AMONG THE MANY fashion shops that Christian and Ruxandra Halleroed have actually developed is a series of nine stores for the Swedish clothing brand name Acne Studios, a few of which feel like industrial-size meat lockers, with soaring monolithic brushed stainless-steel walls and floors of mottled poured concrete, terrazzo or concrete-print carpet. The result is not unfeeling however bracing, in the vein of an old-fashioned Austrian health club: The severe gray background makes the clothes, which typically are available in happily murky colors, look more lively by comparison. This rigorously modern technique to design– typically identified by unbroken areas of single materials (a wall of burled elm in one store, diamond-embossed aluminum in another) combined with welcoming planes of color (a peony-pink wall-to-wall carpet, for instance, or a standing shelving system in copper sulfate blue)– has actually made Halleroed, the design studio that Christian, 46, established in Stockholm in 1998, and which Ruxandra, 39, joined in 2015, sought after by style brand names, especially young Scandinavian labels whose gameness for experimentation resonates with the firm’s own.
While the couple’s stores often have an extraterrestrial feel, they are equally informed by a love of basic materials and traditional Swedish craft: For the scent and leather items brand name Byredo’s store in New York, they set up glass brick walls and angular alder shelves; for the women’s line Totême, they skinned a Stockholm townhouse with pale lime-wood walls. Christian initially studied cabinetmaking and furnishings design at Carl Malmstensskolan (now part of Linkoping University), the school founded in the Swedish capital in 1930 by the influential designer Carl Malmsten, who helped specify what’s known today as Scandinavian design. After finishing in 1998, he started developing his own furnishings, generally for Swedish workplace design business, which eventually led to architectural and interior commissions.
Considering the carefully controlled and definitely urban look of those projects, “some individuals may be shocked by this home,” says Ruxandra of the cozy 1,100- square-foot nation home that the couple constructed for themselves and their 5-year-old daughter, Iolanda, on the Swedish island of Blido in2017 The couple selected this area because it’s close adequate to their ’60 s-era home in main Stockholm that they could increase in just under two hours– however far enough away to permit them to loosen up. “There are fancier locations closer to the city,” states Christian, “however we wanted to have our own plot, rather than neighbors.” Though it’s only 35 miles northeast of the capital, Blido is among the most remote lived in islands of the Stockholm island chain, the swirl of 30,000 or two specks that marble the surrounding Baltic Sea. Its area makes it a perfect settlement for fishermen, who have actually lived here considering that a minimum of the 16 th century. And while travelers arrive in the summer months, the island still feels like an intimate community. There’s a supermarket and a farm that sells sheepskin rugs; your houses are mostly conventional Swedish homes.
However the Halleroeds’ home, on the less populous southern coast, looks like an unvarnished cube raised somewhat above the mossy forest floor, surrounded by extra, lichen-speckled pines. Certainly, the structure is not, technically, of this place: Because the couple’s work schedule would not permit them to carefully supervise the construction, they had the house upraised to their requirements by a factory in Slovenia and shipped to the island in giant numbered pieces. With its honey-color cedar-plank exterior and a standing-seam aluminum hip roofing system, it still feels more organic than their firm’s work– and yet it has the same emphasis on craft and natural products, a lot of plainly wood. The relaxing interior, outfitted in raw knotted spruce, is joined by a shiny oxblood-red-painted spruce-board flooring (a nod to Falu red, the hematite-rich pigment that’s been utilized to paint Swedish houses considering that the 18 th century) that runs throughout the structure, which is divided down the middle by a 30- foot-long wall. Twenty-three feet high at its highest point, it was constructed almost completely from two huge four-inch-thick sheets of cross-laminated spruce planks that satisfy in the center above an entrance. On the eastern side are 2 compact bed rooms, a restroom and a roughly 215- square-foot sleeping loft with bed mattress for visitors; to the west is a double-height open-plan home in which different zones flow into one another across a gentle split level: A little step leads up from a reading area focused around a wood-burning cast-iron fireplace to a dining area, kitchen area and two seating nooks with integrated sheepskin- and linen-topped Swedish pine benches.
As Ruxandra rolls out dough for a blueberry pie in the kitchen– consisting of a bank of walnut cabinets and home appliances constructed into the main partition– she nods towards a six-foot-wide bean-shaped cutout in the wall above her to illustrate the more improvisational approach the couple took to creating a space on their own. Both Christian and Ruxandra, who trained as a designer at the KTH Royal Institute of Innovation in Stockholm, generally gravitate toward straight lines and proportion, “but we began with a square window for the sleeping loft and it was simply too uninteresting,” she says. Midway through the style procedure, she sketched a kidneylike shape on the strategy as a placeholder, and neither of them ever revised it. “Typically,” she says, “we are a bit more stringent.”
FOR ALL ITS otherness, nevertheless, the home ultimately yields to the surrounding forest. The couple picked the piece of land, simply over half an acre, because of its proximity to the Baltic, then positioned the house so it would watch out over a mossy outcropping of granite. Each side of the building is punctuated with differing styles and sizes of plate-glass windows– 9 in overall– so that even in the gloom of midwinter, the spruces beyond are framed like photos on the walls. Spanning the entire southern side of the primary space is a 10- foot-wide pane that supplies peeks of the sea; flanked by a 15- foot-wide sliding glass door to the west and a hinged glass door to the east (both of which lead outside), it creates the impression that this part of the cabin– where the household typically enjoys a midafternoon fika– is a pergola, open to the woods. In the restroom, where glossy maroon wall tiles and a burgundy red jasper marble floor mimic the painted wooden floorings throughout the remainder of the house, a glass door allows guests to stroll straight into the shower from the outside when they return from swimming in the sea in the summertime or foraging for mushrooms in the fall.
To even more blur the difference in between inside and outside, square chunks have been cut from three of the home’s four corners to produce little patios sheltered underneath the eaves of the roofing system. The southeast corner is set up with strong square-sided Swedish pine armchairs (to be curtained with regional reindeer pelts in winter season) and a small round pine table– all pieces the couple initially created for a lounge at the Nordic Museum in Stockholm in2018 On the southwest porch is a long pine table– built by the couple according to a design from the Italian Modernist artist Enzo Mari’s 1974 book “Autoprogettazione?”– where the household typically eats meals in the warmer months. What little furnishings the Halleroeds didn’t make themselves came from local antique dealers, another method your home commemorates Scandinavian midcentury design. The house’s irregular notched floor plan, in specific, was influenced by among the predecessors of Swedish Modernism, the Austrian-born architect and designer Josef Frank, who made much of his essential operate in Sweden starting in the 1930 s– and who envisaged a series of houses in 1947, some of which featured unbalanced volumes underneath rectangular roofs. “It’s important to understand your history,” states Ruxandra. “It may not be directly shown in your work, but it affects your mind-set.”
In spite of the couple’s experimental approach, however, the house is above all a tribute to the standard houses of Christian’s youth: His parents owned a small pine-walled cabin– the kind that Swedes have actually built for centuries– in Salen, about 6 hours northwest of Stockholm, where the family would holiday each winter. The angles of the Halleroeds’ house on Blido might be sharper, the scheme and home furnishings more austere, but its products and purpose are the very same; it is an ode to Sweden’s woodworking tradition and a refuge from where they can delight in the forested landscapes from which that tradition derives. “The walls may look raw now,” Ruxandra states, as she serves her completed pie, heavy with wild berries, “but in a few years, when the wood ages, it will have simply the same look.” Similar to the trees that surround them: older and grander every year, however always recognizably themselves.