As you travel around Sweden, you can’t help but notice that virtually every timber structure is painted deep red. Many outsiders mistakenly see this lack of individuality and expression as stifling social democractic conformity. It is actually more a question of practicalities. In a climate as severe as Sweden’s, wood needs special protection from the elements and the red paint used on structures across the country, produced in Falun, contains a natural copper preservative. Known as Falu rödfärg, this paint is Sweden’s aesthetically more pleasing answer to pebbledash.