If you come over to my house, you might disapprove of my housekeeping. You might not appreciate having one of my cats jump up in your lap and settle in as though she owned it (she thinks you came especially to pet her). But you will have a cup of good coffee, and you will have a place to set it down. I have a thing about having a little table beside every single chair or sofa in my house. When I sit down, I need a lamp for reading. I need a place for my book and my coffee cup. I think this need comes from my Swedish ancestry.
In Stockholm last month, I admired countless pretty little tables. The one above is more of a cabinet, really–all the better. It’s in the island home of Prince Eugene in Stockholm–more about him in a post to come. Above it, there’s a portrait of his mother, Queen Sofia.
Prince Eugene was a younger son of the royal family, so he did not have the pressure of marrying and producing heirs. Instead, he designed and lived out his life in a beautiful house/studio, Waldemarsudde. He was a very good landscape painter. And he appreciated fine workmanship and artistry in all things.
No IKEA space-fillers for Prince Eugene.
If he wanted to write a letter to one of his artsy-Bohemian friends, he sat down at a proper desk, like the one above with its delicate wood inlays. I saw similar exquisite little tables, desks and cabinets all over Stockholm.
The simple but beautiful little table above is really more of a shelf unit, cleverly attached to the wall. It was at the nearby Thielska Gallery, another formerly-private home full of art and distinctive furniture.
I loved Sweden. I’ve already figured out a way to return to Stockholm in the spring. There are any number of cups of good strong Swedish coffee waiting, with my name on them! And there are plenty of handy little tables to set them on.
Join me next time for more explorations in the art, history and culture of Europe!