists, and travel and nature so you can easily dip in and out.

As a frequent visitor to Copenhagen it was great to find out more about some of my favourite haunts such as Mads Norgaard, Uh La La Ceramics and Mikkeller. It is also proving an invaluable inspiration for my upcoming trip to Oslo too.

The Red Thread: Nordic Design – Phaidon Books

I have wanted this book for such a long time and poured over it in the Louisiana Art Gallery shop last summer. I find it truly fascinating how a connecting thread of shared themes and ideas runs through all Nordic design.

Following an in-depth introduction, there are 200 beautifully photographed products in this book split into three categories: Design to Improve Spaces, Design to Improve Life and Design to Improve Relations. It’s almost like a check list of everything I need in my Nordic inspired life from kitchen utensils, children’s toys through to iconic pieces of furniture. 

Lagom – Niki Brantmark

Niki’s latest book is another great read, and as a huge hygge fan I was really interested in finding out more about its Swedish equivalent.

As a busy working mum I’m constantly striving for a ‘balanced and happy life’ so with beautifully illustrated and handy advice for your personal life, family and relationships as well as the wider world, it’s certainly given me a lot to think about.

For me it’s more about the day-to-day things such as how to declutter your home, what bee-loving flowers and plants to have in your garden or how to dress your child whatever the weather.

The Kinfolk Entrepreneur – Nathan Williams 

As a creative, as well as a Nordic lifestyle obsessive, all Kinfolk books are in my opinion a must read. In their latest publication they look at how what we do to make a living defines us.

Documenting business owners from around the world its incredibly interesting to learn how for them it so much more than work and income. Again this book is split into sections based on what enabled them, from a single vision, the power of partnership or creating a community.

My obvious favourite interview is with Mette and Rolf Hay, but there also a really great ‘tips’ section at the back of the book for any budding entrepreneur.

All photography by Nicola Capper.

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