During my visits to Lief, I always admire the contemporary art of French artist, Anne Delfieu. This piece hangs in the home of Lief owner Mick Aarestrup and his wife Paula. The mixing of old and new is another prevalent element in Swedish interiors.
If one follows the poet's well-trod path, this is to be a month of gathering in, of reaping what has been sown, of thoughtful contemplation of what has gone before and preparation for the colder days to come. I have always considered November the more serious of all the months; when conclusions are drawn, decisions are made and, if one is fortunate, contentment settles round the bones like down. It seems much more temperate of spirit than May or September, certainly. It is fitting, therefore, that we as a country make a most momentous choice every four years in November. Fittiing also, that at the end of this reflective month, we observe a day of Thanksgiving for the gift of the year past.
Sweden has been fortunate in its history: while the Hundred Years War reduced much of Europe to ruins, Sweden grew rich, and during the subsequent centuries has enjoyed almost continuous peace. The story of Swedish country houses is thus a mirror of Swedish social history, its hierarchy of classes, its absorption of European styles and movements, and above all its enduring culture.
Interior archive is one of those sites where you can spend hours on. Looking through their dozens of pictures, there are a number of beautiful pictures that present a country look from Sweden. Here are my favorites:
The Interior Archive showed some beautiful pictures of a country house in the folk art Swedish style. A simple kitchen is furnished with antique wooden furniture. A hand-painted Swedish Mora clock stands against a distressed orange wall in the kitchen. Here, we see the detail of the hand-painted decoration on the chair that sits in the kitchen. A wall-mounted corner cupboard provides ample storage in the kitchen.
-Miguel Flores Vianna shows a spectacular Swedish kitchen with a wood burning stove, with country Swedish chairs. This kitchen has many rustic elements to it. A light blue is painted on the walls breaking up
Ruth Dola moved to Sweden permanently in 2014 and found her passion in connecting India, her home country to her new adopted home country Sweden. As Manager for the India market at Visit Sweden, Ruth drives whole-heartedly B2C and B2B activities to raise the awareness...
These are the days when the Swedes in this land of the midnight sun abandon their sailboats, their fishing rods, and their country cabins, and speed back to Stockholm, Malm"o, and Gothenburg. The signs of the collapse of stretched-out summer days are all too evident.
Out in the countryside, Sweden's extraordinary, translucent light is still as scintillating as ever -- as if you are always looking through a window that has just been freshly washed. But the leaves are turning red and gold now, and soon the 8 million Swedes will witness one of the most cataclysmic of all nature's changes -- from days of everlasting summer light to a period of almost perpetual winter darkness.
To be in Lapland in a country cabin in the heart of winter, a Swede assures me, ``is not very funny.'' It's obvious, then, why Swedes make the most of summer and embrace the countryside so wholeheartedly.
``Of all the clich'es about the Swedes,'' says one native, ``the one that is really true is that they love nature and the environment.'' And so, the countryside pervades the city in paintings, drawings, photographs, posters, and even on the backs of napkin boxes.
Swedes may be leaving the countryside, but the problems of pollution in the countryside -- affecting trees, land, reindeer, and lakes -- are uppermost in many of their minds. What angers Swedes is that much of this pollution is not of their making, but emanates from the Soviet Union, Poland, or Britain.
Sweden was the first Western country to detect the radioactivity from the April Soviet nuclear accident at Chernobyl. It was tragic that the air stream bringing the particles from Chernobyl over part of Sweden coincided with a heavy thunderstorm. The result was dramatic, and is still being felt. Cows had to remain indoors for a month, and thousands of reindeer, which forage over a wide area, have been slaughtered.
``Your country,'' says a Swede to this London-based correspondent, ``is the worst culprit.'' But Poland doesn't come off any better. Scandinavian acid-rain problems are largely blamed on Britain's coal-fired power stations and the spraying of forests in Poland with DDT. 2b1af7f3a8