Author Barbara Stoeltie and photographer René Stoeltie embarked on a remarkable journey through Sweden’s romantic countryside in search of extraordinary cottages, castles, manors and herrgårdors to include in their latest collaboration, Country Houses of Sweden.
This enchanting book contains 232 vivid pictures, each capturing the elegant simplicity of the Stoelties' favorite corner of the world—home to many painters, writers, musicians and architects who have fallen in love with its rolling pastures and quaint countryside homes.
The contents are varied in terms of style. There's illustrator Carl Larsson’s magically painted house in Dalecarlia (above center) and the childhood home of Astrid Lindgren that would eventually become the setting for the antics of the mischievous Pippi Longstocking. On the royal front, the Stoelties document the richness of King Gustav III's version of the Petit Trianon, the Haga Pavilion (above left). Hörle herrgård, a repository of the finest collection of Gustavian furniture (above right), has historical significance—architect Carl Hårleman created the original rich but restrained decor that the present owners have tried to reconstruct. From city living to country charm, the book stands as an ode of praise to the unique qualities of Swedish style.
Several shops offer 18th- and early-19th-century Swedish Gustavian and painted furniture. Solgarden in Stockholm sells some antiques, but mostly carries reproductions. Evergreen Antiques in New York and Lief Aarestrup in Los Angeles have original pieces from the Gustavian period along with Biedermeier and Neoclassical furniture, and Lief's son, Henrik, who owns Scandinavian Antiques in Connecticut, has the same formal furniture. Cupboards and Roses, too, offers Gustavian pieces, with a large selection of painted furniture.
At Lief, a ca. 1780 Gustavian table clock, Swedish
Neoclassical console and ca. 1770 Austrian Josephine chairs
Gustavian giltwood clock, ca. 1825,
at Evergreen Antiques
Desk with Moravian clock, ca. 1790
at Cupboards and Roses