Ask the Expert: Gift-Buying Tips from Fredrik Carlström of Austere

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By William Lamb / Published by Dwell
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Fredrik Carlström, the founder of Scandinavian design hub Austere, reveals the products and gifts he cherishes most.

What’s your go-to host gift? 

What’s your go-to host gift?

My new favorite is a leather apron from Böle Tannery. Few things age more beautifully than a great piece of leather.

Leather apron from Böle Tannery, from $324.

My new favorite is a leather apron from Böle Tannery. Few things age more beautifully than a great piece of leather. Leather apron from Böle Tannery, from $324.

What’s your favorite kind of towel?

Matouk. I also am a fan of the style of Scandinavian kitchen towel with simple blue or red stripes. I often use them as napkins at our country house in Wainscott, New York. They fit right in with the countryside aesthetic of Long Island’s East End.

Bath towels from Matouk, $33.

What is your everyday bedding? 

What’s the best wedding present you’ve given or received?

We got a ton of Iittala Essence wineglasses, which are getting a lot of use.

Essence glasses by Alfredo Häberli for Iittala, set of two, $40.

We rotate among Frette, Pratesi, and Yves Delorme. Flat sheets from Yves Delorme, starting at $250.

What is the best design book to give as a gift?

Recently, Modern Swedish Design: Three Founding Texts. It’s the first English translation of three texts by pioneers of Swedish design that have been extraordinarily influential on international architecture and interior furnishings since the early 20th century.

Modern Swedish Design: Three Founding Texts, edited by Lucy Creagh, Helena Kåberg, and Barbara Miller Lane (MoMA Publications, 2008), $35.

What’s your favorite kind of towel? 

What is your everyday bedding?

We rotate among Frette, Pratesi, and Yves Delorme.

Flat sheets from Yves Delorme, starting at $250.

Matouk. I also am a fan of the style of Scandinavian kitchen towel with simple blue or red stripes. I often use them as napkins at our country house in Wainscott, New York. They fit right in with the countryside aesthetic of Long Island’s East End. Bath towels from Matouk, $33. 

Austere is retail, showroom, and event space celebrating Scandinavian design in Downtown Los Angeles.

What’s the best wedding present you’ve given or received? 

We got a ton of Iittala Essence wineglasses, which are getting a lot of use. Essence glasses by Alfredo Häberli for Iittala, set of two, $40.

What would you give to a recent college graduate? 

Nice sheets, knowing they don’t get changed out as often as they should.

What is the best design book to give as a gift?

Recently, Modern Swedish Design: Three Founding Texts. It’s the first English translation of three texts by pioneers of Swedish design that have been extraordinarily influential on international architecture and interior furnishings since the early 20th century. Modern Swedish Design: Three Founding Texts, edited by Lucy Creagh, Helena Kåberg, and Barbara Miller Lane (MoMA Publications, 2008), $35.