Swedish fashion designer Ewa Iwalla’s decision to leave her spacious 18th-century farm can’t have been an easy one, but careful thought made her realise it was time to pass on the heritage and history of the farm to the younger generation. The transition may have been eased by the fact that her new home, though smaller, is equally historic.
Ewa Iwalla’s new residence is a cottage in the village of Öster on the coast of Söderhamn, north of Sweden. It was once a perfect location for fisherman as the harbour is just a three-minute walk away. Local houses were built small and adjoining land left clear so that nets could be stretched out to dry after fishing.
Ewa’s house is instantly welcoming. Built in the 18th century it’s one of the few remaining buildings in keeping with the history of the area. Fisherman’s Village, as it was known, has all but disappeared and one of the few remaining clues to the past presence of the hard-working industry is this house. Enlarged from its original size the house is still low in height but high in charm.
The move has taken time and unpacked boxes are a reminder that there is more work to be done before the space will provide the calm needed in a home. For now, an editing process is underway as everything from the old farm will not fit in the new fisherman’s house. It’s been a struggle for Lennart and Ewa to select from all their beautiful furniture – each piece has character and a story to tell. In terms of decoration, Ewa is working with what she has found and adding new touches. In one corner fragments of wallpaper are layered and exposed. The papers are carefully composed by Ewa so each can be admired without competing with each other.
Being warm and cosy is important to Ewa; lighting a fire in the morning and starting the day slowly in her own private corner sets the mood for the entire day. Wrapping herself in the soft, warm wool of a blanket is a special feeling she explains – “and the coffee tastes so much better.” Candles of all sizes and shapes are also a must – no day passes by without candles being lit. They create harmony, peace and add ‘the little extra’ needed to create a welcoming atmosphere.
Extract from the Legacy issue.
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