Swedish Kakelugn Stoves

The “Kakelugnar” stove is a Swedish tiled stove whose design is still in use today.  This classic stove dates back to the eighteenth century, and adds a historical element to a Scandinavian room.  These tile fireplaces usually resemble a column, while the shape is generally very simple.   The most popular designs tend to be round or rectangular, and are generally white, and are placed either in corners or against a straight wall.   The heights of the stoves range everywhere from six to ten feet or more.   The stoves often feature two small folding doors where the wood is placed, and the top of the fireplace forms a crown.

Fire was essential for warmth and food in the Nordic region a century ago.  Over time, we have lost some of survival techniques that were passed down through generations.  Houses were smaller, and fires were first and foremost placed in the kitchen areas, where the cooking was done.  The very first buildings were designed as one large room.  An entire family lived in one room, than having many rooms to heat.  Today it is fashionable to have vaulted ceilings, and large rooms, but the very opposite was true in throughout history where smaller rooms retained their heat better.  Families often slept in the same room to conserve t the warmth, and be near the fire to keep warm through the nights where the temperatures dropped.  The earliest homes had no windows, but rather a modest opening to let any smoke out.  It wasn’t until the 1600’s when the chimney was invented, and the fireplace was designed to let smoke out of a chimney through the roof.

Above Picture Credit Gullesen Masonry Stoves

The Kakelugn stove’s design first came about when a shortage of wood became a crisis.  In an article written by Stone Mason, they describe what prompted the stove design: “The period between 1500 and 1800 was known as ‘Europe’s little ice age’. In Sweden, where it was even colder than it is nowadays, it was clear that the constant use of fireplaces from morning till night would eventually lead to the total depletion of the nation’s forests. It was most fortunate, then, that in 1776 Adolf Frederik, the King of Sweden, commissioned Carl Johan Cronstedt to develop a stove that would make better usage of the country’s timber resources.”

The winters were colder than normal, and the people at this time needed to get as much heat out of the wood as possible.  The problem was, too much wood was being consumed, that the government needed to intervene before the forestry was used up.  Carl Johan Cronstedt and Fabian Wrede, had received a government mandate to try to find more fuel efficient solutions, and ended up inventing a fuel efficient tiled stove which burned the wood slower, and retained the heat for hours.

The Swedish Kakelugn stoves are a distinguished piece found in the Nordic countries.  You won’t find these stoves in Canada, where the winter temperatures are just as cold.  During the latter part of the 1800s, the stove found a prominent place in rich mansions and palaces.  Beginning around 1830-1840, large farms were being equipped with stoves which soon lead to the countryside and middle class.

Swedish Kakelugnar stoves produced by Swedish Camina, are one of market leaders in Sweden who make stoves. Lindholm Kakelugnar also sells stoves in their original design.  Lindolm Kakelugnar, based in Sweden, has been selling and building antique tiled stoves for the past 45 years. The company stocks a range of pieces, including a selection of stoves manufactured from the 1860s to the 1920s, or buy a modernized version from Contura.

The beauty of these classic stoves is that they retain the heat for long periods of time.  New modern stoves often heat up fast, but once the flames die out, the stove cools off quickly.  The “Kakelugnar” stove burns wood for a period of 1-3 hours, and then provides even heat for several hours after the fire has gone out.  In fact, these classic stoves have a better design than the modern day stoves that are produced today.

Read more about the tiled stove visit alltomkakelugnar.se

Antique Kakelugn

A Swedish ceramic stove stands in a corner of this panelled boot room
which is decorated with a display of antlers and hunting trophies

Fritz von der Schulenburg, Interior Archive

The Swedish Country House By Susanna Scherman- Buy It On Amazon

Svindersvik Featured On Wikipedia

Kakelugn Stove- Vía: Hus & Hem

A Swedish apartment for sale through Bolaget.

A Nordic Design Staple- The Swedish Kakelugn Tile Stove- Part 2

Author of Lily Oake Blog, Paula Arndt has a taste for the Swedish styles. Her most current project is updating an armoire into a faux Swedish tiled stove. She needed a front entry “closet” for her c.1950 Cape Cod “Elinor Cottage” and found the perfect piece on Craiglist.

