A sunny morning in Ett Hem, and the day my friends got married there, June 2015.
The Clam Chair with sheepskin upholstery by Philip Arctander, 1950, in the bathroom of the master suite of the house. Image courtesy of Ett Hem.
Comfortable luxury, that is the only type of real luxury there is. Image courtesy of Ett Hem.
The kitchen expands to a conservatory with glass walls and roof. There you will find another big dining table. This is where the kitchen staff prepares meals and where you will find the staff member eating together. Image courtesy of Ett Hem.

Ett Hem

Opened in 2012, Ett Hem is a stunning example of a hotel that has taken the identity of a home. The Arts and Crafts era house is located on a residential area in Stockholm and it has twelve rooms and suites.

Ett Hem is Swedish and means literally ‘a home’. I first checked in in 2013, and since then I have been lucky to visit a couple of times.

Arriving to the hotel address you meet a brick wall with arched wooden doors.

Ring the doorbell and you are greeted warmly: Välkommen hem (Welcome home).

And as you walk inside, you feel a bit like visiting a fancy friends house, a house of someone with a fine taste and quite a lot of help – the staff is wonderful.

Things to do after checking in:

Unpack and stow your suitcase. Take off your shoes. That is the Scandinavian ‘way of home’. We do not wear shoes indoors.

Instead, you will find slippers in your closet. When you are ready, wearing your slippers, get out of your room to embrace everything the house has to offer.

Even after visiting several times, it feels exciting to wander around the living spaces. Study the architecture, design details and art pieces. Browse books found all around, not only in abundant book shelves but piled up on side tables, coffee tables, in your room, too.

Walking past the kitchen you will be reminded that there is nothing more inspiring for a living being than to have life around: people, plants, food, sounds, smells, tastes.

Perhaps you sit down with a book in the conservatory, have some tea and cake, but instead of focusing on reading, you find yourself thinking:

Candles, more candles in each room of the home. Books and plants too. I wonder where you can get plants like that.

It smells amazing here. What is this scent?

I should remember to take books out of the shelf more often, leave them on side tables for anyone to browse and enjoy.

And I love this tableware. This cake. I should bake more. It is so easy yet it makes all the difference on how a kitchen and a home feels...

Meal hours in Ett Hem are flexible. So is the menu.

When you start feeling hungry, you get downstairs. The wonderful kitchen staff will have suggestions for a meal. If you feel like something else, ask.

My favorite type of dinner is one made of seasonal ingredients just like the chef prefers. This time of the year, when you are chilled to the bone after a stroll in the city, a casserole with game and vegetables tastes heavenly. It feeds you both physically and emotionally.

Addressing the physical and the emotional is also at the core of Studioilse’s work. Studioilse is the design studio behind the interior of Ett Hem and it is headed by the celebrated designer Ilse Crawford.

I keep on oversharing Crawford’s thoughts and ideas here on Minutes – but this is only because I think her approach is so relevant to the elements of good life.

The space you come home to is just a frame. Picture-perfect does not necessarily mean it thrills your senses and makes you feel refreshed and nurtured. And yet, what makes up you life experience is how you feel living in that space you live in.

Ett Hem can surely be experienced and enjoyed just as it is, without trying to analyze it or take a bunch of ideas with you as you return home.

But I find, that in this luxury hotel where you have no responsibilities and mundane tasks to take care of, you get closer to the essentials of good life. You notice the details of a physical setting that promotes it. So for me, it is the perfect place to study.

Study unhurried life, soulful moments, original designs, natural materials and textures, beautiful light and shadows, smells, tastes and sounds, and how they affect us.

I have talked to no one who did not feel inspired after visiting Ett Hem. Inspired and a little closer to what their own home could also feel like, with just a little improvement: a little less focus on the look, and a little more focus on the feel.

Ett Hem
Sköldungagatan 2
114 27 Stockholm