Home is a reflection of its residents – eclectic style allows for creative expression

In the color palette of this beautifully restored home in Stockholm, hues of rhubarb, masala, truffle and oatmeal take turns. Luscious salmon-red tiles and wild floral wallpaper have also claimed their own spaces in interior designer Gabriella Gullberg’s home, showcasing her confident choices.

Artek Aalto high chair K65, black linoleum
“In my opinion, creating a cozy interior requires textiles, art, plants and colors,” Gabriella says. The terrazzo-covered kitchen is furnished with Aalto high chairs K65 and A330S pendants.


Interior designer Gabriella Gullberg lives in Stockholm with her spouse, two children and two cats. Located in a house built in 1888, the apartment boasts five rooms, a kitchen and two bathrooms, spanning a total of 160 square meters.

Interior designer Gabriella Gullberg
Gabriella Gullberg works as an interior designer in Stockholm.

AFTER SPENDING OVER 20 YEARS in London, Gabriella Gullberg returned to Sweden and embarked on renovating a magnificent apartment in a century-old building for her family. The decor harmoniously combines both tranquility and bold choices, influenced by the years spent in London as well as Scandinavian aesthetics.

In the Gullbergs’ home, gentle shades of beige blend with touches of green, peach and wine-red details. Or to put it into more expressive terms, rhubarb, masala, truffle and oatmeal make up the overall composition.

Many of us lack the courage to use colors, often overthinking our choices. Will they stand the test of time? Will I still like the hue years from now? As an interior designer, Gabriella hopes that people would dare to trust their instincts and incorporate more than just safe choices into their homes.

Gabriella is particularly drawn to the eclectic style, where home decor is created intuitively, listening to one’s own self. She also emphasizes layering and multidimensionality, allowing different styles and eras to blend together.

Iittala Nappula candleholder 183 mm, brass
The living room’s coffee table and table lamp are both vintage finds. The rug is from Berg et Holm and Ilse Crawford’s woven sofa is from Ikea. Nappula candleholders are by Iittala.
Living room in Gabriella Gullberg’s apartment
The focal points of the living room are fiercely contested between Sam Hodge’s painting and the Luxus vintage chandelier. The sofa is from Eilersen and the wooden armchair from Norman Cherner.
GUBI Gräshoppa floor lamp, jet black
The slender three-legged Grasshoppa lamp is from GUBI. Alexander Girard’s wooden dolls and a thriving plant in a ceramic pot decorate the side table.
Montana Furniture Montana Mini module with shelves, 137 Mushroom
The TV is skillfully hidden among the colorful shelf modules by Montana Furniture.

Hi Gabriella! To start off, could you share your best tips for creating a cozy interior?
“In my opinion, creating a cozy interior requires textiles, art, plants and colors. It’s good to mix old and new elements: memories and meaningful objects add uniqueness. A home should have items that reflect its residents – it’s not about impressing others. The most important thing is to love your home and enjoy being there, even just on an ordinary Tuesday.”

Which interior styles appeal to you the most?
“I’m drawn to eclectic, personal styles. By combining new and vintage pieces, light and dark tones, and soft and hard textures, you can create a unique and personalized result. Mixing different materials and textures adds layers and rhythm to the decor. Spaces decorated in rich and warm tones awaken my inspiration.”

“Spaces decorated in rich and warm tones awaken my inspiration.”

Could you tell us more about eclectic style?
“The word ‘eclectic’ comes from Greek and means ‘choosing the best.’ In this style, you have the freedom to choose and express yourself creatively. Eclectic decor allows for a blend of modern, inherited, second-hand or even handmade items. However, one must also know how to reduce, so that the end result does not become cluttered.

You can use contrasts to add a touch of excitement to your living space. For example, pair a Moroccan artisan wool rug with a sleek sofa and a beautiful brass vintage lamp. You can plant a tree-like houseplant in a large pot on the floor and hang your own artwork on the wall, or maybe consider renting an artwork from an art lending service. Over time, you can gradually create a collage of vintage statues and vases on a bookshelf or discover hidden treasures in your relatives’ attics.”

Artek Aalto pendant A331 "Beehive", white - brass
The entrance is brought to life with Arne Jacobsen’s delightfully summery Kejsarkrona wallpaper and Alvar Aalto’s A331 Beehive pendant lights.
Hallway details in Gabriella Gullberg’s apartment
Gabriella renovated the apartment thoroughly, while still respecting the old and preserving the original details.
Bathroom in Gabriella Gullberg’s apartment
The bathroom’s salmon-red tiles and terrazzo floor make a striking combination. The faucets are from Vola.

How have you renovated your home?
“We had just moved back to Sweden after spending 21 years in London and found this apartment within a few months. The apartment hadn’t been renovated since the 80s, so we didn’t feel bad about giving it a thorough makeover. Renovating our home was a really fun experience!

We opened up the pathways throughout the entire apartment and removed some walls. I designed a new bathroom for us and a small office space for myself. Additionally, we replaced the flooring in some rooms to achieve a seamless and beautiful parquet floor throughout the apartment. We also painted and wallpapered the entire place.”

Could you tell us about your hallway wallpaper and the color choices of the bathroom?
“The wallpaper in the hallway was designed by Arne Jacobsen. Having worked in architecture for over 20 years, I deeply respect and love everything Jacobsen has created. This Kejsarkrona pattern is exceptionally vibrant, making the hallway bright and airy.

