Carl Larsson’s Inspirational Interiors

Carl Larsson was a prolific Swedish artist whose paintings of his own home interiors have inspired homeowners like me  for over 100 years.  Carl and his wife Karin were given a small house by Karin’s father in 1888 in Sundborn, named Lilla Hyttnäs (little furnace).  Is this a fairy tale, or what?Larsson's Home Exterior via atticmag

Larrson print via innersanctumCarl and Karin decorated and furnished this house according to their particular artistic taste and also for the needs of the growing family (they had eight children).

 

Because of  Larsson’s paintings of its interiors, this house has become one of the most famous artist’s homes in the world, and is the epitomy of  Swedish interior design.   Carl was heavily influenced by the Gustavian style, but his version was much less formal and incredibly liveable.Larsson print via rosylittlethings

 

No doubt the Arts and Crafts Movement originating in England in the late 1800’s impacted his sensibilities, resulting in the most charming and family-friendly style you can imagine.  What child wouldn’t love a magical built-in cabinet bed like this?

larsson's the antiquity room

This home reminds me so much of my own former home on Robin Road.  I loved experimenting with bold but cozy color combinations, homespun collections, and my husband’s burgeoning carpentry skills.  It was certainly not sophisticated or the least bit elegant, but it was a fun house.   I had a similar bank of windows that ran across the back of the open living/dining room area of my 1945 cottage.

Larsson print

 

This is another painting of the same room, but at a later date.  I love to see how the furnishings and room arrangements evolved over time, just like they do in real life!  I love the large table used as a desk facing out the window, as well as the daybed that looks perfect for a cozy reading spot or afternoon napping place.

larsson's evening before journey to england

 

And here is a photograph of the room today.   A gentle evolution of a family room over more than a century.

sundborn living room via visitsweden

 

When Larsson painted this bedroom, he remarked that he had heard that the most healthy place to put the bed was in the middle of the bedroom – but that he had no idea why!  Look at the built-in bookshelf along the top of the room.   White walls with bold red trim, then highlighted with the teal in the background of that bookshelf.   Why not?

larrson's papa's bedroom

 

Here is the bedroom today.  And that bed is still in the middle of the room!

karinlarsson bedroom via loobylu

 

larssons swedish country home

Have you noticed all of the tiled Swedish stoves in this house?  You sure don’t see those babies around these parts.larsson's for_a_little_card_game

 

 

And here’s the dining room as it is today.  Same leaded windows, same red china hutch.  Is it just me, or can you totally see Santa and Mrs. Claus living in this house?

larsson real dining room via loobylu

 

 

larsson's living room

The descendants of the Larssons still own this house and open it for tourists each summer.  Maybe someday I’ll be able to see it in person, but for now I have to rely on Carl’s paintings and the few photographs I could dig up of their wonderfully charming home.

For more of Carl Larrson’s interiors, click here.

 

Photo Credits:  Attic Mag, Inner Sanctum, Visit Sweden, Looby Lu.

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Michelle
Michelle
11 years ago

Love Carl Larsson! The number and variety of colors are amazing, definitely a result of trying to enliven the long, cold Swedish winters. When I was editor at Ideals, there were several times I chose his images to accompany poems in the magazine. The one I most remember was a poem about a girl playing beside her father as he worked in his woodshop. She would pretend the curled wood shavings were her own curly hair. Larsson had the perfect painting to match – of a woodworker in his quaint Swedish shop, the floor littered with curly shavings.

LaJuana Gill
LaJuana Gill
11 years ago

This is awesome! Thank you for introducing me to the Larssons!

Heather
11 years ago

thanks for sharing these what a lovely reminder of this great artist and swedish style. his style is so christmasy too. perfect for this time of year!

Michelle L.
Michelle L.
11 years ago

Anna Beth has been begging to have her bed in the middle of the room for years. I have been depriving her of better health by saying no! Shame on me!

kristiebarnett
11 years ago

I just found some more photographs of the Larrson home that I plan to post soon! Photographs of the interiors are harder to come by than the paintings of the interiors.

Diane
11 years ago

The Larsson home is beautiful and inspiring! I hope you didn’t mind me linking your blog to mine when I posted about my love of Carl Larsson’s art. I love how you posted the paintings and photos of the home together, especially since visitors can’t photograph the inside of the home. (I have lots of the outside area.)
There are some great books with his work. I started with “A Home”, added “A Family”, then “A Farm”,…
I hope you get to visit it someday.

kristiebarnett
11 years ago

Hi Diane,
Thank you for linking to my blog! It didn’t dawn on me that visitors couldn’t take pictures inside the Larsson home – which is probably why I had such a hard time finding photos on the internet! In case you missed it, I did a “Part II” with more photos in a later post:

http://www.makingarrangementsblog.com/feathering-your-nest-more-carl-larrson-home-interiors/

Towel Rails ·
Towel Rails ·
10 years ago

home interiors with light colors gives a much happier environment “

Mary Sheehan Winn
10 years ago

These drawings are beautiful and the house is so charming. I wish to live in a house just like it!

Maryanne Clegg
Maryanne Clegg
3 months ago

I’m about a decade late to the discussion but what the heck! I wandered into a market here in Johannesburg and while browsing, stumbled on two postcards by Carl Larsson. The images reminded me of Norman Rockwell so curious, I bought the postcards and via the rabbit hole landed here. What a pleasure to discover this inspirational post. Just love it. Thank you.

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