Timeless Charm and Dark Blue Walls in a Small Swedish Apartment

While colours in the fashion and interior design world come and go, there is always one that remains: dark blue. It's timeless. And I'm a huge fan. 

Softer than black but still striking, dark blue is a stalwart in the world of interiors and adds a cosy, cocoon like feel to a room. Combine it with fresh whites and warm earthy tones for a soft, elegant look, and throw in lots of natural materials in the form of wood, rattan, cane, linen and wool for a look that's bang up to date! 

This beautiful apartment in Gothenburg is a fine example of dark blue done right! Oh, and it's also great inspiration for anyone who has their bedroom in the living room too! Välkommen in! 

The Flos Sarfatti ceiling light is a design classic which you'll find in many Swedish homes. 

I don't think I'll ever tire of linen bedding - it's practical, catches the light in a beautiful way, and the more you wash it the softer it gets. Try Wonder Linen on Etsy* for similar! 

*affiliate link

Wooden hooks from Norrgavel are a Swedish bedroom essential! 

Contrast is continued in the kitchen with black units and off-white walls. Notice the copper piping, cabinet and painting too! 

Swedes are going crazy for range ovens right now! They're more widely available these days as you can get them in both gas and electric induction versions. 

Rule break alert: the rug version of 'messy hair, don't care'! I kind of like how this one extends onto the wood floor. It's a little like rolling out the red carpet - everyday!

A jute rug adds a softness to the black and white bathroom. We've also added one to our downstairs loo and it makes the world of difference! 

Such a lovely home full of contrast! Interestingly, the estate agent have presented two versions of how to divide up the sitting room / bedroom area - one open-plan, and one divided into two separate rooms (vardagsrum - living room, kök - kitchen, sovrum - bedroom): 

Which do you prefer?

Also, would you consider going for a dark colour in your home? In Albin's room we've painted two of the walls in dark blue, but I've always regretted not going for the entire room. Next project? 

Not quite convinced with the dark blue? See other homes with this feature here: 

And for those of you planning a small space, here are some great examples of Scandinavian style studio apartments: 

Happy Monday friends! 


Photography: Walti Hösli
For sale via: Entrance

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A Charming Little Swedish Cottage in the Heart of Stockholm

In a city where space is limited, owning a cottage is like gold dust and an absolute dream. Even so, you need to ensure that it doesn't feel like a goldfish bowl. And I think this wonderful little abode in the heart of Stockholm offers some perfect privacy solutions - especially when it comes to the outdoor space. 

It also helps that the inside is charming - with an open-plan kitchen, dining area and sitting room downstairs and a cosy bedroom upstairs (look out for the window dressing - great inspiration for anyone dealing with awkward shaped windows!). Ready to take a look and dream of cosy cottage life in the capital? This little 61 sq.m (656 ft.sq) place has it all! 

Note the wood panelling with beading - a cohesive touch that matches the traditional cabinetry and style of the house. Corston is great for traditional antique brass knobs like these. 

The dining area set-up with sofa and chairs lends itself to both a relaxed spot for a cup of tea looking out over the garden, or as a more formal dining setting. 

The open spot at the top of the stairs is often referred to as an 'allrum' in Swedish - which lovely translates as 'family room' or 'space for everyone'. In this 'allure' the owners have added a cosy armchair and a home office space. 

I love the curtain solution in this dormer window! Something to steal if you're in the same conundrum? 

A covered terrace with plenty of climbers not only helps to extend the living space but also ensures you're not overlooked while enjoying your time outdoors! having some kind of canopy also adds a cosy feel to a space, don't you think? 

And finally, if you only have a small outdoor space, making the most of vertical space for plants is a great way to add greenery without cluttering with pots. In our little yard in Malmö we've gone for climbers such as roses, wisteria and clematis. 

Draping sheepskins over the back of chairs is a perfect way to add a little comfort to harder chairs. Sheepskin also has great insulating qualities so it will keep you warm for longer too! 

A small circular heater and a ring of candles amp up the cosiness after dark - and extend the outdoor season (it's pretty short in Sweden)! 

Plants on outdoor tables and shelves also shield the space from those on the same level as you. 

And just in case you need a little sunshine, this lovely cottage has an open area too! 

If you have a back yard that leads into a communal garden, an arch is a nice way to create a boundary / entrance without sealing your space off completely. We have an arch just like this one in our garden too and it looks so pretty when the clematis are in full bloom! 

Could you imagine living in a lovely cottage like this in the heart of the city? A rare find for sure! 

I'm going to take this opportunity to share other rare finds like this one with you! 

I hope you have a fabulous weekend and the sun shines for you wherever you are in the world! Here ins Sweden, we're looking forward to a cosy autumn weekend!


Photography courtesy of Tradition Mäkleri where this is currently for sale! 

