Home styling with Sofia
A well styled home in Sweden is high up on the list of importance. Beautiful designs and stylish furniture is something you see in most homes. But how do they all have such a good eye for styling? Beautiful designs are easy to find, but how to place them and put them all together is not always that easy. That’s when we call Sofia B. Tretow! Sofia is an interior decorator and stylist based in Stockholm, the founder of Tretow Deco, and she works magic when it comes to home styling!
Could you please tell us a bit about Tretow Deco?
Tretow Deco is a luxury lifestyle brand, but the luxury part is more about a mood than money. I love mixing antiques and curvy lines with more modern pieces, adding graphic patterns and luxurious fabrics, a little sparkle, and anchoring feminine decor with a jolt of black.
I'm all about comfortable, cozy elegance and environments that are tranquil and easy on the eye, soothing and soft, but glamorous.
I use my house as my showroom. Most of my Instagram pictures are shot there, and that's where I entertain clients and let them get a look and feel of the brand Tretow Deco. Nothing explains the brand better than the feeling you get curled up in a bergère with your feet up having a glass of wine in front of the fire.
How does your average Monday-Friday look like?
Monday is usually the day when I start working on a new mood board.
I'll find somewhere inspiring to dwell, like Villa Pauli in Djursholm where I live, or a bustling coffee shop in the city.
But mostly I just stay in my office at home with a year's supply of coffee.
I collect fabric samples, paint samples and wallpaper samples, browse the web for furniture and visit my suppliers to feel the texture of a certain chair, or try the softness of a cushion, for example. I put in orders and check delivery dates and consult with my clients.
Tuesday: I check out www.metropolauktioner.se (auction house) to see what's new and decide which item should be declared Tretow Deco's favourite item of the week on Instagram. Then I style it for hours, get angry and tired of myself and start all over, then start having a blast, and finally shoot it in a, hopefully, inspiring environment.
Wednesday: If there's any shopping to do for clients, I do it on Wednesdays, and then I pretend it's all for me!
Thursday: Still pretending.
Friday: After a busy work week and school week, the whole family picks an event from the past week and heads out to a restaurant to celebrate it. Last week, it was a back- to- school celebratory dinner, and this week it might be that I just finished a big installation at a client's house, and they loved it. Such a great feeling!
What makes Scandinavian interior and design unique?
It's clean and uncluttered, it' feels like a fresh breath of air after the rain.
Scandinavian interior and design is about giving each individual shape space to truly blossom and come to it's own, not cram too much of the good stuff together and risk it cancelling out itself. Now, "too much" is in itself vey arbitrary, of course...
Can you give us your top decorating tips?
Balance and contrasts! Between materials, textures, shapes, height, sizes, colours.
Yes, I'm being very vague. But to give you an example: I love me a good gilded antique chair. But by pairing it with only other golden, antique furniture, or velvets and silks, the chair's innate beauty fades. The balance is off and there are no contrasts. Instead, try pairing it with a boldly patterned rug or a jute rug, a rough linen cushion and a modern side table - and suddenly, the chair glows.
Also, when decorating, don't forget your walls, all the way up to the ceiling. A room can be filled with beautiful furniture and decor accessories, but if there are no curtains, floor lamps, mirrors or art, there's only a bunch of stuff on the floor. By adding the other elements, the decor is extended upwards and is connected.
Do you have any favorite Nordic brands/designers?
Oh yes, yes, yes. My favourites are Day Home and Layered Official.
I also love, love, love Ruth & Joanna's and Caroline Ek's designs.
And there are quite a few insanely gifted decorators in Sweden, too. My favourites include Birgitta Örne and my friend Kristina Lifors.
What inspires you in your work?
My family, beautiful soothing colours, shapes, textures, like velvet, Pinterest, Instagram, blogs, beautiful book covers like the new Penguin editions of F. Scottt Fitzgerald's books, moods, a really great amarone, movies (all of Nancy Meyer's),
beautiful art, like Vee Spears, Romina Ressia or Amy Judd.
And a inner longing to create something really beautiful!
Where do we have to go/see when visiting Sweden?
Ok, keep in mind that this is from a design, decor and architecture buff's point of view (one who's also very hungry):
If in Stockholm, Stay at Haymarket Scandic. Have breakfast at Broms on Karlavägen, Wienercaféet på Biblioteksgatan or Riche on Birger Jarlsgatan.
Take a nice stroll from there to Hallwylska Museet on Hamngatan and go on a guided tour. Then, visit Östermalms Saluhall and by yourself some cheese and wine and have a picnic on the Dramaten (the Royal Dramatic Theatre) steps.
Take a taxi to Lilienhoffska Palatset, where The Layered Atelier is situated. Stroll around and enjoy! While you're in the neighborhood, go to Fotografiska Museet (museum of photography), too. Then, stop by NK's (on Hamngatan) department for interior design on the third floor, and pay extra attention to Newport.
After that, hit the gorgeous shop Oscar & Clothilde on Birger Jarlsgatan, and finally, after, I hope, some heavy shopping, have dinner at Nosh and Chow on Norrlandsgatan. Ta- daaa! Perfect day.
To see more of Sofia’s work visit her website www.tretowdeco.com or follow her on Instagram @tretowdeco