Tour a Cool and Cozy London Home With Scandinavian Details

Fika Estella

Camilla and Stefan Ericsson had been looking for a new family home around London for what felt like ages. With three children and two dogs under one roof, they needed more space to live and entertain. So when they happened upon a residence from the late ’90s that had incredible square footage (more than 11,000) but little character (generic finishes were used throughout), they struggled to take the plunge.

“The space was nothing special, though it had super nice light and really good bones,” designer Susie Atkinson says. “With a lot of the designers we spoke with we thought we’d end up with a Hilton hotel, and that wouldn’t really be the Ericssons at all. Then we met Susie, and we knew instantly it was going to work,” Camilla says.

Atkinson is known for creating spaces that are inviting, timeless, and indulgent of sensory overloads. “When I went to see the house, I had spoken to Camilla a little bit, and there was a lot of indecision about whether or not to take this house because it wasn’t exactly what they were looking for,” Atkinson reveals. “There was a lot of glass and very few finishes. A lot of repetition of dark floors, stainless steel finishes, and that slightly commercial development feel.” But, as all parties note, their collective personalities meshed well. So the sale was made, and the work began.

Nestled on a side street in Hampstead Heath, the home had the benefit of being situated in a lush part of the city. “It’s such a massive green space in the middle of London,” Camilla says. “Everything is so leafy—it’s like living in the countryside.” Her husband adds, “When you sit in the garden, you hear birdsong. It has an oasis feel, both inside and out.” They loved the idea of walking their dogs on the quiet street while still being so close to the center of London.

“To be a family home, with the very modern architecture, we spent a lot of time working out how to soften it and make the acoustics work adding lots of layers of fabrics, upholstered walls, bleaching back the floors exposing the grain, and adding layers of runners and carpets,” Atkinson says. “We wanted to create different moods. With an award-winning garden, the key was to bring the outside in. The garden hugs and wraps around the home, so this was absolutely key.”

Since the Ericssons are Swedish, they also wanted to bring their Scandinavian heritage to the home while imbuing it with cool London essence. Luckily, Atkinson has always loved Swedish style, so it was easy to incorporate those desires into the space. “We went for a neutral backdrop with pops of color in the art and the fabulous Josef Frank sofa,” the designer says. On a trip to Stockholm years earlier, Atkinson went to the Svenskt Tenn showroom, where she became enamored with the massive daybed-like sofa. She knew she wanted to incorporate the piece into a home one day, but, until this project, she had never had the space for it. “When I saw one of the rooms in this home, I thought, Yes! And they’re Swedish, so even better.” Camilla adds, “I think all Swedes that come into the house—and there are a few—say, ‘Oh! Svenskt Tenn!’ It’s a sense of national pride somehow.”

Atkinson focused on making the kitchen the heart of the home. She worked to make what she calls “the most fantastic room in the house”—everyone agrees—as cozy as possible. “You can’t really call it a kitchen,” she adds. “It’s like a family room. It’s where you want to always be.” From a fabulous dining table to beloved breakfast stools, the multipurpose room is one that everyone loves. But the adoration continues throughout the London home. From a floral wallpapered study to a pink sitting room, and every corner in-between, the transformations turn the formerly unfriendly house into one that is very inviting.

“Working with Susie is such a two-way conversation,” Stefan says. “We jumped some hoops we didn’t think we’d jump—especially with the colors—but it’s really exciting to see how it works. We landed on really great solutions. The space shows off quality, lots of thought, bespokeness, harmony, and a lot of creativity.”

https://www.architecturaldigest.com/gallery/tour-a-cool-and-cozy-london-home-with-scandinavian-details

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