Interiorssneak peeks

In Sweden, A Designer’s Home Gushes Color and Pattern

by Garrett Fleming

Recently, I snagged what I thought was a fabulous find: a mossy-green, flocked, baroque mirror! The second I got it home, however, I realized there was not a single good spot for it in my apartment. It didn’t fit the style or hue of any one of my rooms. That find, while I still love it, was a friendly reminder that less can be more. It was an important lesson for someone like me. I’ve got a penchant for out-there colors and brilliant hues, and sometimes I go a bit overboard. That being said, I always admire when a homeowner finds a way to incorporate bold color and pattern without making their home feel too kitschy or over-the-top. Finding this balance can be tricky, but if anyone’s the master of restrained boldness, it’s Designer Maria Vång.

Her modern home in Västerås, Sweden is a true reflection of the designer’s aesthetic – colorful and pattern-filled. Though, the 1930s-era house did not fall into the family’s lap looking this gorgeous. In the two years since they moved in, a slow and steady renovation has taken place. “We knew that we wanted an old house to live in so we could renovate it gently and in our style, but still keep the fine, original features of the house, which is the soul of our home,” Maria says. Along with her husband Jonas, she kicked off the changes by painting every wall white or grey, leaving a clean slate to start from. After that, Maria layered wallpapers, inherited pieces and new finds to craft a cozy and inspiring home for her family. The motivation behind her bright styling wasn’t only a matter of taste. With a little one, an exuberant space was a must. Surrounding their son Viggo with bright colors and shapes creates the playful atmosphere that many say helps children thrive.

Particular attention was given to the kitchen as well as the bedroom and bathroom Maria shares with Jonas. Whether it’s the bold, DIY vanity, or the bedroom’s romantic hues, each space is unabashedly eye-catching without being excessive. The brilliance of Maria’s home is just how cohesive it all feels. The designer chose a style, went for it, and stuck to her guns. I can’t help but smile at the results; especially that color-popping kitchen. I’d gladly bake while I shake along to a dance track in that space. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Maria Vång

