ISSUE 15  |  Shades of Pastel

House Call: An Ode to Sea and Sky, Courtesy of Stained Plywood

April 14, 2014 9:00 AM

BY Christine Chang Hanway

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Just when we thought we had seen every possible treatment of plywood, Swedish architect Tommy Carlsson shows us how staining the humble material can create a visual ode to sea and sky. Here’s Carlsson’s design for a waterside house in Sweden.

Photographs by Andy Liffner and interior styling by Sofie Ganeva via Fantastic Frank

Above: The new house is stained plywood on the exterior and primarily natural plywood on the interior. It’s set in Skärholmen, a suburb of Stockholm.

Above: A vinyl collection and crate-like furnishings remind us of a period in our not so distant past when we were less tied to technology.

Above: In the living area, the perimeter walls are white plasterboard and everything else, stair enclosure included, is made of plywood. 

Above L: Gray cabinets stand out in the kitchen, where the use of plywood extends from the floor to the cathedral ceiling. Above R: The material is put to structural use as exposed trusses.

Above: The L-shaped gray cabinets delineate the kitchen area. Did you know that the L-shape is the most social kitchen layout? Learn about the setup and see more examples at Remodeling 101:The L-Shaped Kitchen

Above: Pale leather pulls contrast with the gray cabinets while matching the warmth of the plywood. Like the look of leather hardware? Explore the options in 10 Easy Pieces: Leather Cabinet Hardware

Above: The only colors Carlsson introduces throughout the house are blue and gray (plus hints of green and red). Here, a plaid tablecloth contrasts with the crisp white walls and plywood. 

Above: A plywood door eschews standard hardware for leather pulls and a brass knob. It’s easy to make a similar looped handle—see our DIY video.

Above L: In the study, a blue stain applied over the plywood ceiling creates a cloud-like pattern. Above R: The stained plywood in the stairwell brings the sky inside.

Above L: A blue bedspread on a low bed references the water. Above R: The bathroom joins the visual ode. 

Above: The house’s gray exterior with its vertical siding is simple and modest against the clear blue open sky. 

Above: At triangular entry of blue-stained plywood offers a transition between the exterior and interior palette. The plywood’s watercolor look reminds us of the subtly variegated Ombre Tiles from Clé.

Above: A view from the backyard of Stockholm by the sea.

How do we love plywood? Join us as we count 10 Favorites: The Unexpected Appeal of Plywood, and 5 Favorites: Plywood Ceilings. Before embarking on your own building project, learn how to source the right (formaldehyde-free) plywood by reading Remodeling 101: The Ins and Outs of Plywood. And over on Gardenista, check out A Tiny Backyard Guest Studio—built from you guessed it.