Thursday, 23 January 2014

Apartment Hunting - Södermalm Classic Gustavian Living Room

My phone died and with it my internet connection so I am playing a bit of catch-up this week.  I thought it would be a good idea to go back to our Södermalm apartment to get that finished (click here to get caught up).  So lets move on to the living room.

I was going to do the walls a light green but I changed my mind.  Better to save the green for the dining room and go with a nice antique white in the living room.  Farrow and Ball has a great shade for this called Dimity.  I think the best choice for a finish is matte.  Practically, not the best because of washability but the look will be soft and classic.

I found some great antiques at a local antique dealer.  A console with straight Neoclassical lines and some matching stools to flank the console and serve as extra seating.  Above the console we are going to use these fun round mirrors / candle holders.  They break up all the straight lines and keep the room moving, so to speak.  I love the fussy fruit ornamentation too.  

Before we move over to the main seating area, let's talk about the show stopper.  That gem that is going to make this room sing.  I introduce to you the Mora clock.  Swedes know all about these beautiful clocks but in other parts of the world they seem only to have a bit of a cult following.  There is something so intrinsically Swedish about the Mora clock;  Quiet and stately, modest yet commands a room.  The green will make the transition from the kitchen stools and the ochre will tie together the golds and yellows in the living room elements. The round flowing lines of the Mora pick up where the mirrors left off and take us to the main seating area.

Antiques are lovely, but if you fill your room with a bunch of antiques, all from the same era, it comes off as not only impersonal and unimaginative, but boring.  You need to pepper it with other types and eras of furnishings.  With that in mind, I chose the Kensington sofa from Artwood (we'll paint the feet white).  It certainly doesn't hurt that this sofa will be comfortable to sit on and it serves the needs of everyday living.  The tufting picks up the round movement of the mirrors and the clock.  The design is classic enough to not take over but gives just enough resistance to the dainty antiques.  Now we are going to put some straight lines back in with these bold stripped Gustavian armchairs.  Again, we are making the room interesting and engaging.

So now the floor - rugs.  I love big, thick wool or silk rugs.  Like art, rugs should be seen as an investment - buy the best you can afford.  I have two options for you.  If you want to really give this room zip we can go with the bright, bold IKEA rug.  The pattern compliments both the curves and the lines in the room.  The colour says attitude.  The only catch with the IKEA rug is that we may need to fit two together to hold that seating area.  There are slightly differing opinions on this but aim for your rug to be big enough to comfortably fit all the seating area furniture without spilling over to the wood areas.  Option two is this stunning Persian, less of a yellow and more a gold, this is a perfect option if you want to play it safe and is big enough for the space.  It is, however, significantly more expensive than the IKEA version but will certainly last a lifetime

Remember that many of these antiques can be found in reproduction, yes even the Mora clock.  Now you know what you need to look for.

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