A family renovates a rustic, 17th-century cottage on the Swedish coast, transforming it into a sleek and stylish new take on country life
's structures seem to melt into their surroundings. A perfect example is the renowned Swedish architect's own vacation home on the North Sea coast, near Gothenburg.
A second story and a pair of annexes were added to the original house, which dates from the late 1600s.
When they purchased the 17th-century cottage in the early 1990s, Wingardh and his wife, Karin, loved its coastal location in the countryside, and its classic, though cramped, layout. With time they added to the house, being careful to retain its charm while adapting it to 21st-century needs.
The dining room of Gert and Karin Wingardh's country house on the Swedish coast features a picture window with an invisible frame. The custom-made table is surrounded by Superleggera chairs by Gio Ponti; Karin designed the pendant lights, and the floor lamp is by . The floors are stone, and the walls and ceiling are made of wood planks painted green.
Two annexes were built, one on each side of the main house. One houses the children's rooms, while the other was designed as a work studio. Then came a long porch facing the sea, a veritable open-air living room.
The veranda overlooks the North Sea.
Finally, in 2007, they added a second story to the main building, which enabled the creation of a new master bedroom on the upper floor and a dining room on the ground floor. The entire structure, like traditional Swedish country houses, was constructed of pine planks and then painted in "falufärg," an untranslatable Swedish word describing a shade of coral red.
The custom countertops and shelving in the kitchen are birch, the oven and cooktop are by , and the antique stove in the foreground is original to the house.
On the rear façade, a pair of immense picture windows, each measuring more than 15 feet wide, guarantees fantastic views. Apart from the old wood-burning stove in the kitchen and the library, which remained intact, not much is left of the original structure. The aim was to open up the spaces and let in as much light as possible.
The library's shelves were designed by Wingardh, the side table is by , and the chair is by Poul Kjaerholm.
Much of the furniture was designed by Wingardh, then custom made. But the place also has its share of design classics, including lamps by Arne Jacobsen and chairs by Gio Ponti and Paolo Deganello.
The work studio in one of the annex buildings includes a chair by .
In the end, the house gives the impression of being natural and comfortable.
The master bedroom is separated from the bath by a wood-and-stone partition; the pendant lamps are by Jonas Bohlin, and the bedside table lamp is by Arne Jacobsen.
Pairing traditional construction with contemporary design and inviting materials, Wingardh has crafted an elegant personal retreat that exudes the typical Scandinavian mix of restraint and invention.
The tub and sinks in the master bath are by .
Chairs designed by Paolo Deganello and a floor lamp in the master bedroom; slatted planks let in sunlight.