Tropical Twist In An Norwegian Home By Nicolette Horn

Scandinavian home of Nicolette Horn Tropical Twist In An Norwegian Home By Nicolette Horn

An Island-Inspired House in Oslo… Norway Interior designer Nicolette Horn brings a bit of the Bahamas into her Scandinavian home.

“I wanted to feel lifted up when I came inside,” Horn says, “and for me, that means feeling like I am in the Bahamas.”

This despite the house’s resolutely Scandinavian exterior, which is dark brown with deep red accents. “It’s a Hansel-and-Gretel house,” Horn says with a laugh.

Yet the interior is no mere replica of a Caribbean residence. Horn accents island style with Asian touches — pagodas on the dining table, lacquered furnishings in the living room — as well as with Scandinavian notes, including candlelit chandeliers, mirrors to multiply the light, and muslin-covered Gustavian-style chairs. And she has a soft spot for the breezy sensibility of summers on the east end of Long Island, which can be felt in the kick-off-your-shoes elegance of the arrangements.


Linda And Lindsay Kennedy’s California Bungalow Decorated In The Swedish Style

Linda And Lindsay Kennedy California Bungalow Decorated In The Swedish Style Page 1

This beautiful California home decorated in the Swedish style was featured in the Country Home September 2004 issue.  The article was written by Claire Whitcomb, photographed by Edmund Barr and styled by Jennifer Kope Zimmerman.

Linda and Lindsay, LA designers and antique dealers stumbled on a home they had to have.  They immediately loved how much light the home retained, and while they didn’t really love the layout, it was located in the right area, and it felt like a piece of the country.  They fell in love with the property that they put their own house up for sale, just to be ready to take possession of the bungalow.

The house had already been renovated with vintage wide plank flooring, and the walls had beadboard lined walls, all the markings of the classic Swedish style interior.  The couple was getting ready for their baby, and they wanted to be set up to enjoy their life as parents.  Linda recalls a life growing up with fond memories of her mother who would drag her to country barn sales….  She started her antique business when her production company closed…and found herself wondering what to do.  She took a leap of faith and decided to sell antiques.

We logged about 8,000 miles on the back roads in order to find affordable antiques” she tells Country Home Magazine.  Not considered about names, they opted to find solid beautiful pieces.  “The worn woods and the faded blues and creams and grays are what give character to a minimalist setting” she says….

Additional Links:

a beautiful visit with an old friend – Velvet & Linen

Reflections on Swedish Interiors – Page 207 – Google Books

Summer House in Nantucket Restored by Nancy Fishelson


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International Interior Decorating Magazines Worth Buying

Antik & AuktionAntik & Auktion

Antik & Auktion- (Antique & Auction) Antique & Auction is a great Swedish magazine which focuses on antiques and art. Experts write about furniture, silver, rugs, art and much more. Features often include auctions, fairs, and general trends around the antique market and prices.

Antik & Auktion 11 Issues For $99 On Amazon

Gods & Gardar (Gods & Farms) -The magazine that takes you to the beautiful farms, manor halls and castles that will leave you speechless.  Learn about the families who have inherited and live in the countryside on these dream farms. Gods & Farms tells us how to live a modern life out in the country. For those who enjoy looking at classic style in the Nordic country, rich history, breathtaking antiques, architectural homes and lush gardens, this magazine might be for you.

Gods & Gardar-

Gard & Torp(Farm & Cottage)  is the only magazine that deals with how to renovate older homes. When was the house built, and what colors were used?  Tell me about how to buy a older property without destroying the original charm? The Farm & Cottage takes you behind some of the oldest homes and gives expert advice on how they are maintained.  Here you will find inspiring images of farms, cottages in rural areas.

Gard & Torp -10 Issues For $85 On Amazon

Hem & Antik (Home And Antique) -Do you like renovations?   Are you excited about antiques, yet desire to have modern amenities?  DThen this is a magazine for you! Classic Home & Antique is namely the country’s first and only interior design magazine that is also an antique newspaper. In this magazine you will see furniture and auction finds, side by side with modern day furniture such as Ikea.  Classic Home & Antique is published six times a year and is in Swedish.

Hem & Antik –6 Issues For $49 On Amazon

Skona Hem (Comfortable Home) Comfortable home is a source of inspiration for those who are interested in interior design. Here you will find inspiring homes in Sweden along with home décor, the latest trends, antiques and all things that involve the home.

Skona Hem- 14 Issues For $133 On Amazon

Other International Magazines To Consider:

Campagne Decoration– $44.41 ($7.40/issue) 6 Issues- Amazon

Period Living $143.99 ($12.00/issue) 12 Issues- Amazon

Elle Decoration – British Edition- $122.72 ($10.23/issue) 12 Issues- Amazon

World of Interiors- $103.09 ($8.59/issue) 12 Issues- Amazon

Elle Interior (Sweden) $127.99 ($12.80/issue) 10 Issues –Amazon

House And Home (Canada) $21.63 ($1.80/issue) 12 Issues – Amazon

Marie Claire Maison – (France) $57.07 ($7.13/issue) 8 Issues- Amazon

House & Garden – (England) $91.63 ($7.64/issue) 12 Issues – Amazon

Homes & Antiques- $59.90 ($4.99/issue) 12 Issues – Amazon

The English Home– $32.75 ($5.46/issue) 6 Issues- Amazon


Antik & Auktion2014Antik & Auktion

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Gard & TorpGard & Torp

Hem & Antik

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Period Living Period Living

The English Home MagazineThe English Home


5 Homes Decorated Around The Nordic Style

New Orleans invid Mälaren Skona Hem

New Orleans invid Mälaren- Skona Hem

Country House Inspired After New Orleans -One hundred and fifty meters from Lake Mälaren is 1800-century house whose decor is inspired after the famous city of New Orleans. Kristina Spur found the house 11 years ago in deplorable condition. It leaked, had no electricity, water or heat.   The building had been abandoned since the 1950s, and the roof was almost completely destroyed as the home had it’s original roof timbers from 1887 when the house was first built.  In February 2001, she moved in with her two sons Oscar and Gustav, then 3 and 5 years old. Read more about this transformation at Skona Hem

A Swedish Seaside Home Decorated Around The Nordic Style- This Scandinavian home is surrounded by rocks and sea. The owner, Jacob is an architect followed in his forefathers steps, as his ancestor designed the the library in 1760, at the Royal Palace in Stockholm.  His home boasts huge windows, which can be seen from the ocean, and lets in a terrific amount of light, and  provides an open concept with the vaulted ceilings.  Interior wood paneling on the walls brightens things up.  The interior decor mingles the new with the old.  One of the oldest pieces in the house is a rococo sofa from 1760, which was completely refurbished. Originally featured at

Granholms Estate has been named the the Manor of the year in 2014 in the Great Gods & Farms Gala. Gransholm is also Mary and Jan Åke of Trampes private homes. Granholm’s mansion, built in 1812, has regained its original beauty. With great passion and respect for the history, the family has managed to create a modern functional home while preserving the cultural history behind the home. The mansion also serves as showroom for antiques. See the rest of the pictures in

Gotland House- When Asa Hallin and Håkan Jacobsson finally got to buy the house of Hemsedal municipality 20 years ago, it was run down and in poor condition. Håkan is a carpenter by profession, and through the process of renovating the house, they enlisted the help of another carpenter, a mason and a painter. Over a year and a half, they completely restored it back to the style resembling its original condition. Read more at

Restored Home Built In 1792- There isn’t a lot of information about this last Swedish home on the internet.  The home is decorated with classic Swedish distressed furniture.  It is unclear how many rooms are in this house, but an obvious kitchen/ dining room has a large center table, with two rectangular side tables pushed together.  Off this room, is another bedroom with a twin bed, and rustic wood chair.  A children’s room is the highlight of the tour, with a painted blue doll house situated on a table, with a country style Swedish bed with draperies.  A stenciled floor make this room memorable. Photography Solvie dos Santos

 View the pretty pictures below:

Granholms Estate- Seen In Gods And Gardar Magazine 1

Granholms Estate- Seen In Gods And Gardar Magazine

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Granholms Estate- Seen In Gods And Gardar Magazine, The Swedish rococo cabinet and rococo chairs in the original color from the 1760s .

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Granholms Estate- Seen In Gods And Gardar Magazine,

The houses corner room shows a mirror by Johan Åkerblad 1789

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Granholms Estate- Seen In Gods And Gardar Magazine

Vaulted Home Decorated Around The Swedish Style featured at 4 (2)

Vaulted Home Decorated Around The Swedish Style featured at

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Vaulted Home Decorated Around The Swedish Style featured at

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Vaulted Home Decorated Around The Swedish Style featured at

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Vaulted Home Decorated Around The Swedish Style featured at

Hallin Håkan Jacobsson's Swedish Home3

Hallin & Håkan Jacobsson’s Swedish Home

Hallin Håkan Jacobsson's Swedish Home

Hallin & Håkan Jacobsson’s Swedish Home

Hallin Håkan Jacobsson's Swedish Home2

Hallin & Håkan Jacobsson’s Swedish Home

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Nordic Style Historical Interior Decorating Books – Living Museums in Scandinavia

Nordic Style Historical Interior Decorating Books - Living Museums in Scandinavia

Living Museums in Scandinavia By Per Nagel- On Amazon From $89

An inspiring, interesting and useful insight into Swedish life and interior decoration of the past. This is a lavish photographic guide to 13 historic houses in Scandinavia that have been preserved exactly as their original owners left them. They have now been opened to the public as museums.

The houses featured represent a wide range of types, from the sophisticated Jugend style to simple country dwellings, city houses and studios, and belonged to artists, architects and scientists, as well as ordinary folk. Painstakingly reconstructed and preserved with authenticity, these homes offer the reader a rare opportunity to travel back in time to experience the best in Scandinavian style, characterized by simplicity and by clarity of light and color.

From The Amazon Preview:

The museums chosen for this book are all authentic Scandinavian homes. Their distinctive common Scandinavian origin is evident in the wonderful clarity of light and colour and in the beautiful, simple living style for which Scandinavia is so well

These museums also have in common that they seem especialry alive because they are still intensely reflecting the life that was once lived in them. They are all real, in
the sense that they were created by those who originally lived there. It is as though the residents have just stepped out for a moment! These homes represent a wide variety of types ranging from a sophisticated Jugend style to simple country style, and from urban houses to farms and artist’s studios. The residents have represented many social levels from famous citizens and farmers to well-known artists, architects and scientists.Because of the strong authenticity of these places, they offer us a rare opportunity of going back in time and experiencing different ways of living, and perhaps
finding inspiration for our own lives.

Photographer Per Nagel has collaborated with architect Vibe Udsen for many years in publishing the world-wide distributed architectural annual, LIVING ARCHITECTURE, which is based on his exceptional photographs of Scandinavian architecture.

In LIVING MUSEUMS IN SCANDINAVIA, Per Nagel’s evocative photographs convey the atmosphere of these old residences in such a magnificent way that the reader almost has the feeling of having been there.

Table Of Contents:

8 Melstedgard Farm House on Bornholm, Oenmark
16 Erichsens Gard Townhouse on Bornholm. Denmark
24 Hjorth’s Pottery on Bornholm. Denmark
26 Michael and Anna Ancher’s House The Artists’ Home In Skagen. Denmark
42 Holger Drachmann’s Villa Pax The Artist’s Home in Skagen. Denmark
58 Kauppila Farm House in Finland
68 Qwensel House Chemist’s Shop ana* Home in Turku. Finland
82 Hvittrask Architects Saarinen, Gesellius and Lindgren s Home in Finland
96 Carl Larsson-Garden Karin and Carl Larsson’s Home in Sundborn. Sweden
124 Zorngarden Artist Anders Zorn’s Home in Mora. Sweden
138 Carl von Linne Carl Linnaeus’ Town House and Summerplace in Uppsala. Sweden
163 Siggebohyttan Mine Owner’s House in Nora, Sweden
182 Husantunet Farm House in Alvdal. Norway

Nordic Style Historical Interior Decorating Books - Living Museums in Scandinavia

Melstedgard, Farm House on Bornholm, Denmark

50+ Decorating Books Worth Looking At

Decorating With White

1. Shades of Country: Designing a Life of Comfort – From $3.99 Amazon

“Shades of Country,” written by “Chippy Irvine,” masterfully presents some of America’s most beautiful, charming and fascinating country houses. It is profusely illustrated with a wealth of examples of actual American homes, some of them are derived from European country styles, but most are what we think of as typically American – east coast farmhouses, Shaker simplicity, Montana ranch and rustic Adirondack cabin.   This book covers a lot of decorating territory. A few pictures of each, as well as others styles like Ranch, or French. If you are having trouble deciding on a style, this book might help you.

2. Country Living Decorating with White- From $14 Amazon

Country Living Decorating with White showcases a beautiful new vision of how to use this classic hue. Explaining the art of choosing the right shade of white and blending it with other colors and objects. Close to 150 color photographs fill this volume with captions describing successful design features and giving decorating tips. The classic motifs of white with blue or black are given primary focus, although every room of the house is shown with various color accents.

“I have wanted to change back to all white but needed ideas to avoid a completely “washed out” look. Varied surfaces, tones of paint color, accents, etc. are among suggestions that work well with white and offer many great ideas.”

3. Living Life Beautifully $14 On Amazon

Christina Strutt Living Life Beautifully tells the story of how Christina founded legendary fabric company Cabbages & Roses and grew it into a lifestyle brand. Christina talks about her inspirations and influences, and how she works these into her products. Christina gives the reader a look behind her home where she designs her fabrics, experiments with her new wallpapers, and gathers all her favorite antiques. 

4.  La Vie Est Belle: The Elegant Art of Living in the French Style$18 On Amazon

The book is arranged by region and offers a privileged glimpse inside dozens of French homes, from chateaux to farmhouses, as well as the regions in which they are set.  Interior colors are more simple and muted that what we use here in our American country homes

Continue Reading…

A Dallas, Texas Home Decorated Around The Swedish Style

4611 Arcady AVE, Highland Park, TX Briggs Freeman

Featured twice in Veranda, this utterly unique home contains 1610 square feet, decorated in the Swedish, Nordic decorating style.  The current owner transformed this cottage into a Swedish oasis in the heart of West Highland Park, Dallas, featuring fabulous finishes and extraordinary workmanship.

Calcutta marble adorns the open kitchen and bathroom, while antique French stone mantles create a warm ambiance. Large French doors with double-paned glass add to a light and bright interior. Several interior doors were specifically picked out in European antique markets and imported. The kitchen was designed for serious cooking and includes top appliances with room to entertain guests. The brick patio was built on pier and beam foundation for future expansion, or to be enjoyed exactly as it is.

This property is listed under 4611 Arcady Avenue, for $879,000, MLS #12170512 at


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3 Houses Decorated Around The Rustic Swedish Style

Ginger Barber's Rugged Texas Home House Beautiful Magazine July 2009

Ginger Barber’s Rugged Texas Home

1.  Cotswold’s Barn Conversion comes from Light Locations.  Inside, the home is saturated with shades of whites.  Take notice of it’s whitewashed rustic oak beams, the neutral decor scheme and open plan interior.  Decorated around minimal decor, this home has rustic furniture, industrial pendant lights, linen bedding and furniture and huge picture windows.

