HEM Blog

February 9, 2012

I recently discovered yet another Swedish decorating blog to swoon over, it’s called HEM and is authored by a lovely lady who decorates in mostly black and white and her name is Annaleena. Her home is so pretty and I love this collection of photos that she has snapped around her space, they make me feel peaceful.

HEM Blog

HEM Blog

Though stunning to behold, I couldn’t live in a black and white home but I do admire them from afar and love the extreme discipline that it must take to not bring anything with color or much pattern into the home – the editing one must do to ensure things stay perfectly black and white would make me go a little bonkers. I still love this look though and feel absolutely clear and calm when I see spaces that are so graphic and yet so natural and soothing.

HEM Blog

HEM Blog

HEM Blog

HEM Blog

HEM Blog

HEM Blog

HEM Blog

HEM Blog

HEM Blog

HEM Blog

I am so inspired and in love with Annaleena’s gorgeous home and the light she has filling each corner by day along with her classy, lovely decorating style. To be only black and white, it still feels so cozy and warm to me. The natural wood and different textures definitely make this space. LOVE. In fact, she’s the decor8 blog of the week so do visit her divine design posts daily over on HEM.

I wonder how many readers live in a mostly monochromatic home… Do you? What do you think of living around only black and white? What makes this look appealing to you personally?

(images: annaleenas hem)


  • Reply Jaclyn Bishop February 9, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    some people feel like monochromatic is drab and unwelcoming. but i feel like i really want to be there!

  • Reply Lau de Casalil February 9, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    As a colors lover… I used to style my home with several colors but keeping harmony from a room to another… and since I know Annaleeana house… my vision of b&w has changed… I love her house too… and I try to re-paint some rooms at Casalil… trying “white world” & wood at home… hope I’ll finish soon!!

  • Reply shanon February 9, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    Yum! What is hotter than this look lately? Nothing, I tell ya. =) I love it and adore how it compliments wood and natural elements so gorgeously. It’s like fresh air. I’ve noticed that I’ve been bringing in lots of black and white to my spaces recently and it sure would be great to go all the way like this. ….gosh, the silver and the trinkets on that table… *sigh* I need this around me… =)

  • Reply Shubana February 9, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    I adore annaleena’s blog !
    We’ll be moving in a short few months to Milwaukee and I have my eye set on a black and white look with some natural woods and gold in the new house. There’s something so modern about this swedish aesthetic but still cozy yet.

  • Reply Kimberly February 9, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    My home is mostly neutral. My bedroom is cream and browns and whites, my kitchen is black and white and tan. Only my daughter’s room has color: Brown and blue. I just love neutral. That way I don’t have to worry my colors will clash and I don’t have to update it as often when new colors become popular.

    I love love love these rooms, but they are a little severe. Great examples for my students to see of neutral spaces!

  • Reply lorena February 9, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    beautiful spaces, i love how wood warms them up.

  • Reply Maura February 9, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    Black and white is not for me, either; I love color! Something I do appreciate very much about these photos is the way the natural wood objects look so ALIVE in the setting. Natural wood looks a little drab in my house, but here it really pops.

  • Reply Alison Gibb February 9, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    I could not live like this…I personally love colour….have debated on my blog the difference between Scottish and Scandinavian style…both quite hard places to live in winter…Scottish people seem to crave colour… Scandinavians seem to crave light…do have a look! x

  • Reply Franka February 9, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    I love to look at these black – white homes,
    BUT I don’t want to live there!!!

    It’s a bit boring and you can make no mistakes!



  • Reply Meriem February 9, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    I certainly don’t live in a monochromatic home as in Morocco we use a LOT of colours ! That said, this Black & White home makes me feel relaxed and peaceful, I really love the kitchen and the wooden stairs!

  • Reply Tracy A. February 10, 2012 at 12:19 am

    I love color – though the photo with the ring display is captivating!

  • Reply christine February 10, 2012 at 12:26 am

    what is with the Swedes and decorating? They’ve got this incredible hidden talent for decorating and have kept it secret all these years. x

  • Reply desiree - vosgesparis February 10, 2012 at 12:32 am

    loving the monochromatic home of Annaleena … I think all the light that comes in because of the high windows and High ceilings makes it really a really light place I could easily live in But the most I love is that they designed the house themselves :)

  • Reply Emma February 10, 2012 at 12:49 am

    My home is mostly neutral, with just a tiny amount of colors, mostly brought in by the kids’ stuff. For me it’s not at all about editing, I don’t have to keep myself from getting colorful things since I just don’t like them. Color is not for me, it just makes me feel stressed and over stimulated.

    Having a mostly white home with contrasts added through black, grey and wood, makes me feel relaxed. It let’s my mind and eyes rest from all the impressions of the busy world outside. I also love how clean and un-cluttered it looks. Even if you have a huge amount of things they never become overwhelming if you keep them in light and neutral hues.

