The Color of Calm in a Small Serene Home

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?

Bedroom with serene light neutral grey and putty colors, knot cushion, and gallery wall in Stockholm apartment

Tiny, Serene & Modern Stockholm Apartment. Design: Josefin Haag. Source: Fantastic Frank. Interior Design inspiration in a Swedish apartment with minimal modern style. The Color of Calm in a Small Serene Home.

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.

Also.

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

Facade of Stockholm apartment building

Stockholm apartment building exterior. The Color of Calm in a Small Serene Home.

Design: Josefin Haag. Source: Fantastic Frank.

Josefin Haag designed small Stockholm apartment with neutrals and gallery wall

Tiny, Serene & Modern Stockholm Apartment. Design: Josefin Haag. Source: Fantastic Frank. Interior Design inspiration in a Swedish apartment with minimal modern style.

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.

Deep green trim on yellow stucco Stockholm apartment with bistro set outdoors

Tiny, Serene & Modern Stockholm Apartment. Design: Josefin Haag. Source: Fantastic Frank. Interior Design inspiration in a Swedish apartment with minimal modern style. The Color of Calm in a Small Serene Home.

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.

Natural organic and serene neutral Scandinavian modern bedroom decor in a Stockholm apartment

Tiny, Serene & Modern Stockholm Apartment. Design: Josefin Haag. Source: Fantastic Frank. Interior Design inspiration in a Swedish apartment with minimal modern style.

Modern Lighting

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.

Scandinavian style desk, chair, modern black sconce, and plaster shelves in small Stockholm apartment

Tiny, Serene & Modern Stockholm Apartment. Design: Josefin Haag. Source: Fantastic Frank. Interior Design inspiration in a Swedish apartment with minimal modern style.

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.

Light wood frames and serene art gallery wall in Stockholm apartment bedroom

Tiny, Serene & Modern Stockholm Apartment. Design: Josefin Haag. Source: Fantastic Frank. Interior Design inspiration in a Swedish apartment with minimal modern style. The Color of Calm in a Small Serene Home.

Light grey trim and white walls in modern Scandinavian style apartment

Tiny, Serene & Modern Stockholm Apartment. Design: Josefin Haag. Source: Fantastic Frank. Interior Design inspiration in a Swedish apartment with minimal modern style.

Does the quiet mood appeal to you?

Gorgeous moldings and deep window sill in modern Stockholm apartment

Tiny, Serene & Modern Stockholm Apartment. Design: Josefin Haag. Source: Fantastic Frank. Interior Design inspiration in a Swedish apartment with minimal modern style.

I can also imagine a fabulous Mongolian fur throw pillow here in the winter.

Serene Stockholm apartment with bentwood chair and framed art

Tiny, Serene & Modern Stockholm Apartment. Design: Josefin Haag. Source: Fantastic Frank. Interior Design inspiration in a Swedish apartment with minimal modern style.

Find Danish chair reproductions that only appear vintage, HERE.

Serene grey in a small Stockholm apartment

Tiny, Serene & Modern Stockholm Apartment. Design: Josefin Haag. Source: Fantastic Frank. Interior Design inspiration in a Swedish apartment with minimal modern style. The Color of Calm in a Small Serene Home.

French doors to patio of Stockholm apartment

Tiny, Serene & Modern Stockholm Apartment. Design: Josefin Haag. Source: Fantastic Frank. Interior Design inspiration in a Swedish apartment with minimal modern style.

Closet with no door and rustic three legged wood stool in Stockholm apartment

Tiny, Serene & Modern Stockholm Apartment. Design: Josefin Haag. Source: Fantastic Frank. Interior Design inspiration in a Swedish apartment with minimal modern style. The Color of Calm in a Small Serene Home.

Are you a fan of a three-legged stool? Me too! See some examples RIGHT HERE.

Modern Scandinavian wood chairs and table with modern brass hanging pendant in Stockholm apartment

Tiny, Serene & Modern Stockholm Apartment. Design: Josefin Haag. Source: Fantastic Frank. Interior Design inspiration in a Swedish apartment with minimal modern style.

