Join us as we take a look at a stunning redesign of a large Stockholm mansion, owned by Jeanette Mix and her family since 2002. Despite helping to design Ett Hem, a local boutique hotel famed for its hygge interior, Mix had been unhappy with the look of her own home for many years. The home in question is a 100-year old redbrick mansion, furnished with both antique and contemporary furniture. Mix felt her home was too formal for daily living. Her husband and three children would generally congregate in the kitchen, resulting in much of the house (notably the intended living areas) becoming unused and neglected. To compound things, the upstairs bedrooms were arranged like apartments. Once dinner was over, the children would head straight up to their homes-within-a-home. Quality family time was being missed, and this concerned Mix deeply. So, she contacted Ilse Crawford, the famed Danish designer based in Britain, with whom she had worked on Ett Hem.
Not fully using a building, whatever its purpose, is anathema to the staff at Crawford’s firm, Studioilse. Lead designer Kirsten James quipped, “When spaces aren’t used, they die.” Another cardinal sin is to have family members locking themselves off in their private rooms to do their own thing. Mix’s family was definitely guilty of this, and so Crawford wanted to redesign the home to draw the family back together again. The large imposing mansion needed to become an inviting home, while preserving its special features – lacy plasterwork, noble mantels, gala chandeliers, to name but a few.
Crawford and her team got to work by interviewing Mix and examining how her family uses the space and how they could affect change. “What would she do in her study? Will the kids come in here? Would they want to sit and chat? Will they ever use the study?” This forensic ‘no stone unturned’ approach to design provided the team with all the information and tools they needed to create a new space that would completely tailored to the family’s needs.
Once the data was collected and analyzed, it become clear to Crawford’s team that the home’s ground floor needed restructuring to better facilitate family togetherness. The biggest change was moving the kitchen from a distant corner of the home to a more central position, previously occupied by a large drawing-room. It has huge double doors that create a sunny inviting space when opened, and this quickly led to the new kitchen becoming the cornerstone of the house. Even if one of the family wasn’t in the kitchen, its new position means no one is ever far away and everything feels more connected.
The old kitchen is now a dayroom, equipped with a blend of old and new furnishings, including a number of antiques that were owned by the original owners of the house. A cast-iron statue by Anthony Gormley rightly takes center-stage. The library has been a painted in a much darker color, making it cozier as well as distinctly separate from the light and airy living rooms. Upstairs, the bedrooms have been stripped and streamlined so the family is less likely to spend hours and hours up there. The marble baths in each bathroom are stunning; although Crawford made sure that none of the kids’ bedrooms is “so palatial that they would only hang out there.”
Following the redesign, the Mix family has been brought together like never before. The connections between the family members have been encouraged and amplified by their new home. It just goes to show the power of interior design and its importance in a functioning family home.
If you want to redesign your home in a way that encourages close family relationships and harmonious living, contact one of our interior designers at [email protected] for a free consultation. Or visit our beautiful showroom at 37 Tran Ngoc Dien, Thao Dien.
The original article can be read here.