Living With Kids: Cina Kjellsson

You know I love a crisp and colorful Swedish home, and Cina Kjellsson’s does not disappoint. As the designer behind the boldly patterned products at Camp Cirrus, she and her husband, Matts, have created a shared space that incorporates their entire family and still conveys the message that a group of creatives lives here.

The emphasis seems to be less on designing a space to look beautiful, and more on building rooms in which to live beautifully. Collections are few and chosen sparingly, but still with impact. The walls are white – of course! – and the walkways clear. There is space to share and space to be alone. Such brilliant take-aways to apply to any home, don’t you agree? Enjoy the tour!

Q: Describe your design style. What inspires you without fail?

A: Colourful, distinct, plain, happy, and easy to like. I like when my home looks nice, but not perfect. Everyday life and things we have around us inspire me…from books and magazines, to travelling, an interesting colour-combination walking by on the street…everything and nothing!

Q: Has your style changed at all since you’ve added children to the mix?

A: We have two children: a boy, Måns, who is seven years old, and a daughter, Anna, who is five.

My style hasn’t really changed when it comes to the designs I create or the look of our home. But I have been very inspired by the kids when it comes to clothing! I now want — and dare — to use and mix colours and patterns when I dress.

Q: Your home feels like it truly makes room for everyone who lives there. Tell us how you make it work, and was that a conscious decision to mix it all together?

A: Our house is not very big and most of it is one open space: hallway, living room, kitchen, and dining area. Therefore, our bedroom and the kids’ room, which they share, are most for sleeping and, in the kids’ case, “working!” Everything else happens in the common space.

This is why it seems natural to make room for everyone’s expressions all over the place. I guess if you have a plain background – in our case, white walls and very sort of basic furniture — you can mix quite a lot of expressions without making it visually messy.

Q: Have you attempted any do-it-yourself projects in your home?

A: Our biggest project has been the garden; there was only a lawn when we moved in nine years ago. Now there are flowerbeds, lots of trees, a vegetable garden, a greenhouse, and more. We have spent many hours digging…

Inside the house we’ve put up wallpaper, painted walls, and some other things. I painted the drawer on the kids’ dresser, stealing the motif from their elephant mobile from Danish Flensted.

Q: What was your goal for your children’s room? Did they have any input into the decor?

A: We just wanted them to like their room and feel comfortable. We’re happy that we managed room for a bunk bed, a double desk, clothes storage, and playing space in a relatively small area. They can decorate as they like with drawings and other things. If they have ideas, of course we listen. So far they haven’t been very interested in decorating, so my husband and I chose the furniture, textiles, and the blue colour on the wall.

Q: If you could change one thing in your home ‚ without a lot of stress or fuss! — what would you change?

A: I think the easiest way to change is with textiles. Some cushion covers would make the sofa look new, a tablecloth would change the dining room, and some nice terry towels in the bathroom would take focus off the everyday mess.

Q: What room or piece of furniture makes you smile every time you see it?

A: I really like the red rug by the sofa (my design manufactured by Kasthall) and a stool in our hallway bought by my grandparents for their first home, now upholstered with Tistlar from Jobs.

I smile every night when going to bed. I’m truly grateful that my husband convinced me that it was a good idea to buy our bed, which I thought was far too expensive. Of course, a lot of non-furniture items are important to me: art and items either made by our friends or that remind me of a nice person, place, or moment.

Q: What’s your favorite way to spend time in your home? When does it work best?

A: Either alone, or maybe with my husband, on the sofa with a book and a cup of tea. This doesn’t happen very often! Also, a night with good friends over for dinner would be lovely.

Q: Do you find you design the things and patterns you’d like in your own home?

Absolutely! We have Camp Cirrus cushions and trays, an IKEA rug in the kids’ room, the custom-made rug in the living room, and lots and lots of paper napkins made for the Swedish supermarket chain ICA. All designed by me!

Q: Do you have a studio space at home? How do you balance your design life with family life? Is it difficult, or do you find more inspiration when you unplug at home?

A: I do have a studio at home, and have so far found it very well functioning. But we soon need to move out for many reasons. I don’t find it hard to balance work and private life. Actually, I find it easier now than before having kids. Now I have to work when they are away, so I am very much of a nine-to-fiver…or maybe more nine-to-four!

Q: What’s on your wish list for your home?

A: Nothing big, really; we are very happy about our home. Next thing to do is to move the company out. As the business is growing, we need more space. Then we will have a spare room for Anna to move into. The kids will love to have rooms of their own someday, though I think they feel it’s really nice to sleep in the same room now.

If money was not a factor, I would remake our bathrooms. They are perfectly fine, but we did not choose the tiles, etc. and would not have decorated that way. Also, we would like to build a larger greenhouse with a separate section for winter storage of our Mediterranean plants. This would actually require a larger lot, so I guess it’s not entirely realistic!

Thank you so much, Cina, for sharing your home with us! As soon as everything’s back in bloom, please send snaps of your greenhouse, will you? Friends, tell me: are you finding tips in these home tours to use in your own way in your own home? What’s been your favorite inspiration so far? On my ever-changing list? A greenhouse and Mediterranean plants.

P.S. — If you’d like to share your home with us in my Living With Kids series, drop me a note. I’d love to hear from you! Also, I first read of Cina on Bloesem ages ago, and wanted to know more. I’m so glad she agreed to a chat!

9 thoughts on “Living With Kids: Cina Kjellsson”

  1. Love the red lamp over the island and having all the fun kids art. And that dresser is amazing! Do I spot a ‘faudenza’ in the background of the kitchen…that just reminded me of door sixteen.

  2. Very nicely done. I really like the elephant drawn onto the dresser! So fun.

    I think she’s right, that the white plain background allows for all the eclectic art and rugs. Thanks for sharing this home with us!

  3. There’s a part of me that’s like, sure, I’ll share what my house looks like, but then I realize it is not… designy enough. Or photogenic enough. Or something :) Maybe I’ll do a home tour on my own blog when things get finished!

    Love this one! So many fun colors!

  4. This is my favourite one so far! It is so cosy. The touches I like the most are the little basket with odds and ends and the handknit blanket alongside more modern objects.

  5. I appreciate they way the photos and pictures on the fridge. that is reality with kids! and we should embrace it somewhere, I think. i also really like the built in bookcase area. would be great for a small space like ours

  6. I love love that you featured a “real” home. It feels so much more attainable design and budget-wise than staged homes that I lust after (ex. your last living with kids post ;). This is a perfect balance!

  7. “are you finding tips in these home tours to use in your own way in your own home? ”

    Yes! It’s so interesting. Some of the homes shared so far are just not ‘my style’, and yet I so appreciate the nuances and niches that others create. There is always something to inspire in everyone’s home. Truly enjoying this series and hope there will be many more installments.

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