Saturday, May 21, 2011

Obsessed: Swedish Country Interiors

I'm going to admit it ... I'm a little obsessed with rooms like this right now:

I've been in a love-hate relationship with our house for so long, something I know is true for so many of you out there, and it makes it even worse when you and your significant other don't quite see eye to eye where style is concerned. But after some gentle suggesting, hinting, and proven success - I think I've gotten Scott to put one whole foot on the Swedish Country wagon, and I'll take it!

You see, I've always been attracted to primitives. Even when I was a child, I was much more interested in the solid pine painted armoires and cabinets of my grandmother's than the fine early Victorian furniture of her living room. There was something so playful, and fun - yet, worn and purposeful about those few primitives she had in her home that I instantly felt connection to. So when I did my soul searching to find just what I should do when it came to renovations at CDLV, I knew the primitives had to stay.

After living with a sofa for 10+ years, Scott (although reluctant) gave up the green monster, and realized that having something smaller, and brighter would be better for our relatively small rooms. After lots of thought, somewhat of a shipping disaster, and a cushion test on about 30 different sofas, we ended up with a great solution. I did go slipcovered, and though I know plenty of you out there have your doubts about slips, I have to tell you - I'm a fan. I've already had a reason to wash it (won't go into details) and just having that ability alone made it worth all the trouble and expense.

I've also always loved blue. I wear almost exclusively blue, and I feel like my fair complexion and strawberry blonde hair look great in it. I never introduced it in the house because of all of the green. (Scott's favorite color.) But now blue, so prevalent in Swedish interiors has been woven into the overall composition of CDLV, and it's like walking into a dream come true every day!

For the last 3-years, I've been disgusted with the inefficiency of our antique breakfast table which we used in our dining room. Because of the woodwork (which I later found out can be removed) at the bottom of the table, you couldn't pull two chairs into the table when dining. So, inevitably, all guests dined with arms too close, or legs straddling table legs, and I longed for the day that could change. And it has. I lucked into a fabulous pedestal base Early American Empire table that closes up to a fit 45" round during the day, but can extend to 10' x 45" oblong in a Thanksgiving pinch!

I love my antique secretary, though it's a little more English than what you'd typically find in Swedish interiors. I also love that it's in our foyer. But I've struggled through the years finding the perfect piece of art to set atop or hang above it.

I thought about Swedish Mora Clocks, and made the decision that I had to have one! And after I show you mine, you'll decide you have to have one too! (Spoiler alert: I've been creating!!!) But I think that all of my prayers were answered when Joni posted about her newly wallpaper bedroom and included this picture yesterday:

See that stunning mirror above her writing desk? I had to have one! Primitive but lovely, it is the perfect solution to the hallway of CDLV. So, some teasers on things that have come to pass around the house. So many of you have left messages and sent emails about why it hasn't yet gone up on the blog ... and I promise, it's coming.

I haven't finished, and it's been a huge project. Because my rooms are enfilade, it's hard to get good shots of one without taking pictures of the mess in another. So give me a few more weeks, and I promise you won't be disappointed.


  1. Artie look at those pale blue silk curtains, they would be gorgeous with your greens, You will be surprised. Even a few throw pillows!

    Art by Karena

    Come and enter my Great Giveaway from Serena & Lily!

    You will love it!

  2. Hey Artie, Can't wait to see the finished product. I love blue but have alot of green, am working on having both....hmmmm maybe you could segue the two colors via a sealife/cross bottle. Have a glorious weekend. SJR

  3. ... you are quite the tease!!!

  4. I'm in love with this entire post. I've found myself going back to what I love, too. That pale, dusty blue makes me so happy.

  5. Artie, Hi I know it's been along time since I've visited. I hope this finds you all doing well. The rooms are stellar.. I'm looking forward to seeing your changes. I know they're going to be superb.
    hugs ~lynne~

  6. I too am a BIG fan of blue! So happy to learn that you are leaning towards it in your new decor which I'm sure will be marvelous. Anticipating the unveiling. -Brenda-
    P.S: Love the wallpaper in Joni's room.

  7. Artie,
    Your blog is becoming more essential every day.

    But, please, show us the house!

  8. I cannot wait to see it. How exciting!

  9. Hi! I just found your blog wandering from one blog to an other with my mu of coffee, and I'm hooked! I have a very, very, very (I could go on for ever) colourful house that I intend to turn in something more peaceful ovre the years... I love white/white-ish as a dominant colour and so was delighted by your choice of pictures!

  10. Artie, I am with you on the colour blue as it happens to be my most favourite colour as well.

    I think a Swedish clock would go beautifully atop your antique Secretary and as for your Trumeau that is currently in the making you may even want to finish it off in a French Mediterrean style that of which I am sure you know is closely related to Gustavian. In the case you might wish to consider it, two excellent resources for paint recipes are: annie paris grey (profile) and (country gallery).

    Looking forward to the unveiling.
    P.S: Hopefully in your previous posting, I didn't sound too critical of Ms. Ryan as I do realize she is extremely talented.

  11. looking forward to seeing the transformation!!

  12. OK...but I've been anxiously waiting...

    And I like the swedish influence and yes to the slipcovers...I have a friend who slipcovered everything...and I mean everything in his Palm Spring house in heavy white cotton denim and it's amazing!

  13. Hey Artie,
    It has been a long time since I commented on your blog... Peacock Christmas... smoke alarm tree topper... yeah... that's me... remember?...beautiful COLORFUL tree...

    I just wanted to say a little something... Happy recent birthday and since you are a big boy...

    I had you on my mind... especially while painting a bedroom in my home in the neutral pallets you have shown in your post today...well, truthfully... I am already bored with it... one week ... alas bored... I recall the first time I came to your blog was a Cote de Texas post... which you commented on the warm rich leathers and jewel tones of Ralph Lauren versus the neutral pallets.... thus we had that in common... now a couple of years or so later... we have surrendered to the beiges and crèmes... Oh ... it is pretty... but it doesn't make me gasp... it is also easy... which makes it appealing... I am curious how long you will love your new beige and crème neutral world... I have returned to my first love... rich color... thought I might just see what you think of this designer... you probably have seen his work...

    Press on full steam ahead with your projects because like most of us you won't know until you try it on for size.

    Discovering oneself is complicated... don't you agree. For me it is not worth following the crowd... sacrificing fabulous color? Never again! I hunger for it.

    That being said...I can't wait to see your makeover... you are talented...

    Oh, by the way...
    I did notice Joni sure added a lot of color to her walls... sooo beautiful!

    So what color will you use to "Color outside the Lines" with? Because if it is whites ... it won't show up...

    To thine own self be true... in all areas of our lives... follow your heart... mine was feeling a little tug to write to you...

    Are you feeling any tugs...??

    Just something to ponder...

    Have a beautiful weekend!
    An 'Ex-blogger'....

  14. Whoops, just noticed I made two comments. Sorry about that Artie. Senior Moments will do that to you. :) -Brenda mrsben-