Lovely has a range of possibilities to say hello to indeed! Sometimes it’s a fantasy like French chateau inspiring us with antique limestone floors. Or a French country home with authentic antique construction materials in Texas…oh so charming! But even a wee serene studio apartment in Norrmalm, Stockholm offers lessons in restraint, ideas for color combinations, and The Color of Calm in a Small Serene Home. What is it like to live tiny? Have you watched those shows on HGTV and wondered? And how does it change one, for example, to whittle down the wardrobe to the bare essentials when closet space shrinks to itty bitty?
Whether it’s an apartment home or single family home, many Americans are accustomed to roomy havens with walk-in closets and basements for storage. I’m busted for sure when I think of all the times I have remarked my kitchen is too small when it’s the size of some European apartments!
When we traveled to London last month and rented a million dollar flat there, it gave me pause. Living in a small space surely requires a fair measure of restraint.
Back to this apartment on the small size in Stockholm. There is something about the hushed color scheme, spareness, and simplicity of this modern interior design in a historic space with beautiful bones that is worth revisiting so let’s get to it.
I’m sharing personal reflections at the end of this post – thoughts inspired by these images, the reality of my days, and the stirrings of my soul just now at November’s end.
The Color of Calm in a Small Serene Home
Every little square inch matters when you’re designing a serene, neutral, spare, and modern studio apartment. I can’t stop staring at the design elements.
Petite Gallery Wall
Notice how the art is hung on the gallery wall and all of the gorgeous trim painted light grey!
For beautiful prints you can easily customize with a frame, visit Minted for ideas HERE.
For inexpensive and modern photographic prints of animals with a Scandi feel, see THESE HERE.
Color of the Cushion
Who can resist a knot cushion (this appears to be the very same cushion in that sophisticated shade) echoing the apartment’s facade? It’s such a pop of warmth amid the whispery hushed palette. I was surprised to find sources for many more knot cushions RIGHT HERE as well.
This Swedish studio apartment is graced with modern lighting in black and gold tones which works so well with the light wood furniture and charming moldings and trims painted in hushed shades of warm grey. Rustic stools add a rugged, laid back layer of lovely and remind me how much I never tire of my own similar stools.
Modern Scandi Chairs
Who can resist the airy light wood chairs and furniture? I found some vintage examples RIGHT HERE, and I have always loved the classic European vintage look of THESE with their cross backs and rattan as well.
Does the quiet mood appeal to you?
I can also imagine a fabulous Mongolian fur throw pillow here in the winter.
Find Danish chair reproductions that only appear vintage, HERE.
Are you a fan of a three-legged stool? Me too! See some examples RIGHT HERE.
Brass Sputnik lighting looks right at home, see THESE for inspiration.
The Color of Calm in a Small Serene Apartment
Diagram of the Floorplan
Personal Reflections: The Color of Calm
I’m thinking of you as you navigate these holidays which may at times feel less than sacred. Is there a way to recover what is most sacred? I believe there is, and it’s not complicated. Sometimes it is as simple as finding a quiet pocket of stillness. We can steal away for solitude to get centered, to breathe, and to check in with our soul.
Your soul will be there waiting for you with silent bells chiming as you leave your thoughts and enter your heart.
It’s okay to bring your heartache and longings as you settle in, slow down, and listen.
Somehow, the space between ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ gets magnified at Christmastime. There are folks on my radar right now and maybe yours too, who cannot find their smile. One of them is growing more weary as her cancer becomes a greater burden to bear. Another is fighting the descent into deep despair after losing his home, financial security, and personal dignity. Someone else is in the throes of a spiritual crisis after the death of their child.
I consider the pain and the fear. How it feels to awaken each morning with a weight of grief crushing the chest.
And I search my heartspace for a way to become a healing balm.
What comfort can soothe such woundedness? I’m not sure. I only know it seems worth a try to join friends wholeheartedly in the pain so they must not bear it alone.
When I was younger, sometimes I felt like damaged goods for feeling things too deeply. (And I have loved ones who beat themselves up for NOT feeling deeply enough!) But the older me sees such wholehearted sensitivity as another mysterious path to the Divine.
Now I see that showing myself kindness–such as seeking solitude, meditation, or granting myself the gifts of acceptance and forgiveness–can be a gift of peace to others. As I am healed, I can bring and perhaps even become healing.
Likewise, kindness toward others is always a gift of peace to myself.
Isn’t such a free flowing exchange of peace and healing the picture of sacred and the color of calm?
Being kind to yourself looks different for each of us. It may be saying ‘no’ more often to what would inflict harm. Or saying ‘yes’ to that which manifests goodness. For me personally, it involves giving my YES to God. Giving my yes to surrender. To messy love. And to my brothers and sisters, who are all in some way seeking grace and hungering for beauty.
Today, my YES is also for you.
Because you are lovelier than you even know, with an infinitely precious soul growing in wisdom and love.
May your heart be the color of calm just now as you open it without fear to YES.
Peace to you right where you are.
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