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Small-space living: An elegant Swedish 'Ettan'

An ettan (a one) is the word Swedes describe a one room apartment. But just to avoid confusion, this usually means one room plus a kitchen, just like a tvåan (a two) describes a two room flat plus a kitchen and a trean (a three) describes a three room plus kitchen. You get the gist! But what's important, isn't the size, it's the way it's organised, and how it caters for your every need. Plus of course, in true Scandi style, it needs to look beautiful too! 

I stumbled across this light and airy ettan (measuring 39 sq.m / 420 sq.ft) this morning and was immediately captivated by its elegance and charm. I also love how a simple, muted colour scheme can be given an instant lift with layers of texture and a few pretty, patterned cushions and flowers! Students decorating a dorm room - take note! Let's discover what else is at play. 

Rooms with angled walls aren't always easy to furnish. Here, a large round mirror helps to visually widen the narrower section of the room. 

Throws and blankets are essential items to create that all important mys (cosy) factor. Plus, if your bedroom is in the sitting room, a throw is a perfect way to disguise the bed in an instant! 

The chair in the corner serves as a perfect reading spot by the window, but it can also be pulled forward to create a social setting when guests arrive. 

Glass and other see-through items are ideal for small spaces as they have a 'barely there feel' and allow the light to flow through. 

A spot in the hallway doubles up as a home office.

The kitchen is lovely and spacious allowing for a table for up to six! I love the antique style. Dark wood has become hugely popular once again and I've heard rumours that the rich and famous of the USA are snapping up items from the 'Swedish Grace' era - i.e. extremely well-made furniture from the 1920's to the 1950s.  

If you look closely at the worktop immediately beside the oven you'll spot a horizontal wood strip. That's a chopping board which can be pulled out when cooking, and then pushed back in once cleaned and finished with. It's a great space saving hack! 

Notice how there are plants, a lamp and a candlestick on the windowsill - but no curtains or a blind. This is typically Swedish! By day, the plants give the illusion that nature is close by, even in the winter when the plants and trees lie dormant. By night, the lamp and candlestick emit a warm and welcoming feel from the outside - while from the inside they shield the darkness while ensuring you don't feel 'closed-in'. Don't forget that in the far North of Sweden it can be dark almost 24 hours a day in mid-winter - you don't really want your curtains closed for that length of time! 

Here is a floor plan for you so you can make sense of the space: 

Glossary: Entre - entryway, vardagsrum - sitting room, kök - kitchen, uteplats - outdoor space, inre hall, inner hallway. 

I hope you enjoyed the tour! Did anything stand out to you in particular? If so, please do comment below and join the discussion! 

I night add, this lovely apartment in Gothenburg is for sale! Could you be the next owner? 

Looking for more small space inspiration? Check out this archive - it's full of beautiful compact spaces that are big on charm! There's a chance this one. night pop up first, if so, just scroll on down to find the others. 

Have a wonderful weekend! 


Photography courtesy of Alvhem, with thanks. 

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A Small Swedish Apartment, Packed With Charm (And Sunlight)

Tjena! Hur är läget? We've woken up to a beautiful sunny day here in Sweden and our homes are pooled with golden light. This small 25 sq.m (269 ft.sq) apartment in Stockholm (in an area called Midsommarkransen meaning 'Midsummer crown' - how lovely is that?) is blessed with windows from two directions, capturing the beams as the sun moves through the sky and casting an ever changing array of shadows.

The owner has artfully worked with the one-room living space to incorporate a kitchenette, dining space, and a bed that doubles up as a sofa. High shelves help to make the most of the full height of the room - while plants, flowers and mid-century teak furniture add to the charm of the home. 

In the midst of a conundrum about how to arrange your small apartment - or trying to get your head around awkward angles? This lovely Swedish home is for you! 

Glossary: Rum - 'room', kök - kitchen, Badrum - bathroom. 

I poured over the pictures to suss out clothes storage. I think the best place for a wardrobe would be the hall (it looks like there are two rails as well as quite a few shelves there which could well be used for clothes). Under-bed storage is also optimal in small spaces. 

All-in-all a charming small space, with such a lovely feel. I'd be perfectly happy to come home to this apartment each day, how about you? 

More small space inspiration can be found in this archive.

On another note, something very exciting happened this week. I was at my daughters swimming gala (these things take up the entire weekend and the highs and lows are unbelievable - there were smiles, tears and everything in between from Liv! - Are there any other swimming parents out there?), and scrolling through instagram during the very long poolside hours, and lo and behold, I spotted Kelly Clarkson reading my book Relaxed Rustic. What a crazy moment! It certainly put a shine on my weekend, along with my daughters smiles! 

I hope you have a great start to the week! 


Photogrtaphy courtesy of Historiska Hem, with thanks. 

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