Brass Sputnik lighting looks right at home, see THESE for inspiration.

The Color of Calm in a Small Serene Apartment

Charming Smeg frig built into cabinetry in small Stockholm apartment

Tiny, Serene & Modern Stockholm Apartment. Design: Josefin Haag. Source: Fantastic Frank. Interior Design inspiration in a Swedish apartment with minimal modern style.

Charming grey modern daybed in small beautiful Stockholm apartment

Tiny, Serene & Modern Stockholm Apartment. Design: Josefin Haag. Source: Fantastic Frank. Interior Design inspiration in a Swedish apartment with minimal modern style.

Beautiful serene light grey kitchen in Stockholm apartment

Tiny, Serene & Modern Stockholm Apartment. Design: Josefin Haag. Source: Fantastic Frank. Interior Design inspiration in a Swedish apartment with minimal modern style.

Diagram of the Floorplan

Floorplan of small Stockholm apartment

Bathroom in small Stockholm apartment

Small Stockholm Apartment Decor Inspiration. Design: Josefin Haag. Source: Fantastic Frank. Interior Design inspiration in a Swedish apartment with minimal modern style.

Bathroom shower with marble. Small Stockholm apartment decor inspiration.

Small Stockholm Apartment Decor Inspiration. Design: Josefin Haag. Source: Fantastic Frank. Interior Design inspiration in a Swedish apartment with minimal modern style. The Color of Calm in a Small Serene Home.

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.

Desmond Tutu quote and photo by Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #faith #christianity

Hello Lovely Studio.

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.

Wooly pom pom wreath on a wee pink chair in the snow by Hello Lovely Studio.

Hello Lovely Studio.

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.

Wooly pom poms and a Diptyque Figuier candle. Hello Lovely Studio.

Hello Lovely Studio.

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.

Simple Christmas decor outside in the French inspired courtyard. Hello Lovely Studio.

Hello Lovely Studio.

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.

Pom pom wreaths, pink ballet slippers, and candlelight. Hello Lovely Studio.

Hello Lovely Studio.

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.

Pom pom wreaths, ballet slippers, and candlelight. Hello Lovely Studio.

Hello Lovely Studio.

Isn’t such a free flowing exchange of peace and healing the picture of sacred and the color of calm?

White Christmas decor in my kitchen with window bench seat. Hello Lovely Studio.

Hello Lovely Studio.

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.

White and neutral decor on a window seat bench in a cozy kitchen with candlelight. Hello Lovely Studio.

Hello Lovely Studio.

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.

White farmhouse tablescape with ironstone, blush roses, and candlelight. Hello Lovely Studio.

Hello Lovely Studio.

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.

~michele

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6 Comments

  1. Amy
    November 30, 2018 / 8:15 am

    I LOVE everything about this post…most of all how you put to such lovely words the amazingly similar stirrings of the soul that I have about life…(esp’lly considering the fear & pain of those with challenges/heartache/grief during the holidays and the desire to be a healing balm). God has truly gifted you in that way, and it is a blessing. I read this during my time of solitude this morning with great encouragement while also listening to the beautiful bell- like music of our chime hanging outside my window. So when I read your words on solitude, “Your soul will be there waiting for you with silent bells chiming,” I couldn’t help but smile. Blessings to you dear one!

    • michele
      Author
      November 30, 2018 / 8:26 am

      Oh, friend. Thank you for taking the time to read and share these eloquent sentiments – what a blessing to hear those bells – and what a treasure to join with you in lifting our spirits to become healing. My morning is richer because of you. xox

  2. Connie
    November 30, 2018 / 10:51 am

    Your post is right in line with what I am feeling today. Though my words are not as eloquent, I’d like to share a story.

    We have some neighbors who never have any Christmas decor on their home; no tree inside, never the shades drawn to catch the beautiful morning light that would enter their home. It is a world of darkness for them in many ways….especially at Christmas time.

