If you want to upgrade a kitchen, you don’t usually downsize. But that’s what Sanna Wåhlin suggested a young family do in order to add a bedroom to their Stockholm home. The footprint of the 19th-century attic apartment couldn’t be expanded, so the interior architect and Note Design Studio partner decided to build up into the tall ceilings instead. She brilliantly crafted a lofted sleeping chamber that actually enhances the cozier cooking area below.
A triangular glass barrier offers views into the new top level, allowing the stacked spaces to appear as one. The continuity is enforced by sage green cabinetry that climbs from the revamped kitchen into the suite above, as well as by original textured plaster walls that are uniform throughout. What was once a void is now a visual marvel.
So though the cooking zone lost some height, it gained major aesthetic appeal and a much-needed upstairs neighbor. With no alterations to the storage or prep surfaces, functionality remains the same. And the chef still has the best vantage point in the house, facing the open plan and all the action.
Kitchen location: The apartment is situated in a central urban neighborhood in Stockholm called Rådmansgatan.
The before: “All the walls were just white,” Sanna remembers. “There was so much empty space and super high ceilings, but no identity. There was nothing that gave it any atmosphere at all.”
The inspiration: Sanna sought to bring in a softer palette, which she achieved with a trio of sandy beige, sage green, and amber. The minimalism and clean lines of Japanese architecture were also an influence.
Square footage: 20 square meters (approximately 215 square feet)
Budget: “There was no obvious budget, but since they wanted to keep a lot of what was already there, it was quite a sensible renovation,” Sanna explains.
Cabinets: Custom ash cupboards. “Ash is the best wood to cover with a color because its pattern shows through the paint,” explains Sanna.
Hardware: Superfront Wire handles
Floors: The existing walnut parquet was kept intact. “It’s grounding and it has a classic look,” Sanna says.
Counters: Terrazzo Specialisten. “It has a lot of dark brown and yellow stones, which was very nice to complement the wooden floor,” says Sanna.
Lighting: &Tradition Signe Hytte Journey lamp. “It brings a lot of form to the kitchen,” adds Sanna.
Most insane splurge: The custom carpentry was the costliest purchase. You can’t find those unique shapes at a big-box retailer.
Sneakiest save: “If the flooring you have is okay, it’s a trick to keep it,” Sanna shares of the thrifty decision.
The best part: “The blocky and the sharp language of it all—I like that,” says Sanna.
What I’d never do again: “The layout of the kitchen was already there, so maybe I would have preferred to have a chance to think it through from the beginning,” Sanna adds.
Final bill: The project was completed for a reasonable price, as planned.