Swedish Sitting Room

Replicate the look of this Swedish sitting room with your own statement ceiling and nuanced neutral palette.
It certainly doesn’t hurt that this elegantly airy living room in Malmo, Sweden comes stocked with a slew of architectural assets: the steel casement windows that give way to a rooftop’s-worth of natural light, the sky-high ceilings, and the ornate Dentil Crown moldings, to name but a few. But as the saying goes, it’s not what you have, but what you do with it that really counts, and even if you don’t have, say, a fresco on your ceiling, you can still replicate the atmosphere of this aspirational salon by applying its three driving ideas.

WARM UP YOUR NEUTRALS: Like the Eskimos with snow, the design world has numerous scenarios that translate to neutral. This example balances pure white walls with the creamy upholstery of an amoebic chaise, and dials up the richness with a wood and leather folding chair, and gold accents including side tables, an ornate Baroque mirror, and flaxen-tinted moldings.

INVERT YOUR GAZE: These days we see a lot of action on the floor: from the all-powerful overlaying of exotically patterned rugs, to the myriad methods of stripped, painted or stained hardwood floors. But this room capitalizes on the oft-overlooked real estate on the ceiling, framing painted panels with contrasting moldings, and interrupting a classically formal European moment with a modern, bare-bulbed multi-prong chandelier.

REPEAT YOURSELF: While there’s nothing matchy-matchy about this space, its statement decor moments recur in ways that subtly tie things together. A trio of metal and glass side tables create multi-level interest in the foreground, an oversized mirror in the adjacent dining room acts as an accent pair to the mantle’s ornate pay-off, and a dandelion chandelier glimpsed through the open French doors functions as a counterpoint to its sharply silhouette contemporary.

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