Seven Unique Vessels Tell a Tale of Sweden’s Midsummer

Many Modernists reject ornamental objects in an effort to preserve clutter-free surfaces and uninterrupted architectural lines – often forgetting that personal possessions imbue spaces with great meaning. Orrefors Glassworks teams up with internationally renowned architect and design studio Claesson Koivisto Rune to deliver the Midsummer Mini Vase series, seven tabletop vessels that capture the spirit of Swedish tradition. The allegorical artifacts regale viewers with a romantic tale in a rebuke to categorization as tchotchkes.

A collection of variously shaped glass vases in different colors is placed on a reflective surface. One vase holds a single white flower.

So the Midsummer-eve’s tale goes, future prosperity in love comes to those who collect and place seven types of flowers under their pillow on the occasion. And those looking to extend the good fortune beyond the longest day of the year may do so with a subtle bouquet of petite vases. Comprising seven unique forms in similar heights, and offered in a pale watercolor-like palette, each objet d’art takes a name derived from native flowers approved by the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation. It is perhaps the most quaint, quintessential, and now globally accessible practice for those who wish to participate.

Three flowers in a row, each in a different style of glass vase: a purple flower in a conical vase, a small white flower in a bulbous vase, and a white flower in a cylindrical vase.

“The Midsummer series manifests the essence of modern Scandinavian design by marrying essential style with human warmth,” says Eero Koivisto, co-founder of Stockholm-based Claesson Koivisto Rune Architects. “The mini vases are inclusive with values that are both readily understandable and positive, regardless from which cultural viewpoint they are observed.”

A translucent, brown vase holding a single white flower stands in the foreground, with a round, transparent object in the background on a smooth, gray surface.

Each piece is mouth-blown and manufactured to hybridize tradition with utility – exercising the functional aspects of decor. Captured in these elegant silhouettes, the glass bears simultaneously its solid and fluid phases. While it appears rigid and precise, the process ultimately cannot be completely controlled by the maker. Much like the potential for love, the collection embraces ambiguity and the space between what’s desired and what’s possible. And the overarching design is industrious, assuring that flower stems remain upright, bodies hold ample water, and shapes complement their respective floral counterparts.

Three glass vases in pastel colors hold single flowers, displayed on a reflective surface with a neutral background.

Hand craft lends itself to the temporal quality of both the season and styling with live flowers and is the ideal scale for tabletops, windowsills, bookshelves, and the like. They may also be showcased standalone or as a full group. “Grouping collections of small objects gives them more presence in a space. Either clustered in groups or scattered down the length of a table, the effect creates visual interest and a topography on your tabletop,” says interior stylist and creative consultant Anthony Amiano. “Plus, small objects don’t impede conversation when you use them on your dinner table. This new collection is nice because the pieces have an interplay of varied shape and color,” he continues. “There’s a dynamic quality, even if you were to use a single flower type or as standalone accents for some added sparkle.”

A variety of colorful glass vases and containers of different shapes and sizes are arranged on a light surface.

A collection of seven glass objects in various shapes and colors, including green, brown, pink, blue, and clear, arranged on a reflective surface.

Left to right: Cow Vetch (Kråkvicker SE) Green; Water Avens (Humleblomster SE) Brown; Oxeeye Daisy (Prästkrage SE) Smokey Blue; Red Clover (Röd Klöver SE) Light Pink; Bird’s-foot Trefoil (Käringtand SE) Gray; Peach-leaved Bellflower (Stor Blåklocka SE) Blue; Wood Cranesbill (Midsommarblomster SE) Dark Pink

To view the Midsummer Mini Vase Collection ahead of its winter 2024 launch visit

Photography courtesy of Orrefors.

With professional degrees in architecture and journalism, Joseph has a desire to make living beautifully accessible. His work seeks to enrich the lives of others with visual communication and storytelling through design. Previously a regular contributor to titles under the SANDOW Design Group, including Luxe and Metropolis, Joseph now serves the Design Milk team as their Managing Editor. When not practicing, he teaches visual communication, theory, and design. The New York-based writer has also contributed to exhibitions hosted by the AIA New York’s Center for Architecture and Architectural Digest, and recently published essays and collage illustrations with Proseterity, a literary publication.