A 1,475,000 kr home where we can be as eccentric as we choose
I’ve always been interested in women’s artwork and always find myself reading art blogs. So my little ears perked up in the mid-2000s when I was in high school and several Swedish art bloggers started writing about Hilma af Klint.
Hilma F. Klint was a Swedish artist. She died at the age of 81 in 1944, and stipulated in her will that none of her works would be exhibited for 20 years. She left 1,200 paintings, 100 texts, and more than 26,000 pages of notes. This is the totality of the person. Her art was first publicly displayed after her death in Los Angeles in 1986, but I wasn’t alive at the time, so I didn’t know it happened. The moment it resurfaced in the blogosphere in the early 2000s, I was obsessed.
Af Klint was eccentric in many ways. I held seances with friends. I thought she was communicating with the other side. She painted these huge, towering paintings that are strange, vibrant, and mysterious. Many art historians now consider her one of the first abstract modernists in Europe. When I saw af Klint’s works in person for the first time (like most Americans) at the Guggenheim Museum in 2018, I was so amazed and excited that I returned the next day. I had planned to try to travel to Sweden to see her retrospective in 2020, but well… that didn’t happen. Fortunately, this summer I was able to see her work at the Tate Modern in London with Piet Mondrian. It felt like a gift, to see such vitality up close again: to know that this was the work of a woman who had made herself in history long after her death just by doing strange and special things on her own.
I could write another 50,000 words about Hilma af Klint, but now is not the time. This is a home blog! The reason I mentioned Clint at all is because I think she stands in stark opposition to the current American perspective on Sweden as a country. Her style bears no resemblance to the Scandinavian minimalism that flourished in cheap showrooms around the world. It’s not IKEA. It’s not even the cozy Danish/Norwegian concept of hygge. Af Klint’s work is complex and beautiful. strange. They are patterns without end, without continuity, and with so much meaning that they can feel painful. It’s a sense of complexity that I imagine must be stark and powerful against the barren, snow-covered Swedish landscape.
Anyway, all this means is that today the house is in Sweden, and it has some of the same charm that I think Af Klint had.
Today’s house was submitted by reader Sue, who said she looks at Swedish homes because they are on Zillow’s Swedish network called Hemnet. Exciting! It was listed at 1,475,000 kroner, which I unfortunately learned was the equivalent of $139,000. Another proof that America is a garbage country! There’s probably not a single foreclosed home in America available for $136,000 at this point (at an 8 percent interest rate) let alone one as nice as this place. This house seems to be located a little bit in the middle of nowhere: approximately a four-hour drive from both Stockholm and Malmö. I only know about Malmo through being Chairman Karl Ove Knausgaard, so unfortunately I know nothing else about this part of Sweden.
Sue, who told me she has been looking for Swedish apartments in Östermalm since 2016, told me a little about the location of this house. “The nearest major city, Jönköping, is about an hour’s drive away. Aneby is located near a group of lakes, so it would probably be a nice place to have a sommarstuga (summer house), but this particular house seems to be in a similar place.” “Boring suburban area, based on the drone photo,” Sue said. Thank you, Sue!
Let’s take a look at this beautiful home that Sue found for us:
amazing! It is a nice. I see the suburbs that Sue mentioned, but I love how cute this little house is. I love the wood on the sides and covers the extension. I’m curious about the grass on top of this roof. How is it spent in winter? How much does it weigh? Can you go out there and lie down? I would, I think.
Here is a beautiful picture of the back garden:
Look at all these flowers! The novel was written by another Swedish creator, Tove Jansson, whose books I devoured in 2020 fair play“It is simply this: never tire, never lose interest, never become indifferent – lose your priceless curiosity and you will let yourself die. It is that simple.” These flowers remind me of her. What a beautiful little house. Let’s go inside:
Right off the bat, we have an interesting mix going on. This house appears to have been built (or rebuilt) in the 1970s. We immediately see some obvious mid-century modern elements. A paneled window stuck to the door is a telltale sign, and so are these doors with decorative glass. If we look at another corner of this room, it becomes clearer:
The warped, stained teak wood on the stairs here is from the middle of the last century and is haunting. One thing that immediately interested me about this house is that people are generally somewhat closed off about the paintings inside the house they live in. If the house is ornate, they want to decorate it ornately. If it’s sparse, they want to decorate it sparsely. Rarely do you see someone bringing their style to a canvas that is not specifically designed for that style. But here it happens! Look at this background. Look at the ornate furniture. This is amazing.
Here is a screenshot of the entrance:
I’m obsessed with this. The subtle, almost neutral wallpaper of the corridor is combined with the monochrome of this bathroom where the toilet is the same color as the olive wallpaper, all shaded by a bright red rug that calls on the colors from the hall’s print. Really, someone cooked here!
This is the room I would say is the least cooked:
I understand in theory the contrasting color premise that the decorators in this house were trying to perfect with the purple wallpaper and velvet curtain, and not all purple contrasts with yellow. Here you have more red-purple and yellow-orange, not quite a contrast but a clash. However, I love those giant windows, and even the ornate chandeliers.
And this is the other side of this room:
Welcome to the Dalmatian statue. “Dalmatian porcelain can still be a piece of art,” said Sue, and I agree.
The windows here are beautiful, and I’m obsessed with the piano bar aspect of having a piano in the same large room. Mostly, this room doesn’t suit me. I would prefer to see a rug in general, and I think that could do a lot to keep this room from feeling weirdly empty even though there is a lot of stuff in it.
And here is the kitchen:
Sue hated this. “The red tiles in the kitchen are hideous,” she said. I’m not sure I think it’s hideous, but I think of this color as Almodóvar red, since anytime I see it in the kitchen, it reminds me of every apartment in Madrid in every Almodóvar movie. But the reason these kitchens are so successful is because they are a bright, effortless red color. Since these tiles are segmented, rather than floor to ceiling, and because everything else in the kitchen is trying to downplay it, I agree with Sue that it doesn’t work here. However, I really like these funky cabinet knobs. I would like to have them.
Here is a small craft/laundry room:
This is so stylish and has so much storage space I could cry. It’s nice. The wallpaper here is a bit too garish for my taste, but it’s very happy.
But this background is to die for:
I love him! I love the bright orange flowers with the green ground. This is what extremism is supposed to be! More styles! More style pairing! More weird stuff!
Here’s the top floor:
I like the wallpaper here very much. And I love wood. I love that there is so much natural light in this house. But…what happens to this basin?
Oh. It’s the amber basin! This is interesting! The bidet, which is not pictured here, is also the same color. this is very strange. I’m not a huge fan of this color, and I wish the toilet color matched it. But I like the color choice.
I put the menu notes through Google Translate, and learned that they say, “Imagine keeping some and adding some in white and they’ll be like new.” I will not do. of course not! This home is a gem! It should be bought by someone who understands its value and loves it for what it is. She should be honored, like Hilma af Klint, for being exactly what she wanted to be despite her age and status!
This week a house was listed on Hemnet for 1,475,000 kroner. If you buy this house, please invite me. I want to touch on wallpaper.