While strolling around Eindhoven a couple of weeks ago, we stumbled upon Piet Hein Eek’s workshop and restaurant. Piet Hein Eek is a Dutch designer best known for his scrapwood furniture range that he creates using scraps of reclaimed wood. Each piece of beautiful, timeless and unique furniture is lovingly hand-crafted by Eek and is designed and made to last.
Eek is a great source of inspiration and demonstrates many innovative ways to use scraps of wood to give them a new life and function while enhancing their natural beauty. This is definitely a place to stop by if you are ever in Eindhoven. However, this might very well be Eindhoven’s most well-hidden gem, so do check out a location map prior to hitting the road. For more information, visit http://www.pietheineek.nl/en
Our trip to visit Kährs premises in southern Sweden was extraordinary. Nybro is a small town with a population amounting to less than 13,000, and has been Kährs home since it was founded in 1857. Not only is Kährs a major employer for about 900 inhabitants of the town, but it is also one of the most sustainable and forward-thinking factories in the world.
Kährs thinking is simply this: Nothing Goes to Waste. Basically, the parts of the logs that can’t be used in the production of wood floors are converted into biofuel. Some is used to produce energy to heat the Kährs factory and converted into electricity. The rest is sold to a local energy company and used to heat the whole neighbourhood. Kährs is a major producer of energy – whilst also striving to reduce the energy that is being used. Even the ash from the heating plant is re-used for fertilizing purposes in local forestry operations. And during the last few years, Kährs have managed to reduce the use of raw material by some 25%, through their dedicated environmental work.
We saw the entire process, from the point where logs are brought onto Kährs premises up until the the where the planks are all bundled up, packaged and ready to be shipped off into the different corners of the world.
This oak tree (seen here in 7 pieces) came from a private homeowner’s backyard about 15 km away from Kährs factory. It is circa 150 years old, and had a height of about 25 metres. Did you know that the branches of a tree are what creates the beautiful knots in wood flooring? Each tree is picked to match one of Kährs collections through its size, width, species and branches amongst other things.
Here the oak tree is going through an initial manual check-up. Some could say that these two gentlemen have two of the most important roles in Kährs. The gentleman to the right (with his trademark cap) is John Ahlgren – who is responsible for purchasing the logs and is often found out in the field, hand-picking trees. The gentleman to the left is responsible for examining the overall health of the tree (log) and determines whether the log is accepted and ensures that farmers/sellers get a fair price for their logs.
Fresh logs are placed on a conveyor belt to be thoroughly scanned through a metal detector and deemed acceptable/unacceptable. John told us that they once had a log go through through the metal detector only to discover that there was an entire bicycle inside of the log! Just imagine how many years it had to take for that to happen. If only trees had eyes, right?
Unfortunately we cannot show you inside the factory, but are able to say this much: there is a lot of craftsmanship behind Kährs wood floors and the quality control is impeccable. I was a Kährs wood flooring aficionado even before visiting the factory, but now I can wholeheartedly say that there is no wood flooring of better quality than Kährs wood flooring.
Let me present to you Kährs’ glorious 200,000 square foot warehouse. It is Scandinavia’s first warehouse to be certified by LEED, holds almost 2 million square feet of flooring and is heated with biofuel byproducts from the Kährs’ factory.
If there is one thing I learned during this trip, it is that Kährs is so much more than just wood flooring. Kährs breathes history and defines Swedish craftsmanship and tradition. It is about the people – each and every contributing individual who shares the same passion for Kährs wood flooring. The quality, the craftsmanship, the story-telling is endless.
So why not bring a little piece of Nybro into your home and share the story?
The latest InsideOut issue is up for grabs today, and this is one of our most anticipated ones of the year. The special flooring issue covers all types of flooring, and inspires with various colour palettes, diverse interior design schemes, price ranges and invites you to discover the interiors of four beautiful showrooms/spaces in Dubai.
One of the locations used was our very own showroom, where not only a variety of our Kährs wood flooring and other beautiful flooring materials were featured, but also our Mr Perswall wallpaper (by Kollektion & Co), iconic Egg Chair (by Fritz Hansen) and IKEA Stockholm coffee table that gracefully added to the nature feel.
Watch the Behind the Scenes video of the photo-sessions at the different locations here.
Oak Trollaborg from Kährs Craftsman collection is a tribute to the classically rustic, hand-crafted look that is reminiscent of the natural Swedish cottages in the green countryside.
The collection consists of a series of exclusive 1-strip oak flooring distinguished by a dramatic, rustic character and a raw vintage feel. Craftsman Collection includes six nature oiled 1-strip floors, from powdery white to dark smoke grey. Hand processed in different ways to emphasize grain and knots and to produce a unique surface that enhances the wood’s structure.
Oak Trollaborg was chosen as the floor for our new showroom/office space in Dubai, where our focus has been to create a holistic modern Scandinavian ambiance, and acts as a perfect representation of our Swedish heritage.
Yesterday was spent celebrating the traditional Swedish Midsummer in Skansen, an open air museum and zoo in Sweden located on the island Djurgården in Stockholm.
At Midsummer, the Swedish summer is a lush green with nature in full bloom, and the nights are scarcely dark at all. In the north, the sun never sets.
This is Sarah, Nordic Homeworx Marketing Coordinator, and I have left the extreme Dubai heat for a summer holiday in my home country Sweden (Stockholm) for the next 10 days!
Next week I will be driving down to Kährs factory in Nybro, deep in the heart of the southern Swedish forest, where Kährs has remained since it was founded in 1857. This will be my first time visiting Kährs factory, and I am looking forward to learn more about the history and manufacturing processes behind the beautiful Kährs wood floors that we are agents for in the UAE and Middle East.
Stay tuned to follow me during my stay in Sweden!