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Home Away from Home

Home Away from Home
"Ett Hem" in Swedish translates directly into "a home". It couldn't be a more fitting name for this Stockholm hotel, which thanks to its Scandinavian aesthetics and cosy vibe, has become a benchmark for laid-back Swedish hospitality.
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b8f98fc34c8f0bf278232c67f5c67c0fAt the height of the Arts and Crafts movement, one Swedish government official built his family a sprawling townhouse in Stockholm’s upscale Östermalm neighborhood. In brick and wood, the century-old manse is a very Swedish interpretation of domestic architecture popular at the time.

Though its original residents have long since departed, the house still welcomes visitors as Ett Hem, a 12-bedroom boutique hotel on a leafy Stockholm street. It’s a name that suitably translates to “a home.”

“We wanted to keep the ongoing story of the home the house once contained, honoring its true identity instead of making something up,” says Jeanette Mix, the hotel’s owner.

To that end, Ett Hem is like a time machine teetering between 1910 and present day, snatching elements from each thanks to interior designer Ilse Crawford’s sweet spot between contemporary Scandinavian design and local antiques. Natural materials like wood and marble coexist with mid-century lighting and 21st-century art, while a cast-iron stove sits atop heated floors (a modern luxury on frosty Swedish mornings). The atmosphere is elegantly eclectic—a pointed reference to the home’s first inhabitants. They took inspiration from Karin Larsson when furnishing the house, adopting the artist’s penchant for colorful hand-me-downs and DIY pieces long before either was fashionable. Crawford appears to have run Larsson’s decorating style through a sepia machine, settling on a soothing, neutral interpretation of the rainbow hues she favored. Visitors are invited to treat the hotel as their own home: meander the leafy courtyard, pull volumes from wall-to-wall bookshelves, cozy up by the fireplace or snack in the communal kitchen (Jeanette’s favorite spot in the house). “The smells are divine and chatting with the chefs is always inspirational,” she explains, adding that she looks forward to the locally grown white asparagus, morels and spring chicken the new season brings. “We always include all guests in our daily life.”

One comes to expect this sort of welcome in Sweden. “You don’t see the hierarchy you see in other countries,” Mix says. “It creates a wonderful feeling among the staff—one that carries over to our guests. The atmosphere is informal, honest and genuine, all hallmarks of Swedish hospitality.”

Ett Hem Sköldungagatan 2 Stockholm, Sweden +46 8 20 05 90

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