Sweden on the Severn – Home & Design Magazine


Elina Donaldson lived in her native Sweden for 9 years together with her husband Noah Donaldson, a passionate sailor from Annapolis. Once they returned to the States to be nearer to his household and job as chief technical officer at Annapolis Micro Techniques, she laughs that Noah got here again extra Scandinavian than when he left. Along with a slight accent, he and Elina now share an affinity for Scandinavian type. “We each love structure and exquisite issues; being in Europe was inspiring,” she says.

Coming again to Maryland allowed Noah to meet the dream of proudly owning a waterfront property the place he might maintain his personal sailboat. When rather a lot on the Severn River got here up for public sale, the couple acted rapidly, bidding on it sight unseen. Though the old style cottage on the one-third-acre parcel was not their type, the views had been distinctive. The wooded road facet reminded Elina of the Swedish forests of her childhood whereas the water vista takes in a horizon the place the Severn empties into the Chesapeake, with the Bay Bridge within the distance.

The Donaldsons determined to tear down the cottage and construct their dream residence. They envisioned a contemporary, open retreat that might maximize views and display out close by neighbors. When Noah noticed a house designed by Annapolis architect Chip Bohl, he knew they’d discovered the precise match. “Capturing the view is one thing I’ve labored on my whole profession,” says Bohl, who was employed for the job. “It’s a core of our observe.”

The lot is slim however Bohl turned that into a bonus, designing a tall construction that matches completely on the positioning; its verticality acts as a counterbalance to the vast panorama of the bay and the horizon. Whereas the entrance façade is extra closed-off and personal, the water facet is clear and dynamic with beneficiant partitions of glass.

“Relatively than a sheer, flat wall, we sculpted the volumes going through the bay to create complexity,” Bohl explains. “The home has volumetric depth, so every room has a special orientation to the horizon, giving the interiors a wealthy relationship to the view.”

Accomplished in 2018, the 4,000-square-foot residence boasts 4 bedrooms and 4 and a half baths over three flooring. Organized round an ethereal central staircase, the primary flooring incorporates a big, open residing area that displays the household’s social life-style, encompassing the residing and eating rooms and kitchen. There’s a devoted “child area” with sliding doorways that allow the mother and father to close away litter when wanted.

The second story homes bedrooms for the couple’s two kids, now eight and 10, on one facet and the homeowners’ suite on the opposite; an workplace and a household room await on the third flooring.

Bohl is happy with a cantilevered, glass-enclosed “dice room” that sits on the mezzanine degree between the primary and second flooring. “It’s utterly floating,” says the architect, noting that the perch he describes as a crow’s nest required “fairly a little bit of structural gymnastics because it has no obvious technique of assist. The design permits for dynamic, anti-gravity verticality that’s so vital to the success of this home.”

Embodying Scandinavian type, the house blurs the road between inside and exterior, with partitions of home windows permitting uninterrupted connections to its environment. The design balances cool, sensible supplies like polished-concrete flooring with heat woods. Consequently, the interiors are lovely of their easy minimalism.

Although Elina’s background is in engineering, she has typically helped buddies with interiors tasks and through the pandemic determined to launch her personal design agency, Simplicity by Elina. Placing her abilities to work in her own residence, she looked for furnishings that met her exacting rules with a concentrate on three standards: magnificence, perform and craftsmanship.

In the lounge, she opted for a big sectional in blue to provide the area a pop of coloration. The hearth was impressed by conventional Swedish Kakelugn stoves, up to date with fashionable, textured tile.

Actually, texture was important to her strategy—so wool rugs, sheepskin and cowhide throws and blankets seem all through the house. And whereas Elina chosen modern, totally built-in Leicht kitchen cabinetry in a darkish, wealthy grey, the oak backsplash and bronze-toned bar stools provide a heat counterpoint to the cool cupboards and white quartz counter tops.

A lot of her favourite items are treasures she present in Scandinavia, such because the eating desk designed by Johannes Andersen and Boomerang chairs by Alfred Christensen—these items by Danish furnishings makers had been bought at public sale in Stockholm. Others got here instantly from nature, just like the tree stump in the lounge that washed up on their neighbor’s seaside; Elina meticulously dried and formed it right into a practical facet desk.

The lively, outdoorsy household enjoys their new waterfront digs, the place they’ll leap in a kayak or on a paddleboard—or set sail on their 31-foot trimaran, Frequent Flyer, proper from their very own seaside or dock. “However crucial factor to me,” displays Elina, ”is the sensation inside the home—the sunshine and the connection to nature. I really feel a home must be a mirrored image of its homeowners and this home displays us as a household.”

Structure: Chip Bohl, AIA, principal; Jessica Giovachino; Ted Sheils, AIA, LEED AP, Bohl Architects, Annapolis, Maryland. Inside Design: Elina Donaldson, Simplicity by Elina, Annapolis, Maryland. Builder: Riley Customized Properties & Renovations, Annapolis, Maryland. Panorama Structure: Heike Nolker, ALSA, Panorama Architect, Annapolis, Maryland. 



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