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Kitchen of the Week: A Hushed Old-World Swedish Design by Kvänum

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Kitchen of the Week: A Hushed Old-World Swedish Design by Kvänum

May 2, 2019

To explore the quiet, austere beauty of classical Scandinavian design, take a look at Danish painter Vilhelm Hammershøi’s turn-of-the-20th-century domestic scenes. Rediscovered of late, his work is often cited as a source of inspiration for contemporary interiors, including London Couturier Anna Valentine’s Kitchen and our own Julie Carlson’s apartment remodel (stay tuned for more on that). Most of these designs have a modern-minimalist air, but Swedish brand Kvänum’s Hammershødi-esque Real Classic kitchen line, with its paneled cabinets, glass-doored china cupboards, and hushed Gustavian palette, feels directly lifted from times past.

Kvänum itself has been in business since 1923 and specializes in traditional millwork: it operates by the motto “authenticity in everything” and is an official supplier to the Swedish Royal Court. A new standout is their Karleby Almond kitchen in shades of cream and gray. Especially at home in a setting with soaring ceilings, it looks like a throwback without being in the least bit quaint. That’s because it’s filled with ideas that are appealingly timeless.

Photography courtesy of Kvänum.

Kvänum describes the Karleby as &#8
Above: Kvänum describes the Karleby as “the result of modern design, an antiquarian touch, and skillful craftsmanship,” and says it was initially created for Stora Ek, a standout 1760s manor that’s been undergoing “a gentle restoration.” Three elements worth contemplating: the wainscoting with a ledge and integrated display cabinet; the sink’s limestone low limestone enclosure, more frame than backsplash; and the stove niche with inset shelving.
The company &#8
Above: The company ‘s kitchens are made to order using traditional woodworking techniques: the recessed cabinet doors are made of painted ash in a color Kvänum calls Almond and have a “subtle double pearl” on the inner frame. The cabinets and sink counter, of gray limestone from Sweden’s Mount Kinnekulle, have angled corners, an elegant and also practical detail—a lack of sharp edges helps prevent bruised hips.

Kvänum kitchens are fabricated in the company workshop in the town of Kvänun, and though mostly made for a Scandinavian clientele, can be delivered to the US.

The bridge faucet is the Roma, made for Kvänum by Stella of Italy. It&#8
Above: The bridge faucet is the Roma, made for Kvänum by Stella of Italy. It’s shown here in a decidedly modern dark bronze—brass is also available—paired with a Carrara marble sink.
Reminiscent of Downton Abbey, the center-of-the-room work table is made of stained oak and Carrara marble.
Above: Reminiscent of Downton Abbey, the center-of-the-room work table is made of stained oak and Carrara marble.
The cabinet is detailed with reeded glass and sliding doors with recessed bronze handles. Note the paneled interior. It&#8
Above: The cabinet is detailed with reeded glass and sliding doors with recessed bronze handles. Note the paneled interior. It’s lit  by hidden LED lighting.
A Lacanche range is set in the tiled niche and flanked by drawers with bronze knobs and limestone counters.
Above: A Lacanche range is set in the tiled niche and flanked by drawers with bronze knobs and limestone counters.
One side niche is detailed with shelves, and the other, shown here, has bars for hanging cooking tools. The range vent is finished with a manor house-style flourish: a narrow wood ledge and bronze rail.
Above: One side niche is detailed with shelves, and the other, shown here, has bars for hanging cooking tools. The range vent is finished with a manor house-style flourish: a narrow wood ledge and bronze rail.
Concealed behind pocket doors, a closet cupboard is fitted with drawers and shelves &#8
Above: Concealed behind pocket doors, a closet cupboard is fitted with drawers and shelves “for storing kitchen machinery and baking utensils.” For information on importing a Kvänum kitchen to the US, write to [email protected]

More Swedish kitchen inspiration:

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