The Holidays with Josef Frank

The Austrian designer and architect Josef Frank started collaborating with Svenskt Tenn in 1932. Just a few years later, he and the company’s founder Estrid Ericson made their international breakthrough. Even though Josef Frank was 50 years old when he came to Sweden, he is considered to be one of the country’s most important designers of all time. Here we have gathered items and inspiration to decorate the holiday season in the spirit of Josef Frank.

“The monochromatic surface appears uneasy, while prints are calming"

Treasured designs

With a strong botanical interest Frank developed his own floral print already in his youth. Favourites like lawn daises, tulips, roses, bindweed, forget-me-nots, violets, lily of the valley, crocuses and grape hyacinths were blended with pure fantasy flowers, frequently illustrated with a light touch.

With his prints, which were often based on the colours and forms of nature, in almost imperceptible repetition, Frank wanted the observer to feel freedom and a change of pace even in confined rooms:

“The monochromatic surface appears uneasy, while prints are calming, and the observer is unwillingly influenced by an underlying slow approach. The richness of decoration cannot be fathomed so quickly, in contrast to the monochromatic surface which doesn’t invite any further interest and therefore one is immediately finished with it.”

Josef Frank’s Candle Holders

In Svenskt Tenn's range today, there are several candle holders designed by Josef Frank. In the 1950s, he created, among other things, the classic candlesticks “Slingan” (the loop), “Sten” (stone), “Pelare” (pillar) and “Klöver” (clover), as well as the tall candelabra in lacquered wood and polished brass. The candelabra is only sold during the holiday season at Svenskt Tenn, and here on the right we see it in an interior from the 50s, in the store on Strandvägen 5 in Stockholm.

Archive picture from Svenskt Tenn
Living room inspirations for the holidays 2021

Decorate in the spirit of Josef Frank

Josef Frank represented a freer, more artistic style ideal and he developed his own type of modernism where values like comfort, hominess and a wealth of colour were at its core. He resisted limitations and models for his furniture and textiles came from across all boundaries both in time and space. He perceived tubular steel furniture as a threat to humanity. On the contrary he wanted to include nature’s colours and forms in his interiors to be able to breathe and exude freedom even in closed rooms. For the same reason he preferred furniture that people could see through. A chair should have an open back and a cupboard should be on legs that were so high that one could distinguish the borderline between the floor and the wall.

Holiday interior

with design by Josef Frank