Our bathroom is another favorite of mine. It feels wonderfully inviting. Most people are a bit surprised by our choice since salmon-colored bathrooms are not very common. I love the tone of the tiles, and I believe the terrazzo breaks the monotony of the tiled walls perfectly. In my opinion, white bathrooms can often feel sterile, even though they are very common in many homes. Colors are a great way to add warmth to a space that typically features a lot of hard materials and surfaces.”

Artek Aalto stool E60, lacquered black
Artek’s E60 stools are easy to move wherever they are needed and come in handy when having guests.
Secto Design Octo 4240 pendant, birch
The airy Octo 4240 pendant light by Secto Design hangs above the HAY T12 dining table. A 70s comedy poster brings memories from Gabriella’s childhood.
Louis Poulsen VL45 Radiohus 250 pendant
Gabriella collaborated with Nordiska Köket to design the kitchen. The white VL45 Radiohus pendants are from Louis Poulsen and the yellow teapot from Muuto.
Arabia Moomin mug, Ninny, powder
Gabriella’s home also features tableware from the Finnish brands Iittala and Arabia, such as a colorful collection of Moomin mugs.

Your home is filled with beautiful colors. How did you end up decorating with colors?
“I believe that living in London for 20 years combined with my Scandinavian heritage has influenced the way I use colors. The English are not afraid to use colors, and when combined with bright and airy Scandinavian spaces, it gives me a unique perspective.

In my opinion, it’s fascinating to use colors in unexpected ways, and I try to play with them as much as I can, within the limits set by the client. I always strive to create a comprehensive color scheme for each home and give each room a distinct identity. Unified color palettes, materials and textures ultimately tie the rooms together into a cohesive whole.”

Could you provide some examples of personalized home decor?
“A great example is painting the ceiling in a vibrant color, which adds a unique feel to the space compared to a traditional white ceiling. I also love painting wooden surfaces in the same color as the rest of the room to create a sense of unity and make the space appear larger. Additionally, I enjoy incorporating contrasts into the decor by using wallpapers and different types of tiles like terrazzo, as they bring character and depth to the space.

“I believe each room should have its own individual identity.”

While I appreciate the idea of a cohesive design concept throughout the home, I believe each room should have its own individual identity. I don’t recommend painting the entire house in the same color.”

Could you tell us about some vintage finds or inherited items that are important to you?
“I love our palisander coffee table in the living room, which we bought from Two Colombia Road in London together with my husband. It’s one of the first pieces of furniture we acquired for our shared home, and it has remained with us ever since.

I also admire the oil painting by Sam Hodge in our living room, which is the first ‘real’ artwork we purchased. Sam is also a dear friend, so the painting holds a special place in our hearts. One of the cherished posters in our kitchen is the Äppelkriget poster, which holds many memories for me. It’s from the 70s Swedish comedy film by Tage Danielsson, which we often watched with my parents.”

Vitra Standard SP chair, Prouvé Gris Vermeer - deep black
Vitra’s Standard SP chair was designed by Jean Prouvé, and GUBI’s Multi-Lite pendant light by Louis Weisdorf.
&Tradition Bellevue AJ9 wall lamp, black - brass
The Ypsilon wallpaper and &Tradition’s Bellevue wall lamp are both by Arne Jacobsen.
Vitra Hang it all coat rack, chocolate
Vitra’s Hang it wall coat rack was designed by Charles and Ray Eames in 1953.

Your home is filled with posters and artwork. Where are they from?
“We’ve acquired a large portion of our art from auctions, some pieces were inherited, and others found in galleries in London or vintage markets in Paris. I enjoy mixing oil paintings with street art, photography and sculptures.

I make art choices based purely on intuition. If I like something, I buy it – I don’t really care about the artist or whether the piece will appreciate in value someday. My favorite hobby is scouring auction websites and art galleries. You never know what you might find next! It’s exciting and addictive, and I don’t think I’ll ever stop it.”

What dreams do you have when it comes to living arrangements?
“I love our home, so there’s no rush to move anywhere else. We also have a brick summer house from 1904 that we’re slowly restoring. Currently, I’m working on the design for the summer house’s bathroom, where I plan to use stone as one of the materials.

This home is, in many ways, my dream come true. The only downside is that we’re running out of wall space for new art acquisitions!”

Get inspired

Aalto pendant A330S
Wooden Doll No. 9
Montana Furniture
Mini module
Louis Poulsen
VL45 Radiohus pendant
Nappula candleholder
Hang it all coat rack
Oiva - Alku flower pot
Moomin mug, ABC
Secto Design
Octo 4240 pendant
Aalto stool E60
Standard SP chair
Terrazzo table

See also:

• Follow on Instagram: @gabriella.gullberg.interiors >
New arrivals at Finnish Design Shop >

Text: Riikka Siusluoto Edit: Nora Uotila Images: Patric Johansson

Previous story
Next story

Sign up to Finnish Design Shop’s newsletter and enter a monthly gift card prize draw!

Sign up

For the love of design

Design Stories is Finnish Design Shop's own online magazine, that takes you to beautiful Nordic homes, introduces new products and beloved icons – and much more!

Go to the Design Stories front page

Shop Nordic design

Design Stories is provided by Finnish Design Shop, the world’s largest online store specialized in Nordic design.

Discover our selection

Buy & sell authentic vintage

Franckly.com is a curated online marketplace for pre-owned design maintained by Finnish Design Shop.

Find treasures at Franckly