“What made the mansion so exciting was its very emptiness and the lack of objects.
Its décor and fixtures, such as tiled stoves, doors, mirrors and mural paintings, were of
the highest quality, however-this despite its location in the depths of the countryside.
The proportions of the rooms and the views of water from each window were, and still are,
captivating. From the wide floorboards to the lack of central heating, the overwhelming
impression was of undestroyed 18th century. What rapidly became clear was that the
house would not work as a permanent residence, but a repository for dreams that
we could indulge in our leisure time. “
Lars Sjöberg’s account of his discovery and forty year careful restoration of
Regnaholm, an 18th century Swedish manor house. An art historian and
curator of the National Museum of Stockholm, and author of several books
on Swedish style, his account of the Regnaholm restoration is inspiring.
In the green drawing room the mirror is ornamented with roses around a pediment
in which two swans drink from a fountain. The gilded console table has a
painted glass imitation of Porphyry in its borders.
The pine floor in the drawing room features a star shaped oak inlay…
Late Gustavian sofa is decorated with green-painted griffins
and composition moldings glued to the wooden frame…
Lars has been painstaking in his removal of more contemporary wallpaper and paintfinishes
from the walls and wood detail that crept slowly over the original 18th century house.
On the death of an aristocrat, his belongings were inventoried by law, so Lars has been
able to surmise furniture holdings of the original dwellers and carefully approximate them.
Lars purchased the late Gustavian couches 20 years ago.
The pier glass’s ornaments were originally antique verdigris green, touched up
a century ago with gilding, and awaiting restoration to their original finish.
The blue and white rococo stove, made by Marieberg porcelain in Stockholm,
was moved from the reception room to the yellow drawing room in 1800…
Lar’s daughter Lovisa slept in this white and gold painted Gustavian bed
with red cotton canopy. The green rococo chair was made in the 1760’s by
Stockholm cabinetmaker Olof Holm. Oh, how I love this bed!
My post Circular Logic here has photos from Ekensberg, another one of Lars Sjöberg’s houses
and Greet of Belgian Pearls recently did a post on Ekensberg here
Beyond the beautiful photos, what intrigues me is the earnest love
and dedication to a piece of design history and the commitment
to preserve it, wall paper layer by wallpaper layer.
The World of Interiors June ’09
Text by Lars Sjöberg
Miguel Flores Vianna photography