What a blessing that “lovely” is independent of budget and square footage! We can say hello to lovely to a fantasy chateau enchanted with ancient limestone and whimsical art. Hello to an impossibly authentic French home lovingly crafted in Texas…oh how can it be!?! And even a formerly neglected fixer like the humble home we fixed up can shimmer lovely! So stretch your conception of lovely (it’s a subjective matter) as we tour a wee Swedish studio apartment in Norrmalm, Stockholm. Quiet Calm Serene Small Stockholm Apartment offers lessons in restraint, color, and mood from a tiny interior.
Design: Josefin Hååg Source: Fantastic Frank
Quiet Calm Serene Small Stockholm Apartment
What is it even like to live on the tiny wild side? Have you watched HGTV shows and imagined?
What change comes when you must whittle down the wardrobe to bare essentials as closet space shrinks to itty bitty?
Whether it’s an apartment home or a house, many Americans are accustomed to roomy havens with walk-in closets and basements for storage. I’m busted for sure when I consider how I truly believe my kitchen is too small (it is the size of some European apartments!).
When we traveled to London and rented a not too big million dollar flat, it gave me pause. Living in a small space requires a fair measure of restraint.
Back to this little apartment in Stockholm. There is something about the hushed color scheme, spareness, and simplicity of the modern interior design in a historic space with beautiful bones that is worth revisiting so let’s get to it.
A Studio’s Square Inches
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.
Big Idea: Petite Gallery Wall
Ahhhhh the quietness of the beautifully arranged art!
Notice how the art is hung on the gallery wall and all of the gorgeous trim painted light grey.
Some links in this post are affiliate links which won’t cost you a penny more yet earn this blog a small commission.
If you care to create a similar framed collection on the wall in one fell swoop, visit Minted for ideas. For inexpensive, Scandi modern photographic prints, SEE THESE.
Imaginative & Modern Lighting
This Swedish studio apartment is graced with modern lighting in black and gold tones which works smartly with light woods and charming trims painted in hushed shades of warm grey.
Rustic stools bring an organic, laid-back layer of lovely and remind me how much I never tire of little handmade perches.
Modern Scandi Chairs
Who can resist the airy light wood chairs and furniture?
I found vintage examples RIGHT HERE and have always admired the classic European vintage look of THESE with their cross backs and rattan as well.
Does a quiet mood appeal to you too?
I can also imagine a fabulous Mongolian fur throw pillow here in winter.
Find Mid-century retro chair reproductions HERE.
Those French doors remind me of my favorite French farmhouse designs!
For three-legged stool fans…see more examples RIGHT HERE.
Gold-toned Sputnik lighting looks downright acrobatic and happy in this home, and see THESE for more ideas.
The Color of Calm in a Small Serene Apartment
Of course it’s a slim, 24″ Smeg refrigerator in this sweet studio! Wouldn’t this make you smile everyday!?! Ha!
Diagram of the Floorplan
Tour a Gorgeous (If Unrealistic) Tiny House
Behind the Blogger
I’m getting the itch to create pretty things for the holidays. My favorite decorations can hang around long beyond the end of December.
Are you doing any planning or are you too interested in all the fall things to even go there?
Time to make those vintage page cone wreaths!
Thanks so much for reading, and remember if you subscribe to the blog, you can hit reply and start a conversation. 🙂
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Peace to you right where you are.
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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!
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
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…………
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.
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.
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.
This post reads like it is currant with the times of 2020.
We have all needed soothing and calming words of hope & encouragement in this shut down and turbulent time.
I pray each day for our country.
Thank you for this blog today and yes, we all feel better when we can help someone else who needs us. I have a dear friend who has always suffered from depression and I am trying to see her once a week to cheer her. She has many blessings but she has a difficult time and this shut down really affects her more than most.
Most of us focus on our own burdens and never realize that
everyone has burdens to bear. So, look for a glass half full
and share your optimism with others; it will raise your spirts also.
Gorgeous words from you today, friend, thank you for adding to the beauty. I so want to offer more encouraging words and finding it difficult since I am in the throes of such a stressful chapter of life. Hoping to be able to get still enough to write soon and feeling grateful that I am able to recycle old posts when times were a bit simpler for me personally. Thank you for reminding us to help others and in turn help ourselves.
Love this simple apt decor & am reminded how much artfulness (is that even a word?! Haha!) that unique light fixtures add! I made a special point to pick out light fixtures that I didn’t see everywhere and chose ones that were not shiny in any way…metal, wood…as well as ones that reflected cool shadows on the ceiling adding ambiance (I recall your cool laundry ceiling light that did this!) & they continue to be some of my favorite things about our home that I most enjoy & that I get the most compliments on when people visit. A cool/unique light fixture can MAKE a room! And don’t forget to put dimmers on EVERY light possible…you will NOT regret it…dimmers are an amazing friend! Ha!
Say it loud and say it clear: DIMMERS EVERYWHERE are always a good idea! Your lights sound amazing, and it’s a great reminder to all of us to take time to make artful choices about fixtures. We will be living with them a long time (who wants to change out a chandelier!!!) so it pays to curate carefully. 🙂