A Swedish Architect Designs Her Own Dream Family Home

A while ago I shared this post about our plans to build an attefallshus - a small 30 m2 (322 sq.ft) cabin in the garden of Per's family's summer cottage. We did extensive research into the ready-made cabins available on the market here in Sweden, but in the end, nothing quite fit the bill (you know me, I had quite a specific idea in mind!). And then out of the blue, we came in contact with architect Anela Tahirovic who works for an international firm in Malmö. Anela, her husband and three sons recently moved into their new house - a new build in Gessie, near Malmö which she designed herself. I knew that she was the right person to help us - and I'm so looking forward to sharing our cabin plans with you tomorrow. But first, I'd like to take you on a tour of Anela's fabulous home and allow her to tell you the story of how they found the land, the trials and tribulations of planning permission restrictions - and how they arrived at the final design. 

"We used to live in central Malmö in an apartment dating back to the late 20th century, but as soon as we found out we were expecting twins (we already had a little boy) we knew that we needed to look for a house. So, we looked at several houses but didn’t like what we saw and suddenly one day we found a piece of land for sale online in Gessie village. We bought it 3 hours later. It was a fast, spontaneous buy, but it just felt right". 

"We love the surroundings. The house is situated on the so-called Swedish “Söderslätt” (meaning 'South plain' - an area of Sweden known for its flat landscape). There are wildflowers all around and a lot of cows and horses, yet it's very close to the city of Malmö". 

"We started designing the house immediately. Since I am an architect, we chose to do it ourselves. The masterplan for the site was very strict, and there were many regulations on the choice of material, size, colour, width of the house, height, and type of window. I mean, they were VERY strict down to the last detail. Basically, the planning regulations force you to design a classic“skånelänga” 

Note: A skånelänga is a type of traditional housing in the Southern Swedish county of Skåne made up of a cluster of buildings set around an inner courtyard - which helps to shelter you from the wind. 

"We took inspiration from it but did our own modern version of the “skånelänga”using modern grey brick and black industrial windows with extra large proportions, we also lifted the ceiling. So, from the outside the house looks like a 1,5-floor house, but actually it's laid out over one floor. It is a modern interpretation of the skånelänga".

"The choice of material represents modern Scandinavian style: wood, concrete, white walls, minimalistic with a large space. We decided early on to design one large room with a kitchen, dining area and living area in one (70 sqm / 753 sq.ft in size) with an open roof. We also created a master bedroom, two bedrooms for the boys, a family room, two bathrooms and a laundry room. I love the open space and love that we placed the kitchen at the end of the house with large windows towards nature". 

"I also love the solution in our bedroom with the bathroom behind the bed and walk-in-closets on each side, since you can walk through the bathroom from both sides". 


"I also designed our garden using the same principle as the interior. The big wooden deck is divided into 9 squares where the square in the middle is formed as an atrium with a tree. Around it, we have the so-called different “outdoor rooms”: a sofa area, dining area etc. We have 3 pergolas that are connected to each other". 

It's so interesting to hear the story behind the design! Thank you for sharing this with us Anela! I have seen lots of pictures of Anela's home on instagram (@arkihem) but never knew the back story. 

I assumed that she had built the house of her dreams as it looks so great - but actually, it was within the confines of fairly strict planning permission regulations. That's the mastery of great architecture, don't you think?

Would you consider buying a plot of land and building your house from the ground up?

It's a nerve-racking process, but well worth the results. Speaking of which, I am so looking forward to sharing the plans for our tiny cabin with you tomorrow (and a little nervous too!). 

See you then!


Photography and words courtesy of Anela Tahirovic

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A stunning Italian loft

I'm so over excited about today's home tour: an incredible Italian loft created by architects Amorfo. It's a little like a museum - every piece has been carefully selected for it's aesthetics whether mid-century, industrial or designer - and exhibited against a backdrop of concrete / white walls and floors and angled ceilings. Modern day architecture and minimalism at it's best! I would add soft textiles such as colourful rugs, throws and cushions to make it my home. How about you?

Amorfo via April and May

Is this your kind of style? Anything that stands out to you in particular? I love the huge glass door which opens the entire space out onto the terrace!

You can see more pictures of this space here if you'd like. 

I spy: the Flos 265 wall light, the Vitra Wire Chair DKR-5 is similar and one of my favoruite outdoor pieces - the Butterfly chair. Beautiful mid-century pieces like this teak side-table at LiveAuctioneers.

Have a lovely day!

House for Mother

Good morning! I hope you had a lovely weekend (and enjoyed my rare Sunday home tour). It's so gloomy here in Southern Sweden today but it's OK because I've a beautiful project to share! 'House For Mother' (great name?), is the brainchild of Förstberg Arkitektur as their contribution to the Linköpingsbo 2017 housing exhibition. While the outside will be constructed of raw corrugated aluminium, the inside will be designed using exposed timber and walls lined with plywood to add warmth. This is definitely going to be categorised under my 'fabulous architecture' label! What do you reckon?

Förstberg Arkitektur via La Maison D'Anna G

I'm a big fan of plywood (more inspiration from this, this and this home) although I  haven't channeled this in my own home. How about you?

