Under the canopy
Sunny terraces and a soaring ceiling clad in oak lend this updated 1950s Swedish home a sense of natural wonder
Sunny terraces and a soaring ceiling clad in oak lend this house a sense of natural wonder
Acathedral-like wooden ceiling mirrors the scale
of the surrounding evergreen trees, visible from this home’s balcony and terrace. ‘The house feels like a natural extension of its surroundings,’ says its owner Peter Grimvall, who lives here with his wife Annouk Ruffo Leduc and their son Oscar (four).
Built in 1958 in Malmö, a city on the southern tip of Sweden, the building was originally an unremarkable bungalow with a small 1970s extension. It has been completely transformed by Swedish architect Gustav Hultman. He kept the four external walls and constructed a new L-shaped upper floor. Part of this hangs like a mezzanine over the kitchen, with the rest opening up to create the nine-metre-high ceilings above the main living area.
The ceiling, stairwell and first-floor walls are all clad in oak veneer panels. They help to manage the voluminous space. Without this warming coat of wood, the building could feel cold and lofty. To marry the house’s original and contemporary areas, the sleek cladding is mirrored by square oak parquet (a popular style in the 1950s) on the ground floor. Peter and Annouk have also recreated the house’s original large square windows upstairs, encasing them in teak to contrast with the lighter oak.
The interior features a mix of Scandinavian design classics from the 1950s and 1960s, such as Hans J Wegner’s ‘ Wishbone’ chairs for Carl Hansen & Søn, and modern pieces from Ikea. Some of these have been cleverly hacked – the ‘Sinnerlig’ dining table has had its cork top removed and replaced with the same oak veneer panels used on the ceiling. The cork hasn’t been wasted: it’s now used as a pinboard in Oscar’s bedroom.
But on warm mid-summer days the couple love to be outdoors. As well as an oak-clad terrace beyond the kitchen, there’s also a balcony off of the main bedroom and a sunny fruit and vegetable patch to the side of the house, which is planted with strawberries, rhubarb and blackberries. ‘Using the same wood inside and outside the house ensures a continuity of design,’ says Annouk. ‘ We feel as though we are living closer to nature.’
TO MARRY THE HOME’S ORIGINAL AND CONTEMPORARY AREAS, THE CLADDING IS MIRRORED BY OAK PARQUET ON THE GROUND FLOOR
Kitchen A large oak island, complete with cupboards, sink, open shelving and a black worktop, was custom-made by a local carpenter. The patterned carpet is an antique Chinese find (try Frith Rugs for similar) Details On the side wall, there is an elegant collection of Asian artefacts and artworks, from wicker dishes to ceramic pots and prints (try Orchid Furniture). You can find a similar Japanese teapot and bamboo steamers at John Lewis