sneak peek: charlotte swiden and clem stamation


It’s not everyday that we see a home that’s a hybrid of Australian and Scandinavian design, but that’s what you get when you put together designer, illustrator and homeware designer Charlotte Swiden (the Swede) and animator/director Clem Stamation (the Aussie). Their apartment in Melbourne, Australia, was built in the ’70s, so when they moved in, they decided to renovate and decorate it to match the era of the building. Despite its small size, they’ve come to love the space, which feels lived in, loved and like a home should feel. Thanks Charlotte and Clem, and special thanks to Chris Polack for the photographs! — Anne

Image above: When we started renovating, I insisted that we have timber floors. It’s beautiful, practical and almost every home in Sweden has them including the one I grew up in. We had asked our handy man for a matte-finished floor, but when we returned home from work, we found that he had given us a full-gloss, ballroom-dance floor finish instead. But we really love it now; it suits our style well and the timber brings warmth and life to the apartment. We bought the couch set at Lost and Found, a little secondhand market in Collingwood; a great place for anything vintage.

Image above: This is a great little room in winter with the sun pouring in for hours a day. We come here to read, relax, day dream and thaw out. The painting behind the couch was a collaborative effort between Clem and I. Clem had painted some abstract flowers, and two years later when I was at home sick, I decided get out of bed and complete it.

Image above: Reading is one of my favourite pastimes. I kept all my favourite books from Sweden and had them sent over when we moved in. They are stacked at the foot of our bed and every morning when I wake up, they are the first thing that I see, and it makes me feel that I have a piece of my home and history here in Australia. The teak dresser is another secondhand find. It was made in Australia but has a very 50s Scandinavian feel to it. It was an Op-Shop bargain.

Image above: We painted almost every wall in the apartment white, but we felt that the bedroom needed a bit of warmth. We decided on a grass-wallpaper feature wall. I love that the bed is full of cushions and blankets; it is very comfy. The calm and natural tones of the wall balance the patterns and colours.

CLICK HERE for the rest of Charlotte and Clem’s home tour after the jump!

Image above: The cushion fabric is from Sweden, my mum gave it to me. My family lives in Sweden, but they visit almost every year. Mum knows what I love and always brings small and beautiful things over for me when she and dad come to visit.

Image above: Clem’s Greek yiayia (grandmother) knitted the green blanket for us. Clem’s mum brought the slippers back from Greece for me because she knows I always have cold feet. Who would have known Australia could be so cold in winter!

Image above: This is our shared desk space in the sun room. The old Ericsson Cobra telephone still works; Clem’s dad used it in his job as a telephone technician in the 70s. The poster is a design by one of Sweden’s first modern graphic designers, Olle Eksell, a favourite of mine. We found the suitcases on the side of the road; perfect for storage.

Image above: I have a thing for old-fashioned flowers. I picked a bunch of flowers from the garden and mixed them up with a bouquet I bought; together they almost look like a still-life painting.

Image above: This is Phil the finger puppet. We take him with us on our road trips, but when we are home, he reads over my shoulder from on top of this lamp.

Image above: When we moved into the apartment, there was a huge, unsightly gas furnace heater taking up a big part of the living room wall, which we removed. Instead of filling the hole it left behind, we decided to create a little shelf space. The porcelain objects are a mix of Australian designs (Martin Boyd), bric-a-brac and Blå Eld from Rörstrand in Sweden.

Image above: My grandma’s old String bookshelf fits perfectly in our kitchen. The ice cream tray is one of my designs. My work reflects my Swedishness, my childhood and all the things I was surrounded by while growing up.

Image above: One day while scrounging through a secondhand shop in the country, I found this old school book about Sweden. The little rocking horse was hiding in a rubbish dump recycling store full of dust and spiders. We took it home and painted it white.