  • Reply Chrystina February 10, 2012 at 12:50 am

    I grew up in a black and white house, but it felt so heavy. I’m impressed by how light the decor of this house is. It looks great. I also really love the fact that there’s a bench at the table!

  • Reply Happily Ever After February 10, 2012 at 1:30 am

    I personally love the clean look and calm feeling. Love these spaces!

  • Reply Carmen @ Forgotten Fancies February 10, 2012 at 2:57 am

    I always tell people that I’ll be extremely depressed if I’m not surrounded by colour, but seeing this home made me realise how beautiful and calming it can be. Alas, I’m like you, I will never be disciplined enough to buy nothing but black and white.

    I guess I’ll just have to keep living in my hyper-colour world.

  • Reply Scandi Coast Home (Australia) February 10, 2012 at 3:23 am

    It is STUNNING!!! I LoVe it!!!
    I can never seem to be this disciplined when decorating my own space.
    I guess that’s part of the fun……;o)
    Tania Maree xx

  • Reply Kate @ Songs Kate Sang February 10, 2012 at 4:52 am

    Hmmm… I like color. It keeps me happy. I am intrigued by the black and white – but I think it is color for me.

  • Reply Viv February 10, 2012 at 5:51 am

    I think black and white is awesome, it’s so interesting and with the right furniture pieces it can be such an artsy way to express yourself at home. I moved in December to my new home and only then I added some color to our place, I am happy about that, but I do love the black and white.

  • Reply Christi February 10, 2012 at 5:53 am

    I love these images! So beautiful! Gorgeous simplicity.

  • Reply sara February 10, 2012 at 6:59 am

    I live in my chaotic room, without any sort of structure or theme, and I hate it, can’t wait to move to an own apartment and be able to create a home. You see, I’ve never been good at decorating, so I really adore those who are able to make these amazing houses.
    I think that black and white (+wood) gives a cozy bohemian feeling, and especially if the apartment/house is located in the city, then you just walk into a harmonic bubble. Please excuse my horrible grammar :)

  • Reply design elements February 10, 2012 at 9:17 am

    i need some happy colors around me but just looking b & w on the images is a delight. Annalena’s blog too. Happy Friday!


  • Reply wabi sabi February 10, 2012 at 10:16 am

    My home is where I work. Most of my house is a studio with white walls, wooden floors and black accents. The color is constantly changing, They come from whatever I’m working on at the moment: textiles, painting etc.

    It’s always been like this, ever since I was a teenager: my private space is my studio where I create and have fun.

    When I have guests, we gather around the kitchen table for hours and hours. Or hang out in the garden. No way I could live in such a controlled environment as Annaleena’s home.

    Maybe my home is a revolt against my mother? I used to call my childhood livingroom the “exhibition space” to tease her when she tried to keep some order around us ;-)

    About monocrome spaces: it’s a very good way to go, if you aren’t sure about colors. You can’t go wrong with black and white. It’s also a good way to decorate, if you’re into building, decorating and selling homes. Monocrome works well when you want to show off the structures and other building qualities. Also, while you live there, you can always decorate the private spaces (kids room, the TV room etc) in a more personal style, with lots of color and personal items, like Annaleena does.

  • Reply European Chic February 10, 2012 at 10:28 am

    I hear Annaleena! I especially like the glass star on the side table next to her couch. Anybody knows where I can get one like this? (I live in Paris).

  • Reply anka February 10, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    I think monochromatic takes a lot of courage. Lovely images!

  • Reply Kelly February 10, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    It is beautiful to look at, but I think after a while I would be dying to add a bit of color to the space! I need the energy of color around me to feel inspired to paint!

  • Reply Ericafpc (Erica Cottrill) February 10, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    I grew up in a black and white kitchen and have always had a fondness for this combo. A designer friend told me it’s also a hot trend when it comes to outdoor spaces. Thanks for sharing these wonderful images!

  • Reply Melissa de la Fuente February 10, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    I do not live in all black and white but, like you…I can admire these homes from afar. I find there is a LOT I admire from afar, you too? Things I couldn’t pull off or aren’t my style but, love nonetheless…I can see why the uncomplicated, simpleness of it would appeal to folks. Inspiring….

  • Reply Melissa de la Fuente February 10, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    oh, and totally unrelated…there is a disco ball I am coveting in trampoline’s etsy shop. I blame you! ;)

  • Reply leaca February 10, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    beautiful. love the chalkboard.

  • Reply swati February 10, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    I love black and white spaces…I think Scandinavians do a great job with it but I need some color for sure ….i will attribute that to my Indian upbringing. I currently live in a rental but when I have my own place, I think I will go for a monochromatic look for all the bathrooms in the house ….makes them look cleaner.

