interior designInteriorssneak peeks

sneak peek: cathy + erik

by anne

today’s second stellar sneak peek comes to us from swedish designer cathy gedda westrell and her fiance erik. their williamsburg, brooklyn home in is a small, restored bakery and the bakery was actually active up until the construction started. both being from sweden (a country that’s dark 7 months of the year) they knew they needed something white and airy. the result is fantastic, and i love some of the creative solutions they’ve come up with for their home (especially the knobs on the dresser and photo wall of friends). click here for more, full-sized images, and here for more of cathy’s work. [thanks, cathy!] -anne

[above: Our livingroom is finally starting to feel complete. It took some experimenting. The perfect side board with sliding doors under the TV is from a warehouse in Dumbo. We needed the height of it to be very specific and finally found this one that was made for us! Color is a vital part of our life and especially in our home, and I just had to buy the orange Eames chair for Erik last Valentine’s Day. It lights up the room. The sofa table is a flea market find and the pillows in the sofa are from Svenskt Tenn in Sweden.]

The black sideboard is actullay from Target and was under $100. I just bought new knobs at Anthropologie to make a bit more fun. It’s become the perfect spot for some of my beloved design books, flowers, photos and of course Erik’s globe. The drawing of the marble statue is a gift from an old friend from design school in Stockholm, Sweden. He moved to NYC after we graduated and started studying fine art instead. Guess he grew tired of the computer.

The green Eames chairs are ebay finds which proved to be a lot of hard work. We bought the shells without the bases and when we eventually bought 4 bases they didn’t match. We had bought the wrong bases. Finding the right shock-mounts was practically impossible and seemed to cost more than the chairs themselves. After many hours on the computer, talking to helpful people in the know and a lot of hard physical work, we managed to assemble our amazing chairs. And it was worth every minute of it. The big table in solid oak is from IKEA, one of our best buys. The lighting arrangement above the dining table is all Erik’s. This was “his” thing to make in the apartment. He spent countless hours at Home Depot and online to find the right light bulbs and cords. With a little help from an electrician we got it the way we wanted it. The poster with the adorable message Like Forever is a limited edition from Village.

The first thing we did in our bedroom was paint the brick walls white. Our amazing contractor thought we’d totally lost it when he saw it a few weeks later. This was a job we will never do again though. I almost had a melt down after painting for several hours and realizing that I had only covered a small patch. It took the two of us a whole weekend to paint this. But it was worth it! Now it doesn’t feel like sleeping in a prison cell. But things can get too white and we decided to paint the wall behind the bed a dark brown/grayish color. Much better! Because of the high ceiling we needed curtains with extra length, we found these great silk ones at Restoration Hardware.

The bed spread is from a local store here in Williamsburg called Sleep. As a skilled ebay buyer I spent some well invested time looking for mid-century furniture and we found our small, miss-matching night stands in Germany. The cost of them together worth shipping was still so much cheaper than buying anywhere in New York.

Our photo wall is an on going project and it keeps growing. Being away from family and friends is the downside of living abroad, but this way we get “see” them every day.

We have a really long hallway and needed to find both the perfect credenza that could swallow a lot of junk and a carpet that was the exact right size. The credenza with 9 drawers is another amazing ebay find from Long Island actually. The great carpet which we love is from Dash & Albert. The hanger is from Design Within Reach and designed by, who else, Charles and Ray Eames. Love their work!

The kitchen was my biggest joy when we moved in. From having a tiny kitchen in Manhattan with literally a mini bar as a fridge, no fan and a non working oven, this was heaven! We started cooking at home a lot and still do. Wine and food are two important ingredients in our life and we love having people over for dinner.

We are both big Converse fans and I love stacking them on top of each other in all different colors. It just look pretty and playful and it makes me happy.

Instead of putting up shelves for books and magazines we simply stacked them in piles on the floor. We are magazine junkies and the piles grow higher and higher every week. I have always had my books this way, even back in Sweden, but some day when I grow up I might invest in a proper book shelf.

Suggested For You


  • It’s really neat how nothing matches but as a whole everything meshes really well. This is comforting, since I don’t think I’ll ever want to invest in a set of furniture or have to stick to one color palette. Now I know an eclectic mix of things can work!

  • having moved across the ocean recently myself this place really speaks to me. especialy in new york where there is so much going on outside and everything is so run down i think this is the perfect retreat from all the bustle. fresh, clean, bright. no clutter, not overdecorated, no schick-schnack. it´s like what do you put in your suitcase when you travel? some small favorite pieces. then you try to assimilate in the new surroundings but also stay true to your roots and you focus on the necessities since who knows where you´ll live next. plus the appartments here are sooooooo small!!! perfect home away from home!

  • oh, i absolutely ADORE your home. The perfect mix of modern and vintage, neutrals and pops of color. It might look like it came together easily, but I’ve seen so many homes try to achieve this style and grace and not come close. Beautiful Design!!

  • I am not tired of the modern Scandinavian style. Some furniture pieces were designed half a century ago – they are classic pieces. I would be in heaven living in this space. The accent colors in the living room, bedroom and kitchen is well done. I will showcase it for sure.

  • There have been no “mean” comments posted about these photos. This sneak peak shows a home that IS beautiful and DOES use several familiar trends. What are we coming to if any bit of commentary that’s not entirely approving and effervescent is labeled “mean?”

    As a design junkie, I frequently seek the opinions of my kids, friends, neighbors or anyone else who will indulge me. If they don’t love my décor, or don’t get it, or even if they get it, but hate it, so what? It’s still interesting to hear their points of view. I’m not going to cry myself to sleep because someone doesn’t like the mirror I’ve hung above the fireplace. I listen to their constructive criticism and continue on my own path to décor heaven blissfully.

    Discourse , both pro and con is what makes these posts – and life interesting!

  • love love love. love it all! we actually have the bird print also. so jealous of your hallway credenza from long island!!! we are on the hunt for a perfect herman miller shell rocker– maybe we’ll find it at the brooklyn flea in the spring. :) our style is very similar! maybe we should have you over to our place in fort greene and we can talk design! :)

  • This seems like such a comfortable and cheery place to come home to. I love it!

    Does anyone know where I can find the bird prints in the living room?

  • i absolutely love this. i think it looks so bright and fresh!

    sure, eames chairs are trendy, but they are also very, very beautiful :) and i looooove the lights above the dining table too. very… edison-y.

    and as for the search for the perfect credenza, i sympathise. :D

  • I love this place too. Especially since apts. in NY can be so dark and warren like. It is too bad that when certain good design becomes popular it is considered *trendy* and you should not use it any more! Ha! If you like it, you should use it. Design & decoration is always personal even if others have done similar things. Cathy + Erik – if you want to find cool stuff cheap, come to the thrift stores in PA, a nice weekend drive.

  • I think this is the most inspiring sneak peek of all so far for me. It’s more personal though since I plan on moving back to Williamsburg, Brooklyn and hopefully buying an apartment. I absolutely love everything she did with this place. The bedroom looks like a beautiful little modest love nest. :)

  • Kind of… I don’t wanna say boring because that’s not the right word, but I don’t know. I feel like I’m looking at an IKEA catalog =/

  • I just found this website. What brand is your stove and vent? I am about to re-do the kitchen and I love the simple lines of your stove.

Leave a Reply

Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.