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Designer Lotta Anderson's Brooklyn apartment and nearby office uses the same motifs that decorate her Lotta Jansdotter textiles and ceramics: sublimely subtle hues, quirky organic shapes, and a casual comfort that gives even up-to-the-moment modern an intimate ease.
Designer Lotta and husband Nick moved from San Francisco into this Brooklyn apartment in 2006.
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The Living Room
"I've always been interested in natural things," says Lotta, who grew up on a small island off the coast of Sweden. Here earth tones, wood, and textiles she designed combine with touches of industrial steel and splashes of color. To create a chic console (behind the sofa), Ikea kitchen cabinets were given a lift with a wood veneer top that matches the custom shelving above. To maintain privacy but maximize light, Lotta designed a drapery made of one blue wool panel and three white linen sections --all opaque except for the sheer one at eye level.
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The Dining Room
Lotta prefers clean lines and pared-down spaces. "I'm attracted to simple forms," she says. To contain and hide linens when not in use, Nick, an architect, made a dining room table with built-in storage slots. The wall hangings also pull double duty: They're table runners that Lotta designed. She pins them up for decoration until she needs one for company (or wants to watch a movie, which they'll project on the wall).
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Dining Room Details
Here, painterly ceramics by San Francisco artist Sherry Olsen are paired with sleek flatware (a wedding gift) and a place mat and napkin from one of Lotta's previous collections. The trick to combining patterns is to stick to your theme: Handmade shapes and natural colors unify all of these elements.
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This sand-filled doorstop sewn from one of Lotta's textiles -- a project in her book, "Simple Sewing" -- is an excellent reason to keep an open-door policy.
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The colors and patterns of Lotta's ceramics, fabrics, and stationery are derived from the Swedish landscape. From "the bright gray of the ocean and vibrant green grass to the pale hay and weathered barns," she explains, all of her creations evoke her Scandinavian sensibilities and love of the great outdoors.
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Lotta digs up the seeds for future designs everywhere, from inside her crammed cabinets to out on the streets. She catalogues what she finds in her many sketchbooks.
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The Sewing Table
Creating everything by hand, Lotta decries the use of a computer for anything other than email. "I cut and paste my designs using paper, scissors, and glue, so it's really messy and organic," she explains. Various stations help organize her tasks: Her sewing table comprises an Ikea chair that she upholstered with her own material and a metal hospital desk that was a gift from a friend. Another wall hanging serves as decor.
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The Home Office
Lotta's office and apartment share a comforting atmosphere -- her distinctive blend of the natural and industrial. She made the coral-like overhead light fixture by simply screwing together a bunch of hardware-store socket extenders, which cost less than $3 each.