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Ingenious storage solutions in this beautiful 1920s era villa

When renovating their 1920s house, the owners wanted to respect the original building, yet at the same time provide storage to meet the needs of a modern family with children. This is how they did it!

By Charlotta Flinkenberg  Photos Fredrik Bjelkerud

Johanna and Fredrik stand in the doorway to their kitchen.

This is where we live

The family is made up of Johanna, economist, Fredrik, engineer, as well as two children aged seven and nine. Their 180 m2 house dating from the 1920s is located in Limhamn.

Johanna and Fredrik searched for a long time before finding their dream home in this charming 1920s villa. But as with many older buildings, a considerable amount of repair work and renovations were required to make the home suitable for a modern family.

“We purchased the house as a deceased’s estate and it was basically uninhabitable to start with. We needed to redo almost everything, and started with the kitchen and bathroom.”

Smart, modern storage in a 1920s house

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The handy couple spent many evenings and nights, working on one floor at a time in order that they would have somewhere to live during the process. In the course of scraping down walls, renovating floors and windows, as well as repainting, questions relating to storage arose.

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“For us, it is important to respect the original house. There were no freestanding wardrobes in the house, rather everything was in the form of walk-in closets. The function of these is very static, however, so we wanted to change this.”

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How do you create modern storage using Elfa’s system in an older building, without losing the 1920s feel?

“The storage doesn’t need to be visible: using smart solutions, you can hide clothes and belongings behind a beautiful mirrored door. It is also a good idea to make use of the cellar and concealed areas under staircases and in attics, for example.”

A child’s room with a canopy bed.

Storage needs change over the years

Johanna and Fredrik have now been living in the house for ten years. During this time, their family has grown with two children, and as a result their storage needs have also changed markedly.

“Life with small children involves change on many levels. Life becomes more stressful, with work, school and all the various activities, and you ideally want to spend less time having to tidy up and look for things the whole time. It makes things much easier if the children can reach their own storage baskets themselves, and with Elfa’s bracket system we can adapt the height of the shelves and baskets themselves.”

Inspiration for children’s rooms

Free up floor space

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Do you have more advice for keeping things neat and tidy, as there are a lot of people who need to agree about the storage space?

– “Keep the floor space free! In our hallway storage, we quickly realised that we were just throwing our shoes in there when people visited. And so they just stayed all jumbled up on the floor. It was much better to earmark shelves for the shoes from the outset. And build the storage vertically – it saves a lot of space.”

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Storage solutions from Elfa, wire shelves filled with shoes and mesh baskets holding accessories.

Use doors for storage

Johanna frequently points out how important it is for everything to have its place. The children each have a mesh basket in which they can place their hats and gloves. The cycle helmets should be placed at the bottom, and the adults also have their own baskets and boxes.

“This system offers wonderful flexibility, which creates a good overview and a sense of calm. For me, it is very important for things not to be so messy in order to achieve harmony.”

Inspiration for on door storage
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Use the attic

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As children grow up, a family’s storage needs change again. For this family, it meant that different members suddenly needed to swap rooms, and what had previously been the parents’ bedroom would now be taken over by their daughter. The couple decided to renovate the attic instead, and locate their master bedroom and workspace there.

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“In the 1920s, people didn’t fit out their attics, so we didn’t have the same strict aspiration to preserve the house’s original feel here. There was greater focus on function instead. We wanted to let in light across the entire area and create a more industrial studio feel, which would also blend in with the other floors thanks to an older type of staircase and other details.”

Bedroom wardrobe fitted under a sloped ceiling, with a clothes rail holding shirts.

Timeless storage

“The materials used in Elfa’s products are so durable that they don’t become dated. We acquired several of the parts in our storage solutions ten years ago, and they still fit in just as well today. This means that the system is really sustainable over time.”

With a special feel for details and ingenious solutions, Johanna and Fredrik have created a personal home in which various generations of people as well as material choices and epochs come together under the same roof. The 1920s marry well with the 2020s.

Inspiration for bedrooms
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A home office with Elfa’s classic wall-mounted “Sparring” shelving system and a black office chair.

Flexible storage in a 1920s home

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