Sweden, 2


So Stockholm continues to be the most beautiful city ever. (see above)

I love it here, particularly since the weather got incredible and everyone is all cheery and in magical summer-Swede mode.

We’ve had a great last few days here, including on Friday when we got up at the asscrack of dawn to take a special bus arranged by the fabulous Swedish government out to Dalarna, a county northeast of Stockholm. It’s an incredibly picturesque region where Swedes have adorable weekend and summer cottages, where they frolic through birch forests like beautiful blonde nymphs, eating lingonberries from the bush (vine? shrub? tree?), making head wreathes from sapling branches, talking to woodland creatures, etc. etc. They’re like that here.

We started with a tour of Stora Hyttnäs, a 19th-century upper-middleclass home that’s now a museum. Our guide was the kind elderly lady in the first picture who rode up on her bike, earning her the prize of most-unintentionally-adorable-Swede in my book. I mean, look at her go. “There are 40,000 objects here,” she informed us with an exhausted sigh.

The real impetus for the trip was to see the home of  famed Swedish painter, illustrator, and national hero Carl Larsson—a place that basically inspired all of Swedish residential design since the turn of the century. It was kind of a big deal.

There weren’t any pictures allowed inside, so apparently I took this one of the outside and decided that was good enough?

It looks like this, basically. Larsson paintings are reproduced all over Sweden. Everywhere you look, BOOM. Larsson. Pretty amazing to see in person.


Two days in Sweden, two boys who like to thrift, nothing on the agenda. I’m pitching the reality show now.

Heart racing. Hands shaking. I was BORN to thrift in Sweden. This was to be my moment. This is pretty much how it went:

Saturday morning: “Oh, let’s get haircuts” says Max. “It’ll be nice, we’ll feel all refreshed, and we can always go to the flea markets after.”

“But you have to get there early!” I wail. “And they’ll be over later, and OMG YOU’RE RUINING MY WHOLE LIFE.” *tears*

I might have overreacted. I was hellbent on thrifts and Max was determined to refresh his Hitler-youth hairstyle and—absent my spoilt-child greedy emotions—I had no defense.

I’m not bitter anymore. It’s fine. Our hairs look better. I’m totally so over it don’t even worry I didn’t even want that fabulous ________ I would have found had we started earlier as planned. 

Don’t get in the way of me and my thrifts.

We found some rad stuff though, at a combination of thrifts and fleas, like this weird PH-style light fixture that was marked at all of about $7. I don’t even really know where we’ll put it, and it’s really not worth much (from what I can figure out, I think it’s basically a knock-off of some other “inspired by” design) but SEVEN DOLLARS? That’s less than a Chipotle burrito. Plus, brassy details. I mean come now. No choice.

More stuff? Of course. Clockwise:

1. Old Konica film camera—super bare bones, super cheap, should be fun to shoot a couple rolls on.

2. Three brassy candlesticks! Brassy brassy brassy!

3. Found about a trillion of these wood cabinet door/drawer pulls at Myrorna (basically the Swedish Goodwill) for about 25 cents each, so I bought 24 of them just to give myself the option of using them in my kitchen. I know you’re thinking that it’s a bad idea, but combined with the other stuff I have planned, I think they might look amazing. Might. I’ll sleep on it before I drill any holes.

4. Geode tea light holder. If I have two sets of geode bookends, two geode coasters, and now this, does that make me a rocks and minerals enthusiast? Collector? Weirdo?

5. On Sunday we went against all the advice and visited a HUGE flea market (marketed as the biggest in Scandinavia) in Varberg, which was basically a sprawling dark disaster in the basement of a mall filled with old cell phone chargers and Ricky Martin CDs. As various online sources claimed it would be, it was too junky and generally un-fun, but we did come away with a few good things including this Stig Lindberg teapot pitcher thing from the Bersa Collection (it has no top, so what’s it really for?). The price was really low because there’s a teeny tiny chip up by the spout, but Max really wanted it so we coughed up a little cash to take it home.

