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“We love to mix colours, shapes, patterns, textiles and textures”

The family decorates their home in a style that resonates with them personally rather than following trends. They like to surround themselves with objects that bring happy thoughts and memories. Something they have inherited or bought while on holiday. Let’s take a look inside their colourful and eclectic home with a touch of Art Nouveau and Japan.

By Charlotta Flinkenberg

Annah and Tobias have lovingly renovated their house, built in 1918 and located in the south of Sweden, into an elegant home featuring details inspired from Asia, dark trim throughout, and an exquisite sense of aesthetics combined with functionallity and comfort. “Instead of tackling it all in one go, we’ve been renovating one room at a time over the six years that we’ve lived here. We began with the spaces that desperately needed attention, which were the bedrooms and the 1930s bathroom where a leak had sprung,” says Anna.

Along with a major kitchen renovation the family decided to simultaneously overhaul the layout of the adjacent hallway. “We knew that renovating the kitchen would mean dust everywhere so we thought we might as well tear out both spaces at the same time.” What shape was the hallway in before the renovation? “Very chaotic and disorganised without enough storage space. There was also a bit of a musty odour caused by dampness. It’s a tired old cliché but the hall is the first space you step into when you get home and it was not a pleasant place to have to use every day.”

However, this cluttered space was full of potential. They could optimize the space by building all the way up to the ceiling at a height of 290 cm. The family liked the large mirror in the hall that was there when they moved in and they wanted to keep that feeling. The hall also featured black trim, such as skirting boards, covings, door and window casings. “I have always been fond of black trim, it makes an attractive frame. So we were really pleased with the new sliding doors which have black glazing bars to resemble a window. They blend beautifully with the rest of the hallway.” The anthracite grey shelves behind the sliding doors have been adapted with Elfa’s classic frames.

The black glazing bars create an attractive grid-like effect and work harmoniously with the rest of the hallway


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The three sons are different ages and the hooks for their jackets and bags are placed at just the right height for each of them.

“With three children it’s important that we have a flexible system. The boys now put their clothes and footwear away in the proper places and usually hang up all their things. Probably because of the generous space behind the sliding doors. We used to have to remind them to hang things up but we don’t any more because they want to keep it tidy.”

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How does it feel now when you get home and step inside?

“It feels fabulous. It brings a smile to our faces every time we walk into the hall!”

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The house is full of books and it is obvious that the family loves reading. Blue seems to be something of a common thread in their home, despite the eclectic mix. Blue as a choice of colour. And possibly some Asian inspiration too?

“Blue certainly features in many of the rooms! And we like to contrast it with apricot, ochre, pink and other warmer colours especially for cushions and other soft furnishings. I have a weak spot for art nouveau and dream of visiting Japan. My husband has been there, but I haven't. Japanese design aesthetics greatly appeal to me. The house of Claude Monet with all its bold, vibrant colours is also an immense inspiration.”

With three children it’s important that we have a flexible system


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Anna and Tobias both work with urban vegetation. Their charmingly decorated home therefore also features organic materials and playful silhouettes that evoke a botanical vibe.

Paintings, starry skies creatively painted on the ceiling and works of art by the children also catch the eye in their home. Some of the items are displayed around the home using Elfa’s classic shelf system with hang standards.

“We all like being creative. Elfa shelves are very flexible, especially in tricky spaces under sloped ceilings. They are easy to install and you can move the fixtures and arrange the storage in whatever way you want. The children have been very involved in organising their storage spaces and they also painted some of the shelves gold”.

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Anna’s tips for making your home a personal space

  • Get inspired by plants and use organic lines and shapes.
  • Decorate your home in a style that resonates with you personally rather than just following the latest trends.
  • We love to mix colours, shapes, patterns, textiles and textures. Contrasts add dynamism to the home.
  • I’m quite a nostalgic type and like to have things around me that remind me of something that makes me happy. Like something we’ve inherited or bought while on holiday. Or a colour that evokes the feeling of a wonderful memory.
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The family

Anna and Tobias are 45 years old and work as researchers in the field of urban greenery. They live with their three sons (7, 10 and 12 years old) in a 160 sq.m. house in the south of Sweden.

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