Hello decor8 readers. This is Emelie Ekborg and this is the first time I’ve ever written a post on decor8 so excuse me if I’m a bit excited! I originally wrote to Holly to inquire about the possibility of her sharing an apartment that I photographed with her readers and she wrote back and offered me more than I’d ever expected – to actually share it with you myself and get paid for it. Sweet! Sooooo here I am to share a small natural style studio flat from the 30s in Gothenburg, Sweden. Ready to see?
This space belongs to 28-year-old Fanny Henricson (shown photographed below) who gently decorated it in true Scandinavian style in blue and grey hues on a white base with lots of fresh plants and personal details. The flat is only 37 square meters (398.26ft²) and includes one room for living and sleeping, a kitchen with an eating nook, a very small entry and a bathroom – perfect for a single city girl!
When Fanny bought the flat in 2009 she removed a built-in wardrobe to have more space and then gave the entire flat a facelift with a fresh coat of white paint. She also painted the kitchen cupboards and replaced the hardware. There haven’t been any renovations aside from those small changes. With limited resources Fanny created a stylish little flat with a strong personal touch that makes her happy.
A whole wall in the room is covered with windows which lights up the entire flat. Even though the room is decorated in white and cool colours like navy, turquoise and grey, it manages to still feel very warm and cosy because of all the cushions, woven rug and the sheepskin.
The “Ektorp” sofa from IKEA is full of nice cushions from H&M Home, Åhlens, Chhatwal & Jonsson and the classic elephant pattern from Svenskt Tenn. The wall next to it is decorated with some large post cards, a nice contrast to the two large posters above the sofa.
The gingko plant is just magnificent on the coffee table and adds an extra freshness to the space. The grey candle holder is from Serax and the marble tray are a few of my favorite things in this room.
Everywhere in the flat you can find different vignettes like this one next to the TV. A book by Alexa Chung in pretty pink, two candle holders, a marble diamond, an old license plate and a simple bottle with asparagus ferns is a charming little vignette in soft colours. The diamond was a Christmas gift some years ago and the license plate was found at Williamsburg Flea Market in Brooklyn, NY. “In such a small flat it’s not possible to refurnish that often”, says Fanny. “I found the perfect way to make some changes is to work with styling small vignettes! My friends used to say that flat looks totally different every time, just because I changed a few things around.”
The city map of Gothenburg from The Global Institute of Creation is one of Fanny’s dearest belongings. The cabinet “Bestå” from IKEA hangs on the wall, which frees up space on the floor lending to a more airy impression. An old jar serves as a vase for some lovely hydrangeas and the turquoise bottle matches the colours in the map. The colourful skull was bought on a holiday trip to Mexico a few years ago. Now it rests on top of a pyramid of boxes from Hay. “I love to bring things home from travels”, says Fanny. “These things keeps memories and are truly treasures that will come with me to any place I call home.”
The bed is placed in a corner of the room. The wall next to the door is just large enough for the headboard. Instead of a bedside table, Fanny placed a shelf above the bed to hold some books, a light, a candle and other small things that one needs next to bed. An old sugar box works perfect as storage for magazines and candles! Even though Fanny gets really happy and satisfied when she finds some nice and old things at a flea market or second hand shop, it’s not very often the places where she goes for shopping.
“Patience is not my best friends”, she admits. “It’s not always I have the patience to search and dig deep at flea markets. But when I do it’s mostly for small accessories.” Fanny prefers neutral but rustic flower pots and old terracotta pots are her favourites. The fresh green leaves of a little pepperomia works really nicely above the bed to add life and some color to her sleeping nook along with a single monstera leaf. To obtain a more united and sleek look, the backs of the paperbacks are facing the wall so the titles are hidden from view to reduce visual noise and create a sense of serenity.
Even though the house originates from the 30s, there are sadly no original features left. The kitchen is probably from the 60s. When Fanny moved in there was Josef Frank wallpaper in the kitchen and a wallpaper with an oversized pattern in black and white in the entrance.
Fannyspray painted the cupboards in the kitchen and changed the handle to update the space so it feels fresh and clean.
In the kitchen Fanny placed a metal trolley against a wall. It gives some extra storage for cookbooks, groceries and plates. And of course the spare surface is perfect for some flowers. The wall above keeps memories and business cards. A dried hydrangea is still sharing its beauty in a purple glass bottle along with a candle holder in brass.
The chairs around the kitchen table are all different, a nice vintage mix. One of them is a little special, Fanny thinks it might be a Gemla. In the window there’s lots of different plants and a large iron “F” for Fanny.
The corner next to the window is the coffee corner and around the window hangs a black string light which gives a soft glow in the evenings. On the wall above the espresso machine there are some restaurant menus posted from local restaurants and the espresso capsules are kept in a beautiful black Mariskooli bowl from Iittala.
Delicious cooking ingredients and refreshments such as limes, garlic and pink lemonade are kept next to the stove. Fanny is a real urban gardener and she loves to grow plants, even though she has no balcony or terrace. On the kitchen table Fanny has created another vignette. Different hard materials like marble, glass and terracotta work very well together with wild Queen Anne’s lace and a geranium.
The sunlight is streaming in through the kitchen window, which makes it a nice place for Fanny’s plants.
In the narrow entrance you can find magazines hanging on the wall. Wire hangers turn them into functional storage and wall art at the same time so they’re not littering the room.
In front of the entrance door, Fanny used a net of rebar and clips to create a mood board. Quirky animal head hangers is ideal storage for her keys.
“Things that tells a story or that are very personal can almost give me butterflies in my stomach”, says Fanny. “Decorative accessories don’t need to be trendy. If I find something I love – I love it whether it appeared in an interior magazine or not. Of course I also fall for trends but it’s the uniqueness that I really love.”
So! There you have it, small city living in a warm, natural style. What do you think, do you like this space and if so, what do you like about it?
(text & photo Emelie Ekborg, styling Fanny Henricson)