This strik­ing home beau­ti­fully blends Swedish coastal life with New-Eng­land-style dé­cor.

Cottages & Bungalows - - Contents - BY RACHEL L. DEMETER AND ANNIKA GUSTAVSSON

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—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.


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.


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.”

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