Purely Scandinavian Apartment in a Postindustrial Neighborhood of Stockholm with a Circular Balcony
Joel, an interior photographer, a student of Royal Institute of Technology
Adelina, a recruitment officer in international recruitment agency
Number of rooms: 2
Metric area: 72 m²
Ceiling height: 3 m
Floor number: 6
Just a year passed since Adelina and Joel started to own an apartment in a comparatively new district of Stockholm, Hammarby Sjöstad (literally: “city by the lake”), to the south of Södermalm Island, which hosts most of fashion malls, cafes, restaurants and bars of the city. The neighborhood is connected to Södermalm with a free ferry boat, which sails every 20 minutes. In fact the district stands in place of a former industrial zone, which used to feature textile mills, multiple industrial buildings and a seaport. Redevelopment of the territory was launched at the dawn of 1990s, when the municipal government resolved to head for environmental protection. On that tide numerous houses were equipped with solar batteries and biogas, and the entire area was covered with a network of bikeways.
The house used to be run by a management company, which let out the dwellings on lease. It’s quite typical of Sweden and accounts for some national peculiarities of interior décor: white walls, standard kitchens and light-colored bathroom tiling. Since the management company has to make sure no one alters the initial condition of the flat, the dwellers go easy with redecoration issues. Actually, this very feature laid the foundation of traditional Stockholm design: even those who get an apartment into the ownership, rather than for rent, do not usually hurry in getting rid of white in the interior, as a “white lodging” would be easier sold in the future.
While choosing the furniture the hosts were first of all functionality-oriented. The central element is a big table Teatro by Magis —it’s utilized as a working spot, as a board for table games and for mere communication. Once a display is taken away, it can easily sit as many as 8 persons.
Mobility is the second principle the hosts stick to. Chairs by Steelwood, Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec, arm-chairs by Select Largo, Inno and even a Bondo sofa can be easily moved around the room creating different combinations for dinners, video games and dancing.
Joel and Adelina’s flat didn’t need serious changes. Just the bedroom got a new floor of dark oak and fresh wallpaper (Squiggle Vivienne Westwood for Cole & Son). The old closet was removed and a new one was arranged in a different place. The bed was put so that it overlooked the lake.
Holding minimalist views in point of interior décor, the hosts wouldn’t overload their space with books, records and small stuff. Everything above-listed is kept in a well-thought storage system in the lounge (a white closet and a black chest of drawers by IKEA) and the hallway (shelves and cabinets of String system are an essential attribute of all Stockholm apartments).
The adornment of the wall are covers of favorite records The XX and Joy Division, a watch Banker’s by Arne Jacobsen, and a picture by Swedish artist Jenny Klingvall. The windowsill features an illustration by the host’s friend made for Geronimo shop in Stockholm.
Adelina is just mad about a Caboche lamp by Patricia Urquiola and Eliana Gerotto. She had a great tug to convince Joel that this Italian monster would fit into their Nordic interior style. The rest of the illuminants are Scandinavian: a standard lamp on the closet by Holmegaard (Denmark), in the hallway — Work Lamp из Design House Stockholm, in the bedroom — a classic Swedish cut-glass chandelier, which was bought by Joel’s parents at an auction as a housewarming gift to the couple.
The kitchen and the bedroom remained practically unchanged. A standard kitchen was just a little bit refreshed with a few motley spots. The bathroom’s sterility was diluted with monochrome textile by Society, potted plants and an Eye watch by George Nelson.
Thanks to the terrace, in summer the flat gets a bonus space, where the spouses spend most of their leisure. The entire outdoors furniture was gotten from IKEA because of its moderate price and frost resistance. This season was marked with the purchase of Granit hammock, which was Adelina’s childhood dream. A «To the pool» sign is also fresh. There is actually a pool in the neighborhood, but in a diametrically opposite direction.
A blue wicker jug was bought in St. Petersburg. Besides its decorative purpose, it also serves for watering plants, the collection of which is regularly renewed by the hosts.