You probably don’t think a lot of Scandanavian style in New York, but one Swedish company is aiming to blend the two worlds by bringing some of their design to a Hampton’s hotel. Stockholm-born Jenny Ljungberg moved to the U.S. when she was a teenager but didn’t lose her love of design from her homeland, and now she is the owner of The Maidstone where she has found a palette to express this style.
Jenny’s interpretation of Swedish design isn’t white and stark, but rather colorful, whimsical, and full of intentional pattern. To further the theme, every room is based on a notable Scandanvian person, and some of the elements in each room are inspired by them. Examples of people include the Norwegian figure skater Sonja Henie, and the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus.
Jenny spoke to Condé Nast Traveler about her vision.
“The biggest misconception is that people think that Swedes live straight out of an Ikea home. If you look at Scandinavian homes, a lot of it is things we inherited from our parents and grandparents, a lot is vintage and eclectic. I wanted to mix the old and the new, because that is what Swedish design is about…I wanted to show a different part of Sweden, not the one you see in design magazines. It’s more accessible for guests.”
The hotel took another turn in an unexpected direction, when she partnered up with an online platform called Tictail, which is similar to Etsy. It’s founder Carl Waldekranz is a Swede who frequents the hotel regularly. He saw an opportunity to work together based on Jenny’s vision, and realized having an online shop with everything in the hotel could work out great.
“The Hamptons feels a lot like Swedish nature, so coming out there seeing the beautiful water felt like home. We immediately fell in love with it. Then I realized they had a fantastic boutique with some of my favorite Swedish brands, and the products they had chosen fell in line with the kinds of products being sold on Tictail. I saw a huge audience and interest for those products in the States, and that’s when we started talking about collaborating, to tell the story of The Maidstone as a hotel.”
The hotel lobby now goes above ad beyond offering things like tea, and has expanded into selling things like gear and raincoats. Some of the brands that they offer are not easily found outside of Sweden, so the shopping experience is going to be a different one than found at any other hotel, or New York boutique for that matter.
Overall Jenny’s vision of changing the ideas about what makes Sweden great is certainly taken off. Her interest in spreading Swedish style seems to come from a genuine place that wants people to understand everything that’s out there.
“Swedes aren’t proud of themselves, they don’t talk about their heritage. It’s how we’re raised. But growing up in the States I realized it was something special. It’s cool to see that it has taken off.”