The home of Peter Erlandsson, co-founder of String Furniture, on the Falsterbo peninsula in Sweden reflects the residents’ love of nature, architecture, design and – naturally – String shelves. Design Stories visited this unique house (also featured on TV!) that the architect designed to blend in with the surroundings.
IN SWEDEN’S SOUTHERN TIP on the Falsterbo peninsula, it is difficult to miss the nearness of the sea. Windswept pines and scrubby bushes dot the sandy terrain. The wind is biting and the air smells of the sea even if you cannot see the shore.
Here, about 30 kilometers from Malmö, is where Peter Erlandsson , co-founder of String Furniture , built his home. He bought the plot in the Ljungskogen area in the late 1990s. The place was already familiar to him, as he had spent his childhood and youth there.
When the time came to start designing the house, Peter remembered an interesting residential building just a stone’s throw away.
“For many times, I’d played golf nearby, admiring a house at the edge of the course. I liked the simple, down-to-earth architecture of the building, so I decided to find out who had designed it. I discovered that the building belonged to architect Per Friberg , who had designed it for himself as a summer house in the 1960s. I went to see Per and asked him to design a house for us,” says Peter.
THE ARCHITECT, who was already over 70 at the time, took on the project and the house was completed in 1999. It became the home of Peter, his wife Ulrika and their three children. Four years later, a three-room extension was added to the house.
The house, completed in 1999, was designed by Swedish architect Per Friberg.
When looking at the house clad with Siberian larch, it is evident that the architect was well acquainted with the site and delicate local nature. Friberg, who had also worked as a landscape architect, carefully placed the building on the plot so that a patch of pristine forest with stunted pines was left on the yard. He also designed the other vegetation to blend in with the marine nature.
Nature is, in fact, also present inside the building. For example, in the large downstairs lounge area, there are two window walls, inviting nature in. The yard is also easy to access, as the patio is only a few steps down from the living room.
THE INTERIOR OF THE HOME is like the Erlandssons themselves – relaxed and easygoing. Although the overall look is streamlined, the wood in all the surfaces and fixed furniture make the spaces feel cozy.
“The architect was involved in designing the interior. He designed, for instance, the wooden kitchen and the Japanese-style panel curtains in the living room.”
The carefully selected furniture reflects the family’s love of design. “We have a lot of Danish design and, of course, String products,” sums up Peter.
The furniture in the home is, indeed, a collection of the best-known Danish classics, and a keen eye can spot meticulously crafted wooden pieces by designers such as Børge Mogensen , Hans J. Wegner , Erik Jörgensen , Ole Wanscher and Finn Juhl .
“The Spanish Chair designed by Børge Mogensen is my favorite. It’s perfect. It’s comfortable and made of high-quality materials, and it has wide and sturdy armrests that can also be used for setting down items,” describes Peter.
The downstairs living room and kitchen may seem oddly familiar to fans of Nordic noir , as the home was used as a location for the first season of the highly popular crime series The Bridge (original title Bron/Broen ).
WHEN WALKING ABOUT THE HOUSE , it is hard to miss the String shelves and pieces of String furniture adorning almost every room. String items have been used in the lounge areas, bathroom, bedrooms as well as on each wall of Peter’s study. Even a galvanized String System stands tall on the patio, exposed to the maritime climate.
It is, of course, no wonder that there are so many String products around the house, as the company has been an integral part of the family’s life since 2004 when Peter acquired the rights to Nils and Kajsa Strinning’s design and brought the String shelving systems back into production with his business partner Pär Josefsson . Thus, the house could, with good reason, also be called the home of the reborn String.
The house could, with good reason, also be called the home of the reborn String.
“It all began in the fall of 2004 when Ulrika’s interior design store was visited by a customer who wanted to buy a new String shelf. We knew the product but didn’t know where to get it. Pär and I started investigating the matter and found the manufacturer, only to hear that the company had just gone bankrupt,” Peter recalls.
Peter and Pär saw potential in the shelves and contacted the designers, Nils and Kajsa Strinning. Already in December of the same year, on Saint Lucy's Day, they went to meet the designers.
“Nils and Kajsa were convinced by our vision, and we concluded a contract on the relaunch of the production. We were really lucky, as another company also made an offer on the very same day.”
For the last almost twenty years, Peter Erlandsson and Pär Josefsson have been developing a comprehensive String product family.
For the last almost twenty years, Erlandsson and his business partner have been developing a comprehensive String product family offering storage solutions for every space in the home.
Even though the String Furniture products have become immensely popular in the Nordics as well as other parts of the world, the development is still ongoing. Many new products are in the works, but Peter is not ready to reveal what they are just yet.
LET’S FINISH THE TOUR by taking a peek at the second-floor rooms, which can be reached by ascending wooden stairs. The first room you enter is a large lobby, which also has access to the balcony resembling a ship’s deck.
Standing upstairs makes you realize that the architect has also succeeded in providing another perspective from which to look at the place. Even though we are only one floor higher, the atmosphere is quite different. You can see all the way to the sea, above the treetops. The sea, which has only been felt but not seen before this, is now visible on the horizon, providing a calming element.
“Architect Per Friberg always designed the buildings to make the most of the location and landscape, a principle that is also reflected in all the choices made for this house,” concludes Peter.
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Text: Anna-Kaisa Huusko Images: Niclas Mäkelä