Annika and Paul longed for an extra small house on their plot by the beach where guests could stay, and eventually they had the two old cottages demolished to give space for a modern beach lounge.
The Swedish couple are delighted to share their oasis located just a stone's throw from the waterfront. With the beach house in Swedish design, the site is complete for relaxing days and long evenings with friends.
“Now, our plot by the lake can be used in a completely different way. We wanted a functional house adapted to the life we live today. The two old summer cottages that stood here before felt way too tiny, with small windows and many bedrooms. We only needed one bedroom and a large social area,” says Annika.
Who lives here: Annika and Paul
Location: South of Stockholm
Size: 40 square metres
Architect: Architects Kjellander + Sjöberg
Construction time: Six months. A total of approximately 1.5 years including planning and site work.
Cost: 1.6 million kronor ($186,400). In total about three million including landscaping.
“We had been living on the land for over 20 years before we started this project, so we have had time to think about what we needed. In the large main house, we have built quite a lot ourselves and had various contractors that we would mediate between. We wanted to avoid having to do the job ourselves. We had a private land entrepreneur who built a new road, supported the process and prepared the ground. The rest of the project has been carried out by Sommarnöjen. It has all run very smoothly,” says Annika.
She and Paul sketched a solution that they handed over to the architect. Along with building manufacturer Sommarnöjen and architects Kjellander + Sjöberg, they worked out the perfect house for the location and purpose.
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“It is an additional house and we made sure we built what we actually needed and not what we desired. We did not want it to be too much.”
It is less than ten metres from the terrace of the terrace to the jetty by the beach.
“The whole idea was that we wanted to socialize and spend more time outside, and the house having as much of an outside feel as possible. The outer walls of the facade are movable and you can drag them to cover the full-length windows, which is practical since it becomes very hot when the sun is out. In addition, we do not need curtains.”
When guests are helping out with the food, they usually use the wooden deck as a large work bench. They stand on the grass and chop the vegetables before they go down to the outdoor kitchen located on the jetty.
Kayaks normally fill the shore in front of the small house. “We have one kayak each and our friends have their own that they normally bring when they come here. We have built a new road to the house so that they can drive down and unload their kayaks.”
After a refreshing tour on the lake a few of the guests sit happily on the wooden deck and dangle their legs over the edge. Others take a place on chairs or lay out cushions on the deck for a little chat while the evening sun is reflected on the lake. The armchair is called Sunderö and comes from Ikea.
“It's really wonderful when we heat up the wood-heated pool to 37C. We spent a lot of research time on the internet before we found this one with a 'pensioners' staircase', as we like to call it. We thought it would be just enough for six people but it was bigger than we thought, which has only been positive.”
The pergola of the pool proved to be the ultimate ceiling. “We discussed putting a glass roof over the pool but then it would have been extremely noisy and a kind of a indoor swimming pool feeling, and that we were not looking for – we wanted the peacefulness of the outdoors.”
The modern facade melts into the background. “The main house is traditionally painted in red and white. And since the new house would still be a completely different house in shape and style, it could just as well have a different colour. With its dark facade, it melts into the nature and is not visible from the lake. It is a house with lots of windows while still being quite discreet.”
The entire side facing the water is in glass, and can be opened up in the living room corner. There is also a sliding door between the bedroom and living room. The small window over the kitchen area overlooks the herb garden.
“While doing some changes of the landscape of the garden, we took the opportunity to create a herb garden on the hillside behind the house,” says Annika.
Next to the herbs, Annika and Paul built benches with expansive views, giving the feeling that you are sitting in the middle of the greenery. In the rest of the garden grow and bloom trees and flowers throughout the year – the pink cherry tree welcomes the spring and Japanese maple contributes with extra splendour of colour in the autumn. On the short distance between the house and the lake grows willow, hornbeam, and birch.
The coffee table Steel is part of the series Posh Collection and is available at Posh Living. The wicker armchair is called Monet and comes from Sika Design, but is also sold by Svenssons i Lammhult.
The stove and the wood-fired pool are important elements to be able to fully enjoy the different seasons. “Last winter we invited friends for ice skating on the lake. We also had an aperitif on the wooden deck and cooked food together.”
The bedroom is a nook with magnificent views through the sliding glass partitions. The bedroom and living room are divided using a white sliding door, which saves space. The whole house has whitewashed walls with horizontal wood panelling throughout. One little detail is that the house does not have skirting, making it easier to clean.
“Baseboards seem to be a very Swedish thing, which is actually only needed when you have failed with the welding of the floor and wall. Then we have wooden walls throughout that we can nail in wherever we want. If you choose a drywall you need baseboards to protect against things such as the hoover, so we do not really need that thanks to the wooden walls.”
“Right now we have no projects in the pipeline or even plans to add something. We are happy with everything,” concludes Annika, who look forward to days off at home with Paul and friends.