sneak peek: hilda grahnat


as someone who lives in an amazingly small space, i have quite an affinity for people who are able to make the most their of small spaces. hilda grahnat is a 23 year old graphic design student from sweden – and author behind the beautiful blog forever is today – who has called this 39m2 (419sf) apartment home since last september. it’s her first apartment, but full of things she’s collected over the years which were in storage until she finally had the chance to decorate her own place.  she has a fantastic eye for vintage and an appreciation for things inherited from her grandparents and other relatives.  she says, “i don’t really strive for a certain style; i just buy things i love and hope that they will look good together.” click here for additional images of hilda’s space, and here to visit her online shop. {thanks, hilda!…and to Ellie for the great tip!}anne

[above: The sofa in the front and the armchair were inherited from my grandparents. They bought them for their new house in 1959, I think. The other sofa and the table are thrifted.]

I’ve never liked having just one frame/picture on a wall– I think they look better grouped together. I love vintage frames and collected them for a while before finally making this photo wall. The lamp on the right was my grandfather’s sister’s and it’s probably my favorite thing in my apartment.

This wall is a mix of family pictures, my own photography, a piece of vintage wallpaper and some random artwork. The Chicago print is available in my shop.

My grandfather collected clocks and had several hundred of them. When he passed away, I was the only one in my family interested in keeping them. I couldn’t and didn’t want to keep them all, but I picked the prettiest and have them scattered all over my apartment now. The bookcase is thrifted, as well as the paper boxes I’ve filled with board games and old magazines for collages. I collect vintage cameras as well (I have over 20) and you can see a couple of them on the middle shelf. The Russian dolls were my mother’s; she bought them on a school trip to the USSR in the 70s.

This is the trickiest part of the apartment. I was unsure of what to do with this space for a long time, and I’m not completely satisfied with it yet. The suitcases are thrifted (the blue one in Chicago, the rest in Sweden), as well as the dresser and string shelf. I got the globe the first and only time I made a bid at an auction. I got it for a real bargain, the lamp in it works and I love it. I made the polaroid picture frame by cutting an old cork bulletin board to fit in a vintage frame and stuck the polaroids on with thumbtacks. The crocheted bedspread was made by my grandmother’s aunt, the rag rugs were my great aunt’s and the chair is thrifted. The record covers on the wall are a mix of my own and my parents’. The yellow lamp was in my grandfather’s workshop, where he repaired his clocks.

CLICK HERE for the rest of Hilda’s sneak peek after the jump!

The bedding, lamp, perpetual calendar and bedside table are all from thrift stores or flea markets. The alarm clocks were my grandfather’s. The map of Manhattan is from a paper store in Chicago. I think it’s some kind of scrapbooking paper, it was only a couple of dollars.

I change this arrangement around every other week. I have so many things that I want to display, but I can’t have them all out at once. The old school poster of tobacco plants was my parents’, the license plates, clocks and the horn were my grandfather’s. In the frame is a Chicago print that I got at the Art Institute of Chicago’s museum shop.

The Ericophone/Cobra is one of my favorite pieces. So is the yellow typewriter, which was a real bargain at a small town thrift store. I use it to write letters to my friends in Chicago.

This is my desk. On the bulletin board is a 1956 calendar, photo booth strips, vintage movie star trading cards, a polaroid. A thrifted jar for pencils and a tin filled with smaller tins are a couple of the things that fit on the desk besides my computer and huge monitor.

My mom made these bird curtains for one of her first apartments when she was young, they hung in the main room at our house when I was younger, and now they’re in my apartment. The jacaranda candle holders were my grandparents’.

The tray hanger is thrifted. The trays were all my grandparents’. They owned a café 1946-1979, and the pastries and coffee were served on red-and-white-striped trays, of which I have one.

My kitchen has lovely light, and to not lose any of it, I decided not to have curtains. The lamp used to have an ugly brown shade; I just stripped it of and left it bare. Above the aprons (which were my grandmother’s), is a 70s commemorative plate of the Swedish kind & queen.

