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Alvhem Inspiration

I was reading Sandra Juto’s blog last week admiring photos of her recent vacay to Berlin (these are some of my favorites) and came across an apartment that she featured belonging to her friends in Gothenburg and noticed that it is being offered by a company called Alvhem, who is responsible for lots of properties in Gothenburg.


I first blogged about Alvhem quite some time ago because I was impressed by how they style and photograph their properties so perfectly — they make one from the outside think that every home in Gothenburg looks like it is from a magazine! It even appears as though they use lots of the same furniture and repeat ideas in many of the homes and so it’s an inspiration to comb through their properties to see what they’ve done to enhance the space.







I wish they’d set up offices in other parts of Europe as they have immense talent and get their hands on some of the best property. I frequently find myself on their website looking through their for sale and sold files for interior inspiration and well, to daydream a bit too! You can view all of their properties for sale on their website here, but it’s in Swedish so good luck with translating it (sorry).








So what can we learn from an Alvhem-inspired home? Here are some repeat ideas that I’ve noticed.

1. A big black flat screen television is your friend. We are always trying to conceal them yet Alvhem allows them to be out and proud.

2. Keep walls and molding bright white.

3. Floors are wood, and the same tone in all rooms with the exception of wet areas.

4. Some walls with accent walls in pretty pattern.

5. Sofas should be a solid color, fabric with the exception of black leather. Colors commonly used for sofas: white, black, beige and gray.

6. If you don’t own a ladder to lean against the wall to drape things from, get one.

7. Fresh flowers in simple vases look best on your bedside table, dining table, entry way table, kitchen counter, bathroom, floor, fireplace mantle and coffee table. Okay everywhere.

8. Windows should be large and amazing.

9. Flat should be extremely sunny.

10. Put a shelf over your bed.

11. Rugs are mostly solid neutrals with an occasional stripe or ethnic design thrown in.

12. Rooms should all “flow” in design, from one to the next.

13. Most art on the walls look best in black frames.

14. Add plants to windowsills (topiary, ivy, etc.).

15. Try to live without curtains and blinds. Who cares about privacy? :)

16. Every sofa and bed should have one throw casually draped in an accent color.

17. Kitchen cabinetry should be white. Bonus for shiny white.

18. Mix IKEA with flea market finds and some industrial pieces.

Do you spot a few repeating themes as well? I love the work of Alvhem and find so much inspiration from this company!

(images: alvhem)

Posted by decor8 in Decorating Tips on June 21, 2010

Your comments...

  1. Christina commented
    June 21st, 2010 at 7:24am

    Hey Holly,
    I’ve also seen the link to the apartment and also loved it. It just feels so calm and inviting.

  2. Erin commented
    June 21st, 2010 at 7:26am

    Beautiful! Beautiful! I love the wall paper.
    Erin´s last blog post ..Swimsuit Love

  3. Sarah@Mocha commented
    June 21st, 2010 at 7:39am

    The flow between the rooms gives the apartment a lovely feeling of space.

    Not sure about the shelf over the bed,though, – could risk hitting it every time you sat up in bed ;-)
    Sarah@Mocha´s last blog post ..7 Ideas For A Happy Home

  4. KG @ KG Style commented
    June 21st, 2010 at 7:40am

    I love the whole wallpaper on one wall effect and not too fond of stark white walls but paired with the wallpaper, they look great! They make the room feel so much larger!
    KG @ KG Style´s last blog post ..Privacy In Bed!! Tips for Creating your Own Canopy Bed!

  5. juliette commented
    June 21st, 2010 at 8:42am

    A word of caution on shelves over beds: make sure it’s high enough so you can still sit up comfortably in your bed! We put a shelf over our bed in our last apt and it killed the whole ‘sit and read in bed’ thing. Live and learn ; )

    I’m really loving the hooks by the bed. Much more elegant than draping the day’s clothes over a chair and leaves less room for stuff to pile up, too (obviously I have a huge problem with this myself!).
    juliette´s last blog post ..beach bound + freebies

  6. Frau Mayer commented
    June 21st, 2010 at 8:51am

    Strange, there are NO pictures!
    Frau Mayer´s last blog post ..Cupboard and me

  7. Lorrie Everitt commented
    June 21st, 2010 at 8:57am

    beautiful. Loved the ladder idea too … need to get one or two of those for my home.
    Lorrie Everitt´s last blog post ..I am still learning

  8. Christine commented
    June 21st, 2010 at 9:33am

    I love the effortless ease of these spaces. I love the punches of wallpaper too!

  9. Samantha commented
    June 21st, 2010 at 9:40am

    oohh, to have such large open spaces to live in…..but I am becoming a lover of white walls and wooden floor boards, particularly the dark floors, it adds warmth to the room. White walls can be tricky, its getting just the right white I think.
    Samantha´s last blog post ..Ahhh yes simplicity

  10. margot commented
    June 21st, 2010 at 10:11am

    LOVE the white, the light and the wall paper. I am dying to wall paper, and now I am more inspired…great accent walls.