Oh and I love the Bumling lamp, featured in House for Mother (had to repeat the name as it's so lovely) in white.

I hope you have a wonderful start to the week!

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A zen Australian home with fabulous architecture

Hello! I'm not sure if I'm ready to post yet today - I'm still recovering from the idyllic Swedish cabin in yesterday's post. Wasn't it fantastic?! I need to find somewhere like that to stay this summer. Anyway, onwards and upwards and from one beautiful home to another beautiful home in a very different way. This Australian home was designed by Whiting Architects (found over at beautiful Bliss blog). Look closely at the interior architecture and you'll see nooks, hidden windows, barn doors and beautiful lighting. Decorated with shades of grey and the slightest hint of a dusty pink accent, it has a very zen feel don't you think?

Whiting Architects via Bliss blog

Could you live here?

I spy Muuto dots, nerd chair, adaptable table and E27 lamp, chunky knit rugs and moroccan style tiles. I love the beautiful linen bedding and the way they have used what looks like a linen double duvet cover for a make-shift bed board - such a great idea?! 

Other Australian home love includes the quirky Westgarth Hall, a light and airy beach house, and the fabulous home of an Australian stylist. Oooo, they do it so well down under don't they?!

Before I head off I'm delighted to introduce a new sponsor. Whether you're starting from scratch or already a graphic designer and would like to update your web skills, Shillington College offers three month to one year graphic design courses in 6 different cities around the world which will set you on the path to that creative career within you! Yes please!

Have a lovely day!

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A former Fisherman's cottage in Copenhagen

Sometimes I come across a space which jolts me into a new way of thinking for my own house. This family home of Peter Östergaard and Åsa Olofsson and their children just North of Copenhagen is one of those. A former fisherman's cottage, it's been transformed into a beautiful, modern and light filled space with the help of Norm Archtitects. And it also harbours surprises. Take the break-away red Artemide lamp on the sitting room wall, the wooden shelf adding warmth to the kitchen and the fun, slightly messy children's room which oozes charm. I'm taking these ideas with me for my shoot on Friday, maybe I'll even jump on the bed....!

Architects: Norm Architects, Photography: Jonas Bjerre-Polsen via Lili Halo and Dwell

I think one of my favourite things about this house is the stepping stone on the doorstep which was inspired by zen architecture. Traditionally in Japanese temples, a sculptural stepping stone marks the transition between the house and garden. What a lovely idea don't you think? 

Could you live in this light filled home?

I spy: Vitra Eames occasional side table, Eames DSR Side chairs (15% off with MYSCAN). The Moser pendant light for Louis Poulsen and sofa from Swedish brand Ire

If I were to renovate here in Sweden (in my dreams) I would definitely consdier drawing on the help of Norm Architects. You can find other projects of theirs here, here and here

Have a lovely day!

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An artist's home in black, white and concrete

It's Friday - yay! To top of the week I'd love to share this home with you designed by Copenhagen based firm Norm Architects. The house is situated directly behind Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebaek (a must-see in Copenhagen!). The architectural work was commissioned by a local artist who was looking to turn the space into a modern home with more light so it could function both as a home and studio. The brick work and beams are original but Norm laid a new concrete floor.The monochrome palette and use of texture reminds me a lot of the Danish home from earlier in the week (do you prefer this floor or the glossier version?).

Norm Architects via Home DSGN

So now the beautiful bones are in place it's time to add the personal stamp. I'm sure it'll look truly wonderful!

I have to say, I do love Norm Architect's distinct style (see other of their homes featured here and here. They're also the architects behind Copenhagen restaurant Höst, one of my favourite places to eat out). How about you?

Since it's the weekend here's a house with a big dose of colour in the form of a relaxed family home in Ystad which never fails to put a smile on my face or if you're in the mood for something more countrystyle / rustic how about this pretty västergötland farmhouse?

I hope you have a wonderful weekend and see you Monday!

A beautiful basic weekend cabin

In Scandinavia I sometimes hear about people enjoying their free time in a basic cottage without running water and electricity. Now it's becoming popular in the UK too. It seems everyone's keen to escape the demands of daily life - the more disconnected the better. In fact people will pay a small fortune to go back to basics. No WIFI? No worries. No mobile reception? Bring it on! This beautiful, basic 'Ermitage' cabin designed by Paris based architects Septembre is just the tonic for a weekend retreat if you need some alone time.

Septembre via Lotta Agaton and Wabi Sabi with thanks

Could you spend your weekend here?

If you love this, you'll also love this Finnish family cabin in the snow. And this Swedish cottage is so cosy (love the bed in the wall!). There's always this oh so fabulous eco-friendly holiday home out in the Finnish forests too! Or for something further away - may absolute favourite - a beach retreat in Uruguay, heaven! Which one would you pick?

Before I leave you to get on with your weekend - I've got an exciting new sponsor to introduce. Made in Design is an incredible online modern and contemporary design shop and are offering my scandinavian home readers 10% off any orders over 90.00 GBP until 15th December 2014 using the code SCANDI-HOME (terms and conditions apply - for more information visit Made in Design). The Signal ZigZag floor lamp and Signal wall lamp are top of my Christmas wish list!

Have a wonderful weekend!

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