Style cue from Pippi Longstocking?

May 10, 2010

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Pippi Longstocking was and remains one of my ultimate heroes.  As a  kid I wanted to be her, ride a polka dot horse and have a funny monkey sitting on my shoulder, and of course…be living in that big yellow house.  As I watched the old Swedish Pippi TV series for the first time as an adult, I was reminded of the colorful house with a mix of retro styles, colors  and periods.  The story takes place in the thirties,  but was filmed in the late sixties and seventies.  So what you get is a late sixties design interpretation of the thirties…or what is it??  Anyway…maybe that’s why it’s so cool.

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HELLO- fun hairdo!  Did you ever wear your hair like that?

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This is Pippi’s house Villavillekulla (in Swedish…don’t know English name for it), seen by her friends Tommy and Annika for the first time in the TV series. It was love at first sight for most kids.  It was for me.

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You can still visit Villavillekulla today.  It’s situated in Visby on the island of Gotland, southeast of Stockholm. Who wouldn’t want a house like that?  The horse is still on the front steps and you can still slide down from upstairs to downstairs on a rope.

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Watching Pippi today I love the color combinations,  pale pink and olive,chartreuse and lots pale gray/blue everywhere.  How cool to do in a room.  Here they play their favorite game “not to touch the floor”.  Even the nicest piece of furniture gets stepped on or hung in.  A game that became very popular with Swedish kids, and horrified most parents!  Hey furniture is to be used for – not looked at!

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Her pink bed – where she slept with her feet on the pillow is still in the house today. How many kids didn’t try to sleep like Pippi?

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I remembered the mis-matched different colored chairs, and the great big kitchen cabinets.  As a kid you love the fun factor of the house, particularly with the horse and monkey indoors.  I never thought Pippi would one day give me style cues, but I remember….

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…when I got the kitchen furniture for my house I wanted mis matched chairs just like in Pippi’s house.  I wanted to give the house a carefree un stuffy feeling.

Pippi’s style must have seeped in to many Swedes decorating DNA.  In America there’s a lot of focus on serene, white Swedish interiors, as well as a more Scandinavian modern style.  Both are beautiful and extremely popular at home as well.  But Pippi’s colorful,  fun carefree house have inspired many interiors — maybe even unconsciously.

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This family’s apartment from the magazine Family Living in Sweden could really be Pippi’s living room as an adult! Don’t you think?

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Black and white checked floor and two toned blue cabinet. Feels kind of fun.

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Mis matched colorful chairs.

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This is a kitchen you would feel pretty “cool” and happy in. Colors with just enough retro vibe.

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Feels like a Pippi cabinet to me.

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Pippi and Villavillekulla continues to inspire generations of little girls….

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This girl has her own  mini Villevillekulla.

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Even complete with the swing down from upstairs.

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Her inspiration can be seen everywhere. In homes, schools, playgrounds.  Maybe we feel that if we design our homes like her, we’ll live fearless, carefree and fun lives, be the strongest person on earth and have pockets full of money.  Sounds pretty good to me.

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