Skip to main content

Living for the little things

Is it possible for a growing family living in a small flat in the middle of a bustling city to still have room to slow down and live a more sustainable life? Two interior designers point us in the right direction.

Smiling, late-twenties man and pregnant woman in front of a brick wall, a small boy in the middle; the man holds a cat.
Smiling, late-twenties man and pregnant woman in front of a brick wall, a small boy in the middle; the man holds a cat.

Meet the designers

The interior designers Jenny Wik and Emilia Ljungberg were asked to create a home for a family of three, soon to be four, that love their life in the city. This is where they feel at home, where they know people, but living in a small space is also about them choosing a more sustainable lifestyle. “We wanted to create an oasis in the big city, where the family have room for everything they need and for the lifestyle they want”, says Emilia.

This family only surround themselves with things they like, and don’t have more belongings than they need. But living in a small space, they still need good storage solutions. Both closed and open storage become great-looking additions to the interior overall.

Emilia Ljungberg, IKEA interior designer

Natural materials that last

As much as possible, the family tries to stay clear of disposable products. Plastic trays are replaced by wooden boxes, plastic bags by net bags and paper towels by textile napkins. Wood, cotton, linen, glass, ceramics, cork and more, add a sense of being close to nature, despite living smack in the middle of a large city.

Rural bliss – in an urban setting

Many of us go for white and bright when we pick colours for a small space. That’s all good, of course, but there are times when contrast is what makes a space grow on you. In this family’s kitchen area, Emilia and Jenny have used black LERHYTTAN doors that make the white worktop, the wall shelves and the sink pop. Great lighting, glass doors and open storage see to the airiness – and add a rustic touch.

Flexible functions for the win

The apartment is full of clever solutions. There are the more obvious ones, like HAVSTA storage with practical, sliding glass doors, the extendable kitchen table, perfect when the family grows (and when you’re having friends over), and the sofa-bed in the living room that promises a great kip for sleepover guests. But even small details are well thought out. “It’s important that things are within easy reach, and stored in clever ways”, says Jenny.

Colours from nature

The colours are inspired by nature – from earthy ochre and sandy beige to shades of sea blue. “We’ve worked with many different nuances. It softens the expression”, says Jenny. And it’s not only the colours that bring softness, so do the textiles. “They add warmth and can help define a space. Like the round rug by the son’s bed – it makes the nook even more his own”, says Emilia.

Creative storage solutions

The PAX wardrobe is just 38 cm deep and great for small-space living. Next to it, Emilia and Jenny have mounted LACK shelves – utilizing the small space while at the same time creating a custom-built feeling.

Made by
Interior designer: Jenny Wik and Emilia Ljungberg
Photographer: Karl Andersson