A light grey living room in an architect designed family home on the Swedish island of Brännö.
Sun-drenched living space in this architect designed family home on the Swedish island of Brännö.

Glancing out the window at my rain and wind lashed garden, I’m already thinking ahead to spring and its promise of warm sun. For now, images of this light-filled Swedish villa are just as good a substitute.

And there’s so much inspiration to take away from this architect-designed family home. Nestled into the rugged landscape on the island of Brännö in the southern Gothenburg Archipelago, its Gotland pine-clad structure is a lesson in open plan living done well. It makes the most of every square inch, crucial when you’re planning your own extension or complete new build.

A stunning open plan L-shaped wood clad island home painted in light grey with minimal Scandinavian furniture.

Built-in an L-shape to protect against the wind, this home looks out across the water and garden dotted with lilac, apple and cherry trees. Just a stone’s throw from the city by boat, there are no cars allowed on Bränno. The pace of life is altogether slower here, connected to the rhythm of the island’s diverse surroundings of meadow, forest and beach. What blissful seclusion.

Bright white open plan living in an architect designed family home with wood burner and built in log store.

Inside, the interiors connect beautifully to the garden. Light spills into the open plan living spaces through ceiling to floor windows. You’re always in touch with the heather covered rocks and the view across the water. Tinted and white oiled pine boards run across both floors, continuing a sense of space and the soft grey walls help tone down the direct sunlight.

A wall mounted plywood open storage cupboard creates a hallway space in this architect designed family home in Sweden.
A wall-mounted, open cupboard is a great way of creating the feeling of a hallway when you don’t have one.

I love this simple open plywood cupboard that cleverly zones the entryway. Wall mounting it off the floor maintains a feeling of space and gives this area functionality.

Looking out onto Brännö island from the full length window inside this minimal, light filled Scandinavian dining room.

The kitchen is wonderful. Oh, the kitchen. Set across one wall it’s typically Scandinavian, doubling up as a dining space with a warm wooden table and classic cane bentwood chairs in the centre. Built from humble plywood, as you’ll see much of the upper floor is too, the cupboards have been painted dark green with notches cut out for minimal door pulls. Small, open and perfectly formed.

A Scandinavian open plan kitchen dining space with a plywood splashback and dark green kitchen cabinets.
A contemporary, minimal plywood kitchen with dark green cabinets in an open plan architect designed family home in Sweden.
A bright, white tiled family bathroom with a square turquoise tiled floor and black hanging shower rail.
A simple, minimal family bathroom with plenty of storage.

Square turquoise floor tiles add a subtle splash of colour in the bathroom. So as not to interrupt the space with a solid shower unit, the owners have used a simple black hanging rail to zone the shower area with recessed drainage under the floor. Plywood continues in the cupboard storage with the vanity matching the same style doors as the kitchen.

A cosy snug area at the top of the stairs between the two bedrooms in the eaves of this Sweden island home on Brännö island.

Upstairs, the master bedroom and kids’ room peel off from a cosy snug where the use of plywood continues on two sides of the room, marking the shape of the roof.

Looking into the bedroom with a plywood sliding door from the plywood clad snug of this architect designed Swedish island home.
Clever use of a sliding door, also in plywood, saves on space visually and physically.
A slouchy green sofa sits in the snug of this minimal, Scandinavian home looking into the bedroom styled with the popular Sinnerlig bamboo light shade from IKEA.
Built-in plywood box storage built into the eaves of this Scandinavian bedroom makes uses of the space.

The master bedroom, painted in a soothing shade of Pale Linden by Jotun Lady is bathed in warm light via skylight windows and a glass door, leading out onto a balcony. The owners have tried to retain as much floor space as possible with built-in plywood storage tapering up into the eaves of the roof space.

A collection of robes hang from neat wooden pegs painted the same colour as the bedroom walls in this Swedish island home.
Quietly useful – hanging pegs painted the same colour as the walls give the space continuity.

This sweet and soothing kids room has been painted on both and walls and ceiling in Jotun Lady Senses. I love how cosy it feels in here with the built-in playhouse and desk making the most of the light from the window above. Most of all, it’s been decorated in a way that’s easy to adapt as the kids grow older.

A soft pink and pine wood kids' bedroom in the eaves of an architect designed home has a sweet plywood

Photography courtesy of Kvarteret Mäkleri.

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