A Venice Makeover

We recently finished a complete Scandinavian makeover of a midcentury home in Venice. Oh my! It started out as this small, run down house on an awkward lot with a small asphalt yard. But by the time our incredible team of architect and engineers, builders and finishers were done - just about a year later - the property was transformed into a beautiful modern home with gorgeous interiors opening up to an inviting lush outdoor space.

We added a master suite on the second floor with soaring 14 foot ceilings, French floor to ceiling closets and a luxurious master bath with a marble shower and a freestanding soaking tub.

The interiors were inspired by my Swedish upbringing and I chose extra wide Douglas fir plank flooring, finished with traditional Scandinavian white lye, a centuries old soap finish that has it's own Instagram following! The gorgeous floors were echoed in wall cladding of the entry and as a feature in the master bedroom, tying the existing and added spaces together.

I love light fixtures and find that the right pair of sconces or the perfect pendant can take a room from beautiful to stunning and for this home I carefully chose vintage fixtures to elevate the staircase, masterbath and kitchen.

My wonderful cabinet shop built the handcrafted Douglas fir kitchen and bathroom vanities and we topped them in honed grey Carrara marble. I am a big fan of a limited material palette, when designing with Scandinavian minimalism as the inspiration, and we used the same grey honed Carrara marble for the long fireplace ledge slash bench anchoring the livingroom. All the windows were changed to black steel and I used black steel door hardware throughout. The only spaces not painted white were the bathrooms. The master bath was painted a rich dark chocolate, to offset the brilliant white sinks and tub, and the powder room was finished with a soft, sand colored lime plaster.

The devil is in the details they say, and this is especially true when you attempt to create perfect minimalism. Our craftsmen did an exceptional job and I am so grateful to all of them for their attention and care.

Laid Back Luxe – a few simple steps to Mixing Modern and Traditional

Your interiors tell a story about your life, where you have been, where you are going. Whether minimal or traditional, great interiors capture your personality. Our clients come to us looking for architecture and interior design that has a laid back luxe quality, rooms that feel lived in, yet showcase their curated collections of beautiful furniture, art and objects. I often get asked how to achieve a laid back luxe look. So I thought I would provide a few simple steps to mixing modern and traditional:

Modern Architecture with mostly Traditional furniture - Our favorite combo I must admit. Many of our clients own contemporary homes, either modernist architecture from the 30s, 40s, 50s or 60s or new contemporary architecture. The minimal envelope, with often high ceilings and lots of glass, create a fantastic backdrop for traditional interiors. Much like an art gallery, the modern architecture offsets the soft curves and carved details of antiques and collectibles. To tie the interiors together, we usually try to keep to one neutral palette of whites, muted beiges, grays, browns and black.


Laid Back Luxe - How to mix Modern Architecture with Traditional Interiors

Classic Architecture (think decorative moldings and parquet flooring) paired with Modern furniture - How to achieve the signature Scandinavian design that is all over Instagram and Pinterest. Well, the tricky part is the envelope, that gorgeous 18th or 19th Century apartment with soaring ceilings and wall panelings, moldings and herringbone floors... If you do have access to a space with some of these qualities, we suggest contrasting that old world faded glory with interesting, distinctive modern furniture and objects. It can get heavy with antiques in an richly ornate environment, much like it feel cold with modern furniture in a minimal modern home.

Laid Back Luxe or How to mix Traditional Architecture with Modern Furnishings

To achieve a confident mix of new and old, you need to break some "rules". Treat your antiques casually, with a little disrespect. Mix'em in. Use a minimal palette, whether light or dark, to create an overarching mood. How to mix modern and traditional - use a minimal palette to create a moodLaid back Luxe or How to mix Traditional and Modern

Lastly, make a couple of bold statements. A few carefully created vignettes will give your interior a real kick. Modern art, sculpture, found objects - display them with purpose.

