Thursday, September 13, 2012

Swedish Stove Mania

There seems to be renewed interest in Swedish tiled stoves these days.
I have been in love with them since I was turned on to their very existence in the early 90's while in interior design school.  I fell head over heels with Swedish Gustavian style with the light, bright colors, the painted furniture and down to earth fabrics.

I have longed for a Swedish tiled stove for almost as long - and now that they are getting more attention, why doesn't a company start up that sells to the American public?  I guess demand might be low, after all, its a very specific, narrow niche!  LOL

I will have to live with my old-fashioned black wood stove for now (which I might paint either red or oxford blue next year...we'll see) but I still long for a slender, rounded stove in the corner adorned with lovely blue and white floral tiles.

Then the other day I thought to myself "I don't have a Swedish tiled stove, but I do have a large armoire I am painting white, which is screaming out for some decorative paint work".
Now, I ran my own decorative painting business in the early to mid 90's called "a Gilded Vine".
I have painted a few pieces since then, but only for myself.  My hutch (still in progress) and my bedside table (finished) and now this large, squared armoire which I needed to house coats and such near the front door to Elinor Cottage, given we have no coat closet!

I have decided to paint the armoire to look like a blue and white tiled Swedish stove!
I am going to get to work on it tonight, designing the layout, what each tile will look like (probably all florals) and drawing up my prototypes on transfer tissue.  I am very good at trompe l'oeil painting.  That's what I used to do with "a Gilded Vine".  I will make the tiles really look like old tiles with weathered grout...just wait and see.

Stay tuned for future photos as I work my way around this monstrous piece of furniture, transforming it into a trompe l'oeil Swedish stove.
After all, the Gustavians did it too - if they wanted to balance a room using the symmetry of Neo-Classical design, they'd put a large cabinet on the opposite wall or corner from the stove, and paint it to match!  I have seen and read about this in the many Swedish Gustavian books I've collected in these 25 years or so!

Enjoy these blue tiled beauties while I go get to work on my own!


  1. So pretty! What color paint do you use now that RH Atmospheric blue has been discontinued?
    I'm trying to achieve the sweedish blue look on some furniture.

    1. Hi Virginia! I have yet to find a replacement for Atmosphere Blue. Honestly, I haven't looked yet as I had plenty of cans stock piled in my studio, HOWEVER, my last big can is now gone and I am left with one small sample can. I will paint the last of that on to as clean/white board as I can and go have the color scanned at Lowes or Home Depot as a custom color. When I get the formula, and I approve of it, I will post the formula here so those who loved that color as well, can go have it made up at their local paint store. ;)