“I have always helped friends plan bathroom renovations and new kitchens and redecorated at home all the time, ever since I was young,” Anna says. “It was only when I dared to really think about the idea of changing profession and working with this on a daily basis that it became real. It was very difficult. I did not know if I could handle such a big leap or change workwise, although I knew that I wanted to.” And so her journey began.
Who lives here: Anna and Patric Stenberg and their daughters, Emma, 6, and Julia, 5
Location: Svanvik, north of Karlsborg near Lake Vättern, Sweden
Size: 1,937 square feet (180 square meters)
The way Anna and Patric Stenberg found their dream home is somewhat unusual. “I was a captain in the cavalry and was away for training in the southern parts of Sweden for a few weeks,” Anna says. “One day, as I lay there in a ditch, in the middle of our fictitious battle, I got a crazy impulse and just had to flick through properties for sale on my phone. And there it was, the dream house for sale.”
The property is a farmhouse with attached stables, with neighbors on one side and meadows on the other. “The house had been built in 1939 and renovated twice, in the ’70s and the ’90s,” Anna says. Once the couple closed on the property, a huge renovation project began.
“The first two years we sorted out the water and sanitation and dealt with the geothermal heating, as well as the kitchen and bathroom,” Anna says.
The updated kitchen is from Ikea, with modifications by Anna and Patric. “We bought all the wood from a small local sawmill and replaced moldings, sockets, sides and handles,” she says. The counter looks like marble but is actually granite. “We managed to get our dream kitchen without a huge budget. I’m very pleased — the kitchen still feels modern, even though we built it nearly 10 years ago.”
“When we moved in, basically everything in the house was left behind by the previous owners,” Anna says. “We cleaned for weeks, and made several trips to the dump, but also found a lot of bargains. There are many beautiful old furniture pieces, which I have still not found the perfect place for.”
In the dining room is a picture wall with a mirror and frames that Anna found in some of the house’s nooks and crannies. The floor lamp is a secondhand bargain, the crystal chandelier is vintage, and the light bulb is from PR Home. The framed picture of the bird is by Emma von Brömssen.
The ornate timber headboard is Patric’s from a previous home, and the paisley bedding is from Ellos.
“The guiding principles have been natural materials, rustic, sustainable…. But I do not feel locked to a particular style. I mix styles as I go along,” she says. “I’m just too interested in interior design and gardening to limit myself.”
The light fixture in the kitchen is an old lamp from Fagerhult. The table was bought at a secondhand market, and the kitchen floor is tiled in stone.
The trunk beside the desk belonged to Patric’s mother’s uncle. “Uncle Henning was a real adventurer,” he says. “He traveled around Russia and panned for gold in the U.S. So that trunk is said to have seen quite a bit.”
Chairs: Tre Sekel
“The projects have come one after another,” she says of their various renovations. “Last year we began to rebuild the barn into a garage, and it will be finished in the next couple of days. So now it feels like things are finally coming to an end. Next summer will be the first holiday without any work to do on the house, and I almost feel a bit jittery about it. But I’m sure we’ll find something new to do.”
Display cabinet: Vita Ranunkler; light bulb: PR Home
“I rode in my childhood; now we have an old horse stable on the property,” Anna says. “My grandfather had a horse stable, and in his stables stood this table, which he had received from his grandmother.” And so the piece’s story continues.
Hanna armchair: Emma Olbers
“When I work with gardens, I always document and draw detailed plans. I’m probably quite influenced by my previous job and like to have everything in order and planned,” she says. “In the interior, however, I keep the target image in my head and then, to style it, I just go with the flow and with my feelings.”
Marmoleum Click flooring: Forbo
“It means so much to be in an environment that makes us feel good and where we have a chance to express ourselves. And I have been able to do so, through the change in my profession, but also thanks to that house-buying impulse in the ditch in southern Sweden nine years ago. Now I will finally settle down and try to enjoy it — before my fingers start itching and a new project begins.”
House Doctor brass pots: Modesto.se