interior designInteriorssneak peeks

clean slate living

by Grace Bonney

yesterday when i was picking up some flowers, i ended up having a long conversation with the florist about how designers who are known for their love of bright color and pattern often have very clean, minimalist homes. he was really surprised (and disappointed), but i was trying to explain that it’s often the simplest of interiors that let you really relax and unwind when you spend your days surrounded by inspiration, color and pattern. i was reminded of that clean slate type of living when i saw this beautiful home built by susanne (and her family) in sweden. i’m not normally a white wall kind of girl, but i love the way that this home balances some darker colors (like the black kitchen and bold rugs) with clean, simple walls and furniture. it’s the kind of place that seems like it would let you completely relax and empty your mind, and then inspire you to start fresh again the next morning. although i’ll never give up my obsession with stripes and polka-dots, i could definitely see escaping to a home like this for a long weekend to escape from the pattern-overload. thanks, susanne!

Suggested For You


  • I once spoke w/ Margaret Russell about this very same thing — when surrounded by textures, patterns and colors, you often want to retreat to a home that’s void of… stuff. I’m going for the same thing in my renovation and am only hoping I can achieve a look this stunning (minimalism is much harder than it appears!!!). :)

    Thanks for the inspiration, Grace!

  • i hear you, grace. as the accessories director at the gap, i’m constantly living and breathing a myriad of colors, prints and pattern. as a result, i’ve realized to really stand behind my most adored patterns {stripes, ikat, chevron, etc} and make that the star in our home.

  • So true! I have always favored soothing white or monochromatic interiors as a designer. So relaxing after working with color and pattern all the time!

  • Such a breath of fresh air. After growing up in a house full of knick knacks, I’ve spent most of my adult life streamlining my space. It’s always a balancing act between the perfect amount of “spare” without tipping over into “cold” territory.

  • Super beautiful! I’ve noticed that while designers prefer minimalist homes, some colorful artists live in extra-colorful homes.

  • I love the first image especially – as a designer, I agree with the minimalist outlook! I love the houses with color, however. A splash of color does the trick if you want to liven up your space.

  • Where are their books? This place, whilst I can see it would be relaxing for a couple of days and I adore white walls doesn’t look very real to me.

  • this space is super nice. i love it.

    i struggle with how much color and pattern to include with every home purchase i make. i love pattern, but often want something so paired back that it gives you room to think, and be creative.

    you have to have mental space to fill in the blank, and this is the ‘blank’ space in most positive way.

  • I love lamp.

    Ha ha…but seriously, I do love those hanging lamps. Does anyone have a resource for something like that?

  • I think those who don’t go into minimalist spaces much think that everything is sterile, however, I’ve noticed that the most inviting minimalist spaces tend to have an abundance of textures.

  • it’s the same in other professions too. my husband’s a record producer and after listening to music all day, he prefers quiet at home.

  • i agree with your florist’s disappointment. if you have a “designers’ eye” maybe you begin to see objects, including flowers, in photoshoot mode but i think the most creative moments come with a little (unplanned) chaos – as in daily life. accidental relationships between colours and forms dont always work but when they do they are real discoveries so i think so much more valuable for their inability to be managed or arranged.

  • sorry – i also want to say when you live in an authentic environment you forget how detailed or quirky it is – its just you – and home.

  • Love this home… Northern light makes it all the more soothing.love the fact that there’s nothing on the walls; it makes their mass and verticality almost disappear. Delightful, sexy and inviting. I could easily curl up with design sponge or some magz and a nice glass of vino tinto.

Leave a Reply

Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, that comment on people's physical appearance, 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.