Published . Words by Petrus Palmér. Photography by Erik Wåhlström.

Daniel Östman is one of Sweden’s most coveted interior designers with a growing roster of private interior commissions as well as commercial work for clients such as Oscar Properties.

Why do you do what you do?
It’s the thing I know how to do. My job is to absorb all the beautiful things in the world, art, design, performances, music, fashion, craftsmanship … Process it all in my mind and then put it back out there. Why would I do anything else?

What does your average workday look like?
I don’t know if there is an average workday. The only thing I know is that today wont be like yesterday. Most of my time though is spent on research and attention to details. Selecting materials, colors, trying out different ideas, discussing with craftsmen etc.

What has changed?
Today we are pursuing an entirety. We see the home as an extension of a way of living, or a dream of how to live. Less and less it’s a question of products; that is good.

What is easier now then before?
The agony of the design process is eternal, it will never get easier. But the tools get better and better, and obviously that makes it easier.

What is harder now then before?
In the end, design is all about making choices. And the world is getting smaller, you have instant access to everything today and that of course makes the choices harder.

What would you say to someone thinking about a career doing what you do?
Make sure you find a context so you can do actual work, and work hard. Do the same thing over and over again; through experience comes the courage to trust your instinct. You feel it in your guts when it’s right, and it never is until you fail and start over a few times.

Going for the first hunch and then arguing for it rather than trying something different is not talent, that is stupidity.


Special thanks to BOLON for sponsoring our Ambassadors project.

During 2016, we are profiling 12 practitioners from different design disciplines to give face to Design Sweden, one for each month of the year. We aim to show how the design profession can look like in 2016 and to promote the exchange between disciplinary boundaries. The project is photographed by Erik Wåhlström.