See more of this home at Light Locations

2. A Chattahoochee River Home, decorated by designer Amy Morris, was seen in Atlanta Home Magazine.  This home is decorated around the neutral palette, with soft creamy whites and touches of gray, green and blue.  In the entry hall, we see the start of a theme that continues throughout the house….  “Rustic and elegant“.  A herringbone-patterned brick flooring, combined with country distressed furniture is very welcoming.  What makes this house appear warm and cozy are the fabric choices and old world color choices.  One of the designer’s favorite style secrets involves using outdoor fabric in busy rooms…… “I typically use a polyester, which looks like natural velvet,” she says. It looks great and no one knows.

View more of this interview in Atlanta Home Magazine

View Designer Amy Morris Interiors

3.  Ginger Barber’s Rugged Texas Home.  This home was featured in House Beautiful‘s July 2009 issue. As you enter her 180-acre property you see a beautiful white farmhouse, which is Ginger’s main house, and across the pasture, is her 1850s guesthouse.

When they decided to renovate the guest house, they worked with an open design scheme.  It has a combined family and dining room, along with a master bedroom and bathroom.

She choose to work with a soft creamy gray for the color scheme.   Going with a lighter color palette helps the rooms feel bigger.  In addition to keeping it brighter, they boarded every wall with reclaimed wood and whitewashed the boards for warmth.

Ginger Barber On Lived-In Rooms

On Patina “A nice wide table with the paint peeling off. It’s got great lack-of-paint, doesn’t it? I love chipped painted things; they feel more natural, softer, more inviting. And that washedout Swedish cupboard in the main house’s living room is so wonderfully dull—I love that, too. I’ll even take a new piece and work on the finish to get the look I want. If you look at that pine table in the main house, you’ll see it’s stripped raw, rosy raw. I used white chairs around it because I love the back and forth of crisp white against old and worn”

On Slipcovers- “Again, you’ve got to live. You’ve got to be ready to throw the slipcovers in the wash andbe done with it. My work is 90 percent slipcovers. I mean, this family’s got two Jack Russell terriers, and they’re always on the furniture.”

Simple Linens- “I think a person gets sick of a floral sofa in six months, tops. And in a small space it probably takes even less time to get tired of too much color. The accessories are what give a shot of color to my work, and their shapes and textures add personality. A simple purple-striped coverlet does amazing things for a white bedroom like this guest room, doesn’t it?”

View more of this article in House Beautiful Magazine

View Designer Ginger Barber

Continue Reading…

3 Swedish Style Homes Featured In Magazines

Johan and Ingrid Lagerfelt's Home In Veranda Johan and Ingrid Lagerfelt’s Home In Veranda

I have been holding on to Veranda’s November / December 2011 issue which featured an 18th century manor situated in Sabylund, 2 hours west of Stockholm. Built in 1780’s in the Gustavian aesthetic, the house has stayed virtually intact as it was back in the 18th century.

In the red room, chalky white finished chairs with gilt wood embellishments are covered in Chinese red damask. A Swedish day bed functions as a sofa and a bed, and is accompanied by a table surrounded by Gustavian white painted chairs. A Swedish Kakelugn stove has gold painted garlands on the tile. A number of small rectangular portraits hang on the wall.

In the main room, light blue painted walls are framed with wall moldings, and hand painted garlands add a romantic feel to the walls. Sheer drapery allows the light to come into this room.  A settee and Louis XVI chairs with a blue and white stripe slipcovers form a seating area with a Empire table and crisp white tablecloth.  A pale light blue and white scheme pull together a soft, yet delicate look for this room.  A pink rug, and lighter pink upholstery seen on the backs of the chairs offer up a subdued, yet tender room to lounge in.  Large gilt oval portraits add a historical feel to the room.

A grand library filled with the owners original books offered a taste of the high life.  Books were so much more valuable in the 17th and 18 century, and having a library filled with them, suggests the owners were well off.  A 1799 white stucco medallion mounted on a simple wood frame depicts the houses first owner.  A Dutch or German table centers the room, with English cane chairs backed to the books.  Swedish pewter candlesticks sit on the table, along with a brass telescope for viewing nature.  The shelves are painted in a blue/ gray, houses natural leather books adding such rich contrast.  Furniture is left in it’s natural wood, which adds a rustic effect.

The most interesting thing about this house is that it has actually been lived in all these years” says Johan who owns the house. His wife Ingrid Lagerfelt and their two children live in this home currently. Their ancestor inherited the house from the original brother and sister who built the home. Johan is a doctor, and his wife Ingrid farms the estates 2,500 acres of land.

More from Veranda:

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Johan and Ingrid Lagerfelt’s Home In Veranda

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Johan and Ingrid Lagerfelt’s Home In Veranda

Johan and Ingrid Lagerfelt's Home In Veranda 4

An Up-close and Detailed Look At The Wall Painting

Continue Reading…

5+ Nordic Homes Decorated Around White

Swedish Nordic Homes Seen On Skona Hem 3

The Swedish interior decoration magazine Skona Hem had a wonderful write up on an English family who transformed their home into that of a Gustavian period style.

The home is largely based around a white palette, anchored by distressed wood floors which create a down to earth family feel. While many of us wouldn’t have access to an authentic Swedish tiled stove, we can incorporate the lines of the furniture that were seen through this time frame.

What To Look For….

– Straight Or Curvy Lines– Look for Rococo, Louis XVI furniture that has straight lines.  Look for straight chests which you can add round ornate pulls, and round keyholes to. Victorian furniture also can be painted and re-upholstered to achieve that Swedish appeal.

– Mix And Match Styles– Don’t be afraid of mixing in a variety of country and formal styled furniture. You can see in this home, mixing and matching is very appealing.

– Go Authentic With Patterns- Work with country throws, and rugs to bring in the authentic patterns of Sweden.

– Wallpaper Is A Great Investment– Wallpaper can really transform a room, as seen in this home.  Go for white based wallpaper with a geometrical or floral based patterns.

-Lighter Everything–  Work with lighter colored fabrics, with an airy feel.  Go for thinner fabrics for the summer, and collect natural based thicker wools for the winter time.

– Faux Painting and Stenciling- Create faux molding with paint.  Here we frames on the walls, used in combination with stencils to give a whimsical, feminine look to the walls.  As you can see, they pick a very light blue for the frames, and all the stenciling is done in a couple shades lighter and darker than the base wall colors.  This look is very easy on the eyes.

– Crystal Chandeliers Everywhere– Chandeliers can really make a difference.  In this home, almost every room has a crystal chandelier.  Get the Swedish look by changing out your light fixtures to something more classic.  It will instantly change the space.

Related Articles:

-40 Tips – How To Choose The Perfect White Paint Hersite

-Darryl Carter’s Paint Line For Benjamin Moore –Her Site

– 198 Pictures Of White Interiors –Her Site

-Stephen Shubel’s 1906 Fishermans Cottage Home in Sausalito Hersite

– 20 Seasoned Designers Reveal Their Best White Paint Shades Hersite

– Shabby Chic Decorating: Borrow Rachel Ashwell’s 3 Signature Looks –Hersite

– The White Dresser- A Website Based around All White Furniture – The White Dresser

Continue Reading…

Antique Swedish Dealer Jane Moore’s Home Veranda Magazine

Jane Moore

Veranda featured a wonderfully Swedish home way back in their March 08 issue of a home designed by Jane Moore.  This home was also featured in the book Swedish Country Interiors by Rhonda Eleish & Edie Van Breems which was published in 2009.  Indulge Decor Blog put together a terrific job of comparing the home in each of the publications, and noted what changed and what did not.

This home was decorated in both Swedish and French antiques.  Among all the antiques that stood out were the chairs which were featured in the house.  The chairs sitting in the living room, have detailing paint in light blue, which perfectly contrasts the sandy colored linen.

Swedish rococo chairs are paired with a check upholstered couch and feature a heavily distressed paint finish with colors of green.  In the sitting area, a pale blue rug seems to be the perfect choice to add color amongst simple Swedish rococo chairs.  This room is simple and elegant, and the furniture seems to add so much of the interest in this room.

About Jane Moore:

Those who follow the Swedish and French decorating circles know all about Jane Moore. Her interior designs have been admired for years. Jane Moore is an interior designer and antiques importer from Houston. Early in Jane’s career she imported primarily English antiques. It wasn’t until she traveled to France that she fell in love with the Provence style. Impressed by the cottages and farmhouses, it influenced her whole design compass. She later traveled to Sweden and found more of the humble countryside she saw in France.

Everything was so simple. They copied from the French, but in a more rustic way. I loved that.”

Jane Moore’s work has been published in Veranda Magazine and Southern Accents Magazine more than once. Her work was also included in The Houses of Veranda book by former Veranda editor Lisa Newsom. Jane and Lisa Newsom are now connected by family. Jane’s daughter, Shannon, is married to Lisa’s son, Andrew, and the pair (Lisa and Andrew) own the Wisteria catalog.

Veranda featured an article titled “5 Design Tips To Live By– in which Jane Moore gave her top 5 tips when it comes to decorating.

Consider Your Environment

“One of the most important rules of decorating is to let your environment help you make decisions about your home. For example, I have always lived in Houston, where it is very hot and humid. As a result, I always pick cool colors that come from nature—soft blues, greens, grays—because when I come in out of the heat, I want to be refreshed. Wherever I am, I look outside and bring that in”

Edit Your Home, and Keep Only Things That Work With Your Current Style

“In each stage of life, we have different needs. Many of us want to keep holding on to things from each stage. We feel that if we hold on to what’s safe, we don’t have to deal with what’s changing.It’s hard for a lot of people to get rid of what was given to them or what they bought with their own money in their earlier stages of life. But as we grow and mature, our likes and dislikes change, and that’s okay! Don’t hold onto what doesn’t fit anymore.”

“We all love a lot of different things and different looks. Decide what you love the very most, where you feel the most comfortable, what’s the most peaceful to you. Once you’ve done that, carefully edit out what doesn’t enhance that look or feeling. I started my career doing almost all English, but as I grew to love the Provençal and Swedish aesthetics, I let go of those English things, even though I still loved them. The same goes for people with a lot of bright, colorful pieces who want to transition to something serene and neutral. With each object, ask: ‘Is this going to fit in?”

Be Who YOU Are, and Not Someone Else

“Many of us have things we don’t necessarily love, but we live with them because they have sentimental value: heirlooms, gifts, things we didn’t know how to say ‘no’ to. What I tell my clients is this: Be in the moment as it is right now. ‘It’s your moment. Let’s do what makes you happy, what makes you have a good feeling when you’re home.’ Those before us—grandmothers, mothers, friends—had their time to enjoy what they loved, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we have to love it, too.

Buy things you LOVE, LOVE, LOVE

Avoid buying what I call ‘fillers.’ Instead, buy only what you absolutely love, what you simply cannot live without. A good rule of thumb: If you see it, don’t buy it right away. Then if you keep thinking about it, go back and buy it, because you’ll always be sorry if you don’t. Most of the time it costs more than you thought you’d ever spend. Buy it anyway. A few years from now, it will be even harder to find and cost twice as much. For example, I have this 18th-century hand-carved angel on my mantle—it wasn’t anything I was looking for, but when I saw it, it just touched me. I didn’t buy it immediately, though. I thought
about it for 24 hours, and I still just had to have it. At the time, I was trying to rationalize purchasing it, thinking ‘Oh, someday my daughter will love it, or my granddaughter will love it,’ Then I thought, ‘No. I love it, and if they choose not to have it in their homes someday, that’s all right.’

Contact Jane Moore:

2930 Virginia St. Houston, Texas 77098

Phone (713) 526-6113

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Jane Moore

Jane Moore Gustavian Swedish AntiquesUp close look of the neoclassical chairs and pale blue carpet

Featured on Color Outside The Lines Blog

Swedish Jane Moore designchic

A Swedish secretary with clock and Swedish chair.  

Photo from Veranda Magazine via Indulge Decor blog.



A view of the other side of the living room features Swedish barrel back chairs, a Swedish console, and bench.   Photo from Veranda Magazine 


 Gustavian Room Designed By Jane Moore Featured in Veranda March 08

Also seen on “Houstonian Great Jane Moore”- Cote de Texas

Gustavian Room Designed By Jane Moore

Gustavian Room Designed By Jane Moore

Gustavian Room Designed By Jane Moore

Gustavian Room Designed By Jane Moore


Jane Moore’s Townhouse featured in Veranda Magazine.

Jane Moore's Townhouse Veranda Magazine.

Jane Moore’s Townhouse Veranda Magazine.

Jane’s family room is home to her collection of French 19th-century tians 

Jane Moore's Townhouse Veranda Magazine.

Jane Moore’s Townhouse Veranda Magazine.

Jane Moore's Townhouse Veranda Magazine.

Jane Moore’s Townhouse Veranda Magazine.

Jane Moore's Townhouse Veranda Magazine.

Jane Moore’s Townhouse Veranda Magazine.

The table is Swedish 19th-c. and also serves as a working island.

Jane Moore's Townhouse Veranda Magazine.

Jane Moore’s Townhouse Veranda Magazine. Dining Area

Jane Moore's Townhouse Veranda Magazine.

Jane Moore’s Townhouse Veranda Magazine- A Look at her wall mirror in the livingroom

Trumeau Mirror Featured On Veranda

 A stunning Trumeau Mirror- Seen On Veranda

A beautiful bedroom decorated by Jane Moore

A Swedish Collected Home In Upstate New York

In the March 2013 issue of House Beautiful Magazine, featured a home with a unique flair for the Scandinavian style.  The owner spent years collecting Swedish pieces, and together with her designer, Charles O. Schwarz III,  they created a home that captures all the charm of a period Swedish interior.

To give warmth to the home, Schwarz installed planking on the walls and bead board on the ceiling and painted it all Farrow & Ball Picture Gallery Red. beautifully they mix the red with rustic wood.In the breakfast room, dark blue walls add so much drama.  The Gustavian chandelier and mirrored sconces which draw attention to themselves in this dark room, as the lights are turned down and the candles are lit at night.


The home is surrounded by neutral furnishings and paint colors.  This color combination can be seen in the rugs, the choice of cabinetry, tile work in the bathroom and the soft Scandinavian furnishings.  A beautiful selection of wallpaper is seen throughout the house in the living room, and several bedrooms, adding a softness to this home.  Farrow & Ball’s Ringwold wallpaper complements the living room’s creamy checkerboard flooring, which was painted by the previous owner. Pay special attention to the choice of paint colors on the trim work, which nicely blends with the overall theme of each room, while at the same time highlights the beautiful architecture of this Greek revival home.  See so many more beautiful pictures of his home at the House Beautiful website

A Swedish Collected Home In Upstate New YorkA Swedish Collected Home In Upstate New York A Swedish Collected Home In Upstate New York A Swedish Collected Home In Upstate New York A Swedish Collected Home In Upstate New York

A Swedish Collected Home In Upstate New York A Swedish Collected Home In Upstate New York A Swedish Collected Home In Upstate New York A Swedish Collected Home In Upstate New York

“Söderbo” A Home Untouched Since 1920

Swedish 1900's Decorating

This Swedish home takes several chairs and combines them with a day bed.  One way to unify several pieces of furniture is to simply paint them the same color, as they have done here.