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The kitchen table and wooden seating are from Jonas' grandparents, but Maria made them her own by giving them a makeover. Now they perfectly fit with the couple's "happy and colorful" kitchen. I particularly like how the kitchen mixes these bright hues with industrial pieces. These metal shelves are from IKEA, and the wallpaper is BoråsTapeter "Herbarium."
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The environmentally-conscious couple chose to paint over the existing cabinetry in Alcro "Salvia" as opposed to purchasing all new storage. The copper-lined lighting is by House Doctor.
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Jonas is a really great chef, and as Maria says, "a good chef needs a Creuset pot." Their son Viggo even helps his dad out from time to time.
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After moving in, Maria and Jonas painted nearly every surface of the home white or grey to give themselves a neutral base to start decorating with. The wooden dresser is from Maria's favorite, Swedish vintage shop Linne & Lump. On top of it sits a vintage bingo set from the States.
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The family's teak dining table lives beneath a school project by Maria. It's the first of a couple of her designs you'll see throughout the home. She recently designed the lights as part of her masters degree in Interior Architecture and Furniture Design at Sweden's Konstfack School. The art print by Annaleena Leino-Karlsson sits in pleasant contrast to the white walls and green carpet.
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Viggo and Maria sit at the dining table in front of shelves and shelves of flea market finds and toys.
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The view from the dining room looking into the living room. The green curtains are from Astrid.
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Viggo is always reading or playing with toys in the living room. The sofa and rug are from IKEA.
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The living room features artwork by Christine Ellger. Maria gushes, "We bought it as a housewarming gift to ourselves. I will always remember that day with excitement and happiness."
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Vintage Sirocco chairs offer additional seating when the family is entertaining – something they try to do as much as possible. This pendant light is another of Maria's school projects.
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Swedish winters can be brutal. Luckily for this family, the fireplace keeps them toasty during the colder months. It's decorated with a cactus vase from Serax.
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The main hall's coat rack was a gift from a dear friend and is from the 1940s. The framed print that accompanies it describes how to charge a battery. Maria found it in an old abandoned building in Sweden.
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Viggo frequently plays with his cars on this OYOY adventure rug. He "... is a happy, wild baby," Maria says.
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The stairwell is wallpapered in a style from the BoråsTapeter "Oxford" collection.
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The landing is decorated with hand-me-down furnishings from Maria's parents. The family describes this nook as "a lovely corner to read a book in..."
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The home's most recent updates can be seen in Maria and Jonas' bedroom. The fresh, pink-and-green paint job gave the space an entirely new look. Now Maria raves about how much cozier the room is. Bedding by Hemtex and bed by KungSängen.
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Jotun "Balance" and "Rörelse" paint helped bring to life the romantic and relaxing bedroom she had in mind. The chest of drawers is from Swedish department store Åhléns.
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The lighting throughout the bedroom was purposefully chosen because of its industrial look. "I just love them in contrast to the romantic colors of the wall," Maria explains. Another piece – the antique vanity – pairs perfectly with the room's overall vibe.
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This wooden dresser has been with Maria for 25 years.
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The bathroom's overhaul took six months to complete. The reason for the lengthy renovation? Poor communication. The contractor and builders proved to be less than ideal. All-in-all, it was a stressful experience, but the results are exactly what the family wanted. The IKEA wash basin and cabinetry from Nordal pair beautifully with the retro tile.
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These fixtures are by Swedish brand Tapwell. I wish I could fit an antique stool in my shower!
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Viggo's adorable suitcases and practical coat rack are from Alice & Fox.
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A Littlephant poster and IKEA shelving in Viggo's room.
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Maria made the mushroom-style mobile for her little one's room and decked out the walls in owl wallpaper from ferm LIVING.
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Maria wanted Viggo's room to be both colorful and playful. To help bring her vision to life, she painted the front of Viggo's dresser drawers just before he was born.
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"Our creative corner is a lovely room to be working in. I made our own noticeboard out of cork." The room's furnishings come from all types of antique shops throughout the town, and Maria inherited the sewing machine from her grandmother.
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"What I love most about my home is..."
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The 1930s-era home's floor plan.

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Comments

  • Such a charming, sweet, and bright house! And holy moly, that wall color in the bedroom is an ocean of calm. I especially love it paired with the warm wood tones. Furthermore, swooning over the wallpaper up the stairs. I’m glad to see people becoming less afraid of wallpapers…I feel like for a while, the general consensus was wallpaper was ghastly and a dated trend of the past. Nice to see it back in more and more homes. :)

  • This is really lovely. It’s got wonderful color and texture without feeling cluttered. (And is clean and crisp without feeling too spare.)

  • Ooo that light fixture! I agree that the apartment is charming. I would like to see your baroque mirror, though,
    and what you eventually do with it.

    • Hi Debra,

      Right now it’s sitting atop my dresser as a decorative element. I still love it, but eventually it’ll be mounted somewhere! I’ll keep you posted.

      -Garrett Fleming

  • Hi, your place has such a lovely feel to it.
    Is the paint you chose for the walls the same as the ceiling or is it very slightly less white?
    Cheers Veronica

  • I am redoing my entire kitchen after a house fire last year. I want white subway tile as my back splash . Contractor says to do white grout so it doesn’t look like a checker board. I thought that wasn’t true. Looking for advice. I am having white cabinets too.
    Thank you

  • Great accent to the stairs using such vibrant colored wallpaper! There is a little cabinet that has a pattern on the front too that I really admire. Is it wallpaper on the face of it too?

  • Just when I finished commenting on a vintage-filled Victorian home from Seattle that was featured here, I see this. Love it too!

    So playful and colourful!! I wouldn’t be surprised if this was featured in Dos Family!! :D

    Life is short and we shouldn’t take ourselves so seriously. Especially when it comes to our hard working spaces (with children).

    Those people get it. Love it! Thanks for sharing. :)

  • Hi! This is a truly lovely home! Thank you for letting us in. Are you able to share the bedroom color? It’s so rich and falls beautifully between green and blue. XO Kate

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