In suburban Stockholm, Emelie Sundberg, a digital creator and interior design photographer, lives with her husband, Ola, their two children, Noah and Ellie, and their dog, Selma. Their home’s architecture, a typical 20th-century property built in 1925, has a classic 1920s style with a Swedish twist: graceful, elegant and simple without lavish decorations, unlike the interior, which blends whimsy and charm with vintage pizzazz.
“When we moved in six years ago, the building was newly renovated, which was amazing because I was eight months pregnant,” says Emelie. “But we have done a lot of remodelling anyway because we wanted to make the house ours. We installed panelling and pearl rafters, painted and wallpapered all rooms, and installed window and door linings and ceiling mouldings. Then we spent an incredible amount of time on the garden, which was completely neglected when we moved in.”
Originally from the medieval town of Visby on Gotland, an island in the Baltic Sea, and growing up in an apartment from the Middle Ages, Emelie takes inspiration from nature, gravitating towards earthy colours and materials like stone, wood and linen.
“The barren, stripped calcareous environment where I grew up inspires me a lot,” she says. “Other than that, I am inspired by Carl Larsson and the solid Swedish craftsmanship used in furnishing at the end of the 19th century, but I like to mix up the old with more modern Nordic design.”
The result is a tranquil cottage-cum-Nordic-cabin vibe with plenty of blooms picked from the garden, artfully arranged in crystal vases or fine white porcelain. There’s an air of Swedish vintage to Emelie’s home but with a quirky interpretation, owing to the light pastel botanical wallpaper and minimal pelmets along the curtain rails instead of curtains.
“We started with what we had, and gradually, we have added and replaced furniture,” says Emelie. “For me, patience and letting things take their time is the hardest thing I know, but it really is my absolute best advice for anyone moving: to slowly get to know your new home and how you want to use the square metres.”
A large oak larder unit displaying ceramics and teapots and half-panelled walls with hooks for wooden chopping boards give their home an eclectic, lived-in aesthetic. Wooden units throughout their home have been painted neutral, while the doorframes and wood panelling are painted light moss. In the bedroom, pleated lampshades mingle with marble-topped bedside cabinets and a velvet flower petal headboard. Every detail feels subtly luxurious and selected with intention.
“Everything I do in my job breathes interior design,” she says. “I decorate with my heart. I’m not afraid to make wrong decisions or mistakes. For me, interior design is about creativity. No one other than me has a clue as to how my home should look. There is no right or wrong as long as I enjoy it.”
Follow Emelie on Instagram: @emelie.sundberg