6. I’ve been slowly accumulating pieces from the Ultima Thule set, designed by Tapio Wirkkala for iittala in 1968. The tumblers and highballs have long been at the very top of my list of dream glassware, but seeing as they are crazy fancy I don’t dream of actually owning them anytime soon. I have been able to dig up 3 smaller dessert bowls, one larger bowl, and a small sugar bowl and creamer from various places though, which I’m so excited about. The pictures really don’t do them justice but they’re gorgeous.

One of the best finds of the weekend was definitely this sexy Edixa Reflex camera. I did some digging and it looks like it’s from Germany and was made in 1955, a very very early 35 mm SLR. It’s beautifully designed and built and in incredible condition and was only about $30. We’ll see how the film turns out, but honestly—just look at it. It already delivered as a fancy hipster prop when I got photographed by somebody I think was a Swedish street-style photographer? If you see a haggard-looking boy with a good-looking camera floating around the internet, it might be me. So basically now I’m a supermodel. Be impressed.

(the photo of me above was take by Max with Instagram. He’s killing it with photos of our trip, by the way.)

About Daniel Kanter

Hi, I'm Daniel, and I love houses! I'm a serial renovator, DIY-er, and dog-cuddler based in Kingston, New York. Follow along as I bring my 1865 Greek Revival back to life and tackle my 30s to varying degrees of success. Welcome!

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  1. 7.4.12

    That camera looks amazing. I need to play with it at some point.

  2. 7.4.12
    daniel said:

    That pitcher is not for tea, it’s for “saft” or water or whatever. Whatever you use a normal pitcher for. It’s not supposed to have a top. Congratulations, BersÃ¥ is super-popular and superexpensive in Sweden…

    • 7.9.12
      ulla said:

      Yeah, definitely not for tea. Unless it’s ice tea. But the sight of that pitcher takes me back to summers at granma’s house and eating juice and cookies outdoors…

  3. 7.4.12
    Violet said:

    Wonderful pictures. I just inherited bowls, glasses and vases from my grandmother’s enormous collection of Ultima Thule, as well as Festivo candlesticks. They are beautiful and I love them. I have the catalog from 1974 that she ordered them from – complete with all her notations about the quantities of each piece she was ordering for herself AND her children. Hundreds of pieces… I can’t imagine how much she must have spent!

    • 7.4.12
      Daniel said:

      Wow! That is amazing. Love the Festivo but couldn’t thrift any…there were a few but the sellers always knew what they had.

      I need to do more research…I was thinking maybe mine were imitations or something because iittala doesn’t seem to see some of the stuff I bought anymore, but it sounds like the selection was maybe more expanded at some point? Anyway. It’s my favorite.

    • 7.5.12
      Violet said:

      What you have is authentic – I have that serving bowl, creamer/sugar too. The set was included many, many more pieces than they offer now. There were a few more glasses including a tall, slender juice glass, serving bowls, platters, 2 carafes, a few pitchers, and a punch bowl. I’m trying to remember if there were dinner and salad plates… I looked for the catalog yesterday – it’s hiding around here somewhere. When I find it I’ll send you some shots of it so you know what to look for.

    • 7.5.12
      Daniel said:

      Oh, cool! That would be amazing!

      (PUNCH BOWL?!?! OMG)

  4. 7.4.12
    Renee said:

    I think the white pitcher would be nice with juice at brunch or something. If you’re brunch folks. I just assume all gay boys love brunch.

    • 7.5.12
      Daniel said:

      Who DOESN’T love brunch?!

  5. 7.4.12
    Magpie said:

    You were in Sweden – my home country! Since I don’t live there myself anymore I get all nostalic when people are going there… I’m going myself in a couple of weeks, I too plan to get my haircut and do some thrifting, since both are so expensive in Norway where I live now. Great photos as usual!

  6. 7.4.12
    Gaidig said:

    I think the Lindberg pitcher is for milk or creamer, depending on the size.

    I so wish you could have shown us pictures of the interior of Carl Larsson’s house, but I do like the pic you took.

  7. 7.4.12
    Iris Vank said:

    Ohhh, treasures!! Makes me want to go to Sweden very badly. Loooove the loppis in the countryside. (And há, your description of that flea/rubbish market is exactly right!! We’ve been there last year, what a disaster.)

