If you share my love of Scandinavian design, you have probably noticed a kakelugn lurking in the corner. You may not have known what they were called, or even how they came to be, but these tiled stoves are a prominent feature in old Scandinavian buildings. Read on to learn a bit about these stoves and to click through a gallery of images featuring these beauties in both classic and modern interiors.
The Swedish Stove, or kakelugn, is a masonry heater designed to heat an interior through radiant heating. Radiant heating technologies have existed for centuries, but the Swedish tile stove is associated with Carl Johan Cronstedt, a Swedish polymath from the eighteenth century. Born in Stockholm, Cronstedt studied civil engineering and architecture under the prominent architect Carl Hårleman. In the 1760s, Cronstedt developed a stove that would increase the efficiency of the traditional wood-burning stove exponentially. The stove included long flues that wound around the inside of the stove. These brick flues captured heat and then radiated it for hours, meaning that the stoves only had to be lit twice a day.