Home at Gudruns' on the heights of Stockholm
Gudrun Sjödén's home is located on the heights of Stockholm’s Södermalm district, a leafy neighbourhood with picturesque cafés and a fabulous view overlooking the Swedish capital. Her home takes us on a journey far beyond Södermalm, to a bustling Delhi, on to New York City, Africa's remote corners, and finally to Lapland in Northern Sweden. Arts, crafts and fabrics that Gudrun brought with her from her countless trips around the globe tell the story of a life filled with a love for the world’s cultures and crafts. We asked Gudrun to show us her dearest souvenirs from her journeys around the world.
I bought this beautiful blouse at a second-hand store in Rajasthan, India. There are similar blouses in new production as well, but most of them are machine-made. This one is full of little, hand-embroidered details. That fascinates me, and I love browsing second-hand stores in India. It’s a country I keep coming back to because it never seizes to inspire and amaze me. The first time I was there was in 1993. I was a little nervous because I didn’t know very much about India at the time. But I was met by an incredibly colourful country with a vibrant and fascinating textile tradition. That is what makes me go back, both for work and on holiday.We also bought the handmade string instrument next to the blouse in a square in Rajasthan. I am always charmed by all the lovely craftwork you find everywhere in India.
This is a jolly little corner of my home with whimsical little souvenirs from all over the world. There are small wooden paintings purchased at a market in lower Manhattan, the face of a Buddhist man, an old man from Kathmandu, and small figurines from Naples, Rajasthan and Shanghai. I have travelled and still travel extensively, and since we started building the company in the U.S., I have been spending a lot of time in New York. I so enjoy the multicultural atmosphere there. I have also spent a lot of time in China since we started manufacturing there in the 1970s.
I really like this wall in our bedroom. I bought the tall figures in the middle locally, from an AfroArt store. I thought they were fun. At the far right, there’s a little Polish woman in a traditional dress that I bought in Krakow. Next to her, there’s a tall wooden man from my husband's childhood home in Malmö. I think it might be a Döderhultarn figure or something similar. I like to think that the Polish woman and the Döderhultarn figure look a little like me and my husband. There’s a small Sami figure in front of them that I bought at an antiques market, and as I myself have partial Sami heritage, I immediately felt that this little figurine should move in with us.