  8. 7.4.12
    Joy said:

    You are endlessly funny and clever and I demand that you move next door this minute! You could learn to love Atlanta and our balmy 107 degree days! We have interesting stuff! We thrift..okay, not really but sort of. I hope Max and his Hitler Youth haircut realize what a treasure you are! Love the blog!

  9. 7.4.12

    Glad to hear you loved Stockholm, next time you should visit Gothenburg – it’s an awesome city, very laid back :)

    You found some really nice things too, love that camera!!

  10. 7.5.12
    Elin said:

    Yay, Dalarna!

    I grew up there, in Falun, about 15 km from Sundborn, where Carl Larssongården is :) Just wanted to say that you were nearly in my home town.

    If the pitcher is the size i think I agree it’s probably for “saft” (juice, punch, kool-aid etc)

  11. 7.5.12
    ModFruGal said:

    Jealz of the Ultima Thule scores! I too have been trying to acquire vintage pieces and every time e-bay e-mails me the new listings, I get a wee bit depressed it will never happen b/c of pricing. Looks like such a wonderful trip…Pack those treasures carefully!

  12. 7.5.12
    Jill said:

    cameraaaaaaz. Looks like that Edixa is a M42 screwmount camera! Even if the pictures come out less than, you could give it a whirl with any of the old Pentax / Contax / Zeiss lenses! :) Prettttyyyy.

  13. 7.5.12
    Brismod said:

    Your iittala glassware is a nice score. It’s like holy grail of my thrifting odyssey…enjoying reading about your Swedish trip. x

  14. 7.6.12
    Eva said:

    Coming out of lurkdom – isn’t it weird to walk around in a house that you know from paintings? When I visited the Carl Larsson home a few years back that was going through my mind the whole time ‘I’m walking around in a painting… I’m walking around in a famous painting’.
    And as the others have said the pitcher is a saft (juice) pitcher.

  15. 7.6.12
    Anna said:

    Oh, Daniel – that Bersa pitcher!! I had a small Scandinavian shop in London a few years ago, and I used to sell Stig Lindberg’s crockery. In the Bersa range 1 x cup and saucer was £50… It didn’t sell (the English people like thier tea, but apparently NOT out of £50 cups…), so I now have the full set – but no this pitcher! Gorgeous! I’m Swedish and go to Sweden a few times a year, but I have NEVER found any Stig Lindberg at thrift markets – good going you! Glad you’ve had such a nice time! :)

  16. 7.6.12
    RBoyce said:

    Perhaps I’m the only one – but I really would love to see a pic of the Swedish Goodwill-Myrorna store itself. Is it incredibly tidy and pleasant like the rest of the country appears to be? Or is it crammed full of odd and dusty items jumbled together? Or…

    • 7.7.12
      Daniel said:

      Yeah, I actually really wish I had pictures of the locations where each thing was bought, I just didn’t think about it until after! It’s a mixed bag…Myrorna is very similar to Goodwill and is pretty organized and clean. The flea market was dusty and jumbly, the other thrifts have been somewhere in between—it’s really not very different than the States except for the selection of stuff!

  17. 7.7.12

    haha, great! you seemed to have had a really nice time here. i’m glad! and posts like this is good for me when i think that everything around me is boring and just same old, same old. good to see it from a tourist’s point of view. they always find the best stuff.

    i live in Stockholm, but half of my family is from Dalarna, half from Hälsingland. you should definitely go to Hälsingland next time and visit one of many auctions held in the typical “hälsingegÃ¥rdar” every summer. i think you would really like it. you can buy tons of awesome furniture and other stuff for almost nothing.

    by the way, i found your blog just now and already love it! and it’s not just because you’re saying such nice things about Sweden. ;)

  18. 7.7.12

    I’m totally digging the PH-style light fixture for 7 bucks, nice score and of course, that Edixa Reflex camera is pretty fantastic! Have you loaded it up yet with film and taken it out for some snapshots? Oh and where are the pictures of you and Max fresh from the barber shop? a before and after panel would have been funny to look at! You boys are so adventureous, I’ve been all around the world but I have yet to get my haircut overseas! I’m Italian, we stick with our barbers for life! Basically, what I’m saying is that if I were living overseas for 3 months, I would literally wait until I got home to get my hair cut by my trusted Russian barber on East 9th Street! I’ve never been to Sweden but this post is really itching me to go!