“Söderbo” is a summer home, and perfect for all those who love history, because this home is practically untouched.  Nothing has changed since the house was decorated in the 1920s.  In fact, every piece of furniture, every picture, and the decor is such as it was in the early 1900’s.  The interior lets in lots of light as large windows reveal the beautiful greenery outside.  Elegant white painted furniture makes the home larger than it really is.  Reading a book, playing a few games, and having a hot bath might be what you would do in this home in the summer months.  Although you may have to haul in the water, and manually heat it!  The modern amenities of the home are missing, but that doesn’t stop the owners from getting away and enjoying all the life that this property has to offer.  Water must still be carried out and the food collected in the root cellar, so the children of the home don’t have to wonder how grandma and grandpa did things, the old way of live is very evident in the day to day functioning of the home.

“Söderbo” in the past was only used as a summer house. Servants were brought out into the country with lots of luggage, and the residents from the big city enjoyed the summer life to rest and enjoy the rich fresh air, and all that the countryside could offer. Besides the main house, the property is equipped with a boathouse pre-existant from the mid-1800s, a root cellar and a cabana by the water.

Inside the house,  white painted wooden furniture shows a classic Swedish design which can be seen throughout the home.  The furniture was originally purchased back in the days of the era’s most fashionable department store NK. The various pieces of furniture are seen in the country style which if fluent in the dining room, bedroom, desks, chairs and shelves. The kitchen is set up to function for food preparation, such as cooking, baking and canning.  The upstairs of the home is mostly how it was originally.  Some fabrics have been worn through time and replaced, but the beautiful Art Nouveau wallpaper in the parents’ bedroom are original. Gather some ideas from this time period for your home.

Images and full article found on Swedish 1900's Decorating
“Söderbo” A Home Untouched Since 1920

Swedish Art Deco

A rare pair of Swedish Art Deco 2-arm mirror sconces designed by Gustav Bergstrom. Frames are gilt over pewter and Incised with a serpentine pattern.The frame tops are decorated with a sculpture of a lotus flower flanked by 2 mythical sea creatures. Candles are newly wired for candelabra bulbs. Mirror glass is original and show highly desirable movement in the reflection. Sconces are the perfect example of “Swedish Grace” style.

Swedish Art Deco

Delicate gilt wood Swedish Art Deco wall mirror with cared details depicting a sunburst and ancient oil lamps. Mirror glass is original and has a one inch beveled edge

Swedish 1900's Decorating

“Söderbo” A Home Untouched Since 1920

Continue Reading…

Helen Olsen’s Rungstedlund Home Revealed In Gods & Gardar Magazine

Karen Blixen’s Danish Farm

After 17 years in Kenya, Danish author Karen Blixen returned to her childhood home in Rungstedlund, Denmark ‎. The magazine Gods & Gardar reveal the history behind this magnificent property, where Danish elegance meets the drama of Africa.

“It was Karen’s father, Captain and author Wilhelm Dinesen who bought the property in 1879.
Two years later, after his marriage to Ingeborg Westenholz, the couple moved there and had five children, three daughters and two sons. Karen came to stay at Rungstedlund until age 28, except for two periods. The first period was the year the family had to leave Rungstedlund when the farm was restored after a fire in 1898. The second time Karen did Rungstedlund for a long time was when she studied art in Paris.”

“What makes Karen Blixen Rungstedlund so fascinating to visit is that the different rooms reflects two distinct phases of her life. For just as Karen packed some things from Rungstedlund before his trip to Africa, silver candelabras, English porcelain, Bohemian crystal and mahogany furniture, so she brought her most prized possessions, the essence of her Afrikaår, when she moved back to Denmark. On Rungstedlund intermingled memories of Africa still with antique family heirlooms, large carpets, delicate lace curtains, mahogany tables and furniture in the Louis Seize style and a Norwegian Rococo stove from in 1760.”

How To Combine African Elements Into Your Swedish Style

1.  Keep the Architecture Nordic.

It is remarkable that Karen Blixen’s home looks both Scandinavian, and African at the same time.  How did she pull it off?  One of the ways the Scandinavian feel is so clearly evident is in the architecture.  The framed walls are one of the hallmarks of the Nordic style.  You don’t need several thousand dollars to get this look.  One way of doing this is simply by adding some wood trim on the walls.  To get Blixen’s look, spray paint your wood trim with gold paint, and finish it off with gold leaf.

Easy Gold Leafing- French Style Authority

Another way of adding architectural detail to your walls is to paint lines in shapes of boxes.  A post that clearly shows this idea is Lars Sjoberg’s Swedish Gustavian Decorated House.  In this post, you can clearly see lines painted on the walls, which gives the appearance of architectural trim.  Where to start?  If there is a door in the room, or windows, start with the box above the window or door.

2.  Include A Few Moroccan Textures

In the dining area, Karen Blixen uses an area rug with a strong pattern.  In this photo, moroccan floor tiles are used to create an entry way.  The photo is quite close to Nordic design.  A simple white is used on the walls, and the flooring gives this room the edge it needs.  The gilt wood mirror gives this room a polished touch.  An inexpensive way off adding the pattern into the room is to use throw pillows and tablecloths.

Royal Design Studio sells a moroccan stencil in a star diamond pattern.  Consider stenciling your walls in a bright color found in Africa.  Consider placing simple painted furniture with this pattern such as white furniture, or black painted furniture.  With a white and orange pattern, white furniture can still work quite elegantly.  Incorporate pine flooring, and add texture to the walls in natural wood, or metal such as what Karen did with her study.


3.  Avoid Clutter.

One of the biggest mistakes people make is  have too many accessories.   Showcase your art, and draw attention to your furniture by having less accessories, and an open floor space.  Even if you jam pack the furniture in, be sure that table tops don’t have dozens of ornaments.  Reduce them, pair down, and donate pieces that simply just don’t work with the overall theme.

4.  Incorporate The Colors Of Africa

The colors of Africa central around earth tones, such as  brown, cream, rich greens, oranges, and reds.  For example, you can work with these colors on the walls such Karen did for her home.  If the dominant colors are the richer colors, consider toning down the room with a few natural wood pieces.  White furniture would provide a rich contrast to the vibrant hues on the walls.  If you choose to go with white walls, consider working with painted furniture, or heavily distressed furniture with the richer colors in the upholstery.  Can you imagine, raw pine wood floors, with a white settee, gold accents, with burgundy upholstery?  Perhaps throw in a rich red chest, and the room can take on the African flavor quickly.  To include the Swedish style, pick upholstery fabrics with sweeping vertical lines, stripes or florals, or a combination of both.

6.  Create A Wall Collection

Karen’s study is an excellent example of a collection that reflects the African culture.  Collect African hand-made pottery, baskets, rugs, swords, plates, knives, but stay away from the masks, or statues which are involved in the ceremonial worship.  Woven baskets are an ancient form of art in African culture. Typically crafted with simple geometric designs, African baskets will vary in design, making them great to decorate with.

Space is one of the main considerations when planning a wall based around objects or collections.  Avoid a crowded or crammed look when using African wall decor, a little can go a long way.  Placing too many items together can look messy, and give the idea that the look isn’t well thought out.  Spacing your pieces, or collecting like objects, like a collection of baskets, or knives pays special attention to individual pieces.

Another designer trick is to place even tones together. Working with the color wheel will give you a great idea of the colors to work with, and those to avoid.  Try to place the same colors, hues or tones together to give a more organized presentation.  Metal, woods, and natural materials work with practically every color, although when working with china, or pottery, it helps to work with the color wheel, when placing items on a painted wall.

The Scottish Country House by James Knox (The Vendome Press, November 2012)

Here we see a look of a rich satured green on the walls, with fishing gear displayed

The Scottish Country House by James Knox

A Swedish tall clock of the Gustavian period which has been professionally scraped to its original blue finish. The movement has been professionally restored and is in working order with both time and strike.

Early 19th Century Painted Swedish Mora Clock- Dated 1827- A Rich Blue Colour which is Original- Beautiful Details

A nice small scaled Danish grandmother’s clock in the 18th century style made during the 1950’s

Swedish Style Traditional Home Magazine

Swedish Style Traditional Home Magazine

African Designer Catherine Raphaely

Medieval Strong Box Ottoman $406

British Plantation Chair $361

Floral Bouquet Pedestal Table $185

Medieval Cross Frame Arm Chair$350

Grand Medallion Crescent Console Table $455

African Designer Karen Roos

Camellia Wall Console Table $229

Chateau Marquee Occasional Fabric Arm Chair $588

Mademoiselle Cezanne’s French Slipper Chair $244

The Beaufort End Table $310

African Designer Maira Koutsoudakis


Daniel Romualdez’s Swedish Montauk Home

The indoor dining room features doors painted by an artist who lived in the home
in the 1930s. Wallstreet Journal

It is no doubt that the hottest designers are using distressed Gustavian furniture in their own homes. Designer Daniel Romualdez is one of those designers.  His Montauk, New York home also shows off a captivating white based interior.  Romualdez breathed new life into the home using only splashes of blue, white and black.  The main dining room shows a beautiful collection of seashells in weathered frames.  The room is furnished with 18th century Gustavian furniture with a geometric blue and white upholstery.  Most of all the pictures we picture below are credited to the Wallstreet Journal.  Here are a few links to this homes interior from Corbis.  Here is a picture of the stairway that was installed in limed pine, in line with the Swedish styles found through the house.

Decorating with seashells can add a natural touch to your home.  Here are 10 tips to getting a high end look with seashells:

1.  Paint your walls in soft pastels. Keeping the wall color light will create a serene feel and allow you to play off the colors found in the lighter natural tones of seashells.

The ocean and the sky are both blue, so blue should be incorporated into the color scheme. Borrow looks from Daniel Romualdez’s home by choosing upholstery in blue and white.  White based backgrounds for upholstery choices keep within the classic textile choices found in Sweden.

-Light blue or green walls are also great colors for a room decorated with seashell decor.

-If you do use brighter blues, consider using it in an accessory as Daniel Romualdez’s does with a vibrant floral centerpiece.  Add layers of duller blues in your rooms with accents of brighter tones of blue sparingly.

2. Mix in reds, oranges, and golden hues within your home decor to provide a contrast to the white walls, and white shells such as what Daniel Romualdez’s does with the black hand painted doors, and black frames on the walls.

3. Consider installing wall panelling, which can be stained in a soft cream or white.  Wood adds an organic layer that is commonly found in Swedish decorating. Clean, brilliant white walls make a great backdrop for bold color splashes or natural wood accents.

4.  Sofa or floor pillows incorporate the feeling of comfort.  This Sea Shell Linen Pillow Cover with Jute & Mother Of Pearl Embroidery has both the linen fabrics found in Swedish decorating, as well adds a bit of the pearl shine we find in the sea.

5.  Cover furniture or home decor with shells.  A neoclassical bust with smaller seashells is a sophisticated approach to using shells in your decor.  All you need is a nice looking neoclassical bust, hot glue and a variety of seashells.

-Make a crown for the bust or display it on it’s own.

Here we see a rustic bust, with a seashell crown.

Here we see a mirror made with hand collected shells and Ikea mirror frame.  All the shells are facing the same direction rather than the sporadic placement that we see with seashell art.

Here we see a beautiful floral display with an urn decorated in seashells

Plaster Busts on Ebay

7.  Consider presenting your collection of shells as a display on your wall with corbels.  Instead of displaying the smaller shells, collect the larger seashells, which can make more of an impact.  Swedish decorating is known for clean, uncluttered looks, so bigger shells are better in a Swedish scheme.  Corbels can be rather expensive, but there are ways of getting corbels that match without spending $300 on each corbel.  Make your own shelves for pennies with concrete molds such as this one from Mold CreationsConcrete Success has the perfect mold shelf featuring a sea shell in the design, selling for $34 dollars.  This allows you to make endless shelves for your collections, without spending any more than for the mold itself, and the plaster or concrete.

Interesting Finds on Ebay And Amazon

This square sea shell mold would be a rather interesting texture to cover an entire accent wall in a bathroom with. It has a rather primitive fossil quality to it.

-Silver Tone Decorative Spiny Jewel Nautical Sea Shell Home Decor $27

-Luxury Lane Hand Blown Art Glass Seashell Centerpiece 7.5″ tall by 12.5″ long $25

-White Pearlized Chambered Nautilus Sea Shell Decor 5″ – 6″ $25

-100% Real Sea Shell-4.5″ Original From Haiwaii,$9

-Small Brass Compass Rose Nautical Wall Plaque $50

-Bathroom Decor- Set of 3 Decorative Clear Glass Bottles with Nautical Sea Shell $71

-Luxury Lane Hand Blown Art Glass Seashell Centerpiece 4.5″ tall by 9″ long $25

-Aluminum Sea Shell Decor 4″H, 10″W $36

-Round Rustic Wooden Nautical Porthole Mirror– $70

-Set of 2 Seafoam Green and Cream Sea Shell Pattern Rustic Aged Decorative Bowls $110

-Gorgeous Set of 4 Mini Sea Shell Covered Spheres $48

-Decorative Wooden Paddle  $19

-Wooden Nautical Sailboat Yacht Model w/ Shell Sail $24

See our other post Daniel Romualdez’s Breathtaking Late-Eighteenth Century Farmhouse

Daniel Romualdez’s Montauk

Another View Of This Room From

You can see the trim was painted blue, and the floors limed.  In addition, the doors were touched up.

Continue Reading…

Lars Bolander’s New Book- Interior Design & Inspiration

Lars Bolander: Interior Design & Inspiration offers a fresh take on Swedish decorating. Lars Bolander has been referred to as one of Sweden’s foremost interior designers and a pioneer of Swedish design, yet he doesn’t limit his personal design style to only the Gustavian period style, rather he introduces a new approach to designing around antiques.  His books Lars Bolander: Interior Design and Inspiration and Lars Bolander’s Scandinavian Design offer expert advice about infusing the Scandinavian style into your home, while at the same time mixing in the traditional and modern elements into one’s living space.

Bolander has been featured in House Beautiful, Vogue, Home & Design, World of Interiors, Southern Accents, The Robb Report, American House & Garden, English House & Garden, Chinese Residence, Elle Decor, Architectural Digest and The Wall Street Journal.

Lars Bolander: Interior Design & Inspiration,

Lars Bolander’s Previous Book- Scandinavian Design

Review By D. Fowler

David Lindley claims that Lars Bolander has “the ability to mix objects in a very satisfying, but surprising way.” My first perusal of the book drew my eye to Lar’s affinity for Gustavian and Swedish Country Styles of decorating. The touch of neoclassical furnishing and decor in some settings brought a refined elegance to rooms, especially those with an obvious Swedish Country Style. Bolander has a rare malleability that allows him to not only incorporate what he envisions for a home, but also what his clients envision. One of the more striking examples, shown on the cover of this book, is a magnificent example of his raw talent.

