There’s a common assumption that minimalist design isn’t compatible with busy family life, but the stunning Swedish home of Johanna Haglund is proof that it can be. Johanna is the founder of Design Of, which makes understated, versatile and long-lasting furniture from solid steel, and she and her husband designed and built the house themselves. It’s just as sleek and stylish as the company’s pieces – and, like them, it was created with the practicalities of everyday living squarely in mind.
Located in the coastal village of Saxemara, the house consists of a single storey that wraps in an L-shape around a central terrace and pool area. The exterior is clad in wooden panelling that will turn silvery-grey as it ages, while the interior is light and airy thanks to high pitched ceilings, polished concrete floors and lots of clean lines. Glass windows and sliding doors run the length of two sides, ensuring a constant connection between indoors and out, and a soft colour palette of grey, white, black and beige enhances the sense of space. There are also lots of clever storage solutions – essential for keeping clutter at bay, especially as the couple has two young sons.
Inspired by the house’s beautiful mix of form and function, I chatted to Johanna to find out more about it…
Hi Johanna! Please could you start by telling us a bit about yourself and what you do?
“I’m an entrepreneur and the designer behind Design Of, which I founded in 2014. I’m also mother to two boys.”
Where’s home, and how long have you lived there?
“I live near the coast in southern Sweden. My first house was close to new when my family and I moved there but it never really felt like home, so two years ago we decided to design and build our own house from scratch. It really has become our home.”
The kitchen-diner blends minimalist units with striking black accents. Woven ‘PK1’ chairs, conceived by renowned Danish designer Poul Kjærholm in 1955 and available via Carl Hansen & Son, add texture to the space. Design Of’s ‘Port Mini’ wine rack provides useful additional storage in the corner; beyond; a long hallway leads down through the other wing of the house.
How would you describe your interiors style?
“Simple and understated, with a huge appreciation for details.”
Where do you find inspiration for your home?
“Mostly from within myself – what I like and what I want. But functionality also plays a big role – new projects generally start with a need and evolve from there.”
A large rug zones the open-plan sitting area opposite the kitchen-diner. Contemporary sofas and Design Of furniture sit alongside a swivel-based ‘Jetson’ easy chair – an icon of Swedish design created by Bruno Mathsson for Dux in 1969. A wall-mounted unit from Montana adds versatile storage and display space along the back wall, and the striking light is Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec’s ‘AIM’ pendant for Flos.
What’s your favourite part of your home and why?
“The backyard with its large deck, pool and a glimpse of the sea. To be there on a summer evening and see my two kids having fun is magical.”
And your favourite piece of furniture?
“I founded Design Of because I couldn’t find the kind of furniture I wanted to use in my own home, so I have to say that I really do love my own designs! But there are so many great pieces out there – for example I like my versatile Montana system a lot. I’m always drawn to pieces created by unique people who put their heart and soul into their brand and product.”
Grey walls and carpet create a cosy feel in the bedrooms, which are otherwise kept simple. The master bedroom has a feature wall which acts as both a headboard and a divider between it and the ensuite; Design Of shelves are used as minimalist nightstands. In the bathrooms, mottled natural-stone tiles are offset beautifully by clean-lined white units and glass shower surrounds.
Do you have any future plans for your home?
“At the moment I’m looking into building a pool house that we can use for relaxing and training all year round.”
The terrace is set up for easy outdoor living, with lounge and dining areas furnished partially with pieces from Design Of’s outdoor collection. Wooden decking stops the area around the pool from getting too slippery and was installed with the children in mind. A pool house is the next project on Johanna’s list.
Finally, what are your top interior-design tips?
“Keep things simple, and choose good-quality pieces that will stand the test of time. And, most importantly, think about the details – the fittings, the fixtures, the lighting. They make a big difference to the overall look and feel.”
All photography via Johanna Haglund and Design Of
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