Mid-Century Swedish Teak Roll-top Desk...aka Blix

Meet my new b.f.f. Isn't she a beauty? And she's mine thanks to Craigslist and $75.

I've named her Blix, which means joy in Swedish, because that's what I feel when I look at her! When I saw the stencil underneath that said 'Made in Sweden' my heart did a little flipflop. She wasn't quite as beautiful when I first got her. There were some scratches and edge chips to the teak veneer. Nothing a bit of carefully applied stain and colored wood putty couldn't remedy. I'd just applied a coat of teak oil before taking these photos so it looks a bit shinier than it will probably be once it's all absorbed. The book-matched grain on the drawers and veneer detail on the roll top make me almost swoon. 

A few close-ups you say? But of course!




There's an interesting story with the key. The desk didn't have a key, which was unfortunate because it's very difficult to open the roll-top without something to grab onto. About a year ago I sold an old wardrobe cabinet that had been in my family for several generations. It had originally belonged to my grandparents, then was in my bedroom growing up, and finally was used by my children. When closing up my grandfather's apartment, after he had gone to the nursing home, I found a key that looked like it might belong to the cabinet. And sure enough it fit! Flash forward to last year when I sold the wardrobe and part of me just wanted to keep a little something to remind me of it and my grandparents. So I never told the buyer I had a key. I felt a wee bit guilty but not too much since we'd used it for so many years clueless ourselves. At any rate I started thinking maybe the key would fit into the keyhole in the desk far enough so that it could be used as a handle of sorts. So I tried the key and it fit remarkably well. Holding my breath I gave it a turn and whoa! Out popped the deadlock! I had the lid open just in case which was fortunate because although I could lock it I couldn't get it to unlock again. Bwah bwah. Luckily I was able to remove the whole lock mechanism and pry the deadbolt back into position with a small screwdriver. Whew! So now, as long as no curious person gets the urge to turn the key while the lid is closed, it's safe. 

My heart was ahead of my brain when I bought this desk. I really didn't have a place to use it but I just had to have it. What? Mere technicality. It needed to go to someone who would appreciate it and that was me! Obviously the person selling it for $75 didn't appreciate it's value. I've seen these selling for much, much more in my internet searches. For the time being it's headed to my daughter's apartment (with many motherly admonitions to treat it with utmost TLC!!). She needed a desk and I needed a place for a desk so in the end it was destined to be. The heart knows I tell ya!

Update: An older teak piece like this desk may need several coats of teak oil. After several months it is once again looking rather dull. The wood was very dry to begin with and quickly soaked up the oil. I'll probably give it a couple more coats again soon so that the wood is well saturated. 


  1. I have what appears to be the identical piece. It's marked Made in Sweden on the bottom drawer. The number 528 appears below the logo, the letters SMI overlaying each other. It also has NR 115165 on the tag.

  2. We have one too! I've been able to figure out that it was made by "Sveriges Möbelindustriförbund" which is a guild of Swedish furniture manufacturers.

  3. Just boughta similiar item it is locked an
    Do not have key any suggestions. How to get open without key