Find Lars Bolander

Lars Bolander NY Shop, The Fine Arts Building, 232 East 59th Street, 3rd floor, New York, NY 10022

Lars Bolander Palm Beach Shop, 3731 South Dixie Hwy, West Palm Beach, FL 33405

Contact: Michael Hale email:

Lars Bolander Official Website- Here

Lars Bolander Blog- Here

Lars Bolander Facebook- Here

Lars Bolander’s Home Featured in Home and Garden Magazine

Click here, then click on the magazine, and the pictures blow up, allowing you to read the full article

Lars Bolander’s Home Featured in Home and Garden Magazine

Lars Bolander’s Home Featured in Home and Garden Magazine

Lars Bolander’s Home Featured in Home and Garden Magazine

Lars Bolander’s Home Featured in Home and Garden Magazine

Lars Bolander’s Home Featured in Home and Garden Magazine

Lars Bolander’s Home Featured in Home and Garden Magazine

Quest Magazine April 2007

Lars Bolander-Veranda September 2007

Lars Bolander- Southern Accents Magazine Sept October 2002

Lars Bolander-Veranda September 2007

Lars Bolander- Southern Accents Magazine Sept October 2002

Lars Bolander- Southern Accents Magazine Sept October 2002

Lars Bolander-Veranda September 2007

Lars Bolander-Veranda September 2007

Lars Bolander’s Scandinavian Design- Residence Magazine

Lars Bolander Quest Magazine- The Palm Beach Issue

Lars Bolander Quest Magazine- The Palm Beach Issue

Lars Bolander Quest Magazine- The Palm Beach Issue

Ruby Beets Swedish Rustic Home

In a corner of the living room, a 1940s mercury glass lamp stands on a rough, round Empire-style table next to two 1920s Scandinavian painted chairs. The graceful wing-backed chaise dates from the 1930s and is upholstered in simple white canvas duck, with natural linen pillows from Ruby Beets.- House Beautiful Magazine

If you haven’t ever seen Ruby Beets home, you are in for a treat.  Featured in House Beautiful Magazine back in July of ’06 , this house has the perfect mix of old world charm,and rustic surprises that make it very interesting to the eye.  The raw painted furniture, iron decorative items, wood panels and paint color choices are particular elements of the interior styles found in Sweden.

If you enjoy the country cottage looks, but want something more upscale, borrow ideas from this home. Here are a couple suggestions from this interior.

1.  Have Slipcovers Made- Spend the extra money and have tailored slipcovers made that will give you the comfortable feel like this home.  Swedish textiles were mostly made from organic materials.  Consider materials like muslin, duck, or canvas.  Many people are taking drop cloths sold in hardware stores and bleaching them.  Today you can buy pure white duck or canvas cloth in off white, and various shades of cream, and blue amongst other colors.

2.  Invest in Great Antiques– I am not one of those people who are afraid of touching antiques.  My best advice, is if you find a sensational chair, improve it and make it your own.  Buy the upholstery fabric that makes you happy.  Buy the hardware that you will enjoy looking at day after day.  Make it YOU!

It is amazing what a strip job will do for your wood furniture.  Taking off the varnish will allow the paint to sink into the wood, that when you do to distress the wood, the overall finish looks so much better than painting it alone.  For years I have used a chemical stripper until I bought a heat gun, and I never knew that stripping furniture was soooooo easy and fast!  If you want to get a rustic look for your furniture, working with the bare wood is the ticket to high quality Swedish looks.

3. Use Black Somewhere- Swedish interiors are usually based around light colors such as blue, light greens, gray and so forth.  You would be amazed how nice black stands out against a lightly colored wall.  I used to love black painted furniture, that everything was painted black until I fell in love with lighter painted furniture, and all of our furniture was repainted in white or gray.  Our walls in our house are painted a light blue, and after debating what color to paint a hallway floor clock, I decided to plunge for black, and was it ever a great decision!   Everyone comments on it, because it sure stands out against the lighter colored walls.  Contrast can be a surprise!  Black colored furniture looks exceptionally well in lighter interiors.  Even if you have just one piece in black, it can look sensational!

Here are some of the comments from Ruby Beets featured in Home Beautiful that were particularly interesting

“I was a vintage clothing dealer in the’70s. I’ve been buying old stuff forever. Ruby Beets used to be about the found object school of antiques. My partner and I would buy a dresser and it would have peeling paint and we thought that was romantic. But now we want the drawers to work—enough with the drawer bottoms falling out! The new store is a cleaner, more modern and edited version of what we used to do. My house is too. Life is irritating enough at a certain age. Anyway, I like a lot of white, you can see that. All the furniture is slip-covered in muslin or cotton duck so I can remove it and wash it, which I do every six weeks. I guess, unless something horrible happens. I like big graphic shapes. Those white dishes and things in the kitchen cabinets, some are vintage and some are new ironstone, which we carry in the store. That cabinet we
bought from the local hardware store here. It went out of business, and they had 52 feet of glass cabinetry that we took and put in the kitchen. ”

“When you walk in, you don’t know what age the house is, but it feels like something old. I love it because it feels transparent inside. Hie boards are painted gray like the sea in winter, and because we have no near neighbors we have nothing on the windows—you can see from the front door all the way through to the water at the back. You can see a lighthouse in the distance. The girls used to say they lived in a lighthouse.”

“My husband is an obsessed fisherman, but he’s catch-and-release. He also collects taxidermy fish. He probably has 50 or 40 in his office.”

What is the significance of the name, Ruby Beets?-“Oh. I don’t know. I made it up years ago. But it’s catchy, right?”

Continue Reading…

The Romantic Baroque Style: Part 4 – A Collectors Home

The Dienst’s Home

A Baroque Wing Chair Upholstered In Gray Linen, sits beside a Baroque Chest

In Sweden, the Middle Ages lasted for approximately 500 years, until Gustav I of Sweden seized power in 1523. Most all of the buildings were constructed out of timer, until the 12th century, where stone became the predominant building material for the construction of the churches. Lund Cathedral, and Husaby Church are excellent examples of this style. The Gothic style brought brick to Sweden as a new fashionable building material, and many of the cathedrals were fashioned out of brick, while others were made of limestone. 1,500 of Sweden’s 4,000 churches from the Middle Ages survive from this period. The 13th century city walls around Visby are some of the best-preserved medieval city walls in Europe, and in fact, the street layout of Stockholm’s Old City still can be seen designed with a medieval flavor.

Sweden rose to a great Power in the 17th century, the privileged class and government began to build again. The idea of the architect and designer was established and the profession developed. During this time works of Simon De la Vallée and Nicodemus Tessin the Elder became well known in Sweden. The work of Nicodemus Tessin the Younger moved the architectural development in Sweden during this time into High Baroque, such as Stockholm Palace.

As we discussed in Part 1, a notable example of the Baroque style in Sweden was seen in Strömholm. In part 2, we discussed King Gustav Vasa, whom was the ruling power at the time, and how the Catholic church dominated the design circles which influenced art across Europe and abroad. In Part 3, we discussed both Skokloster & Steninge Palace as striking examples of the Baroque style, which architect Nicodemus Tessin the Younger was responsible for. In part 4 and 5 we hope to inspire you to achieve this look in your own home looking at an example of a collector of Swedish antiques and what they did for their own home working with Baroque Swedish antiques in particular.

Jill Dienst’s owner of Dicost + Doner specializes in Scandinavian antiques from the 17th century to the mid-20th century.  Jill Dienst’s passion for collecting for her own home over the years paved the way for her success as an antique dealer.   Before opening up her own business, Jill Dienst spent decades at some of the finest institutions in the art, which allowed her to gain an appreciation for antiques and design world.

All images and information from Martha Stewart.

The centerpiece of the living room is a Gustavian sofa, which has been
upholstered in plain linen.

Mid-twentieth-century pieces by Danish designer Poul
Henningsen are mixed into the room

The simple, roll-up window shades are the same kind used in Swedish manor
houses, but these are made from a sheer fabric.

The living room walls and mantel were painted slightly different variations of
the same color. 

The painting is a 1911 portrait of Swedish boys in school uniforms sit above the mantel.

The statues came from a rustic church in southern Sweden.

The candlesticks work beautifully with the gilt portrait of the Swedish boys

Continue Reading…

A Brand New Swedish Book From Swedish Antique Dealer Karin Laserow

Alternative Book Cover-Antiques In A Modern Settings

Laserow Antiques has just come out with a new book called Antiques In A Modern Settings.  This NEW Swedish book features 222 color photographs and sells on amazon for just under $20 dollars.  You cannot beat the price, considering many other new decorating books ask  double or triple that!  For all you who struggle with incorporating your modern day necessities such as your computer printer, flat screen tv with dvd player with your aged furniture, this book is for you.  Laserow antiques shows you how to incorporate antique furniture and art into a modern home with class.

This book gives you plenty to look at.  We all enjoy looking at the rich distressed 18th century Swedish furniture, and this book will have plenty of that!  They begin by explaining the basics of antique furniture, from Baroque, to Rococo, Empire, and Gustavian periods.   Readers are shown how how to tell the difference between old and new, how to evaluate antiques, and how to determine whether repairing, repainting, and refinishing are worthwhile decisions for protecting antique investments.  The topics are interesting and relevant to the collector and decorator who lives in the 21st century.

Laserow antiques mentions that there is a lack of information that is available to the collector with a modern home who still wants to enjoy the beauty and history of antiques. How do you mix antiques with the new? It sure is challenging!  From furniture, to collections, all these questions are explored through this  inspirational guide.

Liza Laserow, part owner of Laserow Antiques has been stealing the spotlight these days.  An article was shown in Architectural Digest showing off the companies fresh face, and fashion forward approach.   Trained to be lawyer, Liza’s business skills combined with her knowledge of Scandinavian antiques makes her more than capable to run her mothers successful established business.  Karin, founded a showroom in Sweden 30 years ago and, in 2009, Liza helped launch a Laserow Antiques outpost in the New York Design Center in Manhattan. If you haven’t subscribed to Liza’s blog, check it out, and get connected. The company features furniture curated from Sweden’s most significant periods—Baroque, Rococo, Gustavian, and Empire—spanning from 1650 to 1820.  I ordered the book today!  You should too!

Buy the Book on Amazon- Swedish Antiques: Traditional Furniture and Objets d’Art in Modern Settings Karin Laserow (Author), Britt Berg (Author), Niklas Lundstrom (Photographer) Amazon


 Book Review by 1st

 Book Review by 1st

Book Review by 1st

 Book Review by 1st


Martha Stewart’s Creative Director- Erik Pike’s Gustavian Townhouse In New York Part 1


Eric Pike is Creative Director of Martha Stewart Living. Stefan Steil is an interior designer and founder of Stelish. Some of his design work can be found at Stefan Steil. Portraits taken at their townhouse in Manhattan.

There are very few Gustavian styled homes photographed that are truly ALL Swedish inspired.  After looking at thousands of photographs, I KNOW it is rare to come across a home that is decorated or renovated all around the Swedish styles. Even if a home isn’t decorated to look centuries old, I find it rare to come across a person passionate for a particular period design that is pigeon-holed into a particular category.  It is thrilling to say the least to see a home that is based entirely around a theme, such as Georgian, Egyptian, Early American, or my favorite  Gustavian.  When a designer sticks to a particular style of antiques, and thinks through the architectural elements and paint colors carefully, a story emerges that allows you to walk back in time.

Not everyone has thousands of dollars to spend on antiques, or money to change the architecture, flooring, cabinetry or fixtures, so many of us have to start somewhere with one bench here, and a chair there.  Building up a home that is entirely from one period and time frame can be incredibly exhilarating, and also quite expensive, but it doesn’t have to be.   You don’t need to have ALL genuine antiques to get the Gustavian appearance in your home.  In this blog, I have put together dozens of posts with decor and furniture that look Swedish and aren’t.  Some are costly, and others aren’t.  My own home is filled with a ton of vintage furniture that is made over to look Gustavian. Incorporating a few genuine pieces sure help! Your home should be what makes you happy, and not what a blog or a magazine tells you it should be.

It is truly rare to come across a home that is based entirely around the Gustavian look, and not exist in Sweden, and that is the case with Martha Stewart’s creative director Eric Pike.  His townhouse in downtown NYC is one of these rare homes where the entire house is designed around a Gustavian palette.

Eric Pike And Stefan Steil’s New York Gustavian Styled Townhouse- Photo Credit An Afternoon With Blog

Eric Pike And Stefan Steil’s New York Gustavian Styled Townhouse

Eric Pike And Stefan Steil’s New York Gustavian Styled Townhouse

The Blog,…..  An Afternoon With posted some incredible pictures of the home giving you extra ordinary angles that allowed you a better glimpse into the rooms.

In one of the pictures a stunning oil painting hangs in the bedroom of Daniel Webster, a Massachusetts senator in the mid-1800s and an ancestor of Eric’s.

While the whole townhouse looks like it is within one color, several tones are used.  In the bedroom, and the office, the ceiling is a light blue.  A light beige is used in the office with storage in a coordinating color.  Vibrant colors are used in the closets, keeping the overall palette neutral.

Martha Stewart’s Creative Director- Erik Pike’s Gustavian Townhouse In New York Part 1

Pike tells Martha Stewart Magazine that he faced a challenge that we all face: the need to maximize storage. He sacrificed a few feet in every room to allow for deep doorways that contain hidden, paneled closets, each devoted to specific belongings. “I’ve been collecting for years, and I’ve made everything work in this space,” he says.

Many Gustavian styled homes aren’t cluttered, and here you will see an excellent example of a paired down look. Collectibles are grouped together much like the closet featuring Pikes tableware and silver urns, or grouped on side tables. The look is very much clean and organized.

Look at the impressive storage in the above three photos.  Boxes are used in closets for odds and ends keeping everything in place.  In any home, there needs to be a lot of attention paid to storage if you want an uncluttered appearance.  This is especially true for smaller sized apartments.  For my own home, I have used the over-sized boxes that come with Crate and Barrel for my blankets which sit in the closet.  When I go into my closets, they look clean and organized even if they are in boxes.

In this post I show where you can buy large boxes with lids for as little as $3  Paint the boxes with flat paint, and customize your closets by painting the interior and the boxes so both match.  If you have a home that is based around gray, white or beige, consider doing something extra special for the closets.  In my storage room in my garage, I am going with a Alpine green with boxes to match.  Why not!  Consider a bold blue or even a baby blue for your closets.  Pantry and linen closets can be one of the most creative areas to experiment with color.

Martha Stewart’s Creative Director- Erik Pike’s Gustavian Townhouse In New York Part 2

Picture Credit –Scandinavian Antiques Co On Ebay

The settee, chest, and rounded-back chair in this photo are genuine Swedish antiques.  Eric purchased the other chair at auction and had it copied for the dining room. The tables in the room are vintage, which he painted himself.  Look at the three color combinations on the walls.  It appears that the wall color, crown molding and ceiling colors are slightly different tones.  With the painted antiques, and color of upholstery, this room is rich with detail. 

The gray wood flooring doesn’t go unnoticed, tying together the various rooms in his home.  The wide planks were bleached, then stained a neutral gray.  He decided to upholster all of the living room furniture in a single gray linen, allowing individual antiques to be unified as a set.  Hints of silver are found in the candlesticks, light fixtures, and hardware and have always been a classic Gustavian element found in Swedish style.

