How does a Swedish interior architect and visual merchandiser realize a small apartment? With style (as you can imagine!) – but also incredibly clever! What Erik Josefsson The Gothenburg house lacks square footage (it's just 52 or 559 square feet), it compensates for texture, earthy nuances, beautiful vignettes, Scandinavian design, art and plants – all while feeling calm and messy! I went through it with a fine comb and I found 10 lessons that we can learn to achieve that elusive balance between uncluttered and comfortable! I hope you find something you can apply at home!
1. Leave an empty space: The empty space (or "negative space") is just as important as the space occupied in a house (especially when size is a problem). It helps to focus the eyes, to create a calm and to let you breathe!
2. Work with the texture: Even though the wall behind the couch is empty, Erik used a painting technique that adds texture to the wall, which automatically adds interest to the space.
3. Post things that you like and use a lot, hide things you do not like! A bit obvious, but sorry!) But if you surround yourself with things you like to watch, you will feel happier. Store more unsightly things behind closet doors or pretty boxes like the one on the floor!
5. Art of the group: This goes back to point 1 (you know, leaving an empty space) – if you group objects of art and other objects, then you have more possibilities to leave a blank space elsewhere). That said, it's also nice to choose an artwork that you really like and to fully exhibit it by itself.
I shared a sure way to create a gallery wall here (by a sigh of total relief when I discovered this trick!).
6. Think small and smart: some kitchens are so small that you start to wonder if it is possible to insert a table in the space! Wall tables like these are perfect to save space and create a table for two people (with room!).
7. Go in the dark! Painting a small dark space goes against all the rules of the decorating book, but opting for a dark shade in small rooms in the bedroom can give this space a feeling of warmth and comfort. After seeing Erik's room, I kind of regret only painting one wall in my son-in-law's room – it's time to paint the rest of the walls! What do you think?
8. Use the window sill as a side table: According to previous comments, I know that everyone has no window sill (in Sweden we are a bit spoiled in this respect), but when space is limited, a threshold can be used as a bedside table.
9. Custom bedside shelf: No window sill? Try a small wall shelf cut at the waist, like the one we see to the left of Erik's bed. Painting it the same color as the walls will help keep the look clean and uncluttered.
10. Use lean shelves: narrow shelves that support against the wall save space while keeping a place to store and display objects!
11. Hooks and more hooks: I can not tell you how convenient I find long hooks. I think we have them in every room of our house. This rack in the Erik Corridor is ideal for coats, etc. – but can also be used for decorative objects when not all hooks are used.
Her house is not beautiful? I like the use of color!
Have you found ideas for your home? I've picked up a lot of ideas for the son-in-law's room, I think I could work on it this weekend!
You can see more of Erik's house at @erinterior and take a look at his latest projects right here. Incidentally, Erik was one of the creators of this wonderful Swedish house that I introduced last week (I'm still shocked by the tour, and you? I wonder if anyone has ever picked it up !).
Another small space of inspiration:
10 small spaces to learn from a Danish apartment
10 ways to turn a pokey apartment on the top floor into a living space worthy of pallor
A tiny cabin and a pottery workshop in the woods
I see that the tiny cabin just arrived on the market – Vermont, do you mind ?!
Ha det så fin!
Photography: Erik Josefsson shared with kind permission