When Massimo Minale, founder of the brand Buster + Punch, and his wife had just had their first son, their apartment in Stockholm no longer seemed like the right place for them. They had been driving outside of the city near Lake Mälaren and serendipitously came across a home that was for sale. They had just missed the open house and therefore had not been able to step foot inside, but the incredible views convinced them that this was the right place. “We put a bid in and won,” he smiled. “Our family loves the outdoors and especially the water, which is why this house fit us like a glove.”
But often the vision that we have doesn’t match up with reality. “The house was in a really bad state and in desperate need of renovation,” Massimo said. “It was built in the ’40s and is what Swede’s call ‘Funkis’ style, which loosely translates as Bauhaus style. Our initial plan was to knock the house down and build a very contemporary home, however, we later found out that as the house was attached to the water it was also protected and couldn’t be demolished. All that was left for us to do was to try and renovate a very ugly duckling into our dream home.”
Although they wanted to embrace their newfound rural setting, the couple were urbanists at heart. Having met and lived for five years in the East End of London in a warehouse conversion, they fell in love with that aesthetic concept. As much as the exterior architecture was mid-century Scandinavian, they were determined to make the interiors feel like a loft. “Originally the house was a 250 square-meter (2,700 square-feet) sugar cube with lots of small rooms,” he said. “Essentially, we kept the four outside walls and tore down the rest.”
As the founder of a lighting, hardware, and switch company, Massimo had access to some of the best metalworkers in the world through his brand’s London workshop. This meant that the beams used to support all of the newly opened spaces in his home were made by the Buster + Punch team and shipped over to Sweden. The staircase, light fixtures, island, and cabinet pulls are other examples of Massimo’s custom-designed and produced pieces for this space.
One look at the home and the East London industrial vibes immediately become apparent. However, Massimo’s wife was personally drawn to the aesthetic of Scandinavian long houses bringing in some elements that would soften all of the metalwork. In fact, the light green, pink, and black bedroom was a bit of a risk but ended up marrying the couple’s somewhat differing styles beautifully. Another way that they brought soul to the home was by incorporating vintage pieces of furniture that they inherited from their families, with an original Eames chair as a stand-out example.
As much as the house is filled with moments of Massimo’s undeniable talent for design, the main draw for the couple is how it has provided a wonderful space for them to share. “As with any big renovation job, the first few months when you finally move in, you are consumed by the design of the house and the material things that inhabit it,” he shared, “and then once you get over the honeymoon period, the only thing that matters is how it works as a home and how happy it makes you feel and this one makes us very happy.”