In downtown Gothenburg, the Ringqvist family live in this classic-style apartment which is filled with personal touches and happy memories
Published: 19th June 2017
'You can gaze out of the windows here and pretend you’re somewhere like the Marais in Paris’, says Martin as he describes the picturesque area of Vasastaden in Sweden’s Gothenburg where he and his wife My live with their two children. They’ve also been lucky to have had the opportunity to travel and also reside in California’s Santa Monica in a house only five blocks from the beach. ‘It was a fantastic experience however, after a year we still didn’t feel completely at home, so we decided to move back to Sweden.’
Finding their new home didn’t happen instantly and My and Martin went to countless open houses before they found what they were looking for. ‘When we stepped into this space, everything just felt right. Or maybe not everything; the hallway had a lowered ceiling and glittery floor and the kitchen was in an even worse state. However, all the original details from when the house was built in the late 19th century were still there – or at least able to recreate. So, we didn’t even hesitate,’ explains Martin.
Knowing that the kitchen was a big priority for them and somewhere where they spend a lot of time, the couple wanted to get it just right. ‘We went for the Vipp kitchen, which is quite unique and new in Sweden still. We saw a picture of it in a magazine, and it was love at first sight. We immediately booked a meeting at the Vipp Concept Store in Copenhagen. It was Christmas Eve and we were nervous walking over there. What if it wasn’t as perfect in real life? Luckily it was.’ Undeniably, the fit of this kitchen for this family was ideal because its modular design is flexible and made to last. The couple are conscious of overconsumption and when they moved in together 18 years ago they made a decision to not buy a single item ‘unless we thought we’d keep it for the rest of our lives. It has resulted in us having things we treasure today such as the Lillian Bassman photo. We bought it on one of our trips to L.A. The story of her career being almost as fascinating as her work. She left the fashion industry in 1969 and then threw away 40 years of negatives and prints – her life’s work. A forgotten bag filled with hundreds of images was discovered 20 years and led to her comeback. We just love it.’
It’s the combination of old and new, from the restored original details of the apartment to the iconic and contemporary selection of furniture, artwork and accessories, that give this whole space its unmistakable character. ‘We love to mix stuff ’, tells Martin, ‘the exclusive black marble, which we bought for nearly nothing in a quarry outside Valencia, with worn-down furniture, and a 200-year-old tiled stove paired with a super-slick Vipp kitchen. However, an apartment like this also needs to be dressed down a bit, otherwise it quickly gets tacky. So, we went for quite monochrome colour scheme to keep it feeling calm.’
Prices start from £45,000 for this Vipp kitchen.
Pictures by Birgitta Drejer
Article by: Emma Foale