A 19th Century Swedish Apartment Where Old Meets New

It's a misty morning here in Malmö and I can hear the sound of fog horns drifting across the strait. I love that ever-present reminder of the sea, even if it's in a bit of a mood today. Sweden's capital city further North spans many islands and the water is never far away. Many commuters hop on ferries to get from A to B. 

This has little to do with today's apartment tour, save for the fact that it's located in Södermalm (known locally as 'Söder') one of Stockholm's hottest neighbourhoods which is surrounded by water on all sides. I was immediately drawn to this striking apartment thanks to the contrast. It's a living space where rough meets smooth and old meets new.   

Think contemporary touches in the form of exposed plaster and a pink kitchen nestled beside decorative 19th century masonry ovens and beautiful period features. Small groups of fascinating objects also help to add interest. Plenty of ideas to feel inspired by! 

I'm often asked about TV placement. I really appreciate how the furniture has been placed in a social way and the TV is nestled on a shelf as a side-show rather than as the focal point in the room. 

Many of the magnificent 'kakelugn' (tiled masonry ovens) you see in Swedish homes are still in good working order today. Although incredibly efficient, they serve as a more decorative nod to the past than a source of energy - especially in urban homes! 

Over the years I've observed that Swedes are careful to create a calm vibe in the bedroom, opting for serene whites or soothing blues, greens or greys and keeping the space clutter-free. 

It was a bold move to leave the walls bare in the kitchen and sitting room but I think it makes a strong impact! 

Would you consider doing this in your home? 

See more homes which include exposed elements in the archives:




So many beautiful ways to reveal the history of a home - and add interest! 


Photography - Tommy Andersson
For sale via Bjurfors


  1. This is a showstopper of an apartment. I love the juxtaposition of the old and the new, but I don't think I would like living with the exposed plaster. It makes for striking photographs but I'd always be thinking that I needed to tackle the task of finishing the plaster. The fun touches with the little animal doodads is right up my alley, and I'm very curious about the bookshelf with what appears to be a box that says 'acne" on it. This is a great space!

    1. I know what you mean! I'm happy you pointed out the details, I especially love the collection on the dining table. Acne is an iconic, very cool Swedish jeans brand and I think that's probably a book about the company. / Niki

    2. Good to know. In the US, acne isn't a flattering word. :)

    3. Same in the UK! ;)

  2. I can't get over the gorgeous stove. Is that one in the kitchen too? With the mirror?

  3. I am not a fan of unfinished walls but it works here. The kitchen is delicious in every way. So many amazing original features.

    1. Happy you liked the look here. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but I think they've nailed it in this apartment. / Niki

  4. I love the walls especially, the tile ovens too are great. The kitchen cupboards dont't really go so well with the overall mood. They seem flimsy and out of place.

    1. I hear you, the sharp contrast between the walls and units is not for everyone! The tiled ovens are absolutely stunning - they are so lucky to have such magnificent ones! / Niki

  5. I love the unfinished walls and I am, in fact, planning to simulate the look in my bedroom (just waiting for a warmer weather so that I can paint with the window open). What a wonderful juxtaposition of the modern kitchen unit and the so very ornate moldings and the kakelugn (is it still a kakelugn when there is a mirror on it?) All the kakelugnar (I believe this is the proper Swedish plular) are stunning. I would only be concerned that the one in the kitchen and as well as the moldings would be hard to keep clean (the kitchen grime and all that jazz).

    1. The above was my comment, forgot to switch 'mode'. In the past, I remained signed in without having to change anything when I wanted to comment but not it's different.

  6. I think it is still considered a kakelugn (which is a general term of tiled masonry ovens). I hadn't thought about the cleaning - you'd definitely need the extractor fan on at all times - and be patient with the cleaning! Still, it would be worth it to have a fine piece like this in the corner! / Niki


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