Who lives here: Evelina Kravaev Söderberg (pictured opposite), head of design for H&M Home; her husband, Stefan, designer and owner of fashion brand Hope; their son, Ted, 16; and daughter, Eli, 12; and pets Nix the cat and Wifi the hamster.
Style of home: A 1920s apartment with a mix of vintage and mid-century touches in the centre of Stockholm, Sweden.
Timeline: Evelina purchased the property 17 years ago and has made mostly cosmetic changes.
Seeing as she spends her days working with beautiful pieces for global label H&M Home, it’s not surprising that Evelina Kravaev Söderberg goes home to an equally beautiful apartment. Living in the heart of Stockholm, the designer is driven to create a nest that reflects her family: husband and fashion designer Stefan and their two kids, Ted and Eli. “I love creating pieces for the home during the day, and then coming back to my own space to unwind and enjoy living,” she says.
Evelina, how would you describe your style?
It’s very serene, mostly using shades of black, white or grey. My home is a place of calm, but it’s also not too perfect or organised. I love a home that feels lived in, so you can sense the character of the people in it and that they enjoy their life in the space. This comes with placing vintage pieces with new designs, contrasting textures in cushions and throws, and by having personal objects and art on display.
What was it like when you moved in?
As soon as we saw the apartment we fell in love – there was so much room, light and air. All that we needed to do was redecorate. Some of the walls were yellow and turquoise – it was not so nice, so we painted the whole place. But the wood floors are amazing and original, and the layout is pretty much the same. We’ve expanded the bathroom, and we’ve also made a bigger opening between the dining room and the living area. We were so lucky to find this apartment, and have never considered moving. It’s become part of who we are.
Tell us about the kitchen.
We bought the table from a vintage store, but put on the marble top ourselves. Our tableware is a blend of vintage and H&M Home. I like things that are not too perfect and I love vintage because these pieces have a history and imperfections, which I like. I never polish old silver cutlery because I love it when it gets a bit dark. It’s great to have preloved finds with pieces from H&M Home, like the linen napkins, the candleholder and the bread basket. I love to use H&M Home to refresh my style and to add character to the mix.
How does the kitchen reflect your own personal approach?
I love mixing different eras, especially when the new things relate to those that are old. We like to have the bottles and jars on display – the kitchen feels more alive when things aren’t hidden. It’s more practical anyway. I’m a fan of everything beautiful, so we try to combine quality with aesthetics when we choose our olive oil or salt. My husband does the cooking – I create the table settings. I’m a lousy cook, so that’s how we work together – the better he gets, the worse I get. I used to be able to do a few dishes, but now I’m down to zero.
How did you design the dining room?
We love to entertain at home, so it was really important to create a space that felt welcoming and is also full of interest. At the heart of the room is the table, which we’ve surrounded with pairs of old cafe chairs that we found in vintage stores in Stockholm. I like how the chairs have their own character, even before there are people sitting in them. The dining room is a great place for both art and books, because it makes the space feel lively with ideas and creativity. The photo of Christy Turlington [not shown] was a really good purchase. It’s a genuine print, which I found at a flea market in New York. When I bought it, the guy was like ‘Yeah it’s some kind of famous supermodel’. Afterwards I searched online and discovered it’s by Patrick Demarchelier. I got it for $20. It shows how it’s always worth going to vintage markets wherever you travel.
The lounge looks like such a great room.
The lounge is the centrepiece of our home, the place that I come to really relax. It’s at the heart of the apartment, with a big wide opening to the dining room, and gives a really airy feeling to the space. The light is amazing, and we’re the only apartment in the building to have a round window, which gives it an extra decorative element that we love. We chose the sofa because we wanted something unusual, and we really liked this design with different modular sections you can put together.
What does your art collection mean to you?
Much of my collection is very personal, with pictures by my aunt, or by my son. It’s amazing to be surrounded by works that both inspire you, and also give you immediate memories.
Which is your favourite room in the apartment?
Each of the rooms is my favourite in its own way. I love how the look and feel of the rooms has evolved over the years, so that each space is a mix of functionality, character and also pleasing design. I am always bringing back new pieces from H&M Home that add fresh interest and a new design twist. And the pieces that spark memories are some of my most important possessions. To me, the apartment feels alive, as if it has its own character and is part of the family itself.