A mix of comfortable and worn-in antiques and flea market finds blends with authentic Swedish designs in this Northwest house. Blogger, online store owner, and Sweden native Monika Claassen shares this home with her husband, 3 children, 2 cats, and a hamster. Because of her heritage, her look has always leaned towards the clean lines and simple palettes that dominate the Swedish design landscape. Claassen's Washington home is a definite reflection of that style, but with her own unique take.
One of the great things about Claassen's home is the abundant presence of that beautiful Northwestern light that so many Oregon and Washington designers rave about.
The table and bench in this eating nook is from Cost Plus. Claassen, who runs the online store Splendid Willow Avenue, couldn't decide between several tables for this room, so she posed the question to readers of her blog. They chose this affordable and beautiful setup.
Claassen embraced the openness of her home's design. The rooms flow beautifully, and there are lots of big spaces for entertaining. "I put a lot of emphasis on making my home warm and inviting so people will want to stay until we have to kick them out," she says.
In the dining room, Claassen mixed antique Swedish 18th century chairs (with the original paint) with new slipcovered chairs from IKEA, and reproduction Gustavian chairs.
The warm and cozy burnt orange formal living room is Claassen's favorite room in the house. "I love the colors in it, and it has the best reading nook next to the big sunny window," she says. "It's usually just me and the cats in there!" Curtains: Swedish imported Ladder bookshelf: Urban Outfitters
"Some of my dearest items have a personal connection or history to them," she says. "For example, an old Swedish 18th-century secretaire really reminds me of my home country. I've named it 'Longing Home' and I keep small Swedish treasures in it."
Claassen goes on the hunt for products just about everywhere. Some of her favorite finds have come from eBay, Etsy, local stores, antique malls, and late-night internet searches. She also brings back many pieces from her annual trip to Sweden.
This was originally a blank wall across from the desk in Claassen's library and home office. She wanted to put something inspiring there, so she created a vignette with an antique secretaire and a cubby shelf filled with Swedish collectibles. A few contemporary art pieces add contrast.
At 4,200 square feet, Claassen's house is a great size, but there aren't very many walls to place furniture against or display art. A window, door, or alcove fills most of the wall space, so it was difficult to decorate at first. She made great use out of the space she did have, incorporating unique and quirky wallpaper and Victorian-inspired art into her home office, for example.
In this dark gray and chocolate brown stairwell, Claassen designed a small vignette with an antique chest of drawers and a vintage educational poster from Sweden. This poster was designed in the 1940s to show the parts of a violet.
Claassen recently redesigned her son William's room, to transition it from a nursery to a "big-boy's room." Like the rest of the house, she wanted it to feel distinctly Scandinavian, so she stuck to a simple palette with a mix of furniture from IKEA and salvaged antiques.
Bedding: IKEA Headboard: IKEA Map: IKEA Milk crate: Vintage, with casters added on
One of the main focal points of this soothing child's room is the bold red chalkboard. Claassen and her husband painted red chalkboard paint directly onto the wall, and stained a large custom gray/blue frame to put around it. To light it up perfectly at all hours of the day and night, she installed a swing arm adjustable sconce above it.
This bedside vignette is the one part of the house that is 100-percent Claassen's — everyone in the house knows not to mess up mom's special corner.
The nightstand is vintage. Claassen painted it a brilliant shade of cerulean and accented it with brass lion pulls. Vintage marching-band music cards were pinned up next to the curvy mirror she found at a consignment shop.
While comfort and durability are the biggest priorities in her home, part of what drives Claassen's design philosophy is a love of contrast. Mixing antiques with contemporary pieces and high-end flea market finds help her create rooms with personality. This living room (one of three in her home) is a perfect example of that style, with a mix of Swedish antiques and contemporary textiles.