Image above: Our style is a mishmash of Australian and Scandinavian design and decoration, most of which is from the 50s to 70s. We love to check out garage sales and markets for bits and pieces to add to our collection. Colourful, light and happy would best describe our home. Not too different from our own design work, really. The apartment is full of stories and history from Clem’s Greek-Australian heritage and my Swedish life. Beautiful materials, well-designed items and brilliant graphics inspire us and fill our home.

  1. That little finger puppet on the lamp is adorable. Beautiful mix + match throughout.

  2. catalina says:

    So pretty! I love the way the books are stacked, I think I’m going to try that. I have a huge stack of books I am currently reading on my nightstand, and this way seems pretty new. :)

  3. Bekka says:

    The colours are beautiful. Particularly love the shelf of porcelain, and the grass wallpaper in the bedroom Glad to have discovered your site. Thanks!

  4. Love the painting and pillows combo!

  5. Camilla says:

    Love the grass wallpaper wall!

  6. Sarah says:

    I love your house, but that’s no way to treat your records!

  7. ooh. i am digging that one bird flying above the bed, the yellow lamp and the nook.

  8. Urban Sherp says:

    Love the colorful nook of shelves, great use of space!

  9. K. Vinot says:

    Beautiful home. I love the Wayne Pate pillows!

  10. kelly says:

    the painted rainbow wing duck soaring above the bed towards the framed sky image is perfectly placed. LOVE!

  11. Sasha K. says:

    Gorgeous use of color! And I love that little monkey finger puppet. :)

  12. I’m loving all the Scandinavian art details in this space. The pillows, the art work the patterns found throughout, really fun! My favorite are those wool slippers.

  13. Laguna Dirt says:

    love their style, the mix of bold, cheery color and the rich, warm scandinavian woods and design!

  14. Danielle says:

    Wow! this combination of influence and style is so right on! Thanks for putting this on your blog.

  15. Joseph says:

    We have a wall mounted gas heater that is being removed. We were concerned about how to “patch” the wall. Your idea of turning the opening into a recessed shelf is a GREAT idea!

  16. Lois says:

    Big fan! I love the mix and match feel to it all – so charming.

  17. Clotilde M says:

    Sleek and very simple.

  18. Courtney says:

    hi! would love to find out who makes the blue and white pattern pillow featured in the sun room (pic #2). thanks!

  19. Jacinta says:

    Who would have thought such a beautiful apartment would be so local! love the red couch in the sunroom, it looks like a pile of carpet rugs!

  20. Camilla says:

    one of the most beautiful sneak peeks i’ve seen on this site! if only it were longer!

  21. Leone says:

    Cozy AND colorful. Fabulous! When do I get to move in?

  22. MarT says:

    So very Australian to have a plaid blanket on the bed to warm things up! When I lived in Sydney, we would freeze in the winter due to no central heat, and pile plaid wool blankets, sheepskins, etc. on ourselves to warm up!

  23. Jennifer says:

    Va fint du har det hemma vännen!!! Måste ses på en fika snart? Kram kram

  24. monica says:

    oh my. This is my dream house.

  25. Eva says:

    nice! love your bedroom!

  26. handz says:

    Very nice appartment!
    Danish furnitre, swedish design…
    Anyone knows what is the “houses” print on the flower photo?

  27. Stefanie says:

    The porcelain bowls and cups on the shelves are so beautiful. I love when people decorate with exposed plate/glassware.

  28. angie says:

    a color explosion! i love it!

  29. Very nice! The porcelain pieces are so beautiful, love the colours.
    The first photo is my favourite, the colour scheme is so nice. Love the pattern on the cushion as well!

  30. LM says:

    YAY FOR MELBOURNE! This house screams Fitzroyalty in the best way possible. Love the grass wallpaper and the splashes of scandinavian colour.

  31. Cherlyn says:

    I would love to know where the abacus was purchased from. Been looking for a desktop one that is more “grown-up”.

  32. Nicky says:

    Great colours, textures and patterns. Love the lounge, I have one exactly the same. Do you know who made them?

  33. goodnightowl says:

    Love the design and that poster is terrific!


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