  11. irene commented
    June 21st, 2010 at 10:18am

    thanks for an amazing blog post. i love these flats so much!
    irene´s last blog post ..flying

  12. Helena commented
    June 21st, 2010 at 10:21am

    I love your ‘Try to live without curtains and blinds. Who cares about privacy? :) ‘ comment. Im swedish but live in the italy / spain. Here they close themselves in their little nest…what if someone would see me in my underwear??!?! Its funny how different we are. i dont think about it. I just want the light to come in!

  13. heidi commented
    June 21st, 2010 at 10:29am

    What wonderful wide open rooms , how do you do it!!!
    heidi´s last blog post ..A thrifted house fit for a mouse!

  14. Anke commented
    June 21st, 2010 at 10:37am

    they’re all beautiful! Very very very inspiring.

    btw Holly, do you use Google Chrome? It automatically asks to translate pages in foreign languages. Obviously the translations aren’t perfect, but it’s a total lifesaver when browsing foreign sites.

  15. Anke commented
    June 21st, 2010 at 10:39am

    Maybe privacy isn’t so important but I imagine that if you actually want to use your tv friend, it may be hard during daytime. :P

  16. Anke commented
    June 21st, 2010 at 10:41am

    pps. perhaps they have shutter/blinds outside of the windows?

  17. Color Collective commented
    June 21st, 2010 at 10:54am

    So lovely! I’m getting inspired, thanks for this awesome post!

  18. pixie commented
    June 21st, 2010 at 10:56am

    I can only dream of such large rooms…or even multiple rooms! lol. Studio living is getting old. Love how bright and light filled every one is.
    pixie´s last blog post ..Up and Coming

  19. Renee commented
    June 21st, 2010 at 11:19am

    Holly, these are very inspiring, especially since I am have been pondering paint colors for my entry way and hallway – white it is!!!!
    And, after all the wonderful tips on putting wallpaper over plaster, I am finally beginning to see the director of my little make over!

    Great pics and post – as usual!
    Renee´s last blog post ..Airing My Dirty Laundry

  20. Evy commented
    June 21st, 2010 at 11:32am

    Wooooow, so nice! I love the white base. It feels so free and fresh and clean and……I can go on like this! Great inspiration! Thanks for sharing.

    xxx Evy

  21. Sandra Kuwartowski commented
    June 21st, 2010 at 11:36am

    Funny how they placed white candles inside the tiled stove… white candles seemed to be another repeated theme: either inside or on top of the stove. Beautiful collection of lamps ranging from transparent chandelier to white/ metalic floor lamp…

  22. sideoats + scribbles (Lisa) commented
    June 21st, 2010 at 11:45am

    Hi Holly! I love Sandra Juto’s blog, haven’t visited for a while now so thanks for the reminder! :)

    I love your #15, hee hee.

    Mixing IKEA with flea market finds is something I’ve seen a bunch — love that look.

    One thing that I saw — that I’ve been seeing here on your blog and that I’ve been wanting to try is painted furniture — love the light turquoise table! In fact, I have paint swatches on our dark green coffee table + end tables, trying to convince the husband that it will look great! I’m going to send him a link to your post, thanks for more ammo :)
    sideoats + scribbles (Lisa)´s last blog post ..Happy summer!

  23. decor8 commented
    June 21st, 2010 at 11:56am

    Sandra – Good catch – yes I now see all of the white candles too thanks to you!

  24. ephemerette commented
    June 21st, 2010 at 12:29pm

    I love the Alvhem style so much I saved a whole folders worth of pictures when I discovered it a while ago, great tips for achieving the look!
    ephemerette´s last blog post me away

  25. Cindy Lietz, Polymer Clay Tutor commented
    June 21st, 2010 at 12:39pm

    Every time I see all White rooms like these I fall in love, but am always afraid to try them in my own home for fear they will be too cold. Seeing room after room in White like this gives me courage. Crisp White walls make the colors in flooring, art, furniture and accessories sing!
    Cindy Lietz, Polymer Clay Tutor´s last blog post ..Polymer Clay Color Recipes | Marsh Reeds Palette [Premo Sculpey]

  26. Nuit commented
    June 21st, 2010 at 12:58pm

    wow… love all the white, the dining rooms and the light… great spaces!!!
    Nuit´s last blog post ..Sunday Crush: Farm Tables

  27. Karin A commented
    June 21st, 2010 at 1:34pm

    I happen to live in Gothenburg and I love Alvhem’s homes. Almost all of the flats they sell are situated in the same part of the town. They also have their own decorating/furniture store and do co-operate with some other shop owners (especially, which provide much of all the gorgeous vintage stuff they put in the flats). :-)

    One thing that I like (and that they repeat) is how they mix designs from different decades. In almost every flat you can see pieces from the 50ths as well as older and newer furnitures.
    Karin A´s last blog post ..Njuta

  28. Jessica commented
    June 21st, 2010 at 2:49pm

    does anyone know any information about the club chair in the 3rd picture? I adore it! and have been looking for something similar for a while…

  29. Frau Mayer commented
    June 21st, 2010 at 2:49pm

    It’s funny how Alvhem actually inspires people to sit down and do a bit of visual analysis.

