Swedish interiors

If you follow me on instagram, you know that I just went on a two week trip to Sweden to visit our host daughter and meet her family for the first time.  It was an amazing trip that reinforced my opinion that you can’t really experience a culture unless you know someone there.  We had the incredible privilege of staying in our Swedish family’s homes and eating food lovingly prepared by them.  They hosted a Midsommar celebration (a week or two after the real one) and a crayfish party (at least a month before they are actually in season) just for us.  One day, in a few years, I want to return the favor and host the entire Nylen family here in Texas (And I mean that, Swedes!).

Now on to the beautiful interiors of Sweden!

We’ll start with Klara’s (our host daughter) own home.  A floating house on one of the many freshwater lakes that make up the archipelago of Stockholm and eventually connect to the Baltic Sea.44163146-BB28-4FE1-8459-9FF3776D490B

Helena and Robert (Klara’s parents) just moved into this house a couple of years ago.  They left an older, larger house with a big yard in favor of a simpler, maintenance free lifestyle.  This home was almost the same square footage as my own, yet it packed in so much more function.

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The house is 3 floors with the middle being split into two levels
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Their kitchen, in terms of square footage, was smaller than my own, but again, it packed in so much more function.  Bigger does not equal better.  Efficiency and ease of use is the where you find the quality.
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This entire living room was so cozy.  I can only imagine how wonderful it is when the lake freezes over, and you have a fire roaring in this little stove.
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additional seating tucked away when not in use.
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Light is welcomed from every angle.
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The toe kicks are drawers too!
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Have I ever mentioned that I really don’t like huge built in pantries?  Stuff just gets lost in the back.  Ergo, bigger is not better.  When this pantry door opens, one rack stays mounted to the door, and the other one pulls forward.  It is possible that I have more items in my own pantry… but it’s things like 7 half used boxes of Panco bread crumbs because they’re hidden in the back and I keep buying more because I have no idea what is actually there.
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I may do an entire blog post about this induction cooktop set into the granite.  It was my favorite feature in the kitchen.

It was fun to talk with them about how they designed their kitchen.  Remember, this house is floating.  They don’t keep plates and glassware, and other heavy items in the wall cabinets as they would all fall out in heavy winds when the house would rock the most.  Also, they laughed when telling me that their contractor encountered a bit of a problem when realizing that he couldn’t use a level to install the cabinets as the house is always moving.

Next up, the family’s 200 year old lake house.

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Fun fact: If you drive the Swedish countryside, you will see house after house that looks just like this one.  They’re all pretty old, and they’re all red.  “The pigment historically originated from mines at Falun, in the province of Dalarna. It was a side product of calcination of copper ore. Mixed with linseed oil and rye flour, it was found to form an excellent anti-weathering paint.”
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The date stamp on this fireplace was 1779.
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The home was at one point a school house, where classes were held upstairs and the teacher lived downstairs.
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I love a home filled with pictures of family through the years.
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I also love a home filled with art.
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The original kitchen.
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Dala horses!!! I came back with one of my own that is just like the smaller ones here.
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I also came home with one of these table tapestry things.  Guys, I got to celebrate a Swedish Midsommar here, the most Swedish house I could have ever imagined.
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The outhouse is still in use and is adorable, lol.
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A small act of Swedish rebellion is to hang the King’s photo in the outhouse.

This family lake house is more than just the house itself.  You probably have a place in your life that is similar, and it’s probably your grandma’s house in some rural town somewhere.  This is where the family gathers and every inch of the grounds is filled with memories.

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Eating the Smorgasborg in the outdoors and about to start the schnapps songs!
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A short walk through the woods leads to this dock.
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Foraging is big part of Swedish culture.  So much of the country is covered in blueberries, lingonberry, and mushrooms.

Sweden was beautiful and I’m so grateful to have been able to experience it in such an intimate way.

Thank you, Nylen family, for opening up your homes to us and giving us an adventure that exceeded expectations in every possible way!

I have some after photo posts coming up soon, but before then, I’ll do one more Sweden post that will be all photos and videos, no words, and have nothing to do with interior design.

 

 

A modern update to a 90’s kitchen

It’s so exciting to see a space come together exactly as the drawing depicts.  In this kitchen everything was spot on.  I’m so excited to show you!

Let’s start with the before photos.

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The kitchen was previously dated and just lacked any “wow” factors.  It also had a huge inefficient corner pantry.  On to the after photos!  See more about the planning process at the end of this post!

NOTE: These cabinets are from my good friends at Cabinet Kingdom here in Round Rock.

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We went through multiple rounds of options that varied quite a bit.  A goal was to get the stove centered on the back wall and that was going to be impossible without removing the corner pantry.

Below you’ll see an option where kept the existing corner pantry.  This layout was great, but it didn’t have the symmetry we were looking for.  Also, the client had expressed a desire for a double oven AND plenty of counter space.  With so much square footage being occupied by the corner pantry, alternative solutions were needed.  That’s why in this option you’ll see that I used a much wider range that serves to fill the role of the double oven.

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Now, the drawings from the final layout.

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And here is a comparison from before > drawing > after.

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If you’re having trouble imagining what the future of your home could be, just fill out my online form and tell me what you’re having trouble with.