A Swedish apart­ment dec­o­rated in cool whites and soft tex­tures

25 Beautiful Homes - - CONTENTS - Fea­ture EMMA J PAGE | Pho­tog­ra­phy JOHAN SELLÉN / LIV­ING IN­SIDE

As the fes­tive sea­son ap­proaches, all is calm in Elis­a­beth Nils­son’s el­e­gant apart­ment which is just the way she likes it. Hav­ing fallen for the hand­some town­houses in this area of cen­tral Stock­holm, the tex­tile spe­cial­ist moved here with her hus­band Sture once her chil­dren had flown the nest.

‘We bought the apart­ment dur­ing a De­cem­ber six years ago and there was this mag­i­cal Christ­mas feel in the whole area, with its red-brick façades and a mag­nif­i­cent church at the cen­tre,’ says Elis­a­beth. ‘So ev­ery year, we recre­ate that feel­ing at home. We have also started a new tra­di­tion, whereby we in­vite all our fam­ily and friends for home­made spiced wine in the run-up to Christ­mas Eve – the rit­ual of heat­ing white wine and adding cin­na­mon, cloves, star anise and vanilla is some­thing we love to do. It re­ally kicks off the sea­son.’

With a back­ground in sourc­ing and sup­ply­ing tex­tiles, Elis­a­beth is no stranger to dec­o­rat­ing and home ren­o­va­tion, but for the first time, mov­ing here did not en­tail any ma­jor build­ing works. The apart­ment had al­ready been fully re­fur­bished by a well-known Swedish ar­chi­tec­tural firm, Tham & Videgård. ‘We had al­ways re­fur­bished our pre­vi­ous prop­er­ties,’ ex­plains Elis­a­beth, ‘ but

when we saw this apart­ment, we loved the fact that it had a time­less feel – it’s just what we would have done if we had been start­ing from scratch.’

The lat­eral space, with its en­filade of sit­ting room, din­ing room and kitchen flow­ing seam­lessly from one to the other, fea­tures a largely monochrome palette that cre­ates a sense of ef­fort­less co­he­sion. Stained oak floor­boards pro­vide a nat­u­ral an­chor, con­trasted by plenty of white cab­i­netry for a light touch.

‘This home is smaller than our pre­vi­ous villa, but it feels just as spa­cious thanks to plenty of floor-to-ceil­ing stor­age and sleek de­sign so­lu­tions, such as the bath­room, which is in­te­grated into the bed­room but sep­a­rated by a sim­ple slid­ing door,’ notes Elis­a­beth.

When it came to dec­o­rat­ing this space, the cou­ple let the ar­chi­tec­ture do the talk­ing, with its grace­ful pro­por­tions and gen­er­ous, orig­i­nal win­dow frames. ‘I chose a palette of off-whites and greys, warmed up with plenty of lus­cious tex­tures such as rus­tic woods, raw linens and deep­pile rugs,’ says Elis­a­beth. ‘They are warm­ing touches that work par­tic­u­larly well at Christ­mas, and they are given a lift by some dra­matic art­work. We also love the warmth of the oak fea­tures.’

Fit­tingly, the tree is adorned sim­ply. ‘I find that our Christ­mas tree looks great decked out only in lights,’ says Elis­a­beth, who com­ple­ments the rus­tic look with fresh fo­liage dot­ted around the house. ‘Then of course, we have a typ­i­cal Swedish stove in the sit­ting room, which we light most even­ings. It’s very dark at this time of year, so light­ing is im­por­tant to us and can­dle­light cre­ates a sooth­ing at­mos­phere.’

Though their chil­dren, Lo­visa and David, have left home, they still live nearby and Elis­a­beth will be pre­par­ing a feast to re­mem­ber over Christ­mas and the New Year. ‘They will come home to the smell of gin­ger­bread bak­ing,’ says Elis­a­beth. ‘Then af­ter the tra­di­tional cel­e­bra­tions, we’ll be head­ing off on a fam­ily ski­ing trip to north­ern Swe­den. But as much as we love trav­el­ling, one of the high­lights will be re­turn­ing to this cosy home. It’s our favourite place to be.’

DIN­ING ROOM Sit­ting snugly be­tween the sit­ting room and the kitchen, this area is a nat­u­ral mag­net for fam­ily gath­er­ings. Foscarini Le Soleil pen­dant light, £575, The Con­ran Shop. KBH chairs, €975 each, KBH Shop. Ber­muda ta­ble, £ 4,512, Twen­tytwen­ty­one. Iit­tala Nap­pula can­dle­hold­ers, £31 each, Trouva

SIT­TING ROOM This cor­ner room ben­e­fits from dual-as­pect win­dows, al­low­ing in plenty of light. Casa Botelho’s RD15 eight-arm chan­de­lier, £ 4,805, recre­ates this look. The Imo fold­ing stool, £355, Pinch De­sign, is sim­i­lar to this one. White linen sofa, price on re­quest, Garbo In­te­ri­ors

KITCHEN Floor-to-ceil­ing stor­age and a cen­tral is­land make the most of the space. The plain white units are off­set by Swedish lime­stone work­tops and stained oak par­quet floor­ing. The In­te­gra Fu­sion kitchen, from £3,962, Mag­net, has this stream­lined look

DIN­ING AREA A round ta­ble dressed in tex­tured linens makes for an in­ti­mate eat­ing zone. Find table­cloths like th­ese at Sum­mer­ill & Bishop. The Hooked pen­dant, from £210, Buster+punch, is sim­i­lar. Sonna Rosen Dan­ish Sun­beam chairs, £1,213 each, 1stdibs. The art­work is by Lu­ciana Ame

HALL A bold art­work and an oak stor­age bench strike a con­tem­po­rary note in the en­trance to this apart­ment. try De­se­nio for mod­ern prints

EN SUITE Neat slid­ing doors sep­a­rate this chic bath­room from the bed­room, where base and wall units, plus a shower, are clev­erly in­cor­po­rated into the com­pact area. Metro white tiles, £19.50sq m, topps tiles, are sim­i­lar

BED­ROOM ‘We fur­nished this room sim­ply for a serene feel,’ says Elis­a­beth, who opted for space-sav­ing float­ing bed­side ta­bles and a muted grey-and-white palette. Maisons du Monde has a range of sim­i­lar float­ing shelves, from £115. the birdy wall light, from £222, hol­loways of Lud­low, is com­pa­ra­ble to this one

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