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Minimalist Havens

Designed by Sarah Widman

HOME IS AN OASIS

Words by Barbara Kang | Photography by Bodil Bergqvist, Patrik Hagborg, and Sofie Sykfont

Photograph by Bodil Bergqvist | Sarah Widman

Sarah Widman, co-founder and creative director at Creative Unit Studio based in Gothenburg, Sweden, specializes in cultivating a sleek, Scandinavian approach in both interior design and commercial campaigns. A mastermind of producing refined simplicity, she executes design conceptualization and interior styling in order to encapsulate storytelling within interior spaces. 

 

“We create content supported by data analysis and neuroscience. From those insights, we can craft the right concept, design, and visuals that increase engagement and sales. We call it Emotional Commerce,” Widman says. Her interior spaces epitomize timelessness as they are driven by design narrative to evoke meaningful experiences and to create a fresh perspective of space that is not limited to current trends and culture.

Photograph by Patrik Hagborg | Client Borastapeter

Widman recounts the genesis of her career as an interior designer. “I always knew I wanted to work with interior design and decorating in some way—since I was a child,” she says. “I would rearrange my room and repaint the walls ever so often. When I started designing homes, my designs got recognition so I received requests to give lectures and to work with a Swedish television show talking about interior design and trends. My attention to detail led me into commercial marketing, creating concepts, set designs, and images for big campaigns and brands.” Through trial and error, her experiences thus far have led her to curate experiential spaces for her clients.

Photograph by Sofie Sykfont | Client Tarkett

Despite her decisions to implement strong, matte black furniture accents and intricate ceiling details in Tarkett—one of her recent projects at Creative Unit Studio, Widman captivates her viewership with cohesive imageries. “I would say soft minimalism. Scandinavian design combined with influences from Japanese aesthetics. I have always been drawn to the simplicity, concern for the details, and the craftsmanship of both styles,” Widman says.

Photograph by Sofie Sykfont | Client Tarkett

The sophisticated simplicity is true to Tarkett as it exudes modernity with a touch of whimsicality through her stylish attention to details. These details include elongated light fixtures to a varied palette of whites and ochres. Further, Widman promotes the importance of a living room as, “It’s where you spend the most time with your family and friends. I find it pleasurable when people enjoy and feel welcomed in the space.” 

She portrays an inviting scene by accentuating the moodiness emanating from the light grey walls of the communal room. In her design, a half-filled water cup and a crumpled sheet of paper imply just as much importance as the handmade ceramic placed on the softwood furniture.

Photograph by Bodil Bergqvist | Client Nordiska Kök

Through her latest kitchen project for minimalist Scandinavian kitchen brand, Nordiska Kök, Widman handles contrast seamlessly through the usage of dark oak frames and monochromatic schemes. Alongside her inspiration from the Nordic Archipelago, it is evident that this kitchen creates a warm and rustic experience. 

 

When designing a new space, the most important element she focuses on is “To create an environment where people can feel comfortable in and want to linger. When I create spaces or images, it is very important to me that they will last over time. I choose wisely the colors, textures, and materials to use and always go for what’s simple but good quality,” Widman says. 

 

She adeptly plays with the layering of textures through features such as the indoor plant reclining against the wall and the reformed stone. More importantly, she promotes that interior spaces should accommodate the individual’s wellbeing. “Sunlight is very important to me. Scandinavians aren’t very spoiled with it during the year, so I have to say the big windows in the house, bringing me all that sunlight. The light and airy feel are essential for my wellbeing,” Widman says.

Photograph by Patrik Hagborg | Client Borastapeter

Photograph by Sofie Sykfont | Client Tarkett

Driven by emotions and recreated memories, Widman has showcased captivating spaces that have the ability to stand the test of time. She advises homeowners and prospective designers, “Your home is your castle. It is very important that you can both rest and recharge and spend time with your family and friends. For harmony, keep it simple, try to declutter, and bring in nature. I always have branches or cut flowers—depending on the season—in vases at home. Stick to a few colors according to your color scheme and surround yourself with things you love and get energy from.”

Follow @sarahwidman on Instagram for inspiration on minimalist interior design.

Adora is a department store in Manila that opened in 2008. It features an exclusive mix of brands, from premium to off-pitch, with an intimacy and focus totally fresh to the Philippines. Adora is Manila’s most inspirational center of fashion, beauty, accessories, and jewelry. 

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