    They have so MANY details they repeat from flat to flat that at some point I got tired of checking their site – I’ll get back to it after a little break, I’ m sure. The best thing, imho, is IKEA nicely mixed with some Swedish antiques!

    9 and 15, however, make me frown. Not every flat is sunny :( And I DO care a lot about privacy – right now we’re living without curtains and as the windows are HUGE, I’m feeling like i’m in some kind of Big Brother show.
    Frau Mayer´s last blog post ..Cupboard and me

  30. Lucia commented
    June 21st, 2010 at 3:03pm

    I look at their site every time I have time, they are fantastic. I love their style, the light in their rooms, the little details and the space.
    They makes me dream to visit Sweden some day!

  31. julia commented
    June 21st, 2010 at 5:29pm

    wow!! can’t wait to have my own place to decorate it :)
    great blog!!

  32. Marthe commented
    June 21st, 2010 at 5:59pm

    I really love both this post and the pictures.

    I’m really going to use your list, as I loved these photos, but at first I didn’t understand why. Thank you! :)
    Marthe´s last blog post ..On Rome and boredom

  33. Pinky commented
    June 21st, 2010 at 8:39pm

    I love everything about this home! I can live here! And I especially love the ladder by the bed- that alone can save any room from clutter! I am totally bookmarking this.
    Pinky´s last blog post ..Mini Makeover!

  34. Pinky commented
    June 21st, 2010 at 8:41pm

    Oops, I mean I love everything about THESE ROOMS.
    Pinky´s last blog post ..Mini Makeover!

  35. Polly commented
    June 22nd, 2010 at 4:21am

    These are amazing! I love the little splash of red colour and pattern on the dividing wall between the kitchen and living room. It works really well. And that butterfly print. Ahhh these are so lovely! x
    Polly´s last blog post ..Giveaway winner!

  36. ray commented
    June 22nd, 2010 at 5:49am

    Funny how after years of reading this would be my first comment. I adore your blog, Holly!

    But the apology about translation really surprised me.

    Everyone should know that Google has a translate function that can translate entire websites. Not always perfectly, but well enough so you can get the gist of it. Paste the URL into the box, choose your languages, and presto! Works for Swedish, too!

    I spent my entire lunch hour drooling over these properties. And realizing they’re way more affordable than here in Manhattan.


  37. elize commented
    June 22nd, 2010 at 7:20am

    love these rooms from the deepest end of my heart, specially the wooden flooring i’ll get like the one a day.

  38. Ewelina commented
    June 22nd, 2010 at 7:20am

    I really like the highly surprising wallpapers and colours. Also the way they mix old with new seems so natural. Great interiors! Cheers, Ewelina
    Ewelina´s last blog post ..White with wooden accents

  39. Juliet commented
    June 22nd, 2010 at 8:56am

    Hi Holly, I have posted before that I am always impressed by a put together looking white room! These are beautiful…I am planning a shelf over the bed in our guest room bc there’s no space for a side table. Nice to see an example…and I love their use of the down lights under it!

    As for the white kitchens…I remember in an issue of Domino they wrote “White is the new Stainless” !
    Juliet´s last blog post ..Strawberries!

  40. michelle commented
    June 22nd, 2010 at 9:01am

    I’m always impressed by their ability to make these relatively small spaces feel huge. There have been many studios on the site that I felt I could move right into and feel really comfortable.

  41. decor8 commented
    June 22nd, 2010 at 9:08am

    Ray: I was trying to inject some humor – I also was teasing when I made the comment about not needing curtains/privacy. I guess humor doesn’t always come across as such! :)

  42. Orit commented
    June 22nd, 2010 at 10:50am

    I identify the most with comment #18 – mix IKEA with fly market pieces – always gives BEST results. And if i may add – mix low budget items with (few!) more expensive ones. Love this post.

  43. Stina commented
    June 22nd, 2010 at 12:30pm

    Beautiful! I’m always happy to see apartments with lots of information on these sites. Here in Germany, often you get only bits and pieces of information, you’re lucky to get any photos AT ALL, sometimes not even the exact adress or a floor plan. I can’t afford a real estate agent and am stuck with looking for private landlords, and boy can it be frustrating! Sites like Alvhem let me dream.
    Stina´s last blog post ..Kleine Pause

  44. Shanon commented
    June 23rd, 2010 at 3:04pm

    I love the great use of wallpaper!
    There is a livability to these rooms. They are edited just right. They aren’t primped to perfection, and because of that, they are perfect.
    Shanon´s last blog post ..Washing Diamonds

  45. Jess @ Reclaimed Marketplace commented
    June 30th, 2010 at 6:02pm

    I love the reminder that white is a fabulous and timeless canvas. Thank you for showing us how to make it work!

  46. Len commented
    December 16th, 2012 at 8:38pm

    I really love the hanging glass pendants. Does anyone know where they are from at all?

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