It is difficult for me to be coldly analytical when discussing the Collector, since this is a lifestyle close to my heart and that of my family. Just over two years ago, we fell in love instantly and completely with a run-down and lonely mission hall desperately in need of some TLC. Although it was far from the city and our everyday lives, we couldn’t resist the all the exciting possibilities the building offered, and its exciting history.
We decided to let our home in the city and move, with toddlers in tow, into a house where no-one had lived since the 1950s, with a standard to match. A lot of people thought we were mad, but for us it was like embarking on a time-travel adventure.
A great deal needed doing to turn the house into a home, and like many other homeowners, we wrestled with the problem of how to combine modern functionality with old-world charm. And so started the hunt, so typical of the collector, for unique and rejected fixtures and fittings, that give the interior that wonderful, historical flare. The kitchen ended up as a mixture of second-hand fittings discovered on online trading sites, new kitchen units, and old rejected marble window seats given a new lease of life as shelves. In the bathroom, and old sewing machine table was repurposed as a washstand.
We are nowhere near finished, and probably never will be. But we have come to accept that this is a project in a constant state of flux. The colour scheme is a fusion of ‘50s and ‘70s styles, based on dusky yellow, green and grey shades, like a pleasant Instagram filter which gives the room a soft, hazy look. It is precisely that dreamy feel inspired by blogs like Tant Johanna and Mokkasin. In our dining room, we are currently contemplating the SOLBACKEN wallpaper and are considering whether this should be our next step.
Collectors like to surround themselves with objects and memories. A wall where posters and art mix with cherished mementos and details is a must. The collector is always in need of storage space and often comes up with clever storage solutions, such as old trunks or other second-hand objects which give the home an air of history.
The collector is a born tinkerer and fixer, with lots of projects in the pipeline. Wallpaper remnants may become beautiful pennants, a kitchen towel may be turned into a cushion, and paint can customise old furniture for the collector’s own home.
The saying ”a penny saved is a penny earned” is very much the collector’s motto. At the same time, the collector is often really clever at using small projects to great aesthetic effect as a design feature. It may be wallpapers and sheets of paper placed in a beautiful basket, lovely little boxes holding fabric ribbons or attractive glass jars filled with buttons.
The Collector is not afraid of using patterns, and papered walls are almost obligatory. Here, I am experimenting with different wallpapers in the mission hall’s kitchen. EDVIN captures that traditional rural look, while the darker colours of PATRICIA, in combination with the white tiles, make it feel daring and modern with a hint of history.
The Collector’s home is often both untidy and inspiring. It is usually seen as personal, active and life-embracing. A dinner with friends is more important than a spotless draining board.
I think this wonderful photo styled by Emma Fisher and Charlotte Ryding, and taken by Jonas Berg, is the perfect illustration of this. The dreamy colours of ROSENHOLM combine so well with the panelling and the delightful mix of accessories from many different periods.
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/Johanna Vestlin, designer