Sydney seems to be in the grips of a Scandinavian obsession.
Like everyone else, Sydney-siders have developed a taste for the Nordic. To satisfy your Scandi-fixation, I’ve put together a map of Nordic Sydney.
66 King Street, Sydney
Finnish label Marimekko is one of the most recognisable design and textile houses in the world, renowned for its unique and brightly-coloured prints. Iconic patterns are Marimekko’s specialty, such as the beloved Unikko – a bold, floral print designed in the 1960s and still popular today. Marimekko’s first store opened in Sydney two years ago, giving Sydney a little taste of Helsinki. The design layout gurus behind flagship stores in Helsinki and New York are also responsible for Sydney’s Art Deco, double-storey headquarters. The King Street store stocks contemporary and classic designs displayed throughout the large, elevated space.
202 Oxford Street, Paddington
This charming Australian company stocks a hand-picked collection of renowned Scandinavian designs. The sprawling, homey Paddington HQ is creatively decorated with desirable objects and has an appealing, sun-dappled garden. Ergonomic natural brushes, oak-wood kitchenware, rustic Lindform vases, Le Klint lighting, Astrid Björk jewellery and Marimekko clothing are just a few of the designer delights in store. You’ll also uncover old classics and timeless design from Arabia ceramics and iittala glassware. It stocks the boutique Swedish organic skincare range L:a Bruket, including the luxurious natural jojoba oil. The imported design pieces are complemented by Funkis’s own Swedish-inspired brand of jewellery, fabrics, furniture and clogs. The vegetable-dyed leather clogs come in such a variety of tempting colours and styles, it’s too easy to leave with more than one pair.
Westfield flagship, Shop 2036, 188 Pitt Street, Sydney
For the past few years, these boutique stationery stores with their tasteful design and white interiors have been popping up all over Sydney. They have been satisfying our stationery needs, our love of Swedish design and providing a place to hunt for thoughtful gifts. kikki.K’s philosophy follows Nordic design principles of form and function, producing seasonal stationery pieces that are as much handsome objects as they are practical solutions. From chic paper clips and pencils, diaries and planners, leather pencil cases and laptop bags, to filing cabinets and wooden desks – kikki.K has beautifully designed pieces for the aesthetes amongst us.
Shop 7, 178 Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach
Nordic Fusion is perfectly suited to the breezy lifestyle of Bondi Beach. It’s impossible to walk past without staring dreamily inside the sleek glass frontage of the Campbell Street store, with its inviting display of fashion and interior design. Rustic antler chandeliers hang theatrically from the ceiling and Marimekko fabrics pop with bright colours against the modern, white interior. It’s a one-stop shop for Scandinavian fashion and interior design and it even has its own brand of clogs. For those with a penchant for Swedish sweets – browse the intriguing offerings in the walk-in pantry where you’ll discover Daim chocolates, salted liquorice or lingonberry jam.
THE MODERN FURNITURE COMPANY
5 Raglan Street, Manly
This newly-opened store is neatly packed with contemporary Scandinavian furnishings, homewares and quirky vintage accessories. There is a range of timber furniture with a salient simplicity to the design – mostly European oak and elm. Cushions, tea towels and homewares are thoughtfully arranged to complement the furniture and create a homey yet chic vibe. Notable brands stocked include the obvious choice of Marimekko, plus Scanwood, Muuto, Höganäs, iittala, Almedahls, Arabia and Danish design label Ferm Living. The Modern Furniture Store prides itself on embracing the Scandinavian design ethos that beautiful and functional everyday objects should be affordable for everyone.
FIKA SWEDISH KITCHEN
5b Market Lane, Manly
Manly has become a micro-hub of Scandinavian culture in Sydney. After a day of intense decor deliberation at Modern Furniture and local Nordic Fusion, a few streets away is a modern Swedish cafe with an authentic menu. Fika is a Swedish word that translates as, “taking a break for coffee and a bite to eat”. It channels a casual Scandinavian summerhouse feel, with a minimalist design and a simple menu. The most popular lunchtime option is the Swedish meatballs served with lingonberry jam. Pair the dish with a refreshing Rekorderlig cider. The noteworthy gravlax cured salmon skagen is a generous open sandwich with mashed egg and håvmästar sauce. For something sweet and simple, complement your re-fillable Swedish-brewed coffee with a traditional cinnamon bun. For a hearty winter-warmer, try a piece of Grandma Elly’s apple pie. With the traditional fare and the gentle chatter of Swedish-expats you’ll be momentarily transported to Stockholm.
72B Fitzroy St, Surry Hills
An inconspicuous doorway off Fitzroy Street leads up some stairs, past the exposed-brick walls and red metal piping and into a lofty, sun-drenched space. This is the peaceful Somedays gallery; a concept store with a carefully selected range. This haven of seasonally curated clothes carries some of the trendiest garments and accessories from northern Europe. Expect to find men’s and women’s wear from Swedish brands such as Cheap Monday and Dr Denim, Stutterheim raincoats, Happy Socks, Spalwart sneakers and Sandqvist bags. There is also Danish fashion from Anerkjendt, Sweden’s L:a, Bruket skincare and pieces from Norwegian-Australian design collaboration, APOM. In a bid to support local visual artists, Somedays also hosts monthly exhibitions in its warehouse-esque space.
613 Elizabeth Street, Redfern
As a dedicated purveyor of contemporary and classic Danish-designed furniture and interiors, Great Dane is a mecca for mid-century furniture design. Originally established more than 10 years ago in Melbourne’s Fitzroy, it’s now also in Sydney’s gentrifying Redfern precinct. Great Dane’s company director personally selects premier items for Australia. So its exclusive range focuses on craftsmanship, luxury and quality. The showroom is crammed with exceptional pieces – solid timber furnishings, distinctive lighting and homewares.
95 Riley Street, Darlinghurst
Cafe Paci is the playful name of the pop-up restaurant (open until January 2015) housed in the old Cafe Pacifico site in Darlinghurst. In stark contrast to the colourful kitsch of the original cafe, Cafe Paci has a casually minimalist interior, enhanced by the ambient lighting and grey colour scheme. Finnish-born chef Pasi Petanen, former head chef at Marque, is inventive and mischievous. Instead of presenting a straightforward replica of Finnish fare, he uses touches of the cuisine for the menu he has created. August’s seasonal set menu has Finnish-inspired desserts such as the carrot, yoghurt and liquorice, as well as the Rye ice-cream, apple, white beer, cocoa and malt. The lunch menu hints at Petanen’s heritage, with a distinctive lingonberry jam sorbet.