I’m just back from a cold, dark, magical New Years week in Stockholm. What to do when it’s 28 degrees out and there are there’s just about six hours of sunlight? Do as the Swedes do: bundle up, go for a brisk walk, then hunker down inside and implement the Swedish knack for brightening the home in midwinter. Among the lagom ideas I’m taking back with me: candles on every surface to combat the January dark, remembering what it’s like to be quiet (no incessant background music in restaurants; calm even in the airport), and, of course, the infallibility of Ikea (we delighted in the fittings of our well-appointed Airbnb in Kungsholmen, turning over every dish and glass to find each time that—surprise—it was all Ikea).
Another discovery I’m hoping will soon make its way stateside: Arket, a “modern-day market” and subsidiary of Swedish brand H&M, which stocks well-made, essential housewares as well as clothing for men, women, and kids. Like a few of our favorite companies that have made their way across the pond (Muji and, yes, Ikea), the mission of Arket (which means “sheet of paper” in Swedish) is “to democratize quality through widely accessible, well-made, durable products, designed to be used and loved for a long time.” Alexa, newly back from six months in Europe, first recommended a stop, and my boyfriend and I made not one but three trips to the Norrmalm outpost to stock up on dish brushes and paper ornaments. Take a look at a few favorite offerings—available, for now, for shipping throughout Europe and in stores in Sweden, Germany, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, and the UK.
More favorite sources for housewares in Stockholm: