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WINTER IN SWEDEN

TRA

A Touch of Scandinavia: Reindeer in the kitchen

Scandinavian style is a seamless blend of tradition and modernity, respecting the old but adding just the right amount of cool. Viktoria Månström has it down to a fine art, and has quickly become a leading Scandinavian designer.

A Touch of Scandinavia: Reindeer in the kitchen
Designer Viktoria Månström and one of her Anna Viktoria products.

Reindeer and elk play beloved roles Swedish culture and heritage. And while taking them into your home may sound a bit extreme, Viktoria Månström, the designer behind Swedish home décor brand Anna Viktoria, has made it possible.

”Everything I design has a Scandinavian touch and a modern design built upon Swedish tradition,” Månström says. “I take the past and traditions of Sweden and bring them into the present.”

In other words, Månström designs coffee cups, kitchen trays, bowls, bottle openers, kitchen towels, key rings, and everything else you could possibly want to help bring a bit of Sweden into your home. 

And they’re covered in modern Swedish art, of course.

“I actually started with the Dala horse. I come from Dalarna so it felt like the right place to begin.”

While the Dala horse is a classic Swedish symbol, Månström’s version is a perfect example of contemporary Scandinavian design – clean, simple, modern and unique, mixing colours and patterns in an innovative way without looking too “busy”.


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ou can buy Anna Viktoria's striped Dala horse here at The Local Brands

Månström’s knack for design was hardly unexpected.

“It’s been inside me for a very long time,” Månström tells The Local. “My grandmother made tapestries and my grandfather was a carpenter, so the tradition of craftwork was always there. They gave me a passion for colour and design. It came naturally.”

The company Anna Viktoria was born after Månström did a few designs for a friend. She then started participating in fairs and visiting tourist agencies, where she discovered the seed of a market for exactly what she was making: tradition meets modern design.

“It was tough at first,” Månström recalls. “I was a little ahead of my time, I think. But once things got going, they really got going.”


C
lick here to shop for items from Anna Viktoria

Now living in Jämtland in western Sweden, Månström has become a favourite of home decorators across the country, featuring in various home magazines and publications. She sells her products under the name “A Touch of Scandinavia” – and everything is both practical and chic.

”My products are truly Scandinavian; products that convey Sweden. And they also last. They’re items you can really use in everyday life.”

Purchase Anna Viktoria products at The Local Brands

BRANDS

Revealed: Sweden’s ten most popular brands

Polling firm YouGov has released its mid-year list of the most popular brands in Sweden, based on a daily round of interviews with Swedes.

Revealed: Sweden's ten most popular brands
Gentleman looks tempted by Marabou chocolate. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

Because the list is not confined to Swedish brands, a few international giants have also made the cut. But most of the top performers are Swedish-born. Here’s the countdown. 

10. Systembolaget

A booze behemoth beloved by beer-lovers and bag-in-boxers. Foreigners sometimes find the strict opening hours and monopoly status hard to take, but most Swedes like and trust their state-owned alcohol stockist, and it shows. 


A Systembolaget shopper. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

9. Marabou

Delicious bars of Swedish chocolate. Mmmm. The sweetest thing ever to come out of Sundbyberg is 100 years old this year.  

8. Blocket.se 

If you’ve ever bought or sold anything in Sweden then chances are you’ve been on Blocket. Some people go in there and never come out again. 

7. Yes

The affirmative washing up liquid always puts a positive spin on dish-washing. It’s the Swedish version of Fairy. 

6. Västerbottensost

If you don’t know what this is, well hard cheese. Is what it is. From the Västerbotten region in northern Sweden. It deserves its place even though we don’t quite know how it scraped onto a list dominated by corporate giants. 


Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

5. Samsung

This South Korean multinational makes a lot of things that Swedes like. 

4. Michelin 

Maker of tyres and ranker of swanky restaurants. French. 

3. Ikea

A place where families go to disintegrate.


After the mental collapse come the meatballs. Thomas Löfqvist/Sydsvenskan/TT

2. Ica

A dominant supermarket chain claiming 50 percent market share in Sweden. Its stores are run by franchise holders. The name stems from the merger in 1838 of four wholesalers, whose owners clinked glasses over dinner and resurfaced under the name Inköpscentralens AB, or Ica for short. Not the Irish Countrywomen’s Association.

1. Volvo 

The iconic car brand is owned these days by China’s Geely but remains associated with all things Swedish: Robust, square, reliable, safe. Pioneer of three-point seat belts, and rear-facing child seats. Safe.


A new Volvo V90. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT