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Design Dilemma: Quirky in Stockholm

Bellmansgatan

Have you ever craved quirky, kooky, colorful design in your home, but you don’t quite feel you have the courage? Well, we’ve found some inspiration for you! This home, in Stockholm, Sweden, appeared on a Swedish real estate site, and we took notice. It’s a 56 square meter apartment up for sale for 5.05 million kroner. And it couldn’t be funnier or freer in design!

What we’re liking is its bold use of primary colors — the sort of colors that come straight out of your child’s box of crayons, along with wacky, idiosyncratic, design choices that move this apartment out of the realm of the simply colorful into the world of the wild.

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Above, the lower cabinets in the kitchen are painted a bright kelly green which stands out, in a good way, against the basic white tiled kitchen wall that remains a clean, modern, grid backdrop. Accessories like salt and pepper shakers in magenta and sky blue and bowls and tea kettles in cherry red and lemon yellow,  help balance the color of the cabinets and pick up on the happy, child-like theme.

Pink flamingo wallpaper in the hallway continues the feeling of the unexpected. And the funky platform shoe collection points to more off-the-wall individuality. We wonder if the owner of this apartment might actually be a professional clown?

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In a different hallway, bold, green palm-frond wallpaper again picks up the playful nature theme. Contrasting elements are the bold pumpkin orange pendant, along with a few colorful shoes and clothes on a practical shoe and clothes rack.

Bellmansgatan

Take a look at this living room. We’d call it unapologetically maximalist, with its mix of eras, colors, prints, and artwork. And the best thing about it is that there is nothing particularly trendy or costly in sight. This is pure vision (and a practiced, studied eye) at work.

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Another angle:

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And here’s a view of the gallery wall:

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Here’s more in the bedroom:

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And the happiness continues in the bathroom:

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Polka-dot wallpaper and a hanging pendant leg lamp make for pure laughs.

Bellmansgatan

This Scandinavian home is the exact opposite of what so many of us associate with “scandinavian” design. It’s not about minimalism or all white, or all black, and we applaud the owner of this home for taking a path so very different from most.

What’s our take away for going quirky?

  • Be fearless. Take chances with color and design choices. It’s okay to go kitsch!
  • Use wallpaper. It’s an opportunity to inject instant funk into any space, depending on how bold you go.
  • Mix patterns. In the bedroom below, a small polka-dot wallpaper looks great with a larger-patterned, bolder bedspread.
  • You can never go wrong mixing bold primary colors. Colors of equal intensity that contrast and complement on the color wheel will always look great together, as long as they are also allowed to breathe with a white or neutral backdrop.
  • Forget the name-dropping. There’s no need to drop a lot of money on new “brand name” and “designer” pieces. All you need is a thrift shop around the block and a good eye.

So the question is, would you have the guts?

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Opaque Black Glass Clads a Home with London’s Greenery

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The very unique “Tree House” by London architect Ian McChesney which entirely clad in glass, reflects some planning conflicts in an neighborhood of architectural heritage.

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The opaque shiny black surface reflects back the surrounding trees of the park next to the house, making it appear that the house is clad with trees.

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Glass may seem like a cold choice for cladding, but a layer of insulation lies between it and the interior wood cladding.

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While the exterior is glossy and hard, inside, the house has a protected sense of encased warmth.

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The ground floor includes not just the public living cooking and eating areas, but also houses the master bedroom.

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Four children’s bedrooms are located upstairs.

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The house faced 68 objections in local planning comments in a neighbourhood of old Victorians.

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The use of the opaque black glass was ultimately favoured by the planning committee for its perceived ability to blend into the surroundings.

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But that must seem like a fragile victory in the face of such opposition.

Let’s hope none of the angry neighbours throw stones.

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Design Find: Modani’s Bergamo Sofa

 

 

 

 

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There’s no avoiding it — the sofa has become the most important anchor piece in any home. And couches are particularly important today, and not just because we spend so much time sitting on them. Rather, because contemporary homes tend toward streamlined minimalism, there’s not much else, other than a bold painting or maybe a sculptural occasional chair or two, to make a “statement.” Couches, sofas, divans, have stepped fearlessly into that role.

We’re convinced that one of the best modern sofas  out there is the Bergamo sofa, sold by Modani, a furniture company born in the Wynwood design district of Miami, which now has stores distributed across the U.S.

What makes the Bergamo such a perfect choice for contemporary and minimalist homes is that it manages to walk that very fine line — yes, it is a bit trendy, but it’s also elegant, and enduring. It’s got a low-slung feel, which makes it modern, but sharp-stitched lines and soft cushions, which makes it feel timeless. As you can see below, it masterfully anchors a contemporary room, feeling grounded and airy at one and the same time, thanks to a design which does not show legs but still hovers just a bit above the floor.

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And in the room below, which contains even fewer furniture pieces than the room above, the Bergamo again holds graceful sway. Again, it makes a grand statement but in a modern, subtle way. It has a way of making the chair and coffee and side tables feel completely unnecessary.

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The Bergamo uses quality wood and soft leather with a supportive spring base that allows you to snuggle into the cushions without getting stuck. The frame is made of solid wood. Cushions are made of high-density foam. Webbing secures the frame and leather makes for a couch that can stand up well to daily wear and tear. It reclines, with both a reclining headrest and seat, for maximum comfort on movie night or while watching the big game. Because there is built-in storage space, you can avoid TV remotes and magazines cluttering up your sleek room. And the absolute best thing is that it’s completely customizable. For large living rooms you can go huge, and opt for the Bergamo Extended Sectional. Here’s what it looks like:

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Or, on the other hand, you can go smaller, and opt for simply a couch with a left-hand or right-hand chaise. This size, while still roomy, is ideal for smaller apartments and condos.

 

bergamo grey sofa sectional furniture 2

 

And here’s what it looks like with the headrest up and the seat set into the recline position:

bergamo white leather sofa 1 good furniture 2

Finally, what makes the Bergamo such a perfect choice for modern homes and even “transitional” interiors is its classic color palette — this line comes in black, white, gray and elephant gray, which means there is a color that will look fantastic in every home and won’t go out of style quickly. Coming in, on sale, between $3-$5,000 depending on the size you opt for, it’s also a great value.

Kudos to Modani for carrying a quality, timeless statement piece!