    Thanks for sharing ;-)

  19. 7.9.12
    Lee said:

    Daniel and Max, LOVE LOVE LOVE the photos. Also, very much covet the Edixa camera – great find! Safe travels and safe return.

  20. 7.9.12
    Cammie said:

    I’m so jealous! Last month, we spent a week in Helsinki for our honeymoon. Scandinavia is so magical and beautiful and amazing. I can’t wait to go back.

  21. 7.10.12
    Diane said:

    Here I am in the S. TX. heat. There you are in heaven. What a great trip. Thanks for sharing.

  22. 7.10.12
    Elisabeth said:

    Your blog is truly a source of inspiration and like you I love the Ultima Thule collection. Did you happen to thrift those pieces? How great! I just went to the iittala shop and bought mine. And yes they are fancy but trust me drinking plain water becomes a whole new experience in these glasses. They are just classic. My heart did skip a beat the day my boyfriend broke one doing the dishes…but still I have no regrets of my purchase.

    • 7.11.12
      Daniel said:

      Yes, all the pieces were thrifted! I can’t afford to buy them new, so I’m collecting slowly when I find them…

  23. 7.11.12
    LAME said:

    Yawn. I wonder how Mekko or the new Linus felt being abandoned once again. Do you think they understand you are going on yet another trip. I hate irresponsible dog owners who do not take the responsibility of caring for a adopted pet and all the stress and background that dog has encountered and think they can just do whatever they want. It’s called a responsibility for a reason. It calls for sacrifice. Evidentally, you are too selfish to be a responsible owner of pets that have abandoned backgrounds.

    • 7.11.12
      Daniel said:

      Wow! Thank you for your honest, measured, and well-considered judgments about both my life and my capabilities as a dog owner! That you submitted this in-depth analysis via a comment on my blog with a fake username and email address (though I applaud your creativity in coming up with fuckyou@fuckyou.com, straightforward AND biting!) really speaks to your maturity and decency as a human being—I’m flattered that you’ve even taken the time to grace me and others with your thoughts! And I am SO glad you know so much about my dogs’ pasts and their current emotional states, I don’t know what I’d do without you!

      I’m really glad you picked up on how selfish I am and the utter lack of sacrifices I’ve made to give both of these dogs great lives. I suppose I should have left Mekko in a shelter, where she had been for 6 months already, because I had a couple of unavoidable travel requirements several months down the line. And Linus totallllllly would have been better off had I just thrown him back on the street to fend for himself and sort out his life-threatening medical conditions on his own, particularly since I was in the middle of final exams and leaving town the week after and, let’s be honest, neither he nor I really had time to deal with saving his life. Given that I haven’t even mentioned him on this blog, the MOST you POSSIBLY know about Linus has come from Instagram, so excuse me if I sound as presumptuous as you do above, but dude—you REALLY do not know what the fuck you’re talking about here. I promise you.

      You might have missed the small print, but this “trip” was actually an intensive study abroad course and quite literally a once in a lifetime opportunity, not an indulgent European adventure. Did we have a choice about whether to go or not? Yes. Did we think about Mekko as we were making that choice? Yes, absolutely. And ultimately we decided that, after 6 months with us, she’d be OK for a couple of weeks as we pursued this. And guess what? We’re home now and I’m pretty certain we were right about that—we arrived to two happy dogs who had a great time while we were gone, with a close friend who stayed in our apartment, maintained their schedules, and gave them a ton of love. Frankly, I think this was harder on us than it was on them, but that’s something you’d have to talk to the dogs about. Let me know how that conversation goes, since you’re clearly so familiar with them and such a fabulous advocate of their hopes and dreams.

