Carl Larsson & Gustavian writing as decoration
When thinking about internal decoration, its always good to look beyond the obvious for inspiration. We love to create visual accents throughout the apartment to give your eyes pleasure as they can from one place to another.
So how about Writing. Writing itself is ART and a valid artform, but how about writing AS art?
Its only a step on from the trompe l’oeil design ethic that is a classic part of Swedish Gustavian decoration so often applied in the old Gustavian manor houses and mansions of 1800s Sweden.
I have visited Carl Larson‘s house many times over the years on our frequent trips to Sweden- As I’m sure you know, he’s the Swedish painter (& proto interior designer) of the 1800’s whose paintings of Swedish life have so influenced later generations. If you are not familiar with his work, do visit the CARL LARSSON official website to see his amazing paintings and the beautiful rooms in his house that are now regarded as a national treasure in Sweden.
One of the first things I am always struck by is the beautiful writing script that you can find upon the door arches in various rooms. How wonderful it must be to walk into your bedroom, enter the kitchen or porch and be greeted by welcoming and loving messages to cheer your heart.
So we decided at Swedish Interior Design HQ to take this idea and make it our own to fit into the Gustavian feel we created.
Luckily we have the beautiful original architraves above each of the handmade 1886 doors in our oak parquet floored hallway which is actually reminiscent of a Swedish Gustavian manor house.
At the end of our Gustavian design hallway we have 3 doors each with beautifully carved original frames, architraves and panels – we decided to paint ‘Words of Encouragement above each one. For both Art & Spirit.
Above our living room door I have painted ‘Medlidande’ which means ‘Compassion’ in Swedish. A fitting sentiment for the beautiful living room beyond & I have followed this theme through into the room by echoing the same paint colour on our 1700s antique settles too.
Above the office door we added a triangular pediment and incorporated this amazing sculpture that looks like its bursting out of the wall – its always draw lots of comment and looks stunning. We had the sculpture lying around for ages and couldn’t find a way to incorporate it so it just goes to show – never throw anything away!!!
The phrase “Vara Tillfred” translates roughly as ‘Be at Peace’
Next the Phrase “Accepterad” or ‘Acceptance’ guides you into the Music Room/Home cinema room
We carried on the concept in the Gustavian bedroom on the bespoke half tester coronet that we handmade to match our bespoke bed painting “Snug” as a declaration of what we think is important and also on the bed footer facing us we painted in Swedish a constant reminder “Life is Wonderful!”
If you fancy having a go at this yourselves, do email us or drop us a comment and we are happy to help. If you arent sure about your free painting skills, you can also order various stencil templates from a variety of sources available on the net incl http://jeannedarcliving.dk
Jo Lee is Director of Swedish Interior Design