Ernst Kirchsteiger

Ernst Kirchsteigers journey from Värmland to the TV screen. Growing up in Degerfors, his time at IKEA and five inspiring Ernst quotations.

Sweden’s smiling uncle

What Ernst Kirchsteiger remember most about his school days is sitting in the lessons and daydreaming. He has always been something of a philosopher. He isn’t called Sweden’s Smiling Uncle for nothing!

Being barefoot is one of Ernst’s trademarks when he creates new creative works and recipes to offer his friends. “I want to have summer all over my body and don’t just want to dip my toes into it” is one of the many quotes we have heard from our sofas.

Värmland roots

In 1955 Ernst’s Austrian father and Polish mother moved to Degerfors to work in the iron industry. In 1957 Ernst came into the world.

Ernst Kirchsteiger grew up in the Degerfors of the ironworks and football but found his own way with the help of his musical role model Nisse Landgren. Being uninterested in sport other doors were opened to him and his early years were characterised by an interest in art and design. By the age of thirteen Ernst had his first art exhibition in the People’s House (Folkets Hus). He knew from an early age what he wanted to do and began his career as an interior designer for IKEA. Today he is known by all of the people of Sweden as the eloquent, cosy man from Värmland who always seems to enjoy the little things in his presence.

Marinated in Värmland

Ulla and Ernst have been married for over 30 years and have two sons. The couple have lived in the same 18th century farmhouse outside of Örebro for 27 years but Ernst still feels “marinated in Värmland”: Born in Filipstad, raised in Degerfors.

For Ernst life is very much about his love for his wife Ulla, food, meals, drink, writing and creating. And the Värmland landscape.

”I love Värmland. The Fyrken area is so stunningly beautiful it makes you tingle. I feel a lot for Klässbol and their activities, their congeniality and their friendship. I have a lot of friends in Karlstad. And I don’t know how many times I have lowered my long body into the waves of Lake Vänern, mainly at Ölme in Kristinehamn, where my brother had a house.

The storytelling tradition of Värmland inspires him to be able to pick out a story and to disseminate it or to create something new out of it.

Ernst the jack-of-all-trades

Interior designer, programme manager, chef, marriage officiant, designer... Ernst is a jack-of-all-trades who has created wallpaper, cosy rugs, porcelain and beautiful candlesticks and also has his own newspaper.

In the action programme Första, andra, tredje (First, second, third) he was invited to clear attics and empty storage cupboards where he would follow a number of experts and value objects. During the series, Ernst even made a series of reports on different décor styles and Swedish designers such as Sigvard Bernadotte and Stig Lindberg.

Ernst creates and designs his own high-quality design objects from “honest, living material that grows old with dignity”. He places high demands on those who create the products must share his values and views on quality. There was a complete Ernst shop for a number of years in the small town of Väse in Värmland where he sold his products, but today his vases and candlesticks can be bought in selected chain stores and design concepts.

During hos journey from hotdog seller and then interior designer at IKEA to chef and food creator with a strong personality, he has brought the Swedish people straight into his world of Midsummer celebrations, Christmas preparations and afternoon sun in his paradise in Tuscany.

The jack-of-all-trades and all-round-artist puts his heart and soul into his projects. Ernst is a trained designer, but has also worked as a catering teacher. As a chef he designs and creates with food as the raw material. New recipes are often tasted and rounded off with a unique Ernst quote. Ernst readily combines the elements of décor, gardens and food in the same creation in order for the experience to be as pleasant and tasty as possible.

Over the years Ernst has given us many taste tips and recipes for everything from spiced Christmas tea to cured herring and muesli.  His favourite meals are of course compiled into a book “I det enkla bor det goda” (In the simple lives the good).. This contains recipes, personal accounts and advice about ingredients that is a must for the traditional Scandinavian and the Tuscan country kitchen.

The master of the quote

Ernst has also written a books, of which ”Ernstologi” (Ernstology) has achieved the greatest success. The book is full of quotes interwoven with inspiring facts and is a must for all interior design enthusiasts, gardening fans, DIYers and bons vivants.

Ernst Kirchsteiger’s ingenious quotes are so well-known that they are put up on fridges across the country..

Five well-known quotes from Ernst Kirchsteiger

  • Idag ska vi smeka upp ett kök (Today we will caress a kitchen)
  • Det här är en fin liten morot som förtjänar respekt (This is a fine little carrot that deserves respect)
  • Färgen får det att brumma som en liten humla i mitt bröst (The colour makes my chest buzz like a little bumble bee)
  • Man måste se kuddarna som en orkester (You have to see the cushions as an orchestra)
  • När en katt ligger och sover i ett rum finns det inte mycket mer för en inredare att göra där (When a cat is asleep in a room there isn’t much more for an interior designer to do there)
  • Även det som är nött och slitet kan bete sig vackert (Even what is worn and the worse for wear can behave beautifully)