Friday, March 12, 2010

Welcome! A Swedish Home Tour

Did you ever wonder who actually lives in those homes that are shown in the magazines? Or, what happens when the actual owners decide to move? You might recognize this home from an older issue of Better Homes and Gardens. It is located in North Carolina and is currently for sale. I was over at Harmony and Home a few weeks ago and she had taken her readers through a tour. I thought the house was unique enough that you might want a second a look if you missed it the first time around.
Built like a traditional Swedish Country home the owners made several trips to Sweden for inspiration.
Inspired by the famous painter Carl Larsson of Sweden, who is known for his charming artwork and his book "At Home", in which he drew scenes of domestic life; the owners tried to capture many of the same qualities of the Larsson House in Sundborn.
Here is the actual Larsson house, which is now a museum in Sweden. Can you see the similarities??
Carl Larsson and his wife, Karin, lived in this country cottage at Sundborn, which the couple took over in 1888 from Karin’s father. He and his wife Karin are credited with the bright colors associated with the Swedish country style. The house was something of a revelation in rural Sweden at the end of the 19th century. The colors of red and green in the dining room, and yellow, blue and white in the living room, provide iconic images of simplicity that typifies the Swedish country style. Much like America's Norman Rockwell, Larsson became quite famous by depicting the images of everyday life in his artwork.
Both images above give you a flavor of what lies ahead in the home that is for sale. For more information on Carl Larsson and Karin click here.
Upon entering the North Carolina home you can feel the influence of Larsson. Although the traditional bold colors are not really my style or taste, when the colors are more subdued I find the style very charming. And, I do really like this entryway. The painted woodwork in a soft blue and the wonderful detailed painted flower swags are very pretty. I also like the pale yellow Swedish bench and very pale floors.
The living room is awash in blue and white. In any style and in any decor blue and white is always a classic. The fireplace is hand painted to elicit the feeling of an old fashioned Swedish stove. Again notice the wonderful hand painted walls. I think this room is lovely. Here is the dining room and it very much captures the true Swedish country feeling. Some things to note are the high beadboard walls capped with a shelf, and the use of teals, reds and yellows. If you look at the Larsson artwork above you can really see the similarities in architecture. Here is a close up - notice the Swedish words painted on the walls, the cupboard and red check.
The kitchen truly makes you step back in time. I must say I much prefer my white an gray kitchen, but I applaud the owners for almost perfectly capturing the feel of a true Swedish country kitchen.
Here is a close up of the detailed hand painting.
Here we see the more hand painting
Most striking to me is this entry way open to the second floor. Notice the spectacular railing detail.
This bedroom takes you back to the part of Swedish decor that resonates so strongly with me. the soft blues, whites and gauzy sheer curtains.
Finally the master bedroom. This room would look lovely in any house. It is the classic blue and white again, mixed with wonderful French inspired reproduction furniture. Of note is the fabulous Swedish bench at the foot of the bed.
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Though not a home for everyone - I thought it was a good lesson in identifying what parts of the Swedish decor that you like and can use in your own home. To check out the real estate listing which has even more photos click here.

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