Scandi goes ur­ban

Living Etc - - CONTENTS ⁄ ETC - Pho­tog­ra­phy ⁄ Paul Massey Words ⁄ Jenny Tucker

Mas­simo and Jes­sica trans­formed their once gloomy Stock­holm house into an open-plan, light-filled space with a Lon­don vibe

Mas­simo and Jes­sica, own­ers of home-fash­ion la­bel Buster Punch, turned an un­re­mark­able Stock­holm sub­ur­ban house into a loft-style home – with plenty of added Swedish soul

There are a mil­lion rea­sons why a per­son falls in love with their home. For Mas­simo and Jes­sica Mi­nale, it wasn’t the bricks and mor­tar. In fact, Mas­simo de­scribes the house as look­ing ‘re­ally hor­ri­ble’ when he saw it for the first time. It was the stun­ning views from the back gar­den that se­duced the cou­ple. Be­cause, as far as the eye can see, the Mälaren, Swe­den’s third largest lake, sits on the hori­zon, shim­mer­ing in the milky sum­mer sunshine and look­ing ra­di­ant enough to in­duce feel­ings of so­porific, aren’t-i-lucky-to-be-here calm.

Mas­simo and Jes­sica feel pretty chuffed to have stum­bled across this re­mark­able set­ting af­ter a tip-off from a friend. ‘It wasn’t the orig­i­nal plan to end up here,’ ad­mits Mas­simo, who is half-ital­ian, half-bri­tish. ‘I met Jess (who’s Swedish) in Lon­don and we lived there for five years. But Jess was home­sick, so we de­cided to move to Stock­holm. We’d just had our son, Otis, and we wanted a fam­ily home. When we saw this house, we didn’t like it at all, but then the won­der­ful view blew us away.’

‘I’m orig­i­nally from a small sea­side town,’ adds Jes­sica. ‘So water is in my blood. This set­ting felt like heaven to me. But nei­ther of us were im­pressed with the house – it had tiny win­dows and boxy rooms. We wanted some­thing open plan and full of light. The idea was to knock it down and start again, but then we found out we weren’t al­lowed to pull it down.’

With their ini­tial in­ten­tions scup­pered, a de­ci­sion was needed on what they should do next. ‘We both agreed that liv­ing this close to a lake was an op­por­tu­nity we just couldn’t miss, so the so­lu­tion was to go ahead and buy the house, then pretty much pull the in­te­rior to pieces,’ says Mas­simo. ‘We kept the ex­te­rior façade and lit­tle else. Es­sen­tially, it’s a house with no walls in­side, like a Lon­don ware­house-style prop­erty. It has a very ur­ban feel to it – but with a Swedish soul.’

It was a slow process get­ting to the end re­sult. The cou­ple, along with their baby son, lived in a tiny car­a­van nearby for al­most two years. Although they wanted to be close enough to over­see the project, they both roll their eyes at the mem­ory. ‘That kind of ex­pe­ri­ence puts hairs on your chest,’ says Mas­simo. ‘The win­ter wasn’t a lot of laughs and, be­cause of the weather here, the builders had to down tools for months dur­ing the snow. Of course, that meant ev­ery­thing took for­ever.’

But when the fun bit of choos­ing the in­te­rior de­sign even­tu­ally did come around, the pair had a very clear idea of what they wanted. There is a def­i­nite in­dus­trial feel to the over­all look, with ex­posed RSJS, Crit­tall screens, steel stair­cases, metal light fit­tings and vary­ing shades of smoky greys and black. Any­one who is fa­mil­iar with the cou­ple’s in­te­ri­ors brand, Buster + Punch, will spot the cor­re­la­tion with the lat­ter. ‘Our home is a re­flec­tion of our de­sign ethos,’ says Mas­simo. ‘We have many Buster + Punch prod­ucts through­out our house be­cause they demon­strate what we’re all about. We want to take the or­di­nary parts of a home – like the light switches, bulbs and door han­dles, then make them ex­tra­or­di­nary.’

Back in the day, when Mas­simo worked as an architect, he spent his spare time in­dulging his pas­sion for mo­tor­bikes. His tal­ent for cus­tomis­ing bikes led to the likes of Ge­orge Clooney and mem­bers of Blur and The Rolling Stones be­com­ing cus­tomers. Then, one thing led to an­other and en­thu­si­asts started ask­ing him to cre­ate prod­ucts for their homes. ‘That meant I had the courage to quit the day job,’ he says. ‘Now the dream is for Buster + Punch to be­come a global home-fash­ion brand.’

But, in be­tween con­quer­ing the in­te­ri­ors mar­ket, the duo are keen to make the most of their home and the so­cial­is­ing that comes with it. ‘We are big en­ter­tain­ers,’ says Jes­sica. ‘If you build an open-plan prop­erty, you have to fill it with peo­ple. And look what’s out­side! That lake is there for en­joy­ment. In the win­ter, we ice skate on it and have ice hockey games with the neigh­bours. Then in the sum­mer, we swim in it and go pad­dle-board­ing. We couldn’t do any of that if we were still liv­ing in the mid­dle of Lon­don.’

Check out Mas­simo and Jes­sica’s prod­ucts at busterand­punch.com

DIN­ING AREA

With en­ter­tain­ing high up on the cou­ple’s pri­or­ity list, this part of the home needs to be func­tional as well as stylish. ‘There’s a lot of food cooked in this house,’ says Jes­sica. ‘And our guests all come to­gether here.’ Get the look The din­ing ta­ble is be­spoke. The Ren chairs are from Stel­lar Works. The Hooked 3.0 lights are by Buster + Punch. The rug is from Linie De­sign.

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