Behind the Scenes: The Chimney Sweep's Collection

February 17, 2016

How the wall mural Stacked Suitcases was created

Our latest wallpaper collection Passion is an homage to the enthusiasts. An appeal and encouragement for every person to dare to take space. Physical space! For creation, recreation or both. If you don't have a hobby, you'll have to make one up –we believe that the happiness you receive from a room or space of your own is as great in adults as it is in children. A room of your own with a rhythm, order and mess of its own. It sounds delightful, doesn't it? 

Ten fictional characters stand model for the need as well as the collection – The Creator, The Gardener and The Philosopher are some of them. For The Adventurer, we wanted to create a wallpaper filled with authentic, beautifully patinated suitcases.

Luckily, our designer Johanna has an unfailing ability to sniff out exciting and unconventional designer collaborations where you least expect them – not seldom with collectors and enthusiasts. For the suitcases, she then found, to our great joy, “The Trunk Man” Anders. Stockholmer, chimney sweep and collector for 5, 15 and 7 years.

Anders a.k.a. ”The Trunk Man”

The suitcase enthusiast Anders Pettersson Lindberg is mostly known as ”The Trunk Man”, “Koffertmannen” in Swedish, which also happens to be the name of his Instagram account, where we first found out about him. For 15 years he has spent his working days as a chimney sweep at dizzying heights among the chimneys and rooftops of Stockholm, with a view most people can only dream about. On top of that, he is in possession of the country's most beautiful collection of suitcases, trunks and hatboxes!

Telefonplan in Stockholm, where Anders nowadays lives with his family, is artsy, friendly and full of vintage. The collaborations are many, and Anders mentions Svenska Armaturer and Vintagefabriken as two things to keep in mind if you are in the neighbourhood and looking for glass lamps, retro fashion and interior design. Anders, on the other hand, keeps the country’s retro lovers, interior decorators and props masters supplied with trunks of every kind.

A light blue trunk

So how did Anders from Ösmo become “The Trunk Man”? It all started with him saving a light blue trunk from the landfill when a neighbour was about to throw it away while moving. Anders took pity on the suitcase and carried it up to his apartment. Up there, it looked a bit lonely… The thought “I need a stack!” resulted in five additional trunks, as well as a great looking still life, an increased interest and a continuously growing collection.

When Anders invited his girlfriend, now wife, over to the apartment for the first time, she carefully commented that “you have quite a few suitcases…” Anders took the hint and sold off a few trunks on a sales site where the interest for his trunks turned out to be great. Too great for Anders to pass up on, and soon the business, the website and the company registration were a fact. Anders had made a name for himself as a great supplier, often hired by interior decorators and props masters. Period correct suitcases for the musical Evita? – No problem. Unusual and hard to find suitcases for Lexington's Flag Ship Store in the PUB department store in Stockholm? – No problem. For Anders, the hunt and the many encounters are the greatest benefits.

Delighted but unsentimental

It is easy to assume that Anders has been a collector since childhood, but the truth is that he has always had a keen sense for business. From selling small plastic bags with Star Wars figures to children of the same age at school, to today's showroom filled with trunks. It might sound more cold than romantic for the dreamer; but if it wasn’t for the ability completely to fall in love with a suitcase in combination with an unsentimental approach, it would never work.

Especially beautiful pieces get a stopover at the apartment that he shares with his wife and their two children, which by the way was the same love that initially pushed Anders and some of the suitcases out into the market. Something he is very grateful for today.

A full-scale design process

During an autumn day in 2015, we were given access to Anders collection. Designer Johanna put together a creative team for the task at hand: photographer Niclas and designer assistant Marcus. Niclas arranged the lighting, Marcus rearranged the rich collection and Johanna combined suitcases with colours and shapes that corresponded with the initial wallpaper sketch.

After that, they together built module after module of suitcase stacks. The work wasn't entirely different from a full-scale Tetris.

The finished product wasn't just one, but four different wall murals that can be linked together, kind of like how Johanna initially works. 

Since February 2016, Anders runs a showroom on Aprilgatan 6 in Midsommarkransen, open for appointments on weekdays and for drop-by visits on Saturdays. If you want to see the things moving through the product range, his Instagram account @koffertmannen is where to go!