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Contemporary Character Meets 19-Century Parisian Style In This Loft

A loft is a loft is a loft. Not. Some – with wide plank floors and brick walls – are perfect for Persian rugs and lots of plants. In others, steel structural elements and exposed ductwork almost demand an industrial chic approach. Tucked under the eaves of a 1920s apartment house in Stockholm’s lively SoFo district, the home of Per Sandahl and Yvonne Arentoft occupies a finely textured middle ground, combining a crisp contemporary aspect with echoes of a 19th-century Parisian atelier.

“The SoFo area is known as one of the trendiest neighborhoods in the city – and in Europe,” shares Per. “It is characterized by a relaxed atmosphere with plenty of cool clubs, restaurants and shops. It has a nice mix of people and a simple lifestyle.” Drawn to the neighborhood’s urbane atmosphere and welcoming vibe, the couple – who operate the home decor company Love Warriors – jumped at the opportunity to acquire this 1,600-square-foot attic aerie.

While remaining appreciative of its existing character, as most homeowners do, they massaged the space to fashion a cohesive environment that speaks to their lifestyle, both functionally and visually. Not surprisingly, a new kitchen was a part of the program. “I wanted to be able to cook and socialize at the same time,” maintains Per, who got his wish with a sleek Arrital kitchen that is open to a dining area on one side and the cozy living room on the other. An expanded bathroom, complete with sauna, was also on the agenda. And the perennial problem of storage was addressed with the addition of built-in wardrobes in the primary bedroom and a hall closet equipped with large sliding doors.

Arguably the most noteworthy addition to the home is the new terrace they built off the kitchen/dining area. The black metal–framed, multipaned doors (which replaced one large window) and the potted greenery beyond add a cottage-style note.

Pitched ceilings, wood beams and ziggurat-like remnants of brick walls are among the details that endow the space with an individual architectural character. Per added his own defining features, including a floor-hugging stretch of shelving in the living room, a kind of plinth that adds another layer of dimension to the room while serving as a display area for decorative objects and floral arrangements.

Although the unit is more compartmentalized than is often the case in lofts, new, uniform flooring throughout generates an understated sense of connectedness, as does a pervasive palette of black, white, brown and gray. Furnishings, which range from the antique to the contemporary, are deftly keyed to the color scheme and the architectural envelope. An Indonesian, glass-fronted cupboard with a crownlike top stands tall near the dining table with its gathering of black rattan chairs. A svelte, slipcovered sofa is paired with small occasional tables made from round slabs of petrified wood.

As home decor professionals, the couple know how to set a room. But as tidy as their vision is, it allows for the seemingly unconsidered, like the bust set incongruously atop a tower of commercial wire shelving and the stack of wooden pictures frames from Bali that lean against a wall in the living room.

“For us, everything is in the details,” admits Per. “And they give a pretty good picture of who we are.”

Photography by Anne Nyblaeus.

For more like this loft be sure to check out this heritage home in Cape Town.

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