With a New Bedroom Loft Above, This Stockholm Kitchen Shines


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.

The homeowners were keen to have separate bedrooms in their new home, but this proved impossible within the existing floor space. They didn’t want to alter the existing elements but wanted to add an extra layer to make better use of the space they did have. Sanna decided that the dormant space under the loft’s soaring roof could be put to better use.

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.

The custom carpentry was the costliest purchase, but clearly worth it. The painted ash wood makes for a great patterned detail in the space too.

Main ingredients:

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.

Seating: Magis Anderssen & Voll Sequoia barstool

Lighting: &Tradition Signe Hytte Journey lamp. “It brings a lot of form to the kitchen,” adds Sanna.

The existing kitchen was painted in the same green as the new loft above it, so it appears now as one seamless block.

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.

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