21 October 2021

Malmstenbutiken in new premises

After more than 80 years on Strandvägen, Malmstenbutiken has a new address. Since late summer, it is located at Humlegårdsgatan 13 in light, newly renovated and somewhat larger premises.

”We have the best location”, says a happy Jessika Hyltner, CEO and owner of the long-established shop. My wish was to find suitable premises on this very street. It was a stroke of luck that I contacted the French church which owns the building. Ingelsta kalkon were just closing down, and the premises were not yet advertised. This gave me the chance.”

‘Best location’ means that it is a busy and popular street. New shops and restaurants pop up and there is a continuous flow of people moving between City and Östermalm, compared to the old address, where people mostly walked past on Sundays on their way to Djurgården.

At the new shop on Humlegårdsgatan, people like to stop and look in the large windows. Inside, customers sit on the sofas pondering over which fabric to choose. People browse and Jessika and her colleagues are always told how nice it looks.

”And we also meet a new clientele”, Jessika explains. Young people who discover something new or buy a complete dining suite.”

The layout of the more than 200 m2 floor area offers easy access and good spatial design, with  light coming in from two directions. In addition, there is a small basement for the textiles and stockroom and offices for Jessika and her two colleagues, Katarina Eriksson and Fanny Hellström.

”The furniture is much more visible now, which is great”, Jessika says.

“The shop contains all the pieces that Carl Malmsten designed and which are in production today. And we are the only shop in Sweden that has everything on display”, she adds.

Such as the well-known sofas – Berlin, Samsas, etc. – in modern plain fabric, dining groups Vardags and Herrgården, elegant Wetter tables and the inviting armchairs Häggbom in modern tartan and Farmor in Morris cretonne, signalling Swedish cultural history in contemporary design.

In the window is the beautiful display cabinet Jönköping and on the shelf are the sweet Putte stools, two new pieces from the new Archive Collection.

But the best-seller is attributed to a Malmsten relative. The lamp shades with pressed plants are small classics in Swedish interior design. They were first made in the 1950s by Birgitta Malmsten, Carl Malmsten’s daughter-in-law, and have since then been made by hand by various family members. Birgitta’s husband, Egil Malmsten, was responsible for the production until his grand-daughter Vanja Sorbon Malmsten took over some ten years ago. Today, the lamps are available in several models, many of which have been developed by Vanja in collaboration with the designer Eva Schildt.

”With on-line shopping, they now fly across the world. At the moment, we have orders for several large projects in the USA and Singapore”, says Jessika.

The shop also sells modern Swedish furniture from a few other companies, as well as attractive accessories and interior design items.  In addition, Jessika plans to house temporary exhibitions.

As mentioned, it is now 80 years since Malmstensbutiken opened on Strandvägen with his architect office a few floors above. But already ten years earlier, at the time of the Stockholm Exhibition in 1930, Carl Malmsten opened his second workshop, which was also designed as a school: Olofskolan. The educational workshop was located at Humlegårdsgatan, only two doors away from the new shop.

”I like the coincidence”, says Jessika. “It’s as if we’ve returned to our origins.”

Jessica stepped in as CEO in 2015, in connection with the Kjell and Märta Beijer Foundation taking over the operation from Jerk Malmsten. The premises were redesigned and the foundation pledged long-term ownership. But that didn’t happen. The pandemic changed the course of events and Jessika had the opportunity to take over.

”Yes, it was a tough start”, says Jessika. Every day, every minute. ”We are a small shop and there is a lot of work. But we’ve made it – the move, the pandemic and now we’re back in business!

Text: Dan Gordan