The glass-enclosed sitting room at Stockholm's Ett Hem hotel doesn't want to catch your eye. Although it takes its cues from the garden--a space where vibrant hues and untamed forms can easily fight for your attention--the purposefully quiet design instead invites contemplation, stillness, and rest. Armed with a neutral color palette, honest materials, and layers that subtly draw you in, designer Ilse Crawford of Studioilse converted the 100-year-old space into one of the city's newest, and most alluring, hidden hideaways. Here's how to make this look your own.
NEUTRALIZE THE COLOR SCHEME. Teamwork is key to this palette. The room's beautifully moody-without-being-moody greige colors don't compete; they blend, complement, and practically melt into one another. Furnishings, accessories, and even the greenery are all subdued (you need to look very closely to catch even a flash of fuchsia on an orchid or the crimson spine of a book). The goal is to welcome and offer a sensory respite--not to startle or grandstand.
INCORPORATE HONEST MATERIALS. Crawford's material and textile choices favor simplicity. Wood--especially raw or distressed--plays a starring role in an assortment of midcentury chairs, while upholstery is salt of the earth: wool and linen. Elements are organic, real, and often exposed: from the rustic reclaimed-wood side tables to the traditional terracotta pots and the overgrown plants inside of them.
LAYER WITH CARE. Although you'd never call this room "minimal," the individual pieces that fill the space lean to the "clean line" end of the spectrum--confidently lacking excess embellishment. Considered together, they create an overall sense of calm, thoughtful curation and intrigue--all the characteristics you'd expect of a low-key luxe Scandinavian garden.
Photograph: Courtesy Ett Hem