Nordic Style with a Twist

A mixture of comfy and worn-in antiques and flea market finds mixes with genuine Swedish designs within this Northwest home. Blogger, online store owner, and Sweden native Monika Claassen shares this house with her husband, 3 kids, 2 cats, and a hamster. Due to her legacy, her look has always leaned towards the clean lines and simple palettes that dominate the Swedish layout landscape. Claassen’s Washington house is a definite reflection of that style, but with her own unique take.

Splendid Willow

One of the great things about Claassen’s house is the abundant existence of that beautiful Northwestern lighting that many Oregon and Washington designers rave about.

The dining table and seat within this eating nook is from Cost Plus. Claassen, who runs the internet store Splendid Willow Avenue, could not pick between several tables for this area, so that she posed the question to readers of her website. They picked this affordable and beautiful setup.

Wall baskets: Ralph’s
Table/Bench: Cost Plus World Market
Lighting fixture: Crate & Barrel
Chairs: Tolix Marais A Chair

Splendid Willow

Claassen embraced the openness of her house’s design. The rooms flow beautifully, and there are lots of big spaces for entertaining. “I put a great deal of emphasis on making my house warm and inviting so individuals will want to stay until we have to kick them out,” she states.

At the dining area, Claassen mixed antique Swedish 18th century chairs (with the first paint) with fresh slipcovered chairs from IKEA, and breeding Gustavian chairs.

Table: 1700 Collection
Candle centerpiece: Crate & Barrel

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The warm and comfy burnt orange formal living area is Claassen’s favourite room in the home. “I love the colours in it, and it has the ideal reading nook next to the big bright window,” she states. “It’s usually just me and the cats in there!”

Curtains: Swedish imported
Ladder bookshelf: Urban Outfitters

Splendid Willow

“A number of my dearest things have a private connection or background,” she states. “For example, an older Swedish 18th-century secretaire actually reminds me of my home nation. I have called it ‘Longing Home’ and that I maintain little Hindi paintings in it.”

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Claassen goes on the hunt for products only about everywhere. Some of her favourite finds have come from eBay, Etsy, neighborhood stores, antique malls, and late-night net searches. She also brings several pieces from her annual visit to Sweden.

Mirror: Swedish Antique
Background: David Hicks Hexagon

Splendid Willow

This was initially a blank wall across from the desk at Claassen’s library and office. She wanted to put something inspiring there, so she created a vignette with an antique secretaire and a cubby shelf full of Swedish collectibles. A couple contemporary art pieces add contrast.

Cubby: Pottery Barn

Splendid Willow

In 4,200 square feet, Claassen’s home is a fantastic size, however there are not very many walls to place furniture against or display artwork. A window, door, or alcove fills the majority of the wall area, therefore it was challenging to decorate initially. She made great use out of this space she did possess, incorporating unique and quirky wallpaper and Victorian-inspired artwork into her home office, for example.

Background: Andrew Martin

Splendid Willow

In this dark gray and chocolate brown stairwell, Claassen made a small vignette with an antique chest of drawers and a vintage educational poster from Sweden. This poster was designed from the 1940s to show the parts of a violet.

Splendid Willow

Claassen recently redesigned her son William’s room, to transition it from a nursery to a “big-boy’s room” Like the rest of the home, she wanted it to feel distinctly Scandinavian, so that she stuck to a simple palette with a mixture of furniture from IKEA and salvaged antiques.

Bedding: IKEA
Headboard: IKEA
Milk crate: Vintage, with casters additional on

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One of the main focal points of the soothing child’s room is the daring red chalkboard. Claassen and her husband painted red chalkboard paint directly onto the wall, and stained a large custom made gray/blue frame to put around it. To light it up perfectly at all hours of the night and day, she put in a swing arm adjustable sconce above it.

Sconce: Boston Library Light, Circa Lighting
Red Cabinet: Antique

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This bedside vignette is the 1 part of the home that’s 100-percent Claassen’s — everybody in the home knows not to mess up mother’s special corner.

The nightstand is vintage. Claassen painted it a brilliant shade of cerulean and emphasized it with brass lion attracts. Vintage marching-band music cards have been pinned up next to the curvy mirror she discovered at a consignment shop.

Lamp: Tizio, Design Within Reach
Stool: Cost Plus World Market
Pulls on chest: Whitechapel Ltd
Paint on chest: Benjamin Moore’s Old Navy

Splendid Willow

While durability and comfort are the biggest priorities in her house, part of what pushes Claassen’s design philosophy is a love of contrast. Mixing antiques with contemporary pieces and high-end flea market finds help her produce rooms with personality. This living area (just one of three in her house) is an ideal example of that style, with a mixture of Swedish antiques and contemporary textiles.

More Tours:
Playful and Elegant at New York
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Personality and High Design in Toronto

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