Colour fast: bright paints to refresh a family home | Interiors

The house didn’t look like much at first sight. From the outside, it wasn’t particularly attractive. It only had three rooms, a kitchen and a bathroom, while the top floor was an unused attic. But Jenny and Jens Brandt Grönberg immediately saw the potential; the little house radiated a cozy atmosphere and, importantly, it was affordable. “It suited us that it wasn’t all that big,” says Jenny. “We didn’t have the budget to buy a bigger house, and we had a clear priority to live as cheaply as possible, so that we could be at home with our children as much as possible, and also to give us time to work on our shared passion for art and photography.”

Jenny, a photographer, and Jens, a graphic designer and illustrator, together with son Frank (13) and daughter Viola (18) have lived in their house just outside Ystad in southern Sweden for 17 years now, but inside everything is in a state of constant motion and process. An eternal play with art and colours, furniture and design is the couple’s shared enthusiasm. For them, an experimental and imperfect approach to furnishing provides more value than a home fixed and finished – painting the door in a nice new colour will always be more important than getting that loose handle fixed.

New leaf: the self-made bookcase that links living rooms. Photograph: Christina Kayser O/Living Inside

The couple rarely buy new items for the house, preferring instead to rely on trips to flea markets, secondhand shops and various local auction houses. They both love hunting for special things, and the endless possibilities that offers.

One thing that they always keep a close eye out for is old TVs. “We watched a lot of television when we were children,” Jenny says, adding that it was the beginning of the couple’s shared love of photography, film and images. “We have a weakness for old TV appliances. We think they are so beautiful. In the past, there was much more difference in design among the various models. They remind us of all the hours we spent basking in the blue light of TVs – and we get a little sentimental. Nowadays, we’re always looking for sets that are as small as possible, so they can decorate the bookshelf.”

Mellow yellow: some of their vintage chairs. Photograph: Christina Kayser O/Living Inside

The bookshelf she is talking about is of their own design and sits between the two living rooms. The floors and the shelf are the same shade of yellow, which weaves together the different tones and colours of the rooms. They also collect books of all kinds. Mostly it’s photography and art books, but sometimes they’ll pick up a tome and keep it purely because they like the cover.

The sofas are vintage Ikea from 1990, which they have reupholstered in brown furniture velvet from Selfmade. The fabric was bought before the bookcase was painted yellow, so it was a gamble whether they would end up going well together. The colourful rug is from Tropical Scandinavia, and the artworks above the sofa were all found at various flea markets around the world – the Kennedy poster was bought in Nebraska, where Jenny’s siblings live.

Extension rebellion: the couple outside their studio. Photograph: Christina Kayser O/Living Inside

The kitchen is characterised by more toned-down colours and the practical Kvik units have been upgraded with a microcement surface. There’s an in-built bench and you can sit and chat while someone is cooking – and keep an eye on the garden, too. A Jeff Koons-inspired balloon dog bought on Etsy sits in the window, a carpet is a gift from Jenny’s aunt. A small wooden shelf holds some of the couple’s flea-market finds, and the small chairs, mini TV and yellow bowls are more secondhand rewards, while a dotted cup is from Danish homewares brand Søstrene Grene.

skip past newsletter promotion

After living in the house for 10 years, Jenny and Jens decided to add an extension. This became their studio and gives them room for their creative work. “We spend most of our waking hours there,” says Jenny. “We play music, work, watch movies and read. It’s one big space that reflects all the creativity and interests we have. We paint and refurnish every few months. We rebuild and style it for different photo jobs and we test new colours, shapes and styles. It’s our absolute favourite place in the house.”

@jennyojens, @jennybrandtgronberg, @breakfastdesign

The modest house didn’t catch the eye at first glance. It wasn’t particularly appealing from the outside, with just three rooms, a kitchen, and a bathroom, along with an unused attic on the top floor. However, Jenny and Jens Brandt Grönberg saw its potential right away. Despite its small size, the house exuded a cozy atmosphere and was affordable. “It suited us perfectly that it wasn’t too big,” Jenny explains. “We wanted to live as economically as possible so we could spend more time with our children and focus on our shared passion for art and photography.”

The Grönberg family, consisting of Jenny, a photographer, Jens, a graphic designer and illustrator, and their children Frank and Viola, have called this house in southern Sweden home for 17 years. Inside, the house is always evolving, with constant changes in art, colors, furniture, and design. The couple thrives on experimenting and imperfection when it comes to furnishing their home, valuing creativity over a perfectly finished look.

Instead of buying new items, the couple enjoys scouring flea markets, secondhand shops, and local auction houses for unique pieces. They have a soft spot for old TVs, which remind them of their childhood and their love for photography. They are especially fond of small vintage TV sets that now decorate their bookshelf.

One of their unique creations is a bookshelf that connects their living rooms and complements the different tones and colors of the rooms. They collect various books, mostly related to photography and art, as well as books with appealing covers.

Their vintage Ikea sofas from 1990 have been reupholstered in brown furniture velvet to match the colorful rug and artworks found at flea markets. The kitchen features practical Kvik units with a microcement surface, an in-built bench, and charming secondhand finds.

After a decade of living in the house, Jenny and Jens decided to expand by adding a studio. This space serves as their creative sanctuary where they spend most of their time working, playing music, watching movies, and experimenting with different creative projects. It’s a reflection of their diverse interests and creativity.

Their Instagram handles showcase their creative endeavors and design inspirations.