This striking home beautifully blends Swedish coastal life with New-England-style décor.
Learn how to bring home a striking combination of Swedish coastal and New-England-style décor.
Monica and Mats preserved the New-England-style architecture, while reviving the house’s former beauty.
Boasting rocky coastlines, rustic campsites and a sparkling view of the open sea, the picturesque landscape of Monica and Mats Persson’s neighborhood was love at first sight for the couple. They instantly visualized a charming life among the quaint fishing villages and New-England-style houses. Monica and Mats purchased the property without hesitation, knowing they’d need to tear down the dilapidated house. “It was just in too bad shape to be rebuilt,” says Mats. The couple used the original house as a blueprint for their new home and remained authentic to its classic New-England-style roots. They built the house at the same location and angle; even the pool received the same panoramic view of the sea. “For us, it was important to consider the original house’s history,” Monica says. “It added value.”
NATURAL AND GENUINE
Natural and genuine—this is the philosophy the couple kept at the forefront during the construction of their coastal cottage. They enlisted the help of an architect who authentically replicated the original elements and designed a new pool. Coordinating as a team, they set off to preserve the New-England-style architecture while reviving the house’s former beauty. “With such a large property, you need someone with a good overview and eye,” Monica says. She and Mats embraced the New England style with traditional architecture and design choices. “The house’s entrance is uniform in its architecture,” Monica says. “In New England houses, the entrance should be clearly marked, as we did with the veranda and customary white pillars.”The classic white siding, terraces and manicured porch are hallmarks of New England style. Bring a similar look to your own porch by planting flowers in vintage pots and woven baskets, and opt for rustic light fixtures, such as lantern sconces.
The genuine New England flavor spills out into the home, where a calming coastal vibe shines. “We retained the basic style with bright walls and textiles. We mixed in darker woods and lustrous metals, as well as antique decor,” Monica says. “The solid oak floor feels like velvet and is an important part of the style—almost a simile for the tarred wooden decks of New England ships.” Bold accents, such as the rustic chandelier and industrial-style embellishments, contrast beautifully against the home’s clean lines and soothing vibe. “I don’t follow a particular look,” Monica says. “Instead, I buy what complements our Scandinavian style and make it fit. In fact, it’s precisely this diversity that defines the look.”
Natural and genuine also characterize Monica’s material choices. One example is the stunning handcrafted kitchen cabinetry. “Every detail is handmade, and the cabinets are solid wood straight through. A small local carpentry shop built them on site,” she says. “The massive kitchen island, which is made of oak, took four men to install.” Durable and classically designed, these kitchen fittings are a testament to the sound beauty of aged wood. And handmade doesn’t have to mean high costs. “When compared to the famous, big-name kitchen manufacturers, we got a superior price and quality.”
Consider choosing authentic materials for your interior décor— including driftwood, jute and shiplap wall paneling—as a way to reflect life on the coast. These materials are reminiscent of the elements found in lighthouses, ships and fishing wharves. Take the nautical theme one step further, and salvage light fixtures used on naval ships and wharves. You’ll feel like your home is anchored right off the coast.
EMBRACE NATURE’S BOUNTY
Few endeavors are as rewarding as rolling up your sleeves and becoming one with your home soil. Monica and Mats carried their love for the natural outside, where she has cultivated her passion for gardening. “A landscape architect designed the garden and greenhouse,” Monica says. “For large-scale projects, it’s always good to get help and advice. The architect built several cultivation boxes for the vegetables, as well as a pergola to shelter my climbing roses from sea storms.”
Organically manured with nettle water and seaweed that she gathers from the nearby shore, Monica’s garden embraces the coast’s natural bounty to its fullest. “I love looking for unusual seeds to sow, then planting them and watching them thrive,” Monica says. “Once they’re grown, I harvest the fruits and make organic jams and juices.” You can still exercise your green thumb even if you lack the square footage for a large garden. Grow edible herbs in small wooden boxes, or build a raised garden bed and transform your backyard into a sustainable mini farm.
LIFE IN PARADISE
Every room of the Perrsons’ home enjoys breathtaking sea views, while exuding an airy, open feel. Regional industries, such as fishing and trading, lend nautical touches, while the surrounding terrain inspires the color palette. Popular New-England-style color choices include seafoam greens, sandy beiges, bright yellows, oceanic blues and, of course, white. Monica steered away from the patriotic “stars and stripes” look, which is also a popular trend, and embraced a clean palette. The classic color scheme and natural elements pair beautifully together and further enhance the coastal vibe.
One of the couple’s favorite rooms is the downstairs wine cellar, which was built from salvaged bricks. Monica says, “It feels like we’re in the Mediterranean. ”This stunning alcove also features a sauna and double shower that look out to the sea. Monica and Mats installed the room’s only artificial light source inside the sauna’s pews; the shimmering moon beyond the window provides all other lighting. “In the evenings when it gets dark,” Monica says, “it’s quite magical to watch the moonlight glisten on the seawater.”
“I buy what complements our Scandinavian style and make it fit. In fact, it’s precisely this diversity that defines the look.”