The task of staging the 2020 version of Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair’s Design Bar went, appropriately enough, to quirky Swedish designer Fredrik Paulsen. When we meet in his fantastic creation, he has an intense introduction to Stockholm Design Week behind him, securing two major prizes in the course of just a couple of days – Designer of the Year at the Rum gala and Inspiration of the Year at the Elle Deco gala.
“It’s a boost and a motivator and so great to be recognized for what I do.
“I have quite a personal style and I try to do what I feel is lacking elsewhere. If I had to describe it, I’d say it was direct, personal and colorful. Quite simple in fact, but inspiring, with interesting clashes of materials, such as glass and fur and steel in different colors and forms.”
One of Fredrik’s signatures is the way he colors wood, getting the grain to reveal its almost psychedelic patterns.
“I want people to look at wood with new eyes. Nature created the patterns, I’ve just helped things along a little!”
Much of Fredrik Paulsen’s furniture is made as individual pieces or small runs – furniture as art – but each object is functional. All the structures can be taken apart and the parts replaced, so there is a sustainable aspect to his work.
The colorful wooden (specifically beech) chairs we are sitting on as we talk are part of the decor in the Design Bar restaurant and were produced for Blå Station using entirely Swedish components, even down to the screws.
“Local materials are incredibly important to me.”
How has the Design Bar been received?
“Amazingly well. My ambition was to create something open and inclusive. An inspiring meeting place that people would enjoy spending time in. I can see quite a few happy faces around us, so I think it has worked.”
Fredrik has designed quite a few restaurants and bars in Stockholm and Hamburg, and he is currently fitting out a bar in Tokyo’s former financial district.
“A 150-year-old wooden building that was once an eel restaurant.”
At the fair, his products appear on the stands of Blå Station, Källemo, Ateljé Lyktan and others.
Setting aside your work on the Design Bar, how important is it for you to appear at the Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair?
“Now that I’ve begun working with manufacturers, it’s hugely important to be seen and to have good exposure.”
What do you think about the fair generally?
“It’s a place where you get to meet everyone. You have to come here. It’s a wonderful atmosphere.”