Portrait of Viola Bergström infront of her Portal shelf.
Blog / Journal / Viola Bergström

In my shelf

Viola Bergström

We visit project manager and creative Viola Bergström. With her great sense of style she has captured the Portal shelf in a completely new way.

Buy Viola's shelf

We get home to Viola Bergström who just moved in with her boyfriend Gustaf Sjövall in a nice mid-century apartment in Hägerstensåsen south of Stockholm.

Viola works as a project manager and creator at Alter id. With her wonderful style, Viola has captured the Portal shelf in a completely new way. The two cabinets next to the bottom creates a base for the shelf. Beautiful objects and art books are displayed on the shelf and at the top are all novels. A good way to create a calm rhythm on the shelf is to do just like Viola. Group and create blocks of similar things.

Who lives here?
Me and my boyfriend Gustaf. We just moved in together in his apartment.

How long have you lived here?

I moved here 3 months ago. Then it was really a Bachelor pad. I was a little hesitant to move into his apartment, as I am very concerned about what it should look like. I can sometimes run over others’ opinions to get it my way, charmingly enough. But Gustaf has been very open-minded and he said that I can do what I want. It felt important to rearrange to make it feel like our home. I have created mood boards with colors and inspiration, of which he may have been a little hesitant at first, but now I have won his trust.

It was not very cosy before, and there was not really a red line within the interior. I think he had just furnished the apartment with pieces without thinking about whether they fit together or if he really liked them. This is a mid-century apartment and I think you should embrace it. Mid-century modern is my main inspiration, and that’s what I spend hours pinning on Pinterest. (https://www.pinterest.se/violabergstrom) This is how I got to make my Pinterest boards a reality.

There used to be an old cabinet where the shelf is now. It was nice in itself but didn’t fit into the apartment, maybe more in a cottage. There was a String shelf which felt too much 50s, so it had to go. I wanted something new that would lift the soul of the apartment. The portal shelf really blends in here I think.

What do you like about the Portal shelf?

It’s exactly what I’m looking for. Classic with a twist, it’s a piece but still blends in. We have so much stuff so we needed a big shelf. I love that the shelf is so flexible and can be changed over time, we can e.g. move the cabinets if we want them somewhere else later. It really feels like good design. We have painted the walls in the color “Linen” from Klint and it works perfectly with the shelf in off-white.

What do you have on your shelf?
I wanted the books to shine like they deserve. I don’t want our home to be too stiff. A home must be cozy so we have a lot of ceramics, books and some personal items like the binoculars and the hand from my grandfather. Also – I like to hide away stuff in the cabinets.

It’s fun to move things around on the shelf and sort of make mini pieces of art. I buy a lot at auctions and flea markets to find unique items, as I try to live more sustainably.

Viola’s love of making things and her eye for what’s beautiful took her all the way to a boat club close near where they live, where they now keep their wooden boat Rio from 1936.

We bought the boat last autumn in Arvika where it then stayed all winter long. It was really super spontaneous. During the autumn, Gustaf hung out at a lot of meetings and talked us into a boat club on Långholmen in the city of Stockholm. It’s a little special. The people that have their boats there spend all their time polishing their boats to perfection. We don’t have that time because both work very much. The boat club is very selective and wanted to see our boat before we could get a boat place there. So we had to go up to Arvika and work super fast to get it in the right condition. Just moving it to Stockholm with a trailer was an adventure. Once we put it in the water, Gustaf slept on the pier for two days. When you put a wooden boat in water, it leaks so you have to be there and pump and fix it so it doesn’t sink. After a while it swells and the wood acclimatizes to the water. And yes, we got a place at the boat club.

Thank you Viola for inviting us into your home!

Our other friends shelves

  • A narrow Portal shelf in Emilia Ilke's studio.

    Emilia’s first shelf

  • Caroline’s shelf

Blog / Journal / Viola Bergström

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