We wanted something timeless and sustainable - also, as Christopher is a passionate cook, we whished to have the expertise of Kvänum to optimise function in our fairly small kitchen.
A few years ago Kvänum launched Real Classic Karleby in the shape of a mansion’s kitchen at Stora Ek in Västergötland. The cabinet door Karleby is inspired by the original interior of the petite Rococo castle from the 1700s. The inner profile of the narrow frame has a delicate double pearl. Much to our surprise, the concept also worked brilliantly in a smaller kitchen.
Camilla Åstrand and her fiancé Christopher Bastin are settled alongside the old road out to the archipelago south of Stockholm. Gamla Enskede is a classic garden city from the early 1900s influenced by the Garden City movement of England.
In fact, it all started with model villages around mills and factories where workers were housed on descent conditions. These philanthropic projects were initiated by owners with a social consciousness, very often Quakers like the Cadbury brothers who created a utopian island for their workers, Bournville, on the site of their chocolate industry south of Birmingham. “No man ought to be condemned to live in a place where a rose cannot grow”, Gorge Cadbury once wrote.
Where Camilla and Christopher live, roses grow. Their home is a quirky house full of charm built in 1912 with steep and pitched roofs. It looks like it was folded by a quiet and worthy Japanese origami master.
The weatherboarding is red and details of the façade are green, there are verandas and lovely bay windows with paned glass; it is the atmosphere of cottage romance and watercolours by Swedish painter Carl Larsson, and still stylish.
My personal favourite is the built-in sofa - perfect for your morning coffee and pleasant for your afternoon drink. While Christopher prepares for the meal, the rest of our family fights over that corner.
Camilla is a communication manager with Daniel Wellington and before that she was a fashion stylist with Princess Sofia on her CV; Christopher is a fashion guru with Solo and Gant on his conscience, presently with the title creative director on his business card. As a culinary artist he frequently publishes his recipes.
They chose Real Classic Karleby for their new kitchen. Why?
– We wanted something timeless and sustainable, says Camilla - also, as Christopher is a passionate cook, we whished to have the expertise of Kvänum to optimise function in our fairly small kitchen.
Camilla’s personal favourite in her kitchen is the built-in sofa.
– Perfect for your morning coffee and pleasant for your afternoon drink. While Christopher prepares for the meal, the rest of our family fights over that corner.
Moving into the house meant they had to get rid of their old furniture and start anew. Today, their interior decoration is a spicy mix of colour and shape – textiles, carpets, paintings, sculptures, and furniture to suit the house, one or two design classics, occasional auction bargains and rare finds.
Their kitchen is a true treat. A heavy mat stainless steel piece with shiny brass knobs from French Lacanche immediately catches your eye. The pile of books in the embrasure certainly indicates that this stove is not only for show. Writers like Anthony Bourdain, and titles like A Kitchen in France testify to the fact that this is for real; here is where food is prepared or grub fixed, high or low, a bœuf bourguignon or a shakshuka. Christopher’s own best picks would be crispy veal sweetbread, lamb, and oyster.
He has deep respect for the fresh commodities. Shape, colour, texture, scent and taste seem to make a holy promise and the cook has to keep up his end of the deal. It takes concentration and focusing. Cooking is as close to meditation as he gets.
Okay, he confesses to having stated something like “I think chef is the coolest profession ever”; an incurable romantic, he once dreamed of enlisting as a chef in smoke and fire on the frontline among pots and pans where nothing is offered but blood, toil, tears, and sweat. He is still in fashion. Probably a wise choice – and he seems at peace with himself in his new kitchen preparing another lush meal while Camilla has taken pole position with her drink in the corner sofa. Food is ready. Christopher serves his pasta vongole with its lovely scents of the Mediterranean Sea in sun. Prego.