Sometimes the interior spaces can define a national character and rarely more so than when I arrived to Sweden. I spent my first night in a B&B in the city centre where the furniture and decorations were very much in keeping with the 18th and early 19th century styles. This is the romantic intellectual royal past of wooden houses, wooden furniture, pastel colours and tiled fireplaces.
The other Sweden, more modern one, is summed up by the IKEA overload of my student flat. When black is the brightest colour of your own space, you know that you are living in a minimalistic flat. I do have a lovely view over the inner archipelago and I can see swaths of coniferous mixed forest from my window, not just modern blocks of flats and old villas from the turn of the 20th century.
This is Sweden – modern, efficient, affluent and cute. I can hardly wait to take a Finland ferry!
(To see the outer archipelago and the open sea)