The word “green” has taken on a new meaning in the last decade. To hear “a beautiful green apartment” more than likely conjures images of a residence of the modern age and sustainable materials. But sometimes, a gorgeous green apartment is just that: gorgeous and layered with lush, grabbing greens.
The home of Linda and Anton Staaw provides the perfect example. A 78-square-meter (or about 840 square feet), split-level apartment, carved out of an early-20th-century home in the Linnéstaden neighborhood of Gothenburg, Sweden, was the ideal canvas for Linda to employ her “no rush” design philosophy. “It takes me forever to decide what I love, but when I [do], I love it forever,” she reflects. The Staaws purchased the apartment in 2011 and, as is often the case with a designer’s own home, Linda does not expect to ever truly be finished.
A project in perpetuity, her home explores a lushness in living, both in a literal sense — botanicals are ever present and dangle and dance throughout the apartment — and in a slightly more extended sense: one is surrounded by design that nurtures to the very core. “I[‘ve] always liked green, both to wear and around me; it is a very comfortable and restful color,” comments Linda. Dovetailing hues of green with heritage and flea-market antiques, she creates a marriage that feels both untroubled and sophisticated. Like in the bedroom, where a hand-me-down 1930s armoire sits atop white-plank floors and fronts a chalky, moss green wall color.
Nourishing and thoughtful design continues into the kitchen, a place with very special meaning to the Staaw family. Linda incorporated the kitchen cabinets from Anton’s parents’ home into their redesign, sanding and refinishing to add her own detail. A detail that represents a hard-earned memory and moment of sentimentality. “It feels nice that the kitchen used at their home, now lives with us,” remarks Linda.
Finding the right wallcoverings was never a fait accompli and floral-patterned papers are here till Sunday. It took three tries to get the hallway wallcovering just right — it is a small space with very high ceilings and no natural light, the perfect paper was needed so the walls did not fall flat. A gallery of framed artwork celebrates significant places in the Staaws’ lives, namely Gothenburg and Linda’s home region of Småland, creating a nook that is cherished, reflexive and reflective.
Like her favorite geraniums, Linda’s penchant for curation and stylish touch are deeply rooted, seen both in her apartment and the shop attached to her business, Alvhem Brokerage and Interior — an innovative mash-up of real estate company and design studio. Surfaces and shelving are trimmed with collected items, glassware and vintage décor. In the living room, an archipelago of curious objet — patinated pots, a vintage scale, hints of brass, young and sparse greenery — adorn a hunter green, midcentury cabinet. Every inch of the apartment reveals gatherings and oddities that feel carefully chosen but also organic — descriptors that hold true for the fabric selections as well.
Earthy, knubby and subtly playful fabrics are incorporated in just the right doses and the word ‘hygge’ comes to mind as the eye moves throughout the space. Likening decoration to make-up, the Staaws’ apartment is both a spring and an autumn, a balanced combination of fresh and rich, where design decisions were made with a professional’s eye — and a homeowner’s heart. Within this two-pronged decision making, a broader definition of lush living occurs: an interior that is treasurable and painterly, and that would have beckoned the likes of Vermeer or his present-day equivalent.
Photography by Johanna Hagbard.
For more lush design be sure to check out this regal French-style home from our fall issue.
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