      In short, fuckYOU@fuckyou.com. I may not be the perfect dog owner, but I’m a pretty fucking good one, and I really don’t need some anonymous shitstain of an internet stalker to inform me otherwise. Have a great day!

    • 7.13.12

      LAME (LOL I can’t get over that name) is a prime example of a classic internet stalker! You just know he/she has been rifling through your blog for the longest time, obsessing over your life, your Instagram photos, your creativity, your point of view, your content, your talents and yes, even your compassion to rescue two dogs in need. He/she was just waiting for the “appropriate” moment to attack you in an ill-attempt to deal with his/her overwhelming feelings of inadequacy! I’m surprised that he/she didn’t conclude this baseless comment with “I love/hate you”

      Daniel, your response is just so perfect to this non conributing zero . . . and yes, I’m making these assumptions about LAME based on the effort he/she went through to disguise himself/herself behind a fake name and an email address to make the comment in the first place! Coward!

    • 7.11.12

      The fact that you are even COMMENTING on Linus—whose background and situation (including the past two months) you know ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about—really takes the cake. You are so very, very clueless.

      What is WRONG with you? Seriously. Are you this much of an asshole to your friends, family, and strangers on the street, or do you just save it all up for when you can hide behind a fake name and email address? For the sake of humanity, I hope it’s the latter. Maybe you should work on making it neither.

      Get a grip.

  24. 7.11.12
    furpants said:

    Ouch. Someone needs a hug. LAME, it is going to be OK. Take heart, be good, forgive, show compassion.

    Daniel, I popped on here to ask how much longer we have to wait to hear the story of Linus. I’m dying to know!

  25. 7.12.12
    Malin said:

    Wow! It’s so much fun hearing about your trip to Sweden and all the nice things you say about my country. Or mostly Stockholm wich is my hometown. I live in beautiful Kungsholmen, go there and enjoy!

    I would like to recommend the car boot sale in Galoppfältet, that’s on every weekend. It’s a few mile outside Stockholm. Don’t go if it’s raining.
    Take roslagsbanan(train) from Tekniska Högskolan(red line metro) towards Österskär. It takes about 30min from T-centralen. Easypeasy and really fun!

    Have a great stay!

    Kram Malin

  26. 7.13.12
    'col said:

    Thank you, Hater!

  27. 7.16.12
    Sarah Carter said:

    Love those photos and the vintage inspiration. It makes me remember this brand: http://delightfull.eu/suspension/clark_unique_ceiling_lamp.html

  28. 7.17.12
    Pete Madden said:

    I am going to Stockholm tomorrow for the first time and found your blog after googling for flea markets. I love (cheap) antiques and you and your contributors have really whetted my appetite. Thanks. Will let you know how it goes.

  29. 7.26.12
    C. Jones said:

    I went to Stockholm last year and it was amazing. I also went to the home of Carl Larsson and it was beautiful. We stayed for a week but I wanted to stay for the rest of my life. Good food and you’re absolutely right about the cute cottages. We stayed at one and I fell in love.

  30. 8.14.12
    Luna said:

    I can’t wait to see the photos from the two cameras. Loved reading about your trip.

  31. 8.30.12
    Elin said:

    The pitcher is just that, a pitcher that can be used for any and all cool beverages.

    About the dogs. If your dogs had such severe seperation anxiety that they would climb the walls and eat the furniture when ever you left them I’m sure you would have stayed home. Dogs are resilient and adaptable for the most part.

  32. 10.15.12
    Elena said:

    Hi! Love the pictures and the blog and the findings: so genuinely envy. :) I’m planning a trip for Stockholm: may I ask you if you can give some tips about the actual markets/shops you visited? I’ll be thankful my whole life! E x

    • 10.16.12
      Daniel said:

      Hi Elena,
      If they aren’t listed in the posts, I probably won’t remember the names and locations :-(. I pretty much just relied on google by searching for thrift stores and flea markets in stockholm. Myrorna (sp?) is like the Swedish Good Will so we went to several of those, but for less junky and nicer stuff, there are several really adorable vintage stores in Sodermalm with very reasonable prices, all things considered.