Embarking on new beginnings and embracing bold transformations is often an integral part of a creative journey. For Shalony van Stralendorff, a prominent Scandinavian designer, a recent relocation from her long-time home in Sundsvall to the energetic city of Stockholm signifies an essential shift. Not just a simple change of address, this move also represents the dawn of an exhilarating new chapter in her life.
"My current home is a bit like a stopover where I want to try out Stockholm as a city. In the long term, the idea is to replace my apartment in Sundsvall with a permanent residence in Stockholm", says Shalony.
Her journey into the realm of design traces back to an inherent creative spark evident since her childhood. As a five-year-old meticulously arranging objects for a garden picnic, her passion for aesthetics and love for details was unconcealed, a passion she believes was further nurtured by growing up in a creative household.
"I have always been interested in making my surroundings a more beautiful place in various ways. My creative passion has always been there throughout my life, completely naturally. And for me the details are what counts and are often crucial for it to feel right."
Education played a pivotal role in shaping Shalony’s career trajectory. Her high school years in a craftsmanship program led to a bachelor's degree from the Textile University in Borås. An enriching six-month stint working with textiles in India added valuable global experience to her repertoire. Returning to Sweden, Shalony’s ambitious nature led her to establish her own venture, a lifelong dream.
Three years ago, a rekindling of a friendship with her childhood companion, Emelie Ivarsson, led to the birth of 'Bonni Bonne'. Their lifestyle brand was the combination of their collective expertise and shared passion for form, gastronomy, craftsmanship, and nature. Their ambition with Bonni Bonne is to highlight some of northern Sweden’s traditions where genuine craft and ancient knowledge is presented in new contexts, in a more modern take.
“With Bonni Bonne we work with the meeting between poetic and timeless aesthetics, where our products are created out of everyday needs.”
Shalony van Stralendorff
Drawing inspiration from the primal beauty of nature and the allure of genuine materials, Shalony acknowledges that her creativity sparks in the face of limitations. This admiration for nature extends to her personal style and home aesthetics, where she surrounds herself with objects of personal significance and minimalistic, thoughtfully chosen pieces. Shalony's unique relationship with nature is evident through the hand-harvested produce that fills her refrigerator and pantry, a characteristic feature others associate with her home.
"My minimalist side often guides me in my choice of interior decoration, which means I always choose objects of quality where the choices are well-balanced and thoughtful. Then I like to surround myself with objects that I have a personal connection to, such as a nice place I've been or to people I like."
For Shalony, Scandinavian design embodies the interplay of traditional craftsmanship and timeless aesthetics, all framed by mindful selection of materials that respect nature. It's no surprise that her personal style mirrors this ethos - simple, grounded, and subtly elegant.
Looking at broader design paradigms, she appreciates the omnipresent nature of design in our lives, which enriches our experiences from both functional and spiritual perspectives. Ingegerd Råman, one of Orrefors’ designers, holds a special place in her heart for her humble personality and exemplary design skills.
"I was born and raised in Holland and early on associated Sweden with brands like Orrefors, Kosta Boda, and Ikea. For me, Orrefors represents timeless products of high quality and its fantastic designers."
With an appreciation for glass's versatility and its ability to elevate the enjoyment of a drink, Shalony describes the Intermezzo Gold Champagne glass designed by Erika Lagerbielke as elegant, luxurious, and classic. As Orrefors celebrates its 125th anniversary this year, she looks forward to learning more about its rich history and heritage, deeply connected to what Shalony cherishes as a designer - timeless aestethics and traditional craftsmanship combined with modern innovation, inspired by nature and genuine materials.