WHO LIVES HERE? LINA EKSTRAND, AN IL­LUS­TRA­TOR, HER PART­NER MATTHIAS, THEIR ONE-YEAR-OLD SON NIKO­LAJ AND THEIR THREE CATS.

Real Living (Australia) - - HOMES -

Pretty vi­gnette Lina has dec­o­rated the cof­fee ta­ble in the liv­ing room with can­dle­sticks from flea mar­kets, a glass bot­tle with an acorn in it from Swedish in­te­rior de­sign com­pany Sven­skt Tenn and a glass ball with a dan­de­lion in it, which was a present from a friend. Frock up Lina is a big fan of vin­tage ki­monos. This one came from an an­tique mar­ket in New York. The wall dis­plays “things that make me happy” – pho­tos of fam­ily mem­bers, draw­ings and paint­ings and a pho­to­graph by Karolina Krupa, who took these pic­tures of Lina’s house. Black and white The cou­ple tiled the walls, put up the shelves and painted the cup­boards in the kitchen as they felt the room was too mod­ern for the old house (op­po­site).

Gar­den in­spo Lina’s art­work (op­po­site) fea­tures more botan­i­cal el­e­ments since mov­ing to the house – she takes in­spi­ra­tion from her gar­den. A

IT TOOK IL­LUS­TRA­TOR LINA and her part­ner Matthias more than 90 vis­its to dif­fer­ent prop­er­ties to find their per­fect home – a beau­ti­ful house in Österlen in south­ern Swe­den with no neigh­bours but plenty of char­ac­ter. “We’d al­ways dreamed of liv­ing in the coun­try­side,” Lina says. “I was tired of cities and wanted to be in the wilder­ness.”

THRIFTY FINDS The cou­ple have been grad­u­ally ren­o­vat­ing their home ev­ery day since they moved in, and try to do as much as they can them­selves. “About half of the house is fin­ished,” Lina says. “It’s been a mas­sive job. I con­stantly get new ideas, so it’s an on­go­ing process.” Lina’s per­son­al­ity is re­flected in the many ob­jects she has col­lected over the years. “Thrift­ing is one of my favourite things to do. I’m al­ways com­ing across pricey items for a cou­ple of kro­nors in flea mar­kets.”

VIN­TAGE IN­TE­RI­ORS Lina works from home in her stu­dio, with three cats and lots of green­ery for com­pany. “My stu­dio was the big­gest project – we dug out the floor by hand and put in un­der­floor heat­ing,” Lina says. Equal parts light and dark, the in­te­ri­ors are spa­cious with a ripe, vin­tage feel. “The whole in­te­rior was painted white, which I hate, so we are slowly fill­ing the house with colour – paint­ing and re­fur­bish­ing the floors and try­ing to use old de­tails and ma­te­ri­als.”

THE GOOD LIFE The ac­com­pa­ny­ing gar­den al­most out­shines the house. “It’s an old show­case gar­den that was planned and planted about 20 years back,” Lina says. “It has a large wal­nut tree, a mul­berry tree, berry bushes, ap­ple and cherry trees. It’s a mas­sive amount of work, but it’s al­ways worth it when Au­gust comes around and you can feast on or­ganic fruit and veg. The lo­ca­tion here is per­fect. The place just gives you a sense of in­ner peace.”

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