An Insider Guide to Stockholm with Mick and Monica Born

We sat down with the eco-minds behind Superfront, the world’s first bespoke upcycling service for Ikea furniture.

Swedish husband-and-wife-duo Mick and Monica Born moved
into their first flat together in Stockholm,
they had no idea that it would spark a shift in their professional
lives, too. Dissatisfied with the Ikea kitchen that they had
inherited from the previous owners, they set about upcycling old
cabinets, handles and worktops to place over the Ikea kitchen
frame, personalising the space with their own designs. When they
noticed that several of their friends had done the same thing, they
realised they’d stumbled across a great business idea.

Enter, Superfront: the
furniture brand democratising good design. The first company to
offer a customisation service for the skeletons of Ikea furniture,
Superfront produces fronts, tops and side panels for all of Ikea’s
most popular cabinet bases. In short, the Borns have created a hack
around extortionate interior design by producing well-designed
add-ons at a fraction of the price of new pieces. The result? Less
material wasted, more money in your pocket, and a stylish suite of
furniture that hasn’t cost the earth. We think it’s genius.

So, we sat down with the creative-powerhouse couple to ask them
a thing or two about Stockholm, from where to hang out on a
Saturday night to the Scandi
shops we shouldn’t miss.

Bedknobs and broomsticks: riding the upcycling wave with Mick
and Monica Born

Describe Stockholm’s vibe in three words…

Monica: Beautiful, trend-sensitive,

When’s the best time to visit?

Mick: May to September

Describe a perfect day in Stockholm.

Mick: After a good night’s sleep at gorgeous
hotel Ett Hem, with interiors by Ilse Crawford, we suggest a
morning walk through Humlegården to the city’s most beautiful food
market – Östermalms Saluhall. From there, it’s only a five-minute
walk to the Hallwyl Museum, which is housed in Stockholm’s oldest
private palace and showcases the collections of Wilhelmina von
Hallwyll. It is an amazing place to experience what life was like
for one of Sweden’s wealthiest families at the beginning of the

Monica: After lunch at the busy, Jonas
Bohlin-designed Taverna Brillo, we suggest exploring Kungliga
Djurgården. The park belongs to the royal family and is open to
everyone – it’s a beautiful place to visit. It’s home to several
museums, including the art-filled Waldemarsudde, all set in
beautiful parkland, featuring centuries-old oak trees and with
stunning views of the water. Finally, we would end the day with
dinner at Garba – one of our favourite restaurants in town, which
has a big focus on locally produced food – especially vegetarian –
as well as natural wines.

It’s Saturday night in Stockholm. Where should we head?

Monica: Start the evening with some drinks at Lucy’s Flower
Shop. Then, head over to the vibrant Brasserie Astoria, situated in
a former cinema and run by Michelin-awarded chef and restaurateur
Björn Frantzén. The food is incredible.

Where shall we go for a long, lazy brunch?

Monica: Pom & Flora has a really cosy
atmosphere. Restaurant Bleck, in the south of Stockholm, is also a
nice spot and close to some great shops.

What about coffee on Monday morning?

Mick: I love to visit my friend Emil’s place,
Gast Café, for coffee and a chat. It has the most amazing cinnamon

Romantic dinner?

Mick: Lilla Ego has become an institution in
Stockholm, and we love it. It offers delicious, high-quality food
in a welcoming and relaxed space. It’s hard to get a table, so make
sure you plan your date in advance. For a last-minute celebration,
you can almost always get a couple of seats at the bar, from where
you can admire the chefs’ work.

What are some of your favourite independent shops?

Monica: Sjöström Antik is top of the list. One
of our favourite antique shops in Stockholm, it stocks an eclectic
selection of interior objects, many of which are Italian. Mick
doubles as a professional windsurfer and he can spend hours at the
Stockholm Surfboard Club, a lovely new shop with a good selection
of surfing accessories. While he’s there, I pay a visit to Rodebjer
store in Norrmalm, from Sweden’s uncrowned queen of pattern, and
then head to the nearby Östermalms Saluhall to buy a selection of
deli treats for an intimate dinner at home.

Tell us about a secret spot only locals know about…

Mick: Studio Carl Eldhs is a hidden gem that
took my breath away the first time I visited. He was one of
Sweden’s most prominent sculptors during the first half of the 20th
century and this place is really worth a visit. However, it’s only
open at certain times of the year, so make sure you check before

One thing we shouldn’t miss while we’re in town?

Monica: Kungliga Djurgården – the Royal Park –
is a must-see. It’s so beautiful to walk through, along the water,
and there are several places to eat, as well as museums to

Suggestions for day trips?

Mick: I would definitely suggest a boat ride
out in the archipelago to one of the restaurants there, such as
Fjäderholmarnas Krog, where they have great food and an open fire.
It’s a beautiful trip and you can see some classic Swedish summer
houses on the way.

Must-try local dishes include…

Monica: For the brave, I would say sour herring
– a dish that Swedes have eaten since the 16th century. But if
fermented fish isn’t your thing, I would suggest trying kroppkakor
– boiled potato dumplings with a filling of onions and pork or
bacon. You eat them with lingonberry jam and melted butter.

Finally, what’s in your SUITCASE?

Monica: I love discovering new places and like
to walk a lot, so comfortable shoes – a pair of sneakers or Teva
sandals – is a must for me. Earplugs and a sleeping mask are also
essential. I prefer to pack a black clothing base and just add a
couple of pieces with patterns and colours. This way, I don’t need
to pack too much, and instead have room for flea-market finds. I
always make time to visit the best markets, wherever I go. Finding
those one-of-a-kind treasures is what makes our home personal.

Mick: An NCS scanner. You never know when you
will find that perfect colour shade! If I’m not more than an hour
from water, I would also bring a wind meter – it’s always great to
experience new windsurfing spots.

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City Guide: Stockholm, Sweden