I discovered Karin + Carl Larsson through my very well travelled, and cultured mother. She and my stepdad went on a trip to Sweden this past summer and brought back loads of stunning photos and book on Karin Larsson's amazing life. I was immediately taken by her originality, ingenuity, and use of color.
Both she and Carl were artists ahead of their time, and the very lives they lead have become an iconic symbol of Swedish culture. They met in an artist commune, and though Karin gave up painting to raise their 8 (!!) children, she never gave up on her artistic pursuits. She created, wove, and built the world around her family, and Carl in turn shared it with the world though his paintings.
Their greatest masterpiece is arguably their home, Lilla Hyttnäs, the place my mom first discovered the couple. It was an almost self-sufficient lifestyle, and Karin worked tirelessly on everything from embroidered linens for their beds to designing the clothes they wore. My favorite room (from what I've seen) has to be the kitchen. The grass green wainscoting, accented by the orangey red cabinetry, and playful patterns absolutely sings.
Beyond the overall impression of their home's interior, it is Karin's textiles that standout. Each design is unique and showcases her ingenious use of color, emphasizing the geometric interpretations of nature that permeate throughout. For many decades Karin has been outshone by her husband Carl's paintings, and I'm happy that at least in my family, her importance is coming to light.
I've always been a fan of interior design and went so far as to work for an interior decorating firm for almost a year in college. The romance quickly gave way to the realities of the field (lots of carpet measurements) and I went back to admiring interior design from afar. Happily we live in an age of the internet where finding good design is as easy as a search on Pinterest. Owning a home has reignited this old passion and I hope to share more discoveries, like Karin Larsson, in the future. Learn more about the Larsson's life and work on their website Carl Larsson-gården in Sundborn. - b.