Mixing Modern and Traditional is not for everyone. Personally it has always been my style. Maybe because I am Swedish and we are casual, even in our pursuit of perfection. Maybe because I grew up around French and Italian art collectors, who seemed to just throw their houses together with a wonderful panache. Whatever the reason, I try to give my clients that laid back, casual luxe feeling at home. You can achieve the look with a few simple tweaks - and a heaping of confidence!

Interiors by , Joseph Dirand, Atelier AM, Vincent Van Duysen, Gilles et Boissier, Casanova Bjorlin

How to mix Modern and Traditional for a Laid Back Luxe LookMixing modern architecture with traditional interiors

A Roman Palimpsest in a Trastevere architectural loft

"A slow and entertaining stratification of objects, loves and friendships". That is how Claudio Lazzarini and Carl Pickering, architects and collectors describe their home, an art filled industrial loft in Trastevere, the historic center of Rome. The 19th century building has a long creative legacy, having played host and studio to many a famous artist, including more recently Cy Twombly, Gino De Domicis and Aleghiero Boetti. It was love at first sight for the couple, who painted the walls white and moved in.

A Donald Judd - esque installation of shelving in the hallway, opening up to a light-filled living room decorated with vintage furniture, prototypes by Lazzarini Pickering and modern art.

A 1970 Cameleonda sofa by Mario Bellini is draped with an antique Aboriginal fabric.

Verner Panton chairs surround a table by Lazzarini Pickering. Overhead, a light sculpture by German artist Florian Neufeldt. Artwork by Hamy Armanious.

Photos by Felix Forest

The vintage decorated dining room in Swedish supermodel Frida Gustavsson's Stockholm apartment

At home with Swedish supermodel Frida Gustavsson

Home is a sacred space to Swedish model and actor Frida Gustavsson. While her career has taken her to all corners of the world, being photographed by Vogue magazine, walking the runway for Dior and Prada and acting as the muse for Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli at Valentino, she had not found her place, her home. She had apartments in Paris and New York and loved both cities, but they could not compare to Stockholm, the special warmth and comfort of friends and family. Four years ago she moved back home, to a beautiful apartment on Sodermalm in Stockholm, overlooking a park and her favorite cafe and ice cream shop. "It was time. I had matured a bit - and I wanted pets" , a desire materialized in the cats Gusten and Lillis.


Frida inherited the buffet from her grandmother; the table and chairs are from Bacchus Antik and the candle holders are from Skultuna. Artwork by Christo.

The small vases by Jonathan Sandler are the only things left from her New York apartment which was flooded in Storm Sandy.

Each item in the apartment is carefully selected and treasured. Frida believes, much like the Japanese, that objects with a history have a soul. Together with her live in boyfriend, Marcel Engdahl, they are doing what they can to contribute to a circular economy, surrounding themselves with vintage furniture and finds. Marcel works at art gallery Belenius and he and Frida share a passion for contemporary art.

Velvet sofa Element from Bolia, vintage coffee table and art by Inez Van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin

Style wise, the apartment is influenced by Sweden in the 1960s - dark wood furniture with simplicity and honesty that Frida traces back to the home of her grandparents. "I liked being at their house, where everything felt so clear and safe" she says. Though there are contemporary and modernist touches throughout, especially on the walls which are dotted with artwork, both paintings and textiles from well known artists and friends alike.

Photograph by Linnea Sjoberg

Frida and Marcel are in love and their happiness is reflected in their home.

via Residence - Photos Mike Karlsson Lundgren


CASA perfect is located in a midcentury home in a Trousdale Estates home designed by Rex Lotery

CASA Perfect – Modern Design Gallery

We are avid admirers of David Aldaheff and his curated collection of modern design, The Future Perfect. He recently moved the Los Angeles gallery CASA Perfect from Downtown to Elvis Presley's former home in the famed Trousdale Estates in Beverly Hills.

Visitors can wander through the newly renovated 1968 Rex Lotery house at leisure, exploring Aldaheff's astutely curated collection of designers - including Piet Hein Eek, Lindsey Adelman, and Italian darlings Dimore Studio, as we as local talents like ceramicist Eric Roinestad.