The house originally appeared in Martha Stewart’s September issue way back in 2005. “I wasn’t going to buy until I could find the right place,” he tells Martha Stewart Living Magazine. He ended up renting a small one-bedroom apartment for sixteen years until the perfect place showed itself to him. The 1840s Federal-style townhouse on a historic block had all the right bones for what he always had in mind.

In this photo from Marthas website, a decorative box houses some objects he used for inspiration.  If you look closely, you can see two pictures of the townhouse before renovations.  New York City architect Richard Perry, Pike set out to make the apartment his own.

“I like the neoclassical forms and the sculptural lines combined with rustic painted finishes,” Pike says. “They have no unnecessary embellishment — there’s a purity in that.”

I have loved his townhouse for years.  I hope you find as much inspiration from his home as I did.

See Martha Stewart For More Information

Martha Stewart’s Creative Director- Erik Pike’s Gustavian Townhouse In New York

The sitting area above lacks the height compared to the rest of the apartment, so a skylight was introduced into the space.  Support beams are concealed yet present a dramatic look to this room.  Eric sought a square pedestal table to complete this room; finding none, he designed one with architect Richard Perry.

Martha Stewart’s Creative Director- Erik Pike’s Gustavian Townhouse In New York

Martha Stewart’s Creative Director- Erik Pike’s Gustavian Townhouse In New York

You would never know a television hangs over the living room mantel because an antiqued mirror lifts to reveal it. Look at this photo of the kitchen where one wall houses a refrigerator and washer and dryer behind cabinet doors.  A toaster and coffeemaker are housed in an appliance “garage” on a tray that pulls out so you can pour in water.  The bathroom is designed just right to make it appear bigger with glass shower doors.  The bedroom and the bathroom are the most modern rooms in the home.

Eric Pike is Creative Director of Martha Stewart Living. Stefan Steil is an interior designer and founder of Stelish. Some of his design work can be found at Stefan Steil. Portraits taken at their townhouse in Manhattan.

Re-Create 3 Looks From Andrew Gn’s Parisian Apartment

KPM 2 Krister Porcelain Floral Plate

Andrew Gn’s Parisian apartment is a perfect mix of 17th and 18th century interior design.  In my previous posts, here and here, you can see the vibrant color choices Gn makes for his 2,000-square-foot flat.  Every square inch of space is designed to be unique and personalized.  In the room above, we see a Gustavian interpretation.  Raw herringbone floors bring warmth into this room that is based around grays.  Louis XVI chairs line the wall, and a cartel clock gives this room a distinct Swedish feel.

The house is adorned with endless ceramics and china, which he tells Elle Decor is a bit of an obsession. Augustus, the king of Poland at the turn of the 18th century, amassed more than 24,000 pieces of china. Gn says he shares the same love. He bought his first piece at age 16 and the endless fascination has never subdued. The walls in his home serve to display his vast collection, although he admits that thousands more pieces are sitting in storage.

Gn decorated the apartment himself without a designer. Every room is well thought out with precision. Vermilion red is used in one room exclusively. Shelves of blue-and-white chinoiserie contrasts against the red quite nicely. Vermilion red has been found in ancient China, Egypt, Greece, Peru, and other areas of the world. In the middle ages Vermilion was used to line early music staves.

Ideas For Your Home

-54” Wide Ticking Stripe Black/Ivory Fabric By The Yard $7

-Blue Rose Chintz 11-Piece Tea Service $55

Red Poppy Porcelain 3-Piece Tea Time Set with Gold Trim $51

-Gracie China Red Poppy Porcelain Tea Cup and Saucer Set of 4 $44

Red Toile Farm Scene Individual Casserole with Liner Tray $23

Corner Cabinet in Bright Red $365

-Spode Blue Italian 12 Piece Set $129

-Gracie China Gold Trimmed Porcelain 15-Inch Tea Set Tray $28

-Blue Willow Plate Set of 6 $78

-AA Importing Three Drawer Cabinet in Red $635

-AA Importing One Drawer Cabinet in Antique Red $424

-Classical Solid Wood Wall Shelf with Brackets White $25

Fashion Designer Andrew Gn’s Apartment

Fashion Designer Andrew Gn’s Apartment

Picture Credit Alexa’s China Cabinet On Ebay

Picture Credit Alexa’s China Cabinet On Ebay

Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour’s Swedish Decorated Home

Picture Credit Antique Vintage European Textiles On Ebay

Green Glass Distillery Bottles –Debenham Antiques On Ebay

J. Cutler’s captivating film, The September Issue, has put Vogue editor Anna Wintour in the spotlight worldwide.  Not as though she has ever left the spotlight, as Wintour has been American Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief since 1988.  The documentary shows behind the scenes of the every day happenings at Vogue as they put together the publication of the famous September issue.  The film details the glamour behind fashion, as they travel the globe for model shoots, and talk with the most famous  clothing designers to put together the famous pages found in Vogue magazine.

19 th Century Painted Daybed- Debenham Antiques On Ebay

19th Century Painted Sidetable Debenham Antiques On Ebay

Would it surprise you that Wintour’s home is decorated in classic Swedish furnishings?  The home was featured in The World of Interiors magazine, and draws a comfortable feel, so opposite from the glamour Wintour is immersed in every day.  The house features lovely wood painted walls, and exquisite Swedish Gustavian furniture.  Serene paint colors, comfortable furnishings, and furniture showing years of love would be the ideal escape for any person who has such a busy lifestyle.

Excerpt From The World of Interiors Magazine:

“It was perhaps eight years ago that a neighbor’s change of fortune resulted in my good luck. The property that adjoins my 1820 Long Island summerhouse (WoI March 2006) came up for sale when its owner left in a hurry. It had an 1834 farmhouse, with loads of additions and 12 poky bedrooms. It had a perplexing reception room with difficult, though grand, proportions. It had lawns that tumbled down toward a beautiful-to-the-eye, toxic-to-everything-else river.”

Monique Waqué’s 200 Year Old Farmhouse In Northern Germany

Swedish Dining Room ChairsPhotography by Andreas Von Einsiedel Picture Credit

Owner Monique Waqué discovered this 200 year old farmhouse located in northern Germany, and turned it into her dream home.  The house is decorated with Gustavian furniture in a Swedish country look.  You can get her style too with a few key furniture pieces.

There are a number of Swedish dealers on 1st dibs that sell authentic Swedish Gustavian chairs just like what  Monique Waqué has in her home. Buying antiques from Sweden allows you to get genuine pieces that have been loved for years.  As you can see Monique Waqué has Gustavian country chairs at her dining table in a pale yellow.

This home certainly has a country flare.  All the choices are rustic, painted with country Swedish colors.  An oval tray sits on the coffee table.  Consider turning to a hand painted tole tray in the color scheme that you are basing everything around.  My favorites are the floral tole trays which have an elegant feminine country appeal.  Collect a color and consider painting your walls to match the tole trays.  The floral hand-painting gives a very distinct country look.

Getting this look doesn’t have to cost you a fortune either.  There are a number of chairs that have this same look for less.

Check out this post for lovely Linen Sofas–  I have collected several pages of  lovely linen sofas available on amazon.  (Located under the Skona Mag Picture- It takes 2 minutes to load the widget)

Set of six, 18th Century style, Gustavian chairs.Set of six, 18th Century style, Gustavian chairs. Beautiful scraped patina. Strong construction. Perfect set for dining chairs –the GARTEN Antiques and Garden Elements

Village Grigio Side Chair Crate And Barrel

Verona Dining Chair in Antique White Set of 2 $381

The Chestnut Hudson Dining Chair $199

5-Piece Shaker Dining Set, Black $299 Why not sell the table and keep the chairs?

Tapered Leg Table One that Could Be White Washed $270

Small Tapered Leg Table- Could be One in Front Of The Sofa Or an End Table $99

Perfect Bench For A Hallway or Dining Table, or Even As Patio Furniture $106

Lovely Tapered Leg Console Table $121.

Low Bowl Urn with Handles $29 Celery Green

Set of six painted Gustavian Style dining chairs

Set of six painted Gustavian Style dining chairs

Petricia Thompson Antiquites d’ Europe

Gustavian Dining Chairs

A Set of Six Matched Gustavian Dining Chairs –Cote Jardin Antiques


A Set of 8 Antique Swedish Gustavian Style Dining Chairs

A Set of 8 Antique Swedish Gustavian Style Dining Chairs

Gustavian Dining Chairs in the with a so called “humleqvist” carving.Gustavian Dining Chairs in the with a so called “humleqvist”

Swedish ChairsA large set of 12 painted antique Swedish dining chairs of great design, retaining the original paint and horse hair, having been recently reupholstered by us in hessian.

This elegant set of twelve antique dining chairs, will work well in most settings.

A Set of Fourteen Swedish Gustavian Dining Chairs circa 1780

A Set of Fourteen Swedish Gustavian Dining ChairsA Set of Fourteen Swedish Gustavian Dining Chairs Talisman

Gustavian Chair with Pancake CushionGustavian Chair with Pancake Cushion –Seen Here

Pair Of Wooden Gustavian Chairs Ca 1800

Pair Of Wooden Gustavian Chairs Ca 1800Pair Of Wooden Gustavian Chairs Ca 1800 – Galerie Half

Set Of Four Gustavian ChairsSet Of Four Gustavian Chairs A Tyner Antiques

Set of 3 Gustavian Side Chairs

Set of 3 Gustavian Side Chairs –Laserow Antiques

Monique WaquéMonique Waqué’s Bedroom

Hooker Melange Sofia Writing Desk sold by Hooker Furniture is an antique reproduction of the classic Louis XVI desk. This terrific desk features beautiful rounded hardware and pretty ribbon motif trim and the classic Louis XVI fluted leg. Can you believe a desk like this is only $627?

Magnus Lundgren’s Swedish Gustavian Home


Skona Hem had a wonderful write up on Magnus Lundgren’s Home.  If you LOVE the antique Swedish style, do visit Magnus’s blog, because it is one of the few blogs devoted to Swedish furniture and decorating.  His blog is always a real treat for me to read.   Magnus has a true love for 1700 Swedish-century furniture.  For the past ten years he has filled his home with Baroque, Rococo and Gustavian furniture originating from the years 1750-1810.

He worked closely with a construction company and the overall transformation took just over three months.   They installed rough planks and small details such as incandescent lamps with porcelain sockets, electrical sockets and switches. They  kept the floors and beams, and instead of putting up drywall in the ceiling and putty, they installed rough plank exterior insulation.  Magnus mentions he uses egg tempera and linseed oil for his paint finishes.  Check out his beautiful home decorated in Swedish Style.

Magnus Lundgren’s Swedish Gustavian Home

Magnus Lundgren’s Swedish Gustavian Home

Magnus Lundgren’s Swedish Gustavian Home 2Magnus Lundgren’s Swedish Gustavian Home

Magnus posted this stunning oil portrait on his blog which is absolutely breathtaking.  The colors in this oil painting are the classic colors that are found in Gustavian style.

Book Review: The Swedish Wooden House by Lars Sjoberg


The Swedish Wooden House by Lars Sjoberg  and Ingalill Snitt shows magnificent castles, impressive mansions and simple farmhouses. The beauty and decay in all these houses are an important part of our heritage. The Swedish Wooden House journeys through Swedish architectural history and a rich source of inspiration for all who appreciate the beauty of the ancient buildings.

All these pictures were captured by Ingalill Snitt’s website.  You can buy this book on amazon for under $25-30 dollars, and the same as ebay.

Among the buildings shown are Sörby mansion, with its intact eighteenth-century painted-linen wall coverings; the numerous residences of the De la Gardie family, including Läckö Castle, founded as a bishop’s stronghold in the thirteenth century; Gunnebo, a lavish wooden interpretation of an Italian villa built for wealthy merchant John Hall; and several buildings associated with the  great Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus: Råshult, his childhood home; Sveden, the site of his wedding; and Hammarby, his adult home, complete with study, lecture pulpit, and collection cabinet. A celebration of a centuries-old design history as well as a source of design inspiration, The Swedish House captures the  special qualities of a unique building practice.

Editorial Review – Reed Business Information (c) 2003

Deserted farmhouses and unpainted wood houses, churches, and historic country estates are the focus of this engaging study of Swedish domestic architecture since the 17th century. Traditional designs, construction techniques, custom fittings, and renovations are examined, with an emphasis on interior decoration, furnishings, and various Continental influences. Examples range from humble rural structures to the renovated S rby mansion, with its painted 18th-century linen wall coverings and tile stove. Residences of the botanist Carl Linnaeus are featured, including his estate of Hammarby, with its study, lecture pulpit, and collection cabinet. Evocative, “certain slant of light” photos exquisitely capture exteriors in every season as well as interior details. An earlier, well-received collaboration by Sjoberg (curator, National Museum, Stockholm) and Snitt is The Swedish Room. Site maps, a bibliography, and an index would have enhanced this publication, but because there is so little in English on traditional Swedish residences, this work is recommended for collections of all levels.-Russell T. Clement, Northwestern Univ. Lib., Evanston, IL

By Lupo Montegrigio (Stockholm, Sweden) This review is from: The Swedish House

The Swedish (original) edition is titled “Swedish wooden houses” which is quite an essential piece of information for a buyer. That’s what’s linking the humblest farmers hut with a grand manor in this book. The emphasis is on interiors and a few are more than slightly deteriorating into a romantic peeling-paint-and-wallpaper inferno, but mainly it’s a fair selection of different types of rooms. Exteriors are also presented and I think there is a good balance. Photograps are excellent as always when Ingalill Snitt provides them.

ByM. Keane (Massachusetts) This review is from: The Swedish House

Sjoberg is the quintessential art historian and his book captures the history and soul of Swedish architecture beautifully. The photos and related text guide you through a brief history of the traditional houses and building styles found in Sweden. By looking thoughtfully at the photos, you’ll get a clear view of how these houses are constructed and why they are still standing today after years of abandonment and neglect. If you ever visit Sweden (and go beyond Skansen in Stockholm), you’ll see these “silent houses” throughout the countryside. Sjoberg brings them back to life with his deep understanding of their history and relevance to the 21st Century.

By PK (Minneapolis) Review is from: The Swedish House (Hardcover)

I’d hoped for more “Swedish” and “House.” The compositions of aged paint and abandoned objects in natural light are beautiful, but not necessarily “Swedish.” It’s mostly rooms. With some shots of fenestration, it contains only about 20 large photos showing the exterior of a whole “house.”



Book Review Architectural Styles: Building Primitive And Classic Homes

Book Review

Houses are built much differently than they were in the past.  Today we find the goal of most builders is being able to build a home quickly with quality.  Many people simply want a home built well with nice looks, and lots of space. Most people aren’t too concerned that their cabinetry is made of composite wood, and the flooring isn’t real.  They just want something good looking even if it isn’t all natural, ……..and there is nothing wrong with that approach.

On the other hand we have a small percentage of the population who bypass the new developments in search for something unique which could be renovated.  These people seem to look forever for something that is so hard to find.  They weigh the costs of renovating or building from scratch in hopes to be surrounded some day with something back in time.  If you are one of those people, you are not alone.  Perhaps you might be searching for a new house to buy, or may be you are hoping to reinvent your current home to bring in some old classical details.  I have a book for you!

