Tag Archives: Sweden

Rebel (Walls)

I spent yesterday in London at the EABG conference and got home to Devon very very late but totally fired up, such an inspirational, amazing day, I was honoured to be in the same room, let alone meet, with so many people who really are the change they want to see. I could not get enough about evidence-based education and got many ideas on how to implement it on a micro level at home in Sami’s programme, but to think that over in the US that is what is driving policy, instead of the collective incompetence of a handful of half-wits (UK) – it’s just breathtaking. As is this wallpaper, from the Swedish company Rebel Walls.

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thank you LoveNordic for the pictures!

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House in Malmö

This house belongs to the stylist Emma Persson Largerberg, who is behind the stunning pictures of another home in Malmö. What amazing kids’ room!

Photos by Petra Bindel

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Garage in Gotland, Sweden

ImageImageImageI came across these pictures on Daniella Witte’s blog. This space is in a restored garage in Gotland, we love a bit of industrial drama and bold choices in colours and materials. Lots of light from the huge windows make all the shades and textures work beautifully together.

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Small apartment in Kungsholmen, Stockholm

For those who love a bit of apartment porn, check out Fantastic Frank, the uber clever estate agency in Sweden whose photos are plastered all over social media. The photos and styling are so gorgeous. We are about to put our house on the market for rental, they are coming to take photos on Monday and I have to create an illusion of order. I would like our house to look like this lovely little Stockholm one bedroom apartment, but the available free surface area in this 55 sq m home in Kungsholmen is about fourteen times what we have in our five bedroom house (eyeball estimate) thanks to all the crap scattered into all corners. Can someone tell me how this is possible? I spend most of my waking hours tidying. I love surfaces! I implement systems, invent new storage solutions, and commission new cupboards. I throw away broken toys and recycle relentlessly. New stuff keeps appearing faster than I get rid of old. I put things away where they belong, and the rest of the family take something out of its designated place, use it, and leave it right where they stopped using it. And they wonder why I drink.

If I had a flat where I could go on holiday on my own and enjoy all the vacant surface space, it would probably look like this. The living room is gorgeous, the grey sofa, the painting, leather chair and old kakelugn look beautiful together. The apartment is on the 4th floor of an early 20th block, with its high ceilings, deep window sills and panelled doors. I still remember the sounds of such old apartment buildings, the stairs in the communal hallway have this unique timbre and echo that is straight out of vintage movies. ImageImageImageImageImageImage

Photos via Fantastic Frank

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Restored log cabin in Dalarna, Sweden

Still steadfastly resisting the unrelenting progress of spring, I am drawn to this gem of a house in Dalarna province in Sweden.

One of the most famous symbols of Sweden, the dalahäst, is originally from Dalarna province. These small painted horse statuettes carved from wood have been around for centuries, they were children’s toys crafted by travelling woodcutters from wood scraps using only knives. The men would stay in these simple log huts in the forest, away from their families, and carving toys by the fire was a way to pass the long dark winter evenings when no felling or transporting could be done. Wood carving used to be a very common skill in rural Scandinavia, and log scraps were made into spoons, bowls, cups or toys.

This house was renovated from such 19th century single-room log house in Tällberg. The owner, a plasterer by trade, knew his way around concrete and stone and with the help of an architect, created an utterly modern house nestled in the snowy forest. I love a design which dares to be extraordinary. This house has its origins in one of the old one bedroom woodcutters cabins, to which more square metres have been added. There is the open plan living room, the raw concrete joining beautifully the darkened, aged logs from the old cabin. And then when you think ‘ooh this is a lovely cosy house’, you enter the concrete hamam complete with moroccan tiles and a view over the snow covered lake Siljan. Blown. Away.

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via Lantliv 

 

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House in Jämtland, Sweden

I called my mum in Finland today, she always gives me a weather report first and today it was a beautiful late winters day, -13C and plenty of snow on the ground. She is usually also able to tell me what the the weather was like on the same day last year, and the year I was born. And she will tell me what the weather is is like here in Devon, saving me from looking outside. Expat life is so much easier now with Skype, I am old enough to still find it unbelievably amazing that I can chat to my mum via Skype video call first thing in the morning while firing up the Nespresso. When I arrived in the UK aged 23 we wrote letters, she would send me Finnish interior magazines (she still does) and we would talk on the phone every week. Now she can show me how much snow they have outside and actually demonstrate the current state of the weather by waving the computer screen towards the window. I am closer to home but the distance feels so much more real, I can see the snow, I can imagine how it feels standing in the spot where the computer screen is pointing, in -13C, what sounds I would hear, what I would see exactly if I turned my head this way or that.

So despite my children running into the sea bare feet this afternoon, for me it’s still winter. My love of cabins is well known among my friends, and I found this one – not exactly a cabin in the strictest Nordic definition in that there is electricity and I hasten to guess, indoor toilets and running water, but a weekend/holiday retreat nevertheless. This wooden holiday house is in Bydalen, in Jämtland, Sweden and so so up my street: the textures everywhere – aged wood, concrete, wool, sheepskins, metal – and the beautiful snowy landscape outside those huge windows. This is where I would like to spend my winters. To be able to clip on my skis at the front door and go for a two hour trek in the woods, that would be heaven.

via Hus & Hem

House in Jämtland, Sweden

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Apartment in Malmö

Today we are celebrating, as Child 1 is nine. Nine is also the number of hours I spent making his cake. He wanted an animal cake, and I think the combination of Pinterest and Prosecco got to me. I decided to create a jungle scene with his favourite African animals gathering by a waterfall surrounded by tropical flowers. Husband calls it ‘cake stress’ and suggest every time another birthday rolls in that we outsource the cake making to professionals. Oh no, I say. I’m on it. I have it nailed. It will take me no time at all. Eight hours later, icing sugar everywhere, and I am swearing like a fishwife. However, he loved it, he ate the rhino and the monkey and will most certainly not sleep tonight but the look on his face is worth one messed up night.

Speaking of parties, this beautiful apartment was featured in Elle Interiör in November, and when I saw it I imagined these exquisite rooms filled with beautiful people, music, cocktails and the kind of decadent whispering that used to lead to some of the most memorable nights in my youth. The ceiling panels and paintwork, ornate kakelugn and parquet flooring create a stunning backdrop for the owners’ favourite items. This is my kind of interior design: Ikea, Blocket bargains (sort of Sweden’s version of Graigslist) mix comfortably with design classics. Actually that’s very much my ideal party as well…

The table and chairs in the magnificent dining room are by Dutch designer Piet Hein Eek, he is best known for being the guy who actually walks the walk of sustainability. He uses recycled scrapwood and traditional joinery techniques to create pieces that are individual and unique, and The Crisis 2009 plywood chair (seen in the photo) looks like nothing you have seen coming from the European design houses in the last fifty years, He says of his chairs:

”There is a story behind the origin of virtually every chair I designed. The moment, the client and, first and foremost, the material, technique and handicraft are recurring factors. The stories are often more important to me than the design itself. I call them fairy tales, and fairy tales do not always end well, but are none the worse for that.”

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via Elle interiör

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