  • Reply Lindsey @ arkadian belle woods February 10, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    I love these picutres! It’s not too heavy it still feels light and airy and I like that! I still love color but I also like that these allow for color when and if you decide to change things up.

  • Reply Zane February 10, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    pretty, love the ideas

  • Reply Ada @ New York February 11, 2012 at 12:38 am

    I find it peaceful as well. I am a big fan of white color tones with wood … with a little splash of color to warm up the space, black is my fav color ;) .. hmmm, no wonderf the rooms feel peacful to me. Though I would not be able to resist adding some reds, orange, pink (ok, maybe light pink as to not freak out my hubby) :)

  • Reply Stacey February 11, 2012 at 4:54 am

    personally, i have to have colour. cannot live without it, but i always admire this type of aesthetic.

  • Reply Stuart February 11, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    I LOVE annaleena’s blog, and have been a follower for a long time now!
    She has a fantastic eye for design and her home is just beautiful… I am a daily follower of hers, and Im sure you are now. Have a great weekend hun.
    Just thought I’d let you know that I have included you in my post today as a ‘weekend read’. Feel free to check it out :)
    Stu x

  • Reply Becky {Pretty Dandy homewares} February 11, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    I think this is great as a picture, but I can’t imagine it in real life. I think I would feel very out of place in such a pristine environment! I love to work with colour – mixing new hues, creating surprising combinations and clashing bright colours. I can appreciate that sometimes a neutral palette can feel very peaceful, but personally I enjoy a very stimulating environment full of colour, texture and movement.

    Interesting to see and to read everyone’s comments, but not something I could imagine for myself!

  • Reply Jess (Where My Heart Is) February 12, 2012 at 12:52 am

    I must be SICK. I am loving all this black and white. I’m such a colour girl usually, so what is happening to me…

  • Reply kasia February 12, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    Amazing place !!! I love colors and I’m surrounded by colors but I really love that idea:)

  • Reply jenny February 12, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    I love her blog to. Lovely pictures!!

  • Reply Chrystina February 12, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    I grew up in a black and white house – but it felt heavy, and formal, and bed and breakfasty (like you just sleep there, but it’s not really where you live). However, this looks awesome – it’s homey and comfortable. I really love it. Every time I begin to design my house I wonder if I’m going to stick to the black and white or pull in a few more colors, and I’m always torn. Maybe I need two houses….

  • Reply Angelia February 13, 2012 at 1:41 am

    I am seeing a lot of black and white with neutrals ately, these are lovely examples.

  • Reply Megan February 13, 2012 at 9:04 am

    I’m currently giving my office/studio a makeover…black and white Chanel inspired theme. I agree that an entire home without colour could be quite stark & very cool. I do however love that shapes and designs seem to POP when there’s a monochromatic palette. Gorgeous share, thanks Holly.

  • Reply Kylie @ All Things Loveley February 13, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    I love the look of black and white, just not sure I could live in it. I’d want to at least add a couple of pops of colour with flowers or something small. It carries an elegance about it though that I find beautiful.

  • Reply Daniel - Let me be inspired February 13, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Hi – I love AnnaLeena’s home – I love to decorate in white colors but instead of black i prefer to use more colorful colors.

  • Reply Katia February 13, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    Hey I love to watch houses pictures in b/w and wood! And I desire a more neutral background for my house but at the end I cannot renounce to color!
    It makes me happy… and maybe it rapresents the moltitude of taste and possibilities in life?!

  • Reply Maria @ All Things Luxurious February 14, 2012 at 7:35 am

    I do love this a lot. I would love to think that I could do this in my own home, but I think if I were to try to keep to a black and white color scheme, I’d want a few pops of color here and there.

  • Reply Casa e Cose February 14, 2012 at 11:01 am

    Love the kitchen, the mix of greys, black, whites and light wood. Love it! But as you i could not live in and all b/w home….cause it feelts more like a house then a home if you know what i mean. Still its a lot nicer then mine hi hi!

  • Reply Bonnie McCarthy February 14, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    I agree -totally peaceful! The graphic black and white pavers are also totally cool -what a great shot! I would love to do a photo shoot there! Cool location!

  • Reply Sara February 14, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    The photography, design, and styling are just stunning, but it doesn’t feel like a home to me. It’s more like a gallery. Maybe that is just because I LOVE color, though. They must really love this look, to be disciplined enough, like you mentioned, to keep it this way. How could one possibly do it? I think it’s beautiful to look at, but color is something that for me personally makes things warm and inviting. I think I would be afraid even to step foot into this home, but I love seeing the photos! Sometimes extremes are invigorating and inspiring!

  • Reply Jenny April 3, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    very difficult look to pull off- i love the sofa image.

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