Many people don’t even approach the idea of building a house, because imagining a new house, or the expenses associated with starting from scratch can be daunting thought. Many people touring new homes looking for ideas find nothing but cookie-cutter copies in which they then find themselves combing through the bookstore shelves looking for inspiration in which they can add to their homes to give that old world feel.

Russell Versaci was inspired to write Creating A New Old House when he was in architecture school. It was then that he discovered the modern American homes didn’t even have a trace of the past, as if they abandoned the architectural elements all together. He turned to history for inspiration, and while searching through the dusty volumes in the library he discovered America was rich with forgotten styles. Russell spent 30 years studying the qualities that make old houses so appealing—and learning how to re-create these qualities in new homes for modern living.


Google Books Has a generous preview of Creating A New Old House Here.

Also Versaci’s Roots of Home: Our Journey to a New Old House preview is also on Google Books

Review By Catherine -I have an academic and working background in architectural design, and I recently began designing a house for myself and my family for the very first time. While having a pretty solid education in modern architecture, I confess to have always been in love with more traditional design aesthetics and architectural history. A few months ago, I was searching for a book like this to aid in designing my home, but I could NOT find anything like this. I wanted a home that was rich in architectural tradition yet the home design also had to meet modern day demands in space and utility. I was ecstatic to come across a review for this book at another website announcing the book’s publishing date. . . I was concerned at first that this book would be nothing but SLICK coffee table fodder because of the beautiful pictures, but upon receiving the book, I found the book to contain pertinent information that guides the reader/designer on how to accomplish a design that integrates traditional aesthetics and feeling with modern day needs and wants. This book is more than just pretty: it spells out how to achieve a historical, traditional look without mocking the past or being trite. . . and at the same time encourages the designer to meet modern needs.

Creating A New Old House will show you homes which were built from scratch which incorporated elements which were patterned after tradition. The houses in this book have been created by some of the best architects, builders, and homeowners who dedicated their craft to creating styles based on classic designs. The homes presented in the book cover different styles ranging in different regional styles across America. You will see portraits of eighteen new houses in classic traditional styles. The examples given were selected from more than 300 homes, presenting the very best in each style. Creating A New Old House became an instant classic when it was published in 2003 and is now used as a tool in hundreds of traditional architecture practices.

About the Author

Russell Versaci was a graduate of Yale, and studied architecture at Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania. In 1985 he formed the award-winning residential practice Versaci Neumann & Partners, based in Washington D.C. and Middleburg, Va. Then in 2006 he founded Russell Versaci Architecture which has a goal of improving the quality and value of traditional homebuilding. Versaci’s designs have been featured in national magazines, including Traditional Home, Southern Accents, House Beautiful, and Southern Living, as well as on Good Morning, America.

Russell Versaci offers 8 guide points to consider when designing a new house with classical strong traditional design.

1. Invent within the rules- When creating new designs, work within the traditional language of architecture.

2. Respect the character of place- Honor the local building traditions.

3. Tell a story in your home about the growth over time. Imagine changes
made by alterations and additions over time, and design within those ideas.

4. Build for the ages- Build with durable materials and time-tested construction techniques which are built to last.

5. Pay Attention to detail. Authenticity of details define house character making it more convincing.

6. Build with natural materials- The timeless beauty of natural materials will always remain in style, while the modern day plastics will always become dated at some point in time.

7. Create the patina of age by natural weathering processes. Build with salvaged antique materials.

8. Integrate modern room functions but hide new technologies.

Building Primitive &Classic Homes

Index Information:

Introduction – Page 2

Reviving the Classic Homes of the Past Page 4

A Portfolio of New Old Houses

CALIFORNIA SPANISH COLONIAL REVIVAL– Recapturing the Romance of Spain Page 24

ROCKY MOUNTAIN RANCH– Rive House in Big Sky Country Page 36

SPANISH-PUEBLO ADOBE– Reviving A Primitive Power Page 48

MIDWESTERN GREEK REVIVAL– An Honest Prairie Farmhouse- Page 60


PENNSYLVANIA DUTCH FARMHOUSE– A New Farmstead with a Past- Page 82



GERMAN STONE FARMHOUSE– Bringing a Farm Back to Life Page 116

CAPE COD COTTAGE– A. House of Salvaged Bones Page 128

SOUTHERN PIEDMONT FARMHOUSE– A New Farmhouse For An Old Village Page 138

SOUTHERN ANTEBELLUM PLANTATION– Proper Southern Planners Page 150

FRENCH CREOLE COTTAGE– A Weathered Bayou Cottage Page 160

TEXAS GERMAN RANCH- Sunday House on the Prairie Page 172

FRENCH COLONIAL PLANTATION HOUSE– A Portrait of Louisiana Heritage Page 184

CRAFTSMAN ARTS AND CRAFT’S BUNGALOW– House of Fine Woodworking Page 196

COLONIAL REVIVAL SHINGLE STYLE-New England in the Northwest 206

Directory of Architects 218 

Building Primitive & Classic Homes


Building Primitive &Classic Homes

In His New Book, Roots of Home: Our Journey To A New Old House, also details the French, English, and Spanish styles and many more designs that can help you make the right decisions when decorating, renovating, or building with a period style in mind.  The book is divided into four parts: Our Spanish Heritage, Our French Heritage, Our English Heritage, and our Continental Heritage.  Within each section, several styles of homes are explored, as well as an abundant historical information in each section

Immigration of Settler Patterns In Early American History

This book contains some thought provoking maps, exterior photographs, interior photographs and detail photographs. Anyone looking for information on restoring or designing a traditional home will find plenty of helpful information in this book.

In an interview by Southern Accents Magazine, Russell Versaci gives some really interesting Swedish Information:

Southern Accents: Your previous book,( Creating A New Old House ) in which you tackle the concept of building houses that adhere to traditional design principles, really resonated with readers. What is it about old houses that intrigues us so?

Russell Versaci: Old houses remind us of a time when life was simpler, less stressful, of places we lived in or visited where we felt safe and cared for. I think of them as grandmothers’ houses. Because we yearn to feel secure and connected again in a shifting world, we are drawn to old houses and the feelings they evoke.

Maybe one of the biggest surprises is your debunking of the myth of the log cabin’s frontier origins. You trace it back to the medieval cottages of Scandinavia. How did you discover this?

Roots of Home required huge amounts of research to tease out the details of early building styles and ground them in the story of our country’s founding. Working backward, we found that the iconic log cabin was adopted by William Penn for his Pennsylvania colonists from the short-lived colony of New Sweden in southern New Jersey and Delaware. There, the first log cabins had been built by settlers from the heavily forested areas of Sweden and Finland, where people had been building log houses for centuries. Each American tradition has built on a previous one, mostly imported from the Old World, and only a few have emerged independently. These connections are what is so intriguing about America’s story of home.

Swedish Decorating

This is an important book. When the great challenge in modern life is the creation of the sense of identity of place, Roots of Home opens a door to the architectural history that has made different parts of the United States unique. An antidote to the spread of bland, anonymous places, this will allow the reader to anchor a place into its cultural background, illustrating not only the origins of the local architecture but how it has developed to suit its unique climatic and functional condition. The book is history but much more than history. It’s is notable for not only revealing the origins of the particularity of each place but in giving examples of how to carry that character into the modern world. Everyone who cares about the identity of place should have a copy.” — Robert Adam, Principal, Robert Adam Architects; Founder, International Network for Traditional Building, Architecture & Urbanism


Borrow Decorating Ideas From Jeffrey Bilhuber’s Swedish Gingham Decorated Manhattan Apartment


Jeffrey Bilhuber gives hope to all of us.  He had his first start in hotel management, and studied at the protegious Cornell University focusing on hotel administration.   He graduated from Cornell and lasted about three years in the business knowing that it just wasn’t the right fit.  His big break was at the Carlyle Hotel when he was placed in the  housekeeping department with designer Mark Hampton, who happened to be doing in-house redecoration of the rooms.  It was there that Bilhuber understood where he belonged.

Being a business man at heart, he needed a creative outlet to combine with the dry world of business.   He tells New York Social Diary – “Here is this man, Mark Hampton, who seems to be at the top of his field … here was somebody who had managed to actually put creativity and business together.’ And I thought ‘Why didn’t I think of this?”   The New York Social Diary features some astounding pictures of his Manhattan Apartment, and are still by far one of the best designed homes of all time.

Gingham Room

This room screams Swedish Decorating with modern touches.  Who knew Gingham fabric would look so striking on the walls.  This classic Swedish pattern looks stunning with hues of lavender and beige.  The fabric was extended to the windows, for a traditional cohesive appeal.  Bilhuber moved the beige from the walls onto the floor.  The floor design is one of the most incredibly beautiful yet simplistic patterns.

The floors were first limed and then paint was added to form the pattern on top of the herringbone wood floor.  It is interesting to see the pattern he choose for the floor.  The alternate patterns do work with the natural pattern of the herringbone.  The pattern is quite modern looking but the diagonal slant gives an interesting appeal to the room instead of a pattern which would run straight.  Do you see that the wood was limed, or white washed?  Having the natural wood showing through the white wash is especially beautiful.

A stuffed peacock was found on Ebay stands on a pedestal, and touches of green break up the natural colors adding a bit of punch.

The sketches of Abraham Lincoln are not on a white background.  This simplistic appeal of adding a colored background for a sketch is rather inspiring.

Above the sofa hangs a drawing on linen by Jean Cocteau.  Bilhuber obviously has expensive taste, as the Chinese style coffee table was purchased at Christies.

In the living room, slipper chairs designed by Jeffrey flank a 10 ft. long sofa covered in velvet by Jack Lenor Larson with Samuel & Sons bullion fringe. The Louis XVI gilt black leather chairs are the gem of the room.  The set of four 18th century gilt armchairs were purchased from Christies.

Groves Brothers Room

Peeking into the library, the stenciled floor in white and beige sets the tone for the adjacent study.  Bilhuber uses Groves Brothers fabric to upholster the walls and uses the same fabric which continue onto the sofas.  The most interesting aspect of this room is the nail head trim on the walls.  Bilhuber creates architectural depth with the square nail head trim on the walls and doors.

The first thing you see in this room is the bright tangerine colored lacquer ceiling and then your eyes refocus on the contemporary colors in the living space.   Bilhuber shows us a trick here.   If you are someone who is afraid of adding color into a room, why not try an unexpected place such as a ceiling, inside of a pantry, or a closet?

Bilhuber’s apartment features some superb antiques such as the Gustavian secretary and the 1930’s mirror which gives it an upscale appeal.   I think the secret to any really superb design is including authentic or reproduction antiques.   The  collection of white resin antlers surrounds a recessed television in the guest room and give a masculine feel to the room.  Ebay sells a number of faux antler trophies which range in price from $30- $60.  Don’t limit yourself to just antlers, consider other wall statues, that may be improved with some gray paint.

Gournay Room

This room is by far the prettiest room I have EVER come across.  Bilhuber  commissioned artist Nancy Lorenz to add designs of gold leaf on resin to the de Gournay wallpaper.  Did she use something quite thick such as silicone sealant, and then gold leafed the silicone when it dried?  If you look very closely, the designs are quite heavy, which is almost impossible for paint to do alone.  Perhaps she formed the designs on an upright surface, and once they dried, she gold leafed them and then hammered them on to the wall.  This is how I would achieve the look.

A Gustavian chest is topped with a pair of lotus lamps , and an antique chair is white washed with a leather seat giving the room that masculine appeal.  Again, all high end antiques, show high-end style.

Jeffrey Bilhuber’s Design Basics: Expert Solutions for Designing the House of Your Dreams, by Jeffrey Bilhuber and Annette Tapert (Rizzoli, 2003) This book offers luxurious photography and easy-to-follow lessons on space, scale, color, and materials.

Jeffrey Bilhuber: Defining Luxury: The Qualities of Life at Home – Jeffrey Bilhuber returns with a second book after Design Basics, his successful debut volume. In Defining Luxury cortails his most recent projects from coast to coast.   The book features seven chapters in which each project is discussed extensivly from Bilhuber’s style and insight.


Swedish Furniture Inspiration- Jeffrey Bilhuber’s Manhattan Apartment with Gingham Walls And Stenciled Limed Wood Floors
Swedish Furniture Inspiration- Jeffrey Bilhuber’s Manhattan Apartment with Gingham Walls And Stenciled Limed Wood Floors
Swedish Furniture Inspiration- Jeffrey Bilhuber’s Manhattan Apartment with Gingham Walls And Stenciled Limed Wood Floors
Swedish Furniture Inspirations- Jeffrey Bilhuber- Groves Brothers Room
Swedish Furniture Inspiration- Jeffrey Bilhuber’s Manhattan Apartment Stenciled Limed Wood Floors
Swedish Furniture Inspirations- Jeffrey Bilhuber- Groves Brothers Room
Swedish Furniture Inspirations- Jeffrey Bilhuber- Groves Brothers Room

York Wallcoverings Ashford Toiles Gingham Check Prepasted Wallpaper, IN Yellow And Black

York Wallcoverings Ashford Toiles Gingham Check Prepasted Wallpaper, IN White and Green

York Wallcoverings Ashford Toiles Gingham Check Prepasted Wallpaper, IN Cream And Brown

York Wallpaper features a number of classy designs.  The toile is named for the French town from which the design style originated as a popular cloth print in the 1700’s. Ashford House has artfully recreated some of the original 18th century French pastoral scenes that define the style, while offering some beautiful contemporary interpretations that expand the boundaries of the definition. An extraordinary collection of elegant wallpapers, Ashford House Toiles provides classic designs in rich, traditional colors, as well as modern variations in color and style that are delightfully unexpected.

Jeffrey Bilhuber’s Manhattan Apartment – Gournay Room- Swedish Inspirations
Jeffrey Bilhuber’s Manhattan Apartment – Gournay Room- Swedish Inspirations
Jeffrey Bilhuber’s Signature Nailhead Design

The Klismos Chair has been one of the most sought after chairs for years, but honestly almost impossible to find, leaving many people scouring antique shops from coast to coast. Its popularity peaked around 400 B.C., but was then resurrected in the 18th century, when classical furniture and architecture came into fashion.

Joe Niermann founder of Niermann Weeks, started his career in the insurance industry, but his passions for porcelain, pottery, and antiques lead him to volunteer at the Wisconsin Historical Society, which he learned all there is to know about restorations, paint finishes and antique furniture. That platform of knowledge enabled him to start his own restoration business in 1971. Niermann discovered that if most antiques could be restored while maintaining their structural integrity and original finish, antiques could then be cloned and reinterpreted into new designs.

In 1984, six years after the founding of the company, Niermann Weeks moved to Annapolis, Maryland, where it was incorporated in 1985. The Niermann Weeks chair above and to the left is a painted modern reproduction of an 18th-Swedish interpretation of an ancient klismos chair, and retails for $2,420. Over 40 percent of their business is custom-designed furniture requested from professional architects and designer clients. Niermann Weeks features more than 600 standard designs with 500 finishes.The company prides itself on employing a team of skilled artisans who create, by hand, 18th-, 19th- and 20th-century-style furniture that Niermann picks up in his world travels and thinks about reproducing.

