The owner of this Swedish apartment has a ‘ less is more’ design mantra, choosing a simple scheme that brings to mind the spiritual calmness of the East
This Swedish apartment has a simple, white scheme that brings to mind the spiritual calmness of the East
his 110-square-metre apartment in the Swedish city of Gothenburg resides in a building that dates back to 1908, but there are no extravagant flourishes of period-style excess here. Instead, an air of peace and quiet pervades the stripped-back interior – one that is more reminiscent of an oriental meditation space than a modern, northern European interior. The flat is home to Johanna Rautio, co-founder and creative director of Swedish fashion brand Vintage by Fé, who has lived here since 2015. ‘ There is a spiritual calmness to this apartment that I appreciate very much. It gives me emotional satisfaction and helps with my creative flow, too,’ says Johanna. ‘ It was inspired by all the travelling I do, to Asia and India, and also Marrakech.’ Painted in white, and with vast, seven-metre-high ceilings, the apartment resembles a calm, monastic space. In the main living room, there’s little in the way of furniture, apart from a long bespoke sofa and a bench running along two of the walls, each covered with cushions in natural fabrics, such as linen, wool and cotton. A jute rug feels grassy underfoot, and a small hammock in front of the open fire encourages you to nestle and daydream, or curl up with a book. Rather than choosing armchairs, Johanna opted for low-level seating. ‘ There are quite a few spots in the big living room where you can hang out. My idea was to create many rooms within the one room, because I want the apartment to be a creative space, as well as a place for relaxing with friends and family.’ Next to the living room is the dining area, with an impressive table large enough to comfortably seat ten people, and a mix of vintage dining chairs. ‘ I love vintage furniture. There is a soul in used objects that gives off a different energy to new pieces,’ says Johanna. Upstairs in the loft, beneath the eaves, is the tranquil main bedroom, with a window above the bed that looks skywards. ‘ The loft is perfect for meditation,’ says Johanna. ‘ I like watching how the weather changes, the clouds moving above me.’ As creative director of her own design brand, as well as a mother of two teenagers, Johanna has a busy lifestyle, but this meditative space helps to keep it balanced. ‘My perfect day would start with waking to the sound of rain on the roof. The loft is so close to the sky that you can almost feel the weather,’ she says. vintagebyfe.com
Living room (previous page) The sofa is a bespoke design and the baskets on the wall, as well as the vases and pots, are from PB Home. The hammock is from Granit (try ‘Hanging Chair’ by Amazonas, available at Wayfair), while the hemp rug is from Tell...