The hush alerts you. As soon as your car and driver deposits you on Sköldungagatan in the tony quarter of Ostermalm in Stockholm, you're aware that you're enveloped in the kind of space and calm befitting a neighborhood comprised of ambassadorial residences and well-heeled homeowners such as the King Midas of pop music, the prolific producer Max Martin whose songs have sold more than 135 million records.
This is the kind of space and calm that only money can afford and yet ostentation is not evident here. Instead, you will find the sort of stately stone mansions with brick walls and heavy doors that serve as signposts for successful lives. In spite of its elite substantiality, the neighborhood is surprisingly accessible and guests at Ett Hem are but a leisurely stroll from the center of Stockholm.
Ett Hem (meaning "a home" in Swedish) was the erstwhile residence of a cultured bibliophile couple whose art connoisseurship has been perpetuated in the transformation of the 1910 Arts & Craft structure into its current incarnation as luxury lodging.
Ett Hem's owner, Jeanette Mix and her husband, worked closely with architect Anders Landstrom and designer Ilse Crawford, as well as landscape architect Ulf Nordfjell, to honor the Scandinavian aesthetics of Arts and Crafts painter/designer Carl Larsson. That's a mouthful of illustrious names, the end result of which has been the creation of a home away from home for those clients seeking something more personal than a luxury hotel.
The resultant twelve-room residence is marked by interiors filled with the best of Scandinavian design, as if accumulated over the years by family members and curators on retainer. A cocktail cabinet in the drawing room is outfitted with gold-plated cocktail accouterments. The wooden trestle table in the kitchen is made for a midnight "fika."
Rooms and suites within the residence exhibit the crisp lightness of Swedish summers and the cool tones of winter light. A sumptuous Swedish sauna and hot stone slab offer a particularly inviting refuge during a Stockholm freeze.
Throughout Ett Hem, there's something of a Bloomsbury atmosphere, albeit one filtered through the design eyes and technology needs of the 21st century. The commodious kitchen leads onto a splendid courtyard garden of the sort where Virginia Woolf's Clarissa Dalloway would be found cutting flowers for the evening dinner.
Fireplaces and tiled stoves, alongside the use of materials such as sheepskin, Gotland stone, and oak create an amalgam of German gemütlichkeit and Danish hygge that makes you want to occupy the premises for life. You could be very happy here in your new life with your new spouse. This could be your home, the one you've always known you were looking for, you'd know it when you found it - and here it is.