European-style furniture with gold-leafed ornate decorations and glazed finishes are what the manufacturer is known for producing. Bradshaw Orrell,whom is the companies design director has lead the company in a unique direction featuring more rustic finishes that have the appearance of antique weathering that would look as if wear and tear took place over centuries of use. Hand carving and primitive techniques give the look of furniture made 150 years ago. Hand-painted finishes, some with floral motifs or gilded detailing, that give them a rich and original appearance, like one-of-a-kind furniture often found in antiques shops.

The attention to detail and unique faux finishes really take their furniture to the next level compared to all other manufactures. Niermann Weeks has showrooms in New York, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles, and in 16 other showrooms across the country and in 21 shops in other regions in the United States.

Swedish Furniture & Decor – Niermann Weeks Chair
Swedish Furniture Niermann Weeks Gustavian Klismos Chairs

Stunning Niermann Weeks Klismos Chairs Found on La Design Concepts Blog

Swedish Furniture & Decor – Niermann Weeks Chairs


Book Review: Swedish Interiors By Rhonda Eleish & Edie Van Breems

 Q&A with Edie Van Breems and Rhonda Eleish of Eleish Van Breems

Authors Rhonda Eleish and Edie Bernhard van Breems are the owners of Eleish Van Breems Antiques Swedish antique stores in Connecticut. Swedish Interiors was published in 2007, (affiliate link) and brings about years of expertise, experience, and passion for creating the very best of Swedish-inspired interiors. Rhonda Eleish and Edie van Breems live in Woodbury, Connecticut, and opened the doors to Eleish Van Breems Antiques in 1998, and specialize in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Swedish antiques. Eleish reveals that Swedish antique dealing runs in her family, as her great aunt Ittan Gullers has been a well known dealer in Sweden, so her paths in creating their business was easier than most she admits.

Swedish Interiors focuses on the Swedish influence in American Design from the perspective of both the modern and primitive design.  Immigrants who came to America brought along their heritage and customs as well as the decorative and architectural arts of their homeland. Swedish Interiors represents the best of Swedish design in America, and shows a viewpoint of Swedish style from an American Perspective.

Swedish Interiors documents 14 American houses each with their own interpretation of Swedish style extends beyond the familiar 18th-century Gustavian look.  A 1795 Colonial house in Rhode Island is a classical take on Gustavian style while a log ranch in Montana is also Swedish in style but gives us a peak into what it may be like to be an average humble Swede living in the American country side in the 18th century. A 1923 bungalow in Los Angeles and a Manhattan apartment showcases sleek modern interpretation of the luxury side of interiors influenced by Swedish design in the mid 20th century. Swedish Interiors also included photographs of competitive dealers: Lars Bolander of Palm Beach and, in Manhattan’s Paul Sigenlaub of Evergreen Antiques and Lena Kaplan of White on White.

With so few Swedish Furnishing books on the market, Swedish Interiors By Rhonda Eleish and Edie van Breems is a little bit different offering interpretations on the Swedish influence. Swedish citizens themselves find themselves wondering why Americans are so enamored with 17th century Swedish antiques that often try to reinforce the idea that there is more to Swedish design than the 17th century.

The book roughly showcases three distinct Swedish styles, that being:

A: Primitive Country Swedish Design

B: Classic 17th century Gustavian Swedish Design

C.Modern 20th & 21st Century Swedish Design

The Contents of the Book are divided up as showcases of Several Homes:

A: Country Swedish

1. Wisconsin Ranch of Loran Nordgren- features a home painted in country Swedish colors typically found in the arts and crafts movement. A classic mustard painted home is framed with white window casings, and a primitive red colored roof and green accents. If you are after a country primitive look with Swedish underpinnings, this review is for you. The home features decor typically known as folk decor, and is made up of walls painted in lime yellow with light blue trim, and stencils which outline the room. Reproduced Gripsholm chairs in a red check cotton center the room while folk primitive antiques show off classic Swedish looks. A Dalarna wood settee dated 1825 painted in Falun red with blue detailing is one of my favorites of this layout.

2. Interior Designer Diana Beatties Montana home is REAL authentic Swedish timber homestead which was restored to its former glory and serves as a second guest home on Beatties property. The design features classic looks often found in Montana, with Swedish country folk decor mixed in. Rustic stone and log walls, and painted Swedish country cabinets in dark blue and red make the decor a comfortable home you would find in the mountains. Beatties gives a fresh perspective on what a country Swedish peasant would live like, but also includes stainless steel appliances in the kitchen which goes hand in hand with the distressed cabinetry.


B: Classic 17th century Gustavian Swedish Design

From the distressed beige and blue-hued furniture many people are familiar with, and the Gustavian gold accents luxurious primitive patterns found in the Swedish Baroque, Rococo, and Biedermeier periods, Swedish Interiors by Van Breems and Eleish review the secrets to achieving that classical Swedish design. Pickled hardwood floors, lighter interior colors, window treatments, and classic Swedish decor is an elegant upscale style that can be incorporated into any home. 7 homes are showcased in Swedish Interiors that fall into the 17th and 18th century take on Swedish design.

1. Libby Holsten’s 1760 Rhode Island Colonial- Holsten’s reception room graces the books cover. After stumbling across some Swedish photographs she fell in love with the period furniture, and began collecting Swedish furniture which she began furnishing her homes in Newport and Boston. Some of the outstanding features of her home besides the Swedish furniture is the hand painted chinoiserie faux wallpaper painted in taupe and brown. The painting extends to the entrance hall and stairwell. The home went through an extensive restoration and was brought from a dark cold palette to one which featured ivories, grays and hues of blues. French doors were installed bringing in more light, as well as the rotted wood flooring was replaced with pickled oak. Antique Swedish furniture was mixed in with French, and a alluring collection of musical instruments. Some of the highlights of her home is the outstanding faux finishing on the walls. The Swedish antiques are beautiful to look at. The Rococo bench on page 23 is painted in a yellow ochre, and a gold gilt clock hangs above a stairwell on page 24. Gustavian lyre side chairs line the sitting room. Authentic paint distressed colors such as on the Swedish table on page 27 , and the 1780’s gilt Swedish clock on page 29 are incredibly inspiring to a painter like myself. A set of unusually heavily distressed Gustavian chairs gather around a trestle table in the kitchen. This showcase is for me is worth purchasing the book, as the Swedish paint finishes show a variety of furniture in green washes, blue and yellow washes, distressed cream finished and gray faux finishes in their very best.

2. Linda & Lindsay Kennedy- A couple which owns Chloe Decor – A Swedish antiques business in LA. Their California bungalow was restored by designer Nancy Fishelson. Linda , a Swedish native focuses her time on her thriving interior design business, while Lindsay spends his time on the retail side of the business. They frequent Sweden for buying trips to fill their LA store. The highlight is A late eighteenth century clock secretary featured on page (52-53)was one of the most beautiful pieces in their home, made from a combination of a Swedish Mora clock and a classic Swedish secretary put together as one.

3. The highlight of Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne’s home was the hand painted wall murals (pages 61-65) by designer Claggett Wilson and decoupage in orange, blue and gold. Hand painted murals were often featured in high end Swedish manor houses and castles in the 1740’s to the 1780’s.

4. Lars Bolander and Nadine Kalachnikoff’s Palm Beach Home features a collection of Swedish and French eighteen century antiques. The home features painted paneled walls which are lined with classic black portraits. Sisal rugs are found in each room along side painted gray Swedish antiques

5. John Rabalasis’s New Orleans Home. Louisiana interior designer fell hard for Swedish furniture. His classic home is decorated in 17th century painted Swedish furniture and decor. Sea foam greens and blues sweep his classical home. The home is one of the features of the book because the authentic Swedish looks provide so much to admire. One of the key features are the classic Gustavian Swedish chairs that gather around a French walnut wine tasting table. The floors under the table are made of brick which is quite rustic in every sense. Natural jute rugs line the floors in the sitting rooms, while the beige and cream interior walls pull everything together. Klismos chairs sit at the entrance of his home, while stuffed bergere chairs corner the rooms. His home is in every sense a beautiful rendition of classic Swedish decorating.

6. Elish Van Breems Antiques – Features his unique Woodbury Connecticut antiques store which was a Nationally registered 1760 Thompson House. The home was built in 1760 by the first lawyer and magistrate of Woodbury, Connecticut. The home at the time was considered a mansion at the time it was built and was then restored by the previous property owners after it fell into neglect. The owners choose Falun red and white the most common color of Swedish farmhouses. A lack of window treatments and floor coverings create a sense of simplicity. The pine floors were striped, bleached and pickled to add an authentic Swedish Gustavian feel. The intent was to create more of a residential feeling than a business type of atmosphere.

7. Lena Biorck Kaplan’s Swedish Studio- Owner of Swedish design shop White on White originally was inspired by Stockholm’s Martine Collianders shop which featured beautiful Swedish gray and white interiors. Lena’s home features a reproduction Gustavian dining table and chairs and a nineteenth century Gustavian bed settee. White on White opened its doors in 1999 and grew exponentially allowing renovations 3 to 4 years after opening. She installed moldings,ragged the walls, and pickled the floors. They now expanded their business offering products on a national stage.

C.The Modern Swedish

The modern take on Swedish design is all about luxury. Hollywood regency is a comparable style in the 20th century, but Swedish modern has a slightly different angle. Swedish modern interiors still gravitate towards the lighter hues, such as white, gray, but incorporate natural materials such as wood, marble, and stone. For those who were inspired by Sweden have melded the very best concepts of Swedish design into their American homes but with modern furnishings

1. The primary residence of the Consulate General of Sweden is showcased on page 87. The residence is located at the corner of Park Avenue and Sixty-Fourth street in New York and was extensively renovated under the direction of architect Lennart Jansson. The furnishings of Josef Frank for Svenskt Tenn which is known widely as the best of Swedish design. The consulate is decorated in contemporary Swedish furniture pieces against contrasting antique Swedish architecture. For example, in the dining room, black and white tile has always been the staple of luxury in castles but they add a modern twist by layering a gray and black fur hide under the contemporary modern white leather Danish dining chairs. The ornate curved arched doorways are grand to look at on pg 86, and the gray marble or stone fireplace on page 93 is of supreme luxury. No everyone has such deep pockets to pull off this style, but in my opinion is the best example in this book of the Swedish influences in the modern home.

2. Martina Arfwidson & David Weiss- Arfwidson founder of Face Stockholm, and Restaurateur Weiss – bought a property they had admired for years which was close to their home they lived to for years. While their home is filled generously with Swedish antiques, it has a modern underpinnings of modern aesthetics. Their home is bright and sunny while incorporating the natural Swedish palette.

3. Paul & Suzanne Sigenlaub – Although Antique dealer Paul Sigenlaub’s uptown Manhattan’s Evergreen Antiques features classic Scandinavian and Baltic Antiques, surprisingly his home features modern furniture. Their New York home is featured with a mix of classic Swedish 17th century furniture such as an 1830 Swedish demilune table with Eames leather dining chairs. The 1790’s Klismos settee is a rare find, is positioned opposite a contrasting Danish Kaare Klint 1930’s leather chair, and an Arne Jacobsen Egg Chair. Suzanne is Danish and their homes antiques were passed down through her family, and it was her heritage which sparked Paul’s curiosity into Swedish furniture. The walls were painted a diluted limestone, and the floors were given a white wash finish. Colorful contemporary art updated the home to 21st century style. The most impressive furnishings are the Klismos settee and side chair, along with the claw foot Gustavian bench and collection of Scandinavian wood folk art horses.

4. Aquavit Hakan & Catherine Swahn- Restaurateurs of modern Swedish cuisine sit at home in modern luxury with Swedish minimalism. Hakan’s father was a successful Swedish antiques dealer and was aquatinted with the best of Swedish furniture, and perhaps explains why the modern furnishings are showcased instead of the antiques of his heritage. They have a remarkable collection of designers such as Hans Wegner, Bruno Mathsson, and Piet Hein. Their home was renovated by architect Michel Franck, as well as their restaurant was designed around Nordic concepts. Their large 12,000 square feet restaurant on Fifty-fifth street is featured showing 20th century Scandinavian furnishings.

5. JoAnn Barwick’s Vermont Studio- Editor in Chief of Home Beautiful Magazine for more than a decade, Barwick fell in love with the elegance of classic Swedish furniture after visiting several locations throughout Norway of her families heritage. Barwick, herself published a book called Scandinavian Country, published by Clarkson Potter. Also since leaving Home Beautiful she has developed numerous lines for major furniture manufactures with classic Swedish and Gustavian lines. JoAnn and her husband Fred Berger spend their summer and fall in Vermont, and venture down to Florida in the winter and spring. Both homes have a New England style with underpinnings of Swedish decor. Shades of blue and white run though their home with both antique Swedish furniture and contemporary pieces work together to make their space fresh and balanced. JoAnne has designed for Drexel Heritage as well as a line of Scandinavian lighting for the Frederick Cooper Company.

6. Steve & Katie Hyen’s Connecticut Home is uniquely reconstructed from a traditional dairy barn. The massive 15,000 square feet barn is elegantly polished with marble and stone and has vast space with elegant modern furniture. The vast space, and light walls, and beautiful flooring serves as a great inspiration to anyone who wants the rustic feel of a barn but is drawn to the elegant modern looks of city living.

Swedish Interiors by Rhonda Eleish and Edie Bernhard van Breems is a must have for any person who is looking to decorate in Swedish style.   The book on Amazon has 12 honest customer reviews.  Amazon sells its copies from around 30 dollars American, but you can also buy the book on Amazon for around 5 dollars!!! What a bargain for a book with a large amount of  beautiful inspiring interiors.  10 people give it 5 (5 out of 5) stars, 1 person ranks it 4 stars, and one person ranks it 3 stars.

One customer ranks it 3 stars saying:

The cover of the book leads one to think that this will be a volume of traditional or “antique” Swedish style, but this is not the case. I was personally looking for a book of traditional and old fashioned Swedish interior and exterior styles and this book is not that, thus I gave it three stars. The book is nicely written and there are plenty of photographs and there is a bit of traditional style but the book focuses largely on the modern takes on Swedish style and many of the photos are of places in the United States that have somewhat Swedish flavored styles and definitely very modern styles.”

Granted, the cover does give the perception that the book features entirely 17th and 18th century Swedish interiors, so it is surprising to see it also lays the ground for designs that also focus on country and modern. Like the comment that is forever in my mind from a Swedish resident that claims “there is more to Swedish style than 17th century“, this book does just that. It throws aside just one form of Swedish design and covers a wider range of the style. Swedish Interiors has been featured on Martha Stewart Living, Country Living, House Beautiful, Travel & Leisure, the New York Times, Traditional Home, Better Homes and Gardens, Victoria, and Yankee.

