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September 21, 2011

It's been a while since I've seen a project as desirable and jealousy-making as this one (and working at Dwell, that means a lot...!). This summer house, renovated by Jonas Labbé and Johannes Schotanus of LASC for a family in Skåne, Sweden, is to me the perfect example of how strong design, thoughtfully placed bursts of strong color, and honest natural treatment can elevate even the simplest forms and materials. Click through the slideshow for a peek into the loveliest summer retreat.

Set in the Swedish summer retreat area of Österlen, this conversion of an abandoned farmhouse re-­thinks and plays on the notion of "nostalgia and shelter by combining them with very contemporary desires for space, light and nature," say the architects. P
Set in the Swedish summer retreat area of Österlen, this conversion of an abandoned farmhouse re-­thinks and plays on the notion of "nostalgia and shelter by combining them with very contemporary desires for space, light and nature," say the architects. Photo by Thomas Ibsen.
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The result is an unpretentious summer house that "brings the focus of luxury back to being about experience and simplicity: the direct relation to nature, splashes of bright colors, or the sound of water falling on wood." Photo by Thomas Ibsen.
The result is an unpretentious summer house that "brings the focus of luxury back to being about experience and simplicity: the direct relation to nature, splashes of bright colors, or the sound of water falling on wood." Photo by Thomas Ibsen.
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The most rigorous intervention was the internal opening-up of the house by removing two-thirds of the walls and ceilings. This creates one large living and kitchen space that extends to a lounge on the first floor. The protruding storage box (upper left)
The most rigorous intervention was the internal opening-up of the house by removing two-thirds of the walls and ceilings. This creates one large living and kitchen space that extends to a lounge on the first floor. The protruding storage box (upper left) marks the transition to the library corridor and vertically frames the living room. Photo by Thomas Ibsen.
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View from the living room. The space was opened up by inserting large window openings with hidden frames. Photo by Laura Stamer.
View from the living room. The space was opened up by inserting large window openings with hidden frames. Photo by Laura Stamer.
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Another view of the living room, with the storage bump-out overhead. The white-painted side flattens the perceived three-dimensionality of the ceiling that folds up around the box.
Another view of the living room, with the storage bump-out overhead. The white-painted side flattens the perceived three-dimensionality of the ceiling that folds up around the box.
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The ground-floor library offers a view through the house to the surrounding landscape, through old windows with hidden framing. Photo by Laura Stamer.
The ground-floor library offers a view through the house to the surrounding landscape, through old windows with hidden framing. Photo by Laura Stamer.
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The library contains an extended windowsill that functions as a small desk. The two bedroom doors are visually integrated into the library. Photo by Laura Stamer.
The library contains an extended windowsill that functions as a small desk. The two bedroom doors are visually integrated into the library. Photo by Laura Stamer.
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Colored tiles in the shower are revealed behind a cedar wood wall. "The sound of falling water on wood and the surrounding fields form the background," say the architects. "This was our way of introducing an immaterial idea of what luxury actually could b
Colored tiles in the shower are revealed behind a cedar wood wall. "The sound of falling water on wood and the surrounding fields form the background," say the architects. "This was our way of introducing an immaterial idea of what luxury actually could be about."
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The original washing house connected to the main house was in such bad shape that it had to be demolished. LASC "reincarnated" it as a spacious bathhouse, complete with a tub‐with-a-­view and a heated concrete window bench. Photo by Laura Stamer.
The original washing house connected to the main house was in such bad shape that it had to be demolished. LASC "reincarnated" it as a spacious bathhouse, complete with a tub‐with-a-­view and a heated concrete window bench. Photo by Laura Stamer.
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The two-­sided stove is installed in the heart of the house, elevated slightly to bring the fire closer to eye-­level. The stove marks the meeting of the new concrete floor with the old wooden floor. Photo by Laura Stamer.
The two-­sided stove is installed in the heart of the house, elevated slightly to bring the fire closer to eye-­level. The stove marks the meeting of the new concrete floor with the old wooden floor. Photo by Laura Stamer.
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The kitchen area is characterized by a concrete countertop that was poured on site. The handmade triangular tiles above the stove were specially made by an artist from the Netherlands. Photo by Laura Stamer.
The kitchen area is characterized by a concrete countertop that was poured on site. The handmade triangular tiles above the stove were specially made by an artist from the Netherlands. Photo by Laura Stamer.
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The upstairs lounge also functions as passageway to the small guest room. Its intimate character is maintained by the hidden door. The skylight is flush with the wall, softly illuminating the wood with northern light. Photo by Laura Stamer.
The upstairs lounge also functions as passageway to the small guest room. Its intimate character is maintained by the hidden door. The skylight is flush with the wall, softly illuminating the wood with northern light. Photo by Laura Stamer.
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View from the upstairs bedroom. "In this simple farmhouse, ‘fine’ materials would have been alien," say the architects. Thus, they limited materials to concrete, pine, and smooth white plaster. "This reduced palette is invigorated with the addition of fre
View from the upstairs bedroom. "In this simple farmhouse, ‘fine’ materials would have been alien," say the architects. Thus, they limited materials to concrete, pine, and smooth white plaster. "This reduced palette is invigorated with the addition of fresh colors selected in close collaboration with the clients," the architects add. Photo by Laura Stamer.

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Set in the Swedish summer retreat area of Österlen, this conversion of an abandoned farmhouse re-­thinks and plays on the notion of "nostalgia and shelter by combining them with very contemporary desires for space, light and nature," say the architects. P
Set in the Swedish summer retreat area of Österlen, this conversion of an abandoned farmhouse re-­thinks and plays on the notion of "nostalgia and shelter by combining them with very contemporary desires for space, light and nature," say the architects. Photo by Thomas Ibsen.

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