Take a drive to the spectacular Trousdale Estates at the top of Beverly Hills and visit CASA Perfect for a day of design. The gallery is furnished like a home. You can even lounge by Elvis' pool, overlooking LA...

Rattan and Wicker – a modern handmade craft

Handmade, natural and sinewy, rattan and wicker furniture is the perfect complement to modernist or minimal interiors - and of course in leafy, lush outdoor patios anywhere.

Modern Rattan "Portuguesa" chairsAtelier Vime - traditionally handcrafted rattan and wicker in modern shapes. Featured, the Aramis pendant.

The two terms, rattan and wicker, are really more or less the same thing; rattan is named after the South East Asian palm used for the colonial furniture created by the British and Dutch and wicker is thought to be an iteration of the Scandinavian word for bend or "vika".

Kike Keller's modern take on a rattan bed, featured in AD Spain; Portuguesa chairs by Brazilian  designer Claudia Moreira Salles; and amazing French trio Atelier Vime's Aramis pendant and vintage 1940s rattan chairs and table.

Sofa Lust

I am having a love affair with yellow. Sunny, warm, happy, it feels so right. We need some sunshine in our lives don't you agree? Mayor, this incredible new sofa from Danish andtradition will make it into a new project - soon - if I have my way...

Soft Approach

A great inspiration to me, the talented team behind Atelier AM  - Alexandra and Michael Misczynski - meld the past and the present to a sublime effect. Their interiors are soft and quiet, often created using humble materials as the backdrop for sophisticated ancient and antique objects.

Modernity Stockholm

A must-see, Modernity Stockholm's booth at TEFAF took my breath away - a rare almost oxblood Frits Henningsen two seater, stunning Paavo Tynell lighting and Josef Frank chairs and Flora cabinet were just some of the standout pieces in a carefully curated, gorgeous collection of Scandinavian greats.

TEFAF Galerie Kreo

Hot on the heels of Salone del Mobile in Milan there is Frieze and TEFAF in New York and London. Some of the best new work can be found - as always - at Galerie Kreo. Azo table, part of a collection by Francois Buchet.

Monza Milan

A must-see at Milan Furniture Fair this year was the Monza Apartment by Boffi, De Padova and MA/U Studio. Moody, modern and - just perfect.

Poetry in lighting


The ISP light by Ilia Potemine for DCW Editions is simply wonderful. Capturing the timeless mood of a candle, the ISP is as clever as it is modern. The light source can be set to different heights, the brightness intensifying as it grows taller.

Kitchen Love

My love affair with Douglas Fir continues. This classic Scandinavian kitchen and sideboard are void of adornment, minimal in their expression yet exuding warmth. We are lucky to have clients who appreciate and seek out simplicity. Many are Type A personalities, for whom purity of palette and materials translate into much needed peace and quiet.

BA Residence by Vincent Van Duysen

Dutch Minimalist master, Vincent Van Duysen, has completed a new timeless residential masterpiece. The BA Residence sits in a forested traditional neighborhood, among a mix of villas ranging in styles from the 1940s through the 1990s. Van Duysen's structure, in red brick with concrete floors and expanses of glass, is an ode to Mies Van Der Rohe's famous Krefeld Villa. Find more here.

Stockholm Furniture Fair

Talented Swedish designer Anya Sebton created the new table series Palais, with its distinctively Scandinavian identity and classic feel. Introduced by Asplund Collection at the Stockholm Furniture Fair.

Malibu Barn

An early mood board for my next project, a modern barn in Malibu for a dream client. Oh what fun! We are looking to create a family dream home; a place for kids to run and play and parents to throw great parties. The modern barn is open plan with high ceilings, exposed beams, lime plaster walls and extra wide plank flooring. The furniture is classic yet simple; linen slipcovered sofas, tufted ottomans, leather wingback and handcrafted wood cabinetry. Back to basics with an eco tech twist - the Malibu barn will have an energy saving smart system, solar panels and biodynamic vegetable garden!