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Monica Förster’s New Future Classics for Swedese
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About Monica Förster

Monica Förster is both designer and creative director for iconic Swedish heritage brand Swedese. Born in 1966, she grew up close to the Arctic Circle in the very north of Sweden and trained at Beckmans School of design and the University of Arts, Crafts and Design. Förster is represented in the International Design Yearbook. With an impressive portfolio behind her, her work has been featured in some of the world’s most renowned galleries such as New York’s MOMA, and she has received many awards including Elle Decoration Designer of the Year.

Monica’s approach to design is unique therefore it is based on many feelings and contradictions - creating something new, powerful, useful and poetic. Her inspiration stems from northern Swedish handicraft, the elegance of high fashion and nature itself.

“I sometimes say that I’m not interested in form, but that may not be entirely true. What I mean is simply that the idea behind each project is more important. When the ideas is set, I focus on shape, colour and detail.” - Monica Förster

Fred International has the pleasure of introducing four “future classics” by Monica Förster for Swedese’s new 2017 collection.

  1. Wood Sofa

    Wood is characterized by clear lines and its distinct wooden frame. In both shape and choice of material, Monica Förster reflects the Swedese design tradition and vision of creating elegant furniture that combine strong wooden details with textiles. In particular, the wooden frames of each sofa have been carefully selected and treated, in order to have the finest quality of natural grains present in the wood. 

  1. Coffee Bean Table

When designing Coffee Bean, Monica Förster sought inspiration in nature, in line with the Swedese tradition. The name explains the shape, which follows the curved shapes and organic materials of a coffee bean. Specifically, the table also engages in a dialogue with the archives of Yngve Ekström and his design aesthetics, which often took as their starting point a particular shape he had noticed in the rich nature outside his home. In this way, it symbolizes the history of the company, while also pointing forwards to the future. 

  1. Guest Armchair

Monica Förster’s Guest is easily recognized by its distinct use of bentwood as well as its graceful measurements. Its delicate size allows it to fit in any setting without taking over. In addition, it is designed to be especially comfortable to sit in, which makes it perfect for both working and socializing. The name alludes to the designer’s underlying desire to create a chair for people to feel at home in.

  1. Pond Table

The contrasting materials and structures enhance the organic shapes that define Pond. The monochromatic colour scheme brings harmony and a sense of calmness. It is also possible to order a bespoke version of Pond, made from leftover materials from other productions. This sustainable approach ensures that waste is kept to a minimum. Because different stones are used in different productions, the aesthetic effects are varied and cannot be planned in advance, creating a truly bespoke piece of furniture.

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Rubn Lighting in Bueno Vista Hotel by SJB Interiors
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French bistro meets refined Scandinavian design meets 1940s European charm: this striking fit-out by SJB Interiors in collaboration with Tess Regan Design has not only restored the Buena Vista Hotel in Sydney’s Mosman to its former glory, but has entirely elevated the immaculately finished hotel.

The designers have captured the elements of the original 1940s feel – dark mahogany, French-inspired glass panelling and cobblestone flooring, and updated it with neutral tones, contemporary timber, polished concrete and curved glass.

The long bar with sleek mahogany cladding is accented with the Long John pendant light by Rubn Lighting. Featuring raw brass lampshades attached to the iron frame and hung via stylish leather straps, this stunning feature adds a certain warmth and romantic touch to the masculine setting.

The restrained and understated design of Bueno evokes a feeling of surprise and sophistication. Cohesive, understated and quietly confident; it’s not often that a hotel refurbishment takes your breath away.

Photography by Felix Forest, via our friends at Yellowtrace. 
Interiors by SJB Interiors and Tess Regan Design.

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Friends & Founders in Armadale Residence by Simone Haag
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Armadale Residence is the result of a cohesive and collaborative design process with like-minded creatives; home owner Penelope Cohen – Creative Director of fashion label Skin and Threads and Designer/Stylist extraordinaire, Simone Haag

The brief was to rework Penelope’s formal living room and ensure that this grand Victorian home had an injection of contemporary and feminine sensibility, with a fashionable edge.

Simone interpreted the brief intuitively, delivering a warm yet powerful space with punches of jewel toned accents. Not shying away from colour and texture, Haag chose the Friends & Founders La Pipe dining chairs in an array of different tones – a stand out choice. The dining chairs were paired with elements of vintage (the bar cart and Danish vintage lamp to name a few). Finally, ceramics and objects overlaid the space to create an interesting backdrop to Penelope’s incredible library of fashion books.

Photography – Mark Roper
Furniture, art, object and styling – Simone Haag

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Stockholm All Aglow - Rubn Lighting
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Reporting from the 2017 Stockholm Furniture Fair - New in Lighting

After a late night at the Fogia party, and perhaps a few too many Negronis back at the hotel, we donned our layers and headed out for day three of the Stockholm Furniture Fair. As cold as it was outside (hovering around -5°C), it didn't take long to warm up once we arrived at Rubn's pop up lighting installation located in a gallery space in downtown Stockholm. 

Rubn founder Niclas Hoflin is a prolific designer, continually expanding the range in exciting ways. With each piece produced by hand in Sweden, the options for customisation are endless, making Rubn an increasingly popular choice for hospitality and commercial projects. We were thrilled to see entirely new designs as well as new finishes for some of our favourites. 

We have highlighted our favourites, pictured below:

The crowd favourites Palazzo Pendant in opaque and smoke, Vox Pendants and Vox Table Lamps, now in clear or opaque glass with aluminium, brass or copper finish. 

The ever-popular Long John Pendant, now available in walnut and in seven different lengths. To the right, the Palazzo Pendant hangs in black smoke. 

The classic Vouge Pendant accompanied by the stunning new Vouge Floor Lamp, which is finished in perforated metal with brass legs. 

Last but certainly not least, the 15-Arm Astoria Wall Light, and the new Lord Bouquet Pendant made a bold statement.

Over the next few months exciting new releases will continue to arrive in our showroom. Be sure to drop by and say hello.

Retrace our steps from the 2017 Stockholm Furniture Fair on Instagram via #fredinstockholm.