I always enjoy watching the odd Grand Designs episode, which has spread from the UK to other countries over the years. It’s even here in NZ, and I happen to have styled a project, with homestaging company Exhibit One, that aired on TV just last night. This project that I’m sharing today was featured on the Swedish edition of Grand Designs, and judging by the inspiring imagery, I would’ve loved to have seen the episode. Built by architect Xiao He and her husband Mats, the home takes inspiration from classic timbered houses and case study architecture and includes a beautiful kitchen created by Nordiska Kök.

Located just south of Stockholm, in the Nynäshamn archipelago, the holiday home ‘Nabben’ was created with the same approach that Xiao applies to the private homes she designs for her Stockholm-based architectural firm Studio He. A process that involves learning everything about the client’s lifestyle, the people living together, their quirks and movements (along with the pets), it ensures the right flow and design can be created accordingly.


When Xiao designed “Nabben”, she took her own family’s lifestyle into account. One of the questions she asked herself was whether they needed both an indoor and an outdoor kitchen. In the end, she decided on just one kitchen and placed it close to the terrace – the perfect solution.

Working hard to let the home’s structure and its beautiful beams be part of the design, Xiao carried the use of wood through to the kitchen with wooden cabinets that marry classic shaker style with minimalist Scandinavian design. Inspired by the way the house frames the windows, Xiao chose a panelled kitchen because it frames the cabinets in a similar way. “I think sleek wooden cabinets are beautiful, but it was too plain. Because the house itself is so minimalistic, the kitchen needed to have more shape and personality” she says. Opening the doors reveals a beautiful interior in white-stained oak – a feature that she says feels very luxurious.

Though sensitive to wear and tear, natural stone with a lot of detail was purposely chosen for the worktop. “It can look nicer with the patina that comes from stains than if you compromise and choose a more resilient worktop that is perhaps a less aesthetically pleasing choice” Xiao explains.

A large space with a thoughtful layout make this kitchen ideal for social interaction. Designed with versatility and interest in mind, it is suitable for both cooking and hanging out. A perfect fit for the family, it also works well regardless of the time of year and how many people are in the room. Nordiska Kök also created the beautiful bespoke wardrobe pictured below. 

Photography by Kristofer Johnsson

Finally, I have great news for my European readers… following high demand, Nordiska Kök is now delivering to Europe! To find out more, visit nordiskakok.com.

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