Swedish Furniture & Decor -Linda and Lindsay Kennedy 18th century Black Painted Rococo Writing desk

Swedish Furniture & Decor -Libby Holsten’s Pool House Swedish Living Room

Swedish Furniture & Decor – Eleish Van Breems Antiques Woodbury Connecticut





Some Of The Best Swedish Books Are Old And Sell For $4 Dollars Or Less

Book Review: Jocasta Innes Scandinavian Painted Furniture

Jocasta Innes is the internationally renowned author of over sixty books on paint finishes, interior design and decorating. She is the founder of Paint Magic, which is a franchise chain of decorating shops which brought forth premier finishes such as color-washing and wood-washing.  Paint Magic by Jocasta Innes is still is one of the best paint technique books I own to date. Scandinavian Painted Furniture by Innes guides a reader through the background of Swedish painting.  Swedish painting has never caught more attention than in the last several years as people are still loving the lighter colored furniture, but want furniture more sophisticated than Shabby Chic.  Innes guides us through 5 countries which make up the Nordic Federation (Norway, Finland, Sweden,Denmark and Iceland) and have defined the classic Scandinavian Design through the 18th century.

Timber was widely available in the Nordic region which made it accessible to create new furniture, and common enough to transform with paint.  Classical Greeks painted marble, the Medieval English painted stone, and the Swedes were blessed with wood which they painted.   These few countries in the Nordic region left us a heritage of beautiful designs known world wide.

What makes pre-twentieth century scandianavian furniture so appealing is the detailed paint finishes that have lasted through generations.  Scandinavian furniture painting added color and provided much needed light into dark homes.  Swedes found themselves depressed by the notoriously long northern winters where daylight would last an hour or two.  Many homes were dark through the long winters, and without electricity, candles provided the majority of the light.  Homes remained so dark that extra measures over time such as paint used on furniture and on the walls was almost a necessity to bring in any extra available light.

Painted pieces were not limited to just free standing furniture, but also included cupboards, built in shelving, dressers and lets not forget the walls.  Painting furniture provided an appeal and allowed for variation than just wood furniture that decorated the home.  They also believed that layers of paint would deter beetles, as well as guarded against dirt, grime and wear and tear.  Old Scandinavian paint formulas contain vitriol and lime which did deter insect parasites which did eat tunnels through furniture, which overtime just fell apart.

There are two different styles of Antique Scandinavian Painted Furniture that developed in the Nordic countries.  One style was a rural peasant type of decoration that flourished within the middle class, and another style referred to as “gentlemanly” which was often found in the higher class grand homes.

Scandinavian / Swedish Peasent Furniture:

Rural country peasant furniture is often referred to as folk furniture which is often distinguished by strong colors and a wealth of decoration.  Peasant art and painting was not notable for its originality or self expression.   Each distinct area would have specific colors much like national sports teams.  For example the NFL is made up of  30 teams started out of the major cities of the United States.  The Seattle Sea-hawks wouldn’t wear the Washington Redskins uniforms, much like the Scandinavian regions wouldn’t paint anything but their own distinct motifs which were passed down through generations.  Painters were content to work within an inherited regional collection of motifs and colors.  Much of this resulted just from the inspiration in their local areas.  They didn’t have the internet to compare different styles, but they did from time to time discover new techniques and  embellishments which they would just adjust some changes on their basic themes.   A regional style or a typical color scheme once laid down, was then faithfully copied in its essentials by the succeeding generations of painters and craftsman.  Today, as they sift through different Swedish furniture which a name is accredited,  is often individual artists which had an acknowledgement of local reputation.


Folk Furniture ~ Swedish, Gustavian, and Nordic Style Furniture
Folk Furniture ~ Swedish, Gustavian, and Nordic Style Furniture

Swedish, Gustavian, and Nordic Style Furniture
Folk Furniture ~ Swedish, Gustavian, and Nordic Style Furniture

Scandinavian / Swedish Gentlemanly Furniture:

The other renowned definitive painted furniture most people are acquainted with is referred to as “gentlemanly” furniture, thus making the distinction between the peasant farms and gentleman estates.   This furniture was made for upper class grand homes, and castles than the wooden villas and urban middle class homes.

This type of Scandinavian furniture is all together different in its use of paint, color, shape and function.  These classes of people were well educated and travelled and were familiar with areas of high influence such as Paris, London, Berlin and St Petersburg. The styles of Baroque, Rococo and Neoclassicism were then repeated in their Scandinavian homes with the aesthetic remaining the same, but the overall design distinctly Scandinavian.

By the 18thcentury, soft colors became quite popular. Putty, straw yellow, blue and green were finished with layers of glazes and combined with gold leaf.   Upper class furniture had a restrained sense of color, typically simple with limited decoration.  The overall finish was sophisticated, formal and elegant, than fussy brightly painted country styles.  Furniture was often made of softwood, and its shape, style and function imitated foreign models from other countries.

Higher Class Furniture ~ Swedish, Gustavian, and Nordic Style Furniture

Higher Class Furniture ~ Swedish, Gustavian, and Nordic Style Furniture

Scandinavian / Swedish Country Provincial Furniture:

As high society moved on to country estates, so did the furniture.  Some of the most appealing Scandinavianfurniture comes from this style, as it is known as “provincial”, with local touches.   Jocasta Innes’s step to step painting guides are some of the best painting books on the market.  Scandinavian Painted Furniture details over 20 projects typical to Swedish painting and decoration.

Swedish, Gustavian, and Nordic Style Furniture
Swedish, Gustavian, and Nordic Style Furniture
Swedish, Gustavian, and Nordic Style Furniture
Swedish, Gustavian, and Nordic Style Furniture
Swedish, Gustavian, and Nordic Style Furniture
Swedish, Gustavian, and Nordic Style Furniture

Swedish, Gustavian, and Nordic Style Furniture


41 Pictures Of Designer Swedish Inspired Homes

Carol GlasserCarol Glasser

Carol Glasser; one of one of Houston’s finest interior designers immediately sought the insight of renown interior designer Katrin Cargill and author of Swedish Style: Creating the Look to create the overall look of a Huston Townhouse.  Katrin Cargill who is one of the leading authors on Swedish design, publishing more than 14 books on interior design, transformed this Huston Townhouse along side Glasser, which landed on the the 2007 issue of Home Beautiful .  Katrin Cargill shares her secrets along with Carol Glasser to Home Beautiful’s Christopher Petkanas.

Cargill tells us that room-to-room views are a hallmark of Swedish style, and that they created that look in the Huston home by taking out a number of the doors to create the open look of classic Swedish homes.

Enfilade the formal architectural term is actually a series of rooms aligned up with one other commonly seen in museums and art galleries. Ideally with this arrangement, a person can get an eye view into 2 or three rooms, as the entry doors are aligned perfectly with the the connecting rooms. This European architectural feature was a common design in the Baroque period.

Joni from Cote De Texas tells us the inside story on this home, being that it belonged to a personal friend of hers. Joni also holds the story of the same house which appeared in Country Living magazine a few years prior. She tells us that the owners sold everything from their former house and only kept everything they absolutely loved, which they then designed around. They wanted to design the home to be as authentic Swedish as possible.

It was pleasing to hear the owners spent years acquiring a house full of furniture – piece by piece. Buying authentic swedish furniture or reproductions could cost an arm and a leg if you didn’t collect over time. In addition, swedish furniture is very hard find in the United States. As you see in this Huston home, not everything is antique. The standard swedish cotton check gives an antique look to the modern sectional. Combining authentic textiles with antiques can give you the genuine look while making it affordable.

If a person has a draw to a particular style, over time your most priced pieces will fall into a category of design. She tells us that each purchase was deliberate and thoughtful, as she didn’t mind waiting years for just the “right” table or the “perfect” lamp to turn up as Joni tells it.

Cargill tells us the key to this design is not having any heavy upholstery, rather furniture that has graceful legs. The house was finished with wide Canadian pine-plank flooring were installed and finished in a chalky limed treatment typical of classic Swedish flooring. The family room featured a beautiful antique French fireplace that had a beautiful aged faux finish. The rustic paneling gives a feeling of a Swedish home that might have the wood walls painted. The walls were graced with Italian oil paintings, backed with light blue painted walls. Faux painted yellow and red walls, toile wallpapers lined bedrooms. The Swedish Mora clock was the first to inspire the entire house colors which were the classic pastels such as pale blues, pinks and reds.

The Townhouse Decorated in Swedish style and Furniture can be found on Katrin Cargill

View More of this home at Home Beautiful – here

Katrin Cargill & Carol GlasserThe House in Home Beautiful

Mora ClockPhoto by Karyn R. Millet

Swedish Botanicals

The designers had an artist hand-color and glaze 18th-century black-and-white Dutch engravings for the sunroom; eleven are originals, the balance photocopies that are all but indistinguishable from the real thing.


House-Beautiful-Carol-Glasser-Katrin-Cargills-Swedish-Transformation-Swedish-Furniture-Style2This room seems to have more of a shade of green than blue, in some of the pictures below

Katrin Cargill & Carol GlasserA Close Up Picture of a Portrait Painting

Katrin Cargill & Carol Glasser Katrin Cargill & Carol Glasser

 Katrin Cargill & Carol Glasser’s Swedish Interior

(Swedish painted sofa, the other with a sprawling Charles sectional from B&B Italia. Walls faced in rustic planks are painted Low Tide below the faux chair rail)

 Carol Glasser Interiors Directoire Style Table From Cote De Texas Blog

Jill Dienst

In the September -08 issue of Martha Stewart, Swedish antiques dealer Jill Dienst, and owner of Dienst & Dotter revealed marvelous Scandinavian Antiques and Furniture in her Sag Harbor home. Dienst started collecting Swedish furniture after working for the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art in the European paintings department. Dienst spent decades at some of the finest public and private institutions in the art, design and antiques. The Metropolitan Museum of Art gave her the trained eye to distinguish original century-old paint from modern paintings and Didier Aaron (a legendary dealer of European pieces) gave her the platform she needed in antiques which allowed her to gain a legitimate reputation that Dienst + Dotter needed to specialize in creditable objects from the 17th century to the mid-20th century.

Dienst + Dotter was launched in 2005, specializing in Scandinavian antiques, paintings and furniture.

After selling French antiques, I found Scandinavian ones so refreshing,” she says. “They’re lighter, quirkier. They pare everything down to the simplest form.” She tells Martha Stewart Magazine

Jill and her husband Daniel tell Martha that they stumbled across their home after being drawn to the water that Sag Harbor’s small-town atmosphere provided. Only after a few hours, they found a home they loved and made an offer the same day.

Photos From Martha Stewart and Space For Inspiration Blog, See the additional photos at Martha Stewart Magazine.

Scandinavian Furniture - From Dienst + Dotter

Scandinavian Furniture – From Dienst + Dotter

Scandinavian Furniture - From Dienst + DotterScandinavian Furniture – From Dienst + Dotter

gorgeous window at Dienst plus sign Dotter Antikviteter nyc

Dienst + Dotter Antikviteter… Gorgeous window display at Dienst + Dotter Antikviteter in NYC

Picture Credit –

Gustavian Swedish Decorating Shannon Bowers From VerandaGustavian Swedish Decorating Shannon Bowers From Veranda

Shannon Bowers’s home is still one of the prettiest homes ever to be featured in a magazine showcasing Swedish styled decor. The house was filled with endless antiques all featuring stunning distressed paint finishes. Each room is enough for me to ramble on and on about the lovely choices she made for her home. Among all the rooms, the nursery was by far the prettiest of the rooms. One of her design secrets is obviously picking great pieces, as they speak for themselves in a room. As you will see, her home isn’t cluttered with endless antiques, rather well chosen pieces in keeping with the colors of the Swedish palette. The crib is painted a light blue, which brought forth a nice contrast against the creamy white walls. She layers in wood and natural linen in the upholstery to give it a very natural comfortable appeal.

The rug gives a distinct Swedish touch. The balloon chandelier gives a whimsical element that every babies room should have. Consider the Orb Chandelier by Currey & Co Wiggins, which features a spherical pendant wrapped in natural burlap and banded with wrought iron. This chandelier sells close to 1K, however if you are looking for something less expensive, consider a hanging a number of blue paper lanterns.

The antique tricycle really sets apart this room from other nurseries. If you keep your eye on ebay,many unique tricycles show up from month to month.

One of the more subtle elements in the room are the window shutters. They almost blend in to the wall paint in Bower’s room, but add a very antique feel when mounted to the walls. Color is everything when you are pulling together a Swedish Gustavian styled room. I am sure you will agree with me, there isn’t a prettier nursery than Shannon Bowers!


Swedish Baby Decor

Rustic Swedish Baby Decor – $93 on Amazon

Stripe Rug on AmazonInexpensive Striped Rugs $177.75 Amazon

Swedish Home

Located in Water Mill, this c. 1910 estate was formally a retreat for nuns, but purchased by Nine West founder Vince Camuto for $35 million back in 2005. After putting six years of intensive renovation, the couple decided to put the house on the market once again.  – See the rest on Home Bunch Blog

An 18th-century Swedish corona from Dienst + Dotter Antikviteter complements the Ralph Lauren Home bed and linens. At the foot of the bed is a TV cabinet designed by Egan and covered in a Bergamo horsehair.

Swedish Style HomeIn the breakfast room, a chandelier from English Country Antiques is suspended above a Lars Bolander iron table with a bleached-oak top; the settee is by Roark Modern, and the antique Swedish side chairs are upholstered in a Holland & Sherry linen.

Swedish Design

d*s road trip 2008,

Veranda November December 1999Veranda November December 1999

Mary Douglas Drysdale is a designer to study if you are looking to decorate in period design. Her her offices are located in Washington, DC, and has been published both nationally and internationally. Drysdale Design Associates was founded in 1980, and focuses on both commercial and residential interior design. Known throughout the United States and abroad she is the recipient of numerous design and achievement awards. Mary Douglas Drysdale is best known for developing a traditional architectural background combined with antiques and period furniture. She is also recognized for her effective yet brilliant ability in using color in design. If that is not enough, Drysdale has created over 100 custom furniture pieces through the years. Borrow some brilliant looks from Mary Douglas Drysdale for your Gustavian styled home.

Mary Douglas DrysdaleRon Blunt has some additional photographs of Mary Douglas Drysdale’s interiors on his website.

Things-That-Inspire-Blog-500x397This lovely picture is from Things That Inspire Blog

Mary Douglas DrysdaleDesigner Mary Douglas Drysdale, featured on The Avolli Blog

Designer Mary Douglas DrysdaleDesigner Mary Douglas Drysdale


Borrow some ideas from Todhunter Earle for your Swedish and Colonial decorating. Their company was founded in 1988 by Emily Todhunter and Kate Earle joining as her partner 1998. The firm has designed everything from English castles to well known restaurants, yachts and nightclubs throughout Great Britain, Europe, Russia, South America and the United States. Below are some pictures with Swedish Gustavian looks that you can replicate in your own home. They mix a modern contemporary looks such as graphic wallpaper with antique painted distressed furniture. Natural linen is mixed with contemporary glassware. White and cream and gray hues are used throughout the rooms to create a clean and natural appearance.

Beautiful paneled walls are painted in a muted blue, and accented in brass hardware. Look though Behrs vast color selection for great color inpirations.

Todhunter-Earle-Interiors-2 Todhunter-Earle-Interiors-4 Todhunter-Earle-Interiors-8 Todhunter-Earle-Interiors-10 Todhunter-Earle-Interiors-12 Todhunter-Earle-Interiors-13 Todhunter-Earle-Interiors-66