It's all-but-impossible to visit Stockholm without stuffing your carry-on with Scandinavian designs. Highly coveted among interior aficionados, these form-minded, modern-but-functional pieces -- which saw their heyday from the 1930s to 1970s -- grace most every glossy mag and pepper homes worldwide with contemporary warmth. The problem is, they usually don't come for cheap.
Fortunately, a handful of stores in Stockholm endeavor to bring the classic, minimalist lines down to earth. Check out these destination-worthy shops the next time you're in town.
1.) Bruno Gallerian, situated in the middle of Götgatsbacken on trendy Södermalm, is a modern mall that's full of -stylish clothing stores (Swedish designers Whyred and Filippa K among them) as well as vintage boutiques. It's also home to Granit (Götgatan 31; tel. 011/46/8-642-1068; www.granit.com), a savvy storefront that's flush with cool, affordable objects, such as notebooks, comfy cotton clothes and calendars. You'll also find basics to outfit your home, from linear pitchers and modern ceramic dishes to angular accent lamps, hostess gift-appropriate vases and storage boxes that'll energize your home office.
2.) Fans of Design Within Reach will have a field day at mini-chain DesignTorget (Västermalmsgallerian, Eriksgatan 45; tel. 011/46/8-33-11-53; www.designtorget.se), a cutting-edge, local designer collaborative with rock-bottom-priced wares. Scoop up sleek birdhouses, modern cuckoo clocks, industrial-looking candleholders and funky toys. Or, make guests at your next dinner party swoon with twig-inspired pitchers, nature-themed candleholders and goofy kitchen gadgets -- all for a song. There are several other outposts, including at Kulturhuset (tel. 011/46/8-21-91-50) and Götgatan 31 (tel. 011/46/8-462-35-20).
3.) It's hard to discuss Swedish design (for the masses) without mentioning IKEA (Kungens Kurva, Skarholmen; tel. 011/46/8-20-43-90-50; www.ikea.se), the internationally renowned retailer founded in Sweden in 1943. Known for its flat-pack furniture and jaw-droppingly priced accessories, this location is no exception, begging home makeovers -- one pillow at a time -- while leaving change to spare. Needless to say, these designs -- from coat racks to throws -- come right from the source; sweetening the pot, you'll find items that never make it to the States. Plus, you can catch a free bus from the corner of Regerings-gatan/Jakobsgatan. It operates Monday to Friday every hour on the hour between 10am and 7pm. There's also an IKEA at Barkarby (Barkarbys handelplats, Järfälla; tel. 011/46/8-43-90-50).
4.) Be sure to save suitcase space when scoping out open, airy Nordiska Galleriet (Nybrogatan 11; tel. 011/46/8-442-83-60; www.nordiskagalleriet.se), a two-floor store brimming with Scandinavian-heavy, European designs from today and 20th-century-yesteryear. While that Philippe Starck lamp may not be a steal, the items at the back of the store tell another story. Glasses, fun gizmos and whimsical toys are just a few of the to-die-for souvenirs you'll find.
5.) Konsthantverkarna (Södermalmstorg 4; tel. 011/46/8-611-03-70; www.konsthantverkarna.se), a street-level store with oodles of cred, stocks juried pieces from local artists' workshops. In addition to pricy sculptures and furniture, you'll also find more cost-conscious, one-of-a-kind items, such as votive holders, candlesticks and jewelry.
Talk with fellow Frommer's travelers in our Scandinavia Forum today.