Something Old, Something New …..
Antiques, vintage, slow-fashion, second-hand, loppis (in Swedish), thrift shopping, flea markets – name it what you want but once thing is clear – there is a HUGE trend right now in Sweden to Restore, Reuse and Renovate. The old saying “Something old, something new, something borrowed” has never felt more appropriate. Perhaps it’s a backlash against the whole fast-fashion phenomena to buy-buy-buy only to dispose one season later. Perhaps we have reached a limit of the low-quality-mass-produced-everyone-look-the-same-fashion? Or is this vintage spree just a new trend influenced by the current bad economical times?
Since coming back home to Sweden in end May, I’ve been stunned by all the flea markets and garage sales that’s been popping-up in every corner of the area. My hunt for vintage interior and textiles started after going through my grandmother‘s belongings; finding delicate embroidered sheets and cloths, crochet lace and monogramed towels. More than anything, I got curious to see more what’s left from the generation who so skilfully used their hands making craft. During this quest, I have visited numerous of vintage stores around the great gothenburg area and have listed my all-time 3 favourites that absolutely are worth a visit.
1. Erikshjälpen/ Eriks Development Partner Kungsbacka: This place feels like a boutique rather then a “second-hand” store. The merchandise is carefully selected by the staff; anything that is broken is not displayed in the store and all clothes are cleaned and cared for. I really like this store just because everything is clean and you don’t even feel the smell of old clothes that are typical for vintage stores. I particularly like the textile and book department so if you are looking for embroidered handcraft, vintage sewing patterns, craft books etc this is the place to go to. Beyond the great merchandise, the organisation does great good and donate minimum 75% to support children in need both in Sweden and abroad. The organisation was founded in 1967 by Erik Nilsson. He suffered from haemophilia and the number of visits to the hospital were many. Instead of feeling sorry for himself, he began sending encouraging greetings and small gifts to other sick children. “Sick children can be happy children”, became Erik´s motto and is something still close at heart.
The store also have a cozy cafe. If you donate something, you will get a complimentary Swedish “Fika” with coffee and cinnamon bun.
Beautiful hand-crochet gloves and flower embroidered table cloth bought at Erikshjälpen.
I found this old Husqvarna sewing machine table for SEK 300 (perfect hight for sewing!). There is a retro sewing machine inside the table as well.
2. Antik Ladan Lilla Edet: A few miles outside Gothenburg in Lilla Edet, Antik ladan (the antique barn) is a massive renovated barn that has been turned into a vintage heaven. They both have a department with ceramics and typical flea market finds, newly renovated furniture as well as an retro area with items from the swinging sixties. Anyone that is a fan of 50s/60s/70s furniture design must make a visit here as there tons of retro-merchandise to shop. I found a gorgeous old kitchen sofa here – the kind where people use to sleep in the past – unfortunately, my place in Hong Kong is both too far away and too small for this kind of furniture. Needless to say, anyone interested of buying a complete set of porcelain or larger renovated furniture pieces should absolutely make a visit to Antik Ladan.
Porcelain, porcelain, porcelain …
Old vintage signs
I’ve seen an upswing in having stuffed animals on the wall in several different blogs and interior magazines. This is the place to go to if you are keen for this trend.
Back to the past
I sense my dad’s rooms looked something like this when he was a kid as he a big music fan.
2. Gärdets Gård Vallda: this place is what you should visit if you want to have a real-barn-coutryside-fleamarket experience. Tucked between farmland in Vallda, this barn is filled with vast variety of furniture and interior products (note: no clothes). If you are looking for country-related interior pieces, vintage looking flower pots or random old furniture (not renovated like Antik Ladan) you will be able to find myriad of choices here. I found a old lovely Swedish chair (pinnstol in Swedish), which unfortunately another customer grabbed just in front of my nose. Still thinking about the loss of this beautiful chair…..
The beautiful chair that someone stole just in front of me.
A huge trend right now; plan your flowers in old merchandise box