Unsure of what to do with the armoire, she tossed around the idea of hand painting swags, and wallpapering the armoire. She turned to her Swedish decorating books and the classic Swedish tile stoves caught her attention. The idea was perfect!

Paula’s Process:

Instead of hand painting every tile, she decided to paint the graphic once, and then scan the image into Photoshop, and apply the paper graphic to the armoire. Here is how she did it:

The process can seem a little complicated. To understand fully how Paula transfered her images, watch this video from Jackson’s Art Supplies, which shows how Golden Fluid Matte Medium works.

1. Due to lack of time, she decided to design a pattern and have it printed as wallpaper through Spoonflower, instead of hand painting every tile. The size Spoonflower printed ended up not matching up to the measurements of the armoire, so she decided to design the faux tiles in Photoshop and then use an old method of transferring the image to the painted surface with Golden Fluid Matte Medium and her laser printer.

Her method must be used a laser copy print paper. She uses 28# from Hammermil. The glue used is Golden’s acrylic transfer medium.

Simply copy off the image you want to transfer. The image needs to be a mirror image, as it will transfer backwards from what is on the print. Photoshop or GIMP, allows you to change the picture so it will present a mirror image.

Next, coat the surface of where the graphic is to be put with the glue and immediately apply. Place image face down onto the glue. Smooth down thoroughly. A craft roller will come in handy for this project, and can be purchased on Amazon for around $11.

It is important to coat the surface well or the image wont transfer. Once the image is placed into the glue, you cannot reposition the graphic. You must be very accurate in how and where you place it the first time.

Paula suggests letting the image dry over night. In the morning you can take a cup of water and your fingers to wet the surface and rub away the paper – the image will reveal itself on to the painted surface. Jackson’s Art Supplies suggests you can lift the graphic off of the surface after three minutes. Either way, the image is then embedded into the new surface.

Paula has a love for the Swedish styles, so do follow her website. She will be revealing the new tiled armoire when it is finished.

Here is part one of her armoire makeover-“Transforming An Armoire into a Faux Swedish Tiled Stove

-Lily Oak- Swedish Stove Mania

Paula’s Facebook Account

Other Links:

-Join Our Swedish French Decorating Group On Facebook

-Contemporary French Blue & White Tiled Stove with Cast Iron Hearth.

Master Henriks– Blue and White Swedish Stove

Faux Kakelugn Cabinet From henhurst.blogspot.com

Swedish Stove- Featured On Home Design With Kevin Sharkey

From Book “The Swedish Country House


Swedish Tile Stove –http://www.alltomkakelugnar.se/

These relics include the Rococo stove, and furniture by Karl Johan-From Book “The Swedish Country House

This enchanting enfilade in a Swedish Home-From Book “The Swedish Country House”

Close-up of the Tiled Stove

Blue and White Swedish Tiled Stove- completelytotallymadly.blogspot.com

This home was featured in Swedish Magazine Skona Hem

Blue and White Stove

Beautiful tile stove used in the interior design of a Houston home. Interior design: katrincargill.com

Lars Sjobergs house featured in Country Style by Judith Miller

Tile stove in Rundale Palace, the largest & most important baroque
and rococo period architecture & art monument in Latvia.visualtravelguide.com

Beautiful tile oven in the Rundale’s Palace. No two tiles are alike.

(Pilsrundale, Bauskas region, the Middle Latvia)

Lars Bolander’s Book Scandinavian Design

Russian tile stove- elledecor.com

Tiled Fireplace- interiorstyledesign.tumblr.com

Swedish Tile Stove- houseofturquoise.com

Better Home and Gardens Magazine

Katrin Cargill’s Bedtime Stories

Gigi Capone’s Ironing Board Wallpaper-riced by the 5 yard roll and sold by the 15 yard triple roll. One roll will cover 33.75 square feet or 3.14 square meters.

Ilse Crawford’s Ett Hem Hotel in Stockholm

Outstanding Blue and White Tiled Stairway