Ett Hem is no ordinary hotel. Often described as a ‘home away from home’, this residential house, transformed into a hotel in central Stockholm, has in short time attracted international guests and interest from magazines like Harper’s Bazaar, Elle Decoration and Monocle. The Link spoke with SCC member and hotel owner Jeanette Mix about her passions and driving forces, and about the secrets to her success.
Ett Hem is Swedish for ‘a home’ and that is exactly the atmosphere Jeanette wanted to create for her hotel: “This is a home. We only have twelve rooms and we make sure that all guests are seen and taken care of. The guests see when we tend the garden, or rearrange flowers. They join us in the kitchen and the children help us when baking. This creates intimacy and conversations, and an experience you can’t have at a larger hotel.”
The idea was born
Jeanette recalls that it was by mere coincidence she ended up in the hospitality industry. In her early years, she started working for two restaurant owners in Falkenberg on the Swedish west coast who were passionate about their craft and taught Jeanette everything they knew. This is also when her passion for food and wine was ignited.
“I studied natural sciences but decided to change direction and instead, started to study at the culinary and hospitality school in Switzerland and at Cordon Bleu in London. Looking back, I never thought I would be where I am today. I met my husband and life took me to Stockholm. When renovating our home, the idea of converting a similar house in the neighbourhood into a hotel was born.”
Inspiration from Carl Larsson
Ett Hem is originally a private residence built in 1910, situated in a residential area in central Stockholm. Jeanette recounts: “The original owners of the house were friends with Swedish painter Carl Larsson, whom I happen to have a great fondness for. In fact, this is where we got the name for the hotel. Ett Hem was also the name of his own home.”
A personal and genuine experience
It wasn’t before long Jeanette brought the renowned interior designer Ilse Crawford into the project, which turned out to be a perfect match: “When I started working with Ilse, she immediately understood my vision and what I wanted Ett Hem to be,” Jeanette explains. “I wanted to create a personal and genuine experience, which is something that I’m looking for when I’m travelling myself. Ett Hem is not a luxury hotel in that sense. Instead it’s the quality of the estate and the materials, such as the wall panels, marble window sills and the parquet flooring that set the tone of the experience. Ilse helped me to realise my vision and she took it one step further than I would have dared myself.”
Trust your gut feeling
When asked about the reasons behind her success, Jeanette replies: “A good idea starts with a gut feeling, it has to come from within. Also, what has been truly important for me is that we have always sticked to our concept and vision. We are not trying to cater to everyone’s needs, instead we stick to what we are good at. You have to be meticulous in everything you do. We are constantly improving different aspects of the hotel, but we do it carefully and in a thought-out manner, as I believe there are no quick-fixes. Lastly, this is a team effort. I have a very skilful staff and I am nothing without them. This is a journey we are on together.”