Decorating Tips

Alvhem Inspiration

June 21, 2010

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.

Alvhem Inspiration

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.

Alvhem Inspiration

Alvhem Inspiration

Alvhem Inspiration

Alvhem Inspiration

Alvhem Inspiration

Alvhem Inspiration

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).

Alvhem Inspiration

Alvhem Inspiration

Alvhem Inspiration

Alvhem Inspiration

Alvhem Inspiration

Alvhem Inspiration

Alvhem Inspiration

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)

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46 Comments

  • Reply Christina June 21, 2010 at 7:24 am

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

  • Reply Erin June 21, 2010 at 7:26 am

    Beautiful! Beautiful! I love the wall paper.

  • Reply Sarah@Mocha June 21, 2010 at 7:39 am

    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 ;-)

  • Reply KG @ KG Style June 21, 2010 at 7:40 am

    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!

  • Reply juliette June 21, 2010 at 8:42 am

    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!).

  • Reply Frau Mayer June 21, 2010 at 8:51 am

    Strange, there are NO pictures!

  • Reply Lorrie Everitt June 21, 2010 at 8:57 am

    beautiful. Loved the ladder idea too … need to get one or two of those for my home.

  • Reply Christine June 21, 2010 at 9:33 am

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

  • Reply Samantha June 21, 2010 at 9:40 am

    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.

  • Reply margot June 21, 2010 at 10:11 am

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

  • Reply irene June 21, 2010 at 10:18 am

    thanks for an amazing blog post. i love these flats so much!

  • Reply Helena June 21, 2010 at 10:21 am

    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!

  • Reply heidi June 21, 2010 at 10:29 am

    What wonderful wide open rooms , how do you do it!!!

  • Reply Anke June 21, 2010 at 10:37 am

    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.

  • Reply Anke June 21, 2010 at 10:39 am

    ps.
    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

  • Reply Anke June 21, 2010 at 10:41 am

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

  • Reply Color Collective June 21, 2010 at 10:54 am

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

  • Reply pixie June 21, 2010 at 10:56 am

    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.

  • Reply Renee June 21, 2010 at 11:19 am

    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!
    xo

  • Reply Evy June 21, 2010 at 11:32 am

    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

  • Reply Sandra Kuwartowski June 21, 2010 at 11:36 am

    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…

    • Reply decor8 June 21, 2010 at 11:56 am

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

  • Reply sideoats + scribbles (Lisa) June 21, 2010 at 11:45 am

    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 :)

  • Reply ephemerette June 21, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    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!

  • Reply Cindy Lietz, Polymer Clay Tutor June 21, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    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!

  • Reply Nuit June 21, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    wow… love all the white, the dining rooms and the light… great spaces!!!

  • Reply Karin A June 21, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    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 atmosphere.se, 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.

  • Reply Jessica June 21, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    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…

  • Reply Frau Mayer June 21, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    It’s funny how Alvhem actually inspires people to sit down and do a bit of visual analysis.
    http://fraumayerandcat.blogspot.com/2010/01/secret-of-scandi-design-bit-of-picture.html

    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.

  • Reply Lucia June 21, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    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!

  • Reply julia June 21, 2010 at 5:29 pm

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

  • Reply Marthe June 21, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    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! :)

  • Reply Pinky June 21, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    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.

  • Reply Pinky June 21, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    Oops, I mean I love everything about THESE ROOMS.

  • Reply Polly June 22, 2010 at 4:21 am

    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

  • Reply ray June 22, 2010 at 5:49 am

    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!

    http://translate.google.com/#

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

    xo

    • Reply decor8 June 22, 2010 at 9:08 am

      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! :)

  • Reply elize June 22, 2010 at 7:20 am

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

  • Reply Ewelina June 22, 2010 at 7:20 am

    I really like the highly surprising wallpapers and colours. Also the way they mix old with new seems so natural. Great interiors! Cheers, Ewelina

  • Reply Juliet June 22, 2010 at 8:56 am

    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” !

  • Reply michelle June 22, 2010 at 9:01 am

    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.

  • Reply Orit June 22, 2010 at 10:50 am

    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.

  • Reply Stina June 22, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    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.

  • Reply Shanon June 23, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    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.

  • Reply Jess @ Reclaimed Marketplace June 30, 2010 at 6:02 pm

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

  • Reply Len December 16, 2012 at 8:38 pm

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

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