    One year she told me about losing her son many years ago to a brutal murder…and the case was never solved. As a mother myself, I cannot imagine the heartache of something that devastating.

    As I went out one evening last week to check on our own Christmas lights, I looked at our neighbor’s house and felt a deep desire to show them that yes, they are still loved. Yes, God knows their pain. Yes, in time there can still be healing. And maybe with that healing, they can see some brightness in the world. I seemed to get a ‘message’ that I should do something tangible this Christmas besides wishing them Merry Christmas, especially because they find no happiness in the Season.

    As I sat in church the next day, I felt led to give a Christmas angel to our neighbors. I found a simple little figurine, something that was not to ‘churchy’ (knowing they have lost faith), wrapped it up with a message that says “You are Loved” and we placed it anonymously on their doorstep. We don’t want them to know who the giver is because we wanted them to feel a sense of awe and that yes, there is Someone much Greater, who knows their pain and deeply desires to help them heal. I believe God will do that….we are just His messengers.

    Some may ask “Why not give the gift and let them know it’s from you and that you care?” Well, because all other attempts outwardly have been met with disdain on their part. Sometimes an anonymous gift or card brings surprise and awe especially when it comes at a time when their sadness is most deeply felt.

    Michele, your beautiful comment from your post says it all: “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.” We are trying to let them know they need not bear their pain alone…………

    • michele
      Author
      November 30, 2018 / 11:36 am

      Your words are indeed eloquent and falling on fertile ground in my heart, friend. Your heart is so pure. I love how you embodied grace in this act of peace and love. What if we all kept responding to the heartache around us in that way? What if we saw the response as kindness to ourselves and not just others? What if it became commonplace to find messages of hope on our doorsteps and then sense of awe you describe was happening in August and every month beyond December? “There is Someone much Greater, who knows their pain and deeply desires to help them heal.” Oh, my, what glory in your words. A relatively new concept for me spiritually is showing compassion toward God. It seems to me that this act of anonymous kindness of yours approaches such compassion toward God, since we are His vessels to use. Thank you for blessing me so.

  3. Joanna
    November 30, 2018 / 7:20 pm

    Your comment, “ When I was younger, I felt like damaged goods.” hit home. As a child I was terribly shy and quiet. I rarely spoke, instead allowing my sister to speak for me. I was this thin, platinum blonde, wisp of a child that held on tight to my mother and sisters. I felt things deeply. Too deeply! My mother told me much later, when I was a young lady in my twenties, that she always feared for my life. She had a belief that the good die young. I won’t get into why she had those feelings. I guess I wasn’t as good as she thought, because I’m still here. *wink* I wanted to be happy and outgoing like my sisters but it just wasn’t my personality. I think many of us feel “damaged” in some way. Most people I know don’t realize that I’m an introvert, as I’ve found my voice. You, my dear, have found yours. You bring a touch of peace and beauty into my day. You are my meditation.
    I think we all have an obligation to bring some happiness into the lives of those less fortunate. I have volunteered at a home for battered women and their children. The children, in their innocence, touched me deeply. Why did I stop? I felt too deeply. I wanted to bring mothers & children into my home. It was a conversation with my husband that made me stop. I still give but in a way that doesn’t steal my happiness nor break my heart.
    Blessings,
    ~Joanna

    • michele
      Author
      November 30, 2018 / 8:26 pm

      Love hearing more of your story and reflections – it is a challenge when your heart breaks easily – yet such a beautiful way to be created. I doubt that when we reach the end of our life, we will think ‘i should have cried a lot less’ or ‘i should have toughened up.’ But I hear you about honoring those boundaries because sometimes we just don’t have the capacity to cope with a particular level of emotional pain. I think of Christ, who was with big groups of people often but then also would go away alone to the desert for solitude to recharge and get centered. I think you’re right that it’s common to feel like damaged goods for any number of reasons – it would seem a good part of my journey is relearning the ways I am not damaged and am fully loved. Thanks for your heartfulness.

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