What used to be a small 17th-century farm is now a 230 square meter property divided between two houses, a well-kept sunroom and a pool. The Wittzells have created a cozy home with their two daughters.
What is now a small suburb to Lund used to be the location of five homesteads in the mid-to-late 17th century, one of which the Wittzell´s are currently living in.
– Today, three of the homesteads remain. Two of them have unfortunately been demolished and replaced by new houses. Even though it has been subject to some rough renovations over the years, ours is one of the most well-kept, Anna says.
Among other things, the old front door was torn down, the windows and floors were replaced, the original kitchen was removed, and the old iron furnace was replaced by a modern one. Beams and panels in the ceiling remained, as did the original floor plan.
– When initializing the construction, we chose a contractor who accepted that some things were yet to be determined, granting us the ability to stay flexible during the process. We were also able to stay in the small homestead while the main house underwent the construction. Being on maternity leave, I was always able to keep my eye on the carpenters. It also gave us the liberty to make decisions and changes along the way, Anna explains.
“When the family bought the house in 2008, the sun room was luckily still intact and well-kept”
From the old homestead, the family built a passage that turned into a front hallway. The ground floor of the new building contains a kitchen, a side entrance, a laundry room and a bathroom, while the second floor has four bedrooms and a smaller bathroom.
– Meanwhile, the flexibility when building meant that some things would slip between the cracks. One example is the mishap of the kitchen plan, where we didn’t account for the space needed by the outlet of the wooden stove. Changing the blueprint last minute, a wall that was moved made space for an extra shelf dedicated to oils, herbs, tools et cetera. Considering the result, that shelf is one of the best features of the kitchen.
Anna explains that the unusually large kitchen was a conscious decision that proved to be a very fortunate one, seeing as the kitchen is the place where the family spends most of their time together.
– This is where everyone wants to play, do arts and crafts, do homework – and cook obviously. When we have company over, the kitchen is always the most popular place. The living room, as opposed to the kitchen, is very small, but we always intended it to be that way. We have never regretted that.
“Building a pool is the best investment we have made, it provides a lovely feeling of vacation from May to September”
Anna says that she has expressed herself creatively for as long as she can remember. She always liked to rearrange her furniture, draw and do arts and crafts.
– I like making new uses for old things. That also makes me a bit of a hoarder, because everything can come in handy”or I´ll think I´m going to make something out of this later, she says laughing.
She describes the interior as an updated Carl Larsson style, referring to the wooden chairs and the woven runner rugs that they like to put together with more modern furniture and details.
– We’re just mixing together everything we like, for example industrial -I LOVE metal cabinets– a sheepskin, a modern flowerpot, a piece of furniture from the 60s, a wax tablecloth, heirlooms and so on. We simply buy things we like, using our gut, and it turns into a mix of everything. I do however like to maintain a uniform color palette that keeps everything together.
She describes the interior as something that has developed over the years and is constantly changing. Everything is assigned its place because it fits right there and then. Like when the kids enter an arts and crafts faze and there is a need for something to store all the supplies in – one piece of furniture has to take place for another.
– I can't remember ever thinking “let’s go buy some new furniture”. Instead, it’s the house conforming because a new piece is introduced, bought from a flea market or some clearance sale. By the way, I love discounts. I think the only thing we have ever bought at full price is the kitchen table and the lights above it - and our beds, Anna concludes.
Names: Anna and Per-Ola Wittzell. The kids are Elin, 9 years old, and Klara, 6 years old.
Occupation: Anna works at Ikea, and Per-Ola at Ica.
The house: Used to be a homestead built in 1898, the family reconstructed it in 2009. The house, situated outside of Lund, is now 230 square meters with seven rooms and a kitchen. The yard, including the pool, is 1 100 square meters.