Design insight: Bitte Stenström

Tell us a little about how you become a designer.

I've been interested in drawing and painting for as long as I can remember and have always wanted to do something creative. I went to Stockholm to learn more about it and studied at Konstfack University for four years before going out into the world with my designs.

Where do you look for inspiration for your designs?

I find inspiration everywhere, it's in the streets, in books, in nature. Working in Stockholm for 30 years has filled my head with urban inspiration, but now I live on the Swedish island of Öland, which has a very special sense of nature about it. The Stora Alvaret (a limestone pavement) is unique and the light is particularly wonderful.

Why did you decide to move?

My husband retired early and we found it quite expensive to remain living in Stockholm. I'm originally from Öland so I'm very familiar with it, and there needs to be the opposite of the big cities for different parts of your life. We can love New York, Tokyo, London and Stockholm, and all the powers of culture they have to offer in their museums and such, but there also needs to be an option for the calmness of daily life.

How would you describe your design style?

Sophisticated, colourful and imaginative.

How do you think your work reflects on Sweden's culture and design aesthetic?

Simplicity of design and a sparing use of colour are typical of Swedish design and I think you'd find that in my work too.