Sebastian Bergström’s Stockholm apartment may be tiny at 430-square-feet, but it has a huge personality. “Green, yellow and red are my favorite colors,” he told me. “They make me happy — that’s why I want them on everything in my life.” He lives across the hall from his sister and nephew, who drift between their apartments. “I have breakfast on her balcony, and she comes to me for lunch,” he says. “We love it!” Here, Sebastian gives us a tour…
Sofa and daybed: IKEA, then covered with new fabric.
On an illusion of space: A small thing that makes a big difference is putting up shelves instead of bringing in furniture. For example, I can’t fit a table behind my sofa, but I can have a shelf with lamps, books and other things. It makes the room feel bigger and cozier at the same time.
On a four-legged roommate: Herman is the best dog I ever could have dreamed of. He’s a big sleeper and is always the last one to leave bed in the morning. But he also likes walking and exploring the city with me. Almost everything with him is a pure joy. I’m touched that he always chooses to be close to me. When he’s tired in the evening, I carry him down the flights of stairs to the garden to pee, and he lays his head on my shoulder. It’s a cute little moment we have every evening, and I cherish it.
On keeping walls from feeling cluttered: I create one big gallery wall in each room, but then leave the other walls more bare, so the space doesn’t feel cluttered.
On painting objects: I think many people seem afraid to paint things, like mirrors or chairs or dressers. But I don’t care if it’s perfect or not, I just do it for myself. Repainting a piece of furniture can make the whole room feel completely different.
On mixing shapes: I have circular pillows and oval mirrors, and my latest obsession is scallops. I love scallops on almost everything. Mixing different shapes makes a room more interesting.
On solo living: I play loud music and sing along — that’s maybe the best part of living alone! Plus, of course decorating my apartment exactly how I want.
On life in Stockholm: It was my childhood dream to move to Stockholm and I’ve now lived here for eight years. The nature all over Sweden is magical — like the north with the different air and forests and slow life. I feel safe here and people are very kind I think.
On a morning ritual: Oh, I love my breakfast! I have two slices of Wasa Sport crispbread with butter, cheese and veggies; then I have my bowl of yogurt, honey, granola, walnuts and blueberries; then coffee and some juice. Every morning, the same.
On favorite companies: I’m a fan of the Swedish brand Svenskt Tenn; they use lots of colors in their displays, which is not common in Sweden. I also like Matilda Goad and The Cook’s Atelier. And I’m opening my own interiors shop Bientôt next year!
On shopping for art: I enjoy browsing in local vintage shops — you never know what you will find. I keep an eye out for fruit, flowers and landscapes. None of my art is expensive; they’re just pieces I found and fell in love with.
On a tidy bed: I love to sleep in my little bedroom nook. I make my bed quickly, but my tip is to focus on making sure the pillows are put together. I want my bed to be welcoming, not something that I can’t touch or even sit on during the day without ruining everything.
On gratitude: This is my dream apartment. My home is my safe zone, and that’s a really good feeling.
Thank you so much, Sebastian!
(Photos by Sebastian Bergström for Cup of Jo.)