A Swedish Apartment Went from Bland to Bright After Thoughtful Renovations

published May 18, 2023

A Swedish Apartment Went from Bland to Bright After Thoughtful Renovations

published May 18, 2023
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Sometimes, when the magic strikes, the desperation many potential homeowners feel is rewarded. At least that’s what happened two years ago when author, illustrator, and designer Megan McKean and her husband, Joshua, first stumbled upon a one-bedroom apartment in Malmö, Sweden. 

Credit: Megan McKean

In November 2020, the couple had just moved to Malmö and wanted to find somewhere to permanently call home rather than jumping between temporary solutions. “I was obsessively browsing Hemnet (Sweden’s online real estate website) and saved this stunning, turn-of-the-century apartment; it was so beautiful and everything that we dreamed of when we would think about our future Scandinavian apartment,” McKean writes. “I would scroll through the pictures every night and measure every other listing against this one.”

Credit: Megan McKean

It was everything the couple had been dreaming of — McKean adds that the building their apartment is in (one of only five apartments in the building total), was designed by prominent Malmö architect August Lindvall, who is credited for designing several famous buildings in the area. But right before the Christmas holidays, the listing disappeared. McKean was devastated, but luckily not for long, as the listing reappeared in January, and this time, the couple wanted to see it immediately. 

Credit: Megan McKean

“After touring the apartment in person one snowy Sunday afternoon, we made an offer that same day, had one day of negotiations, and were signing the papers on Tuesday,” McKean shares. “I’ll never forget walking into the living room for the first time, seeing the view, and turning around and mouthing to my husband, ‘This is it.’”

Credit: Megan McKean

And it’s been a perfect place for them. The couple added colorful touches while maintaining the integrity of the original architectural details. “It is so special to get to live in (and take care of) such a beautiful piece of Malmö’s history,” McKean writes.  


Credit: Megan McKean


  • All paints in our home are from Swedish paint brand Beckers Paints
  • Hallway — Karamell 700
  • Studio — Ballerina 675 and Puderrosa 673
  • Living Room  — Pistage 802
  • Bedroom — Himmelsblå 742
  • Kitchen — Arita 501 and Emalj 819
Credit: Megan McKean


Credit: Megan McKean


  • Soderhamn Sofa from IKEA
  • Sofa Covers — Bemz
  • Wiggly Ottoman — Hubsch
  • String Furniture System — String
  • Pink Marble Coffee Table — Vintage 
  • Green Palette Desk — &Tradition
  • 9602 Lamp — GUBI
  • White Rug — Himalayan Rugs Co on Etsy
  • Green Turkish Rug — Vintage, from Etsy
  • Room Screen — IKEA with custom sewn panels
  • Leather Series 7 Chair — Recollection Denmark
Credit: Megan McKean


  • Series 7 Dining Chairs — Fritz Hansen
  • Marcel Duchamp Poster — Moderna Museet
  • Mellanmjolk Poster — Moderna Museet
  • Pendant Light — Hubsch
  • Brass Mobile — Sacha Jacobsen
  • Pink Coffee Machine — MoccaMaster
  • Tea Kettle — Alessi
  • Storage Crates — HAY
  • Sowden Toaster — HAY
Credit: Megan McKean


  • Blue Bed — IKEA
  • Velvet Curtains — IKEA
  • Bedding — HM Home
  • Pink and Red Armchair — Hubsch
  • Wall Storage — Montana Furniture
  • Mirror — AYTM
  • Alexander Girard Posters — Vintage
Credit: Megan McKean


Thanks, Megan!

This tour’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.
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