Designer Carina Seth Andersson: “The Sand Secrets collection lets the food take center stage”

Carina Seth Andersson created the Sand Secrets collection as a continuation of Design House Stockholm's Sand tableware series. Design Stories chatted with the designer about the idea behind the minimalist pieces and how some considered contrast can make all the difference in a table setting.

Sand Secrets bowl with lid
In Carina Seth Andersson's Sand Secrets series, the focus is not on the dishware but on the secrets beneath their lids.

SETTING THE TABLE, in a way, is like setting the stage for a meal. You build a scene with plates, tumblers, cutlery, and various service dishes, but the real star of the show is the food. One firm believer of this is Swedish designer Carina Seth Andersson: the minimalist forms of her designs create a scenography that elevates the dishes without overpowering them.

A great example of such a design is the Sand tableware, originally created for the Swedish Nationalmuseum and manufactured by Design House Stockholm, which expanded in August 2022 with pots, jars, and platters. The new extension to the collection is called Sand Secrets, alluding to the idea that the focus of the table setting is not so much on the tableware but on what is hidden beneath their lids.

“With both Sand and the new Sand Secrets, I wanted the pieces to have a subdued expression so that the food would be what takes center stage,” confirms Seth Andersson.

Sand Secrets tableware
Sand Secrets is an extension of the Sand tableware originally designed for the restaurant NM& at Stockholm’s Nationalmuseum as part of the museum's renovation project.
Carina Seth Andersson
Carina Seth Andersson is a Swedish designer acclaimed for her glass and ceramic works that strike a timeless balance of form and function.
Design House Stockholm Sand Secrets teapot
“I particularly like to use the Sand Secrets soy pot and the little oval plate. And the teapot for some Oolong,” says Carina Seth Andersson of her designs.
Design House Stockholm Sand Secrets bowl with lid
In addition to the dinner table, Sand Secrets can be used elsewhere in the home. The little jar, for example, is ideal for holding small treasures on the bedside table or vanity.

Subtle and striking at the same time

The original Sand tableware and the new additions share the same minimalist design language but instead of the creamy beige color of the original pieces – which was inspired by the Nationalmuseum's building – Seth Andersson opted for darker, more dramatic shades in the new bowls, pots, and plates.

Sand Secrets is an independent continuation but can be combined well with the original tableware,” the designer explains.

“For Sand, we used clay with a natural, slightly warm beige tone and a transparent glaze. The clay in Sand Secrets is also colored through, with a transparent glaze on the inside, to make sure the new darker and smaller pieces go with the original tableware. For me, the combination of the three earthy hues of beige, red, and black felt like a very natural choice.”

Design House Stockholm Sand Secrets soy pot
Both Sand and Sand Secrets are the perfect fit for Design House Stockholm's collection, which features an array of furniture, lighting, and accessories with a Nordic touch.
Design House Stockholm Sand Secrets bowl with lid
The service dishes are inspired by the trend to bring forward a multitude of different dishes – opening the lids only at the table to reveal them offers an added element of show and surprise.
Design House Stockholm Sand Secrets plate
The Sand Secrets collection is made of high-fired stoneware with a matte glaze on the inside. All items are dishwasher, microwave, oven, and freezer safe.
Sand Secrets bowl with lid
Similar to the original Sand collection, Sand Secrets consists of only a small selection of items that can be used in a variety of ways.

Endless ways to use and combine

Another characteristic common for both collections is their versatility.

“It was a big challenge for me to keep the number of pieces moderate and instead design items that can be used for a variety of purposes,” says Seth Andersson. “There aren’t that many parts in the series, but all of them can be used in several ways. For example, the large Sand cup with no handle is perfect for tea, but it can also be used for serving soup or a dessert.”

Indeed, it is easy to think of countless uses for each of the items: we can just as easily envision the small oval platters being used for sushi, tapas, or appetizers as we can for a slice of pie or a carefully plated dessert. It’s all about using your imagination!

“All of the Sand Secrets pieces can be used in several ways.”

“For me, everyday objects are invaluable sources of inspiration. It’s exciting to look at something you use in your everyday life, whether it's a tool or a cup to drink from. A table setting is so much more than just tableware – it's usually about the combination of items.”

Looking at the dark tones and soft yet striking forms of Sand Secrets, the items also seem like an easy way to add a little oomph to a table setting.

“Something too similar and predictable can also be very boring,” Seth Andersson notes. “I like a bit of contrast.”

Find your favorites

Sand plate
Sand Secrets bowl with lid
Sand bowl
Sand Secrets tea pot
Sand Secrets bowl with lid
Sand Secrets oval plate
Sand cup
Sand Secrets soy pot

See also:

Sand Secrets collection >
All products by Design House Stockholm >

Text: Emmi Ratilainen Images: Design House Stockholm

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