Make Yourself at Home in Stockholm

Ett Hem is a cozy hotel in the Swedish capital that feels more like a private residence.



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TO ENTER ETT HEM’S lush courtyard in central Stockholm, you must ring a bell, much as you would if you were visiting someone’s private home. This, it turns out, is exactly the point. Having visited hotels all over the world, the owner, Jeanette Mix, wanted to create something luxurious but intimate. In 2006, she bought a rundown 1910 townhome close to her own house, nestled in the Östermalm district. She laboriously restored it, and in 2012 opened the 12-room hotel. The interiors, by Studioilse, stand in contrast to many Swedish interiors which favor Scandinavian minimalism. Studioilse’s style is more British, with plush furniture, dimmed lighting, and brave use of color and pattern. A wealth of plants in the building’s window nooks add character and warmth to the space.

Mix has since acquired two additional buildings and now offers 22 rooms, three residential apartments, a bakery, various social spaces, and a gym. All have the same deeply personal, lived-in feel, and it is this quality that has drawn me to the hotel for the last decade. I’ve snuck away from my sleeping baby for date nights with my husband in the hotel’s kitchen. I’ve manically fed crackers to the same son, this time slightly older, to keep him occupied during an important meeting in the library. I’ve also worked from a hotel room overlooking the nearby beautiful brick townhouses with courtyards, lush gardens, and blossoming cherry trees.



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During my latest visit, spring has just arrived in Stockholm. The air feels somehow different this time of year, and I head up to the lounge, where guests can be found curled on the sofas reading classics. My room, number 12, is a mezzanine studio filled with teak. The hotel staff has left soft cashmere socks on the bed, handwritten notes on the shelf, and iced water in a thermos on the bedside table. I take in the scent of firewood, newly picked peonies, and freshly baked cardamom cake.

Art is at the core of Ett Hem’s story. Swedish artist Carl Larsson’s 1899 watercolor collection titled “Ett Hem” (“a home”) provided the inspiration for the hotel’s name and ethos. The first owner of the Ett Hem building was Larsson’s close friend, and many of Larsson’s watercolor paintings once hung here. “The vision for the hotel suddenly became crystal clear,” says Mix. “We base everything on how you would do it in a home.” Now, wherever I turn, there is a beautiful piece of art, curated by local gallery CF Hill. The collection includes a surreal garden sculpture by Danish artist Tal R and a close-up painting of an eye by Swedish artist Ulla Wiggen. A personal favorite is a large, vibrant painting by British artist Will Martyr depicting Mix alongside Ett Hem’s head of operations Helena Lundqvist.


Informal dinners are served in House Number Two (as the initial building is referred to), where a communal wooden table with direct access to the garden creates a country-house feel. Breakfast in the light-filled greenhouse is an ideal way to wake up. In the wintertime, the greenhouse ceiling is often covered in snow, and in the spring and summer, a beautiful, lush garden view is revealed. The hotel has no traditional lobby, but there are several social areas instead.

While Stockholm offers plenty of high-end restaurants, most people I meet at the hotel stay put in the evenings. At dinner, I find myself surrounded by things I want to bring home with me: handmade ceramics, dried herbs, a plate of honeycomb. The chefs tell me that spring is their favorite season, with its abundance of fresh, locally sourced produce such as scallops, strawberries, and cream. One of the chefs reports that he regularly collects apples from his neighbor’s garden to use in the cooking.

One night, I sit next to a couple who lives in a small town in Sweden. Ett Hem has become their sanctuary, a home away from home. They praise the chefs, the fresh-fired leeks, the asparagus, and the vibrant tomatoes that are both sweet and succulent. We look at one another, and then smile back at the chefs, wishing we could fit more in our bellies. As we are about to leave, one of the chefs tells us he has just joined Ett Hem from another Stockholm restaurant. “Coming here is just like coming home,” he says. We couldn’t agree more.

Our Contributors

Jonna Dagliden Hunt Writer

Jonna Dagliden Hunt is a Stockholm-based freelance journalist, editor, and trend analyst, specializing in culture and lifestyle trends. Some of her clients include: Wired U.K., the Guardian, the Telegraph, Monocle, Wallpaper* Magazine, and Elle Sweden. She is also the co-founder of the eyewear brand Oh My Eyes.

Magnus Mårding Photographer

Magnus Mårding is a Stockholm-based photographer. He started his professional career in fashion and his lifestyle and interiors work has been featured in The New York Times’ T Magazine, Architectural Digest, Vogue Living, WSJ Magazine, and Condé Nast Traveller, among others. His commercial clients include Volvo, H&M, Swedese, and the Grand Hotel in Stockholm.


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