Lina and her daughter, Sigrid, are standing on the stairs, and they wave when we drive up to the yellow “manager’s house” which is built on a slope down towards Lake Vättern in Huskvarna, southern Sweden. Lina has just got back from her job, and taken over from her husband, David, who has been at home with the kids all morning. We found Vilgot, who has just turned five years old, in the kitchen. He has his hands full keeping track of the newly-baked rhubarb tart.
Vilgot, Lina and Sigrid.
The house was built in 1908 by Helge Silverstolpe, an engineer at the Huskvarna arms factory.
The dining room features Magnus wallpaper.
The dining room is attached to the livingroom.
It’s not difficult to understand why you fell for the house when you bought it, but please tell us how it happened.
“The house spoke to me! We had just got back from our honeymoon and we were sitting in my parents’ house browsing through the local newspaper when I came across the advert. We really weren’t planning to buy a house at that point. We had just bought and renovated an apartment in Gothenburg. But the house really appealled to us, and we decided to put in an offer, and the house was ours. It needed a huge amount of work, and we worked solidly on the renovation from November until May, when we moved in. The kitchen arrived just as I was going into the maternity ward to have Vilgot.”
The kitchen features Sandberg Wallpaper’s Rut Grey pattern.
Lina used to work at Sandberg Wallpaper and we had been talking about visiting her beautiful home for some time. But things suddenly got a bit urgent, since they have now sold the house and bought a new one in Lina’s home town of Tenhult. Lina is now working as a stylist and showing properties for an estate agency, Västanhem. Before that, she worked with another estate agency, Alvhem, in Gothenburg.
Many people who are looking for a new home avoid the most demanding renovation projects, but Lina and David do the exact opposite. They bought the villa in Huskvarna around 6 years ago, and did the renovation work while they lived in their apartment in Gothenburg. No sooner was the renovation finished than a new dream house popped up on the market, a new renovation project.
“It has become something of a lifestyle, and I love being at home working on the house. The kids think it’s really cool, and love helping in their own way”, says Lina.
Sigrid’s room is newly painted in a very attractive shade of green.
For their bedroom, Lina and David chose the Vera wallpaper.
What are your top decorating tips?
Be adventurous, and use textiles. Curtains and cushions make a home feel more comfortable. I also feel that people should be bolder in using more wallpaper, as patterned walls add a real cosiness. I like it when I see a range of patterns used, as it makes the home much more exciting when there is a mix of, say, floral and graphic patterns. Wallpaper highlights your furniture much better.
The plan was to wallpaper the open area on the upper floor, but, when they decided to sell, they chose to paint it pink instead.
Here is a swatch of Murgröna, one of the patterns they chose between.
Old houses have a soul that you just don’t find in new houses, and I believe that you should try to preserve as much of that as possible. In my view, you have a house on loan for the time you have it, and, like anything else you borrow, you must take care of it. I want to see the house and the soul passed on to future generations.
How do you preserve the soul of a house?
“I usually focus on bringing out what is beautiful in the house, such as old window frames or fine wooden floors hidden under plastic floor coverings.
You can fit a modern kitchen in an old house, but I prefer to add old fittings.
Mix old and new. Choose things that you like, and don’t pay so much attention to fashion.
Try to have a red thread, to create harmony”.
What makes you happy?
Being with the people I love, flowers and enjoying the garden.
What inspires you?
There are so many things that inspire me, but especially travel. It doesn’t have to be long-distance, I love a trip to Gränna, where looking at beautiful houses and flowers gets my brain going. Old houses, elegant buildings and beautiful gardens, as well as wonderful and creative people.
How would you describe your decorating style?
Classical and romantic, and taking inspiration from both Scandinavia and England. I love to mix old and new furniture.
The occasional bed I was able to buy from a client who wanted to get rid of it, and our dining room table, which we bought at an auction
What would you absolutely not have at home?
Backgrounds and too much black.
What is your favourite wallpaper?
I love the liljekonvalj pattern from Sandberg Wallpaper, which we have in our hall, as well as the blue/green floral pattern in the living room.
In the hall, Lina used her favourite wallpaper, Liljekonvalj.
3 favourite Instagram accounts
Is there anything you’d like to recommend?
Wallpaper every wall in a room. This gives a much cosier feeling than just wallpapering one wall.
Thanks, Lina for having us, and we wish you every happiness in your new home!