I collect vintage cookie/tea/spice/bread tins and will soon have too many of them.

When there’s not enough wall space for artwork, why not use your doors? These are pages from the book “Animal Fair” by Alice and Martin Provensen.

  1. issy says:

    i’m in love.

  2. Stella says:

    As a 24 year old, let me congratulate you on having matching wood throughout your apartment. Mine doesn’t and it drives me nuts! I also collect tins, they are both bright, decorative and functional!

  3. Bobbi says:

    It can be so hard to arrange things in a small space without it looking cluttered; you’ve done such a beautiful job. I love how you’ve arranged your collections.

  4. Quindome says:

    I love Hilda’s blog, so this sneak was a real treat. Hilda, be my bff?

  5. Sylvia says:

    Love it. Where did you get the shelf near your table? I’m looking for something like that for myself.

  6. Zoe says:

    Lovely apartment, but I don’t think 39m2 is that small. In Europe, we’re lucky if we find big apartments and tend to think apartments are pretty spacious when they hit the 40m2 mark. I currently live in a one bedroom apart, which is 65m2 (in France) and everyone who sees it thinks its huge! I guess size is all relative :)

  7. becky z-dub says:

    amazing. i’m so absolutely intrigued and inspired. the things you have found at thrift stores are just wonderful! i’m so jealous because i’m sure you’ve spent a fraction of what i’ve spent on such similar items. love it!

  8. bueller says:

    Love that middle aerial shot of NY. Love it!

  9. Kelly says:

    I love how easy to look at ,this space is,your eye can relax.

  10. Emma Jay says:

    Absolutely fantastic. LOVE the little still life set ups everywhere and the warmth of the wood. I collect mid-century furniture too, so this place really appeals to me… Love it!

  11. nath says:

    as an avid reader and admirer of Hilda and her blog, it was a real pleasure to see her place here. i love it, it’s wonderful, i love all her inherited things like the horn and the aprons and the lamps. it’s a really interesting home.

  12. Susan says:

    You have great style.

  13. PhillyLass says:

    I love the sense of history here– all of those family pieces have so much sentimental value, as well as style! Lovely home!

  14. Trude says:

    As if I didn’t love her photography + blog already! Thanks for sharing all of this, so much awesome inspiration! :)

  15. Mandi says:

    Beautiful home! I admire your style.

  16. eco-stylista says:

    This is a beautiful home! I am completely in love!

  17. Gail Walker says:

    Enjoyed seeing your beautiful living space and hearing about where these carefully chosen objects originated! My husband and I put together our first apartment while I was still an art student at the Univeristy at Buffalo. It was also a happy gathering of thirft finds and family treasures! Glad to say we still enjoy many of those same pieces many years later!

  18. Molly says:

    Totally in love with this apartment! And I think her grandparents may be just about the coolest people ever–so lucky that they held onto so many of their things.

  19. Eva says:

    i live (with boyfriend) in a 50 sqm apartment (two floors) in Rotterdam which even for Dutch standards is not big. 40 is definitely small, but okay as long as you live alone :-)

    Anyway, looooove your home, i think it’s great you have so much stuff from your family in there! You apparently also inherited their good taste!

  20. hilda says:

    thank you so much for all your kind comments!

  21. marcelina says:

    Hi! great house! does anyone know how to make the tray hanger? it seems easy but I cant tell if the fabric strap has one or two loops… Thanks!

  22. Anne says:

    Love everything about this sneak peek. Beautiful home, Hilda!

  23. ANNA says:

    i`m impressed!

  24. Emily says:

    This is my favorite sneak peek. End of story.

  25. david says:

    It’s always nice to see some Alice and Martin Provensen pictures on a wall!

  26. Cristina says:

    This is one of my fav sneak peeks. Love this house!!

  27. sunny says:

    What a beautiful apartment! So many pretty corners to look at!

  28. Lisa says:

    I’ve just stumbled upon this and am so stunned as to how well it’s held up in freshness and appeal over these last few years. Bravo! If you’ve evolved anything since then, I hope a blog checks in on you to let us see!


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