Look around any of our Houses, from West Hollywood to West London and you’ll see sofas with Mid Century curves and ‘atomic’ legs. Many of them will be vintage Malmsten originals, and the good news if you want to recreate the look at home, is those designs are still being handcrafted in Sweden today.

Born at the end of the 19th century, Carl Malmsten is one of Sweden’s most influential designers, with examples of his work to be found in many Swedish homes. His friend Eric Wennerholm wrote of the furniture maker, ‘He wanted to plane a new humanity and a better world’ and his ideas on interior design have had a significant impact on the way we live today. An apprenticeship in a carpentry workshop influenced his approach to design, with a focus on simplicity of line and quality materials – in contrast to the extravagant shapes that were popular in the early 20th century.

After winning a competition to design furniture for Stockholm City Hall, Carl’s career took off. Over the following decades he became Sweden’s most famous designer and interior decorator, exhibiting his work at the World’s Fair in New York and Paris and in 1923 designing an armchair and sofa he named 'Konsert' for the Stockholm Concert Hall. By the 1950s he wanted to bring good design to as many people as possible, by taking advantage of industrial production which made furniture affordable without compromising the craftsmanship. He selected a number of artisanal workshops who could produce his designs to the highest standards, one of which was O.H. Sjögren, who started making his upholstered furniture. The pieces they made together are now regarded as Scandinavian furniture classics.

In 1960 O.H. Sjögren developed Malmsten's Konsert chair, renaming it 'Samsas' (a Swedish word that translates as 'harmony', 'getting along well with each other' or 'sharing'). A curved version was also designed for a postmaster in Stockholm who wanted a sofa to fit the bay window in his villa; this then went into mass production. Today O.H. Sjögren is run by the fourth generation of the same family. Artisanal techniques ensure Malmsten’s designs are still produced to the same high standards as they were half a century ago.

The wooden frame of each piece of furniture is made from Swedish wood and is sawn by hand to avoid twigs at critical points that could endanger the durability of the frame. The frame can consist of up to 60 pieces which are assembled by hand and glued for strength. The seat is built up by nozag springs and the filling is made of cold foam in several layers. An armchair can contain over 30 different filling details, with firmer material underneath and softer on top for optimum comfort.

The upholstery is the most time-consuming part of the process, with experience and craftsmanship required to create a smooth, symmetrical and beautiful piece. All fabrics are cut individually, then templates are laid out and adjusted for perfect pattern matching. The pieces are edged and sewn together with thread that is colour-matched to the fabric. In some places, the fabric must be hand-sewn. Finally, the carpenter put his or her signature on the furniture.

‘Being a fourth generation in one of the country’s oldest furniture businesses carries responsibilities. We have been entrusted with the production of Carl Malmsten upholstered furniture since 1956. Highest quality craftsmanship has been the guiding factor for Oskar Herbert Sjögren as well as the three subsequent generations in our family. We select primarily Swedish raw materials and Swedish suppliers. We also develop the professional skills of our craftsmen, which are passed down from generation to generation and have now become the hallmark of the company. As we take the business forward, we see no reason to change our fundamental approach, which we have maintained since 1902 - Swedish produced furniture of the highest quality craftsmanship.’ Håkan and Jakob Sjögren

Soho House Amsterdam

Located in the Bungehuis on the Spuistraat, our newest House has 79 bedrooms, a rooftop pool, a floor of club space and a Cecconi's restaurant.