Design House Stockholm is at the cutting edge of Swedish design. "We are a publisher, if you like." says director Sofie Ralin. "Designers come to us with their brightest ideas." And this is illustrated on a large dramatic photo-poster just inside the doorway of the shop, showing designers with their work.
Inside, the careful displays are like a mini-museum of modern design. Indeed at least one product (the famous Block Lamp, see below) can be seen in museums worldwide, having already become a classic.
Super-seasonal is the Nordic Light, in painted rubberwood, by Jonas Grundell. It has ingenious swinging "arms", each tipped with a metal candleholder. You can arrange them any which way around a metal central stem, in a multitude of patterns, or simply "folded" into a tight straight line. Red is the obvious Christmas colour, but for year-round elegance, choose grey, black or white. A four-arm version is priced at £39.95, while a larger, seven-arm one is £59.95.
There are many other treasures, including the funkiest bicycle basket in town (a kind of crocheted plastic), plus original finely made ceramics and glass, and incredibly soft throws and scarves in a new kind of chic pleated fleece.
But the most exciting designs can be found at the back of the shop, where stunning and exclusive fabrics hang in lengths, sold by the metre (£55) and made up into accessories such as cushion covers (£39.95). These are patterns rescued from the Fifties and printed on heavy cotton at a traditional Swedish mill.
See, for example, the charming folkloric creations of famous illustrator Stig Lindberg. His "Lustgarden" has stylised figures, flowers, picnic rugs, fences and trees in a sophisticated assembly with a touch of Chagall.
Radiating the same joie de vivre is a design called "Pottery", a colourful, abstract melange of bottles and glasses, again with trees and flowers, and even little people. By contrast, the other fabrics are more severe, featuring rigorous geometric patterns by leading artists of that time, perfect for a touch of fashionable mid-century modern.
And glowing softly is the iconic Block Lamp by Harri Hoskinen, a chunky brick of heavy glass, sand-cast by hand, which splits in two to reveal its bulb. Designed in 1996, it has won numerous design awards, and is exclusively distributed in the USA by MoMA. In plain glass it costs £96; a more expensive version in amber is due to arrive after Christmas.
Design House Stockholm, 205 King's Road, SW3 (020 7352 8403; www.designhousestockholm.com).