The Washington Post

Get the look: Swedish style

If you’re interested in Swedish style, Loi Thai, the owner of Tone on Tone in Bethesda, tells you how to get started.

Start small. If you’re apprehensive about a big change or commitment, start with a small space in your home, such as a foyer, hallway or guest room.

Repaint the walls in a lighter color. Thai suggests a neutral color, which is more versatile and will work with many types of furniture and finishes. His favorite neutral paint colors include Classic Gray and White Dove, both from Benjamin Moore and Clunch by Farrow & Ball.

Introduce painted Swedish pieces slowly. Start in smaller rooms and replace the furniture you like the least, says Thai. You may find that one or two new pieces refresh your space enough. If you like the way they look, you can eventually carry the style into the more prominent rooms.

Don’t get carried away. “When people use too much Swedish furniture, it starts looking like a theme park and will eventually look dated,” says Thai. He prefers rooms that are more collected and mixed, with a touch of Swedish style.

“You can introduce this furniture to your mahogany furniture and keep it like that,” he says. “It’s more interesting.”

Update upholstered furniture. If you have a dark couch, replace the matching accent pillows with pillows that are lighter in color and drape a neutral throw over the back, Thai says.

If you have a suite of dark furniture, break it up, he says. Move the pair of chairs to another room or recover the chairs, keep the sofa dark and add light pillows.

If you don’t want to invest in reupholstery, use slipcovers. Get fabric that is washable and neutral. You can bring in patterns and color with pillows and throws. Thai recommends Calico Corners and Haute for finding good, mid-weight linens.

— T.S.

More online

8For more photos of Linda Bond’s house, including the kitchen and dining room, go


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