The dream house that’s close to everything

Photo Mats Engfors/Fotographic

Ann-Sofie Lund and Martin Brännvall decided to go all in and built their dream house – by hand, from foundation to roof. Here they are close to both the forest and the city, and space for many spontaneous visits.

Last summer, they were ready to move in, Ann-Sofie Lund and Martin Brännvall’s dream house, or the castle as they themselves called it during the construction process.

– It felt good to move in when we have waited so long. It took a little longer than planned, two years and three months from the time we started with the plot, says Ann-Sofie.
But then little Edvin also came into the picture in the middle of the process and now the couple’s second child Vincent is six months old.

Everything except tiling and painting, the couple has done themselves, from clearing sly, drawings and blasting stone to laying roofs and insulating. Anyone may not get involved in such a project, but then Martin is also working on building a house.

– I have always wanted to build my own house. Not everyone can say that they built their own full house, he says.

– You get proud that we pulled it off. In retrospect, you could say that it was good that we did not know what we were getting into, but I’m glad we did it, says Ann-Sofie.

The dream plot for the dream house

But the first challenge was to find a suitable plot. On the fourth attempt, they found the right location thanks to good help from the community building office in Boden municipality. The solution was a subdivision of the municipality’s land in a forest area on Bränslan.

– We did not want to live in a neighborhood but we wanted a little more privately but not far from town. Here it is both close to the preschool, to the city and out on the road 97, but still with a secluded feeling, says Ann-Sofie.

A requirement was also that the plot should fit the type of house they wanted, a two-storey house with the living areas upstairs. From here they have beautiful views of horse paddocks, meadows and soothing forest. The large living room with over four meters in ceiling height has large windows and 100 square meters of open space for kitchen, dining area and living room.

– Here we have large areas to spend time on. We are very home-loving but still social. We like to invite people home and I like when our friends spontaneously come and visit.

They have set up a wall between the dining area and the living room so now you can watch TV and talk without disturbing each other. On the entrance level there are equal areas for bedrooms, offices and laundry.

– Many have questioned that we have a kitchen and living room upstairs, but the day we can not bear to carry our grocery bags, we probably still do not want to live like this, says Martin.

They wanted so much living space that a single-storey house was not relevant.

– If you have the bedrooms upstairs, it is easy not to use it, but now we use the whole house, even though we are mostly up here, says Ann-Sofie.

Great help from friends

During the construction period, the couple’s friends and relatives have been very helpful. On several occasions, they have been invited to paint, install windows and mount wall panels.

– Without their help, this would never have happened. We are very grateful. We have not taken time off for this, but worked full time and built on evenings and weekends, says Ann-Sofie.

Since Edvin was born, Martin has had to carry the heaviest load on the construction site.

– He just drives on, he has that kind of patience and sees no obstacles with anything, says Ann-Sofie.

Of course, things have gone awry, but they still think that the work has gone well. They made the garage first and then built the house parts inside.

– The most fun was when we raised the walls. It was so quick to get the house up. We thought we were close then, but we were not. When we got the OSB boards up on the walls and could go into the rooms, it also felt big, says Ann-Sofie.

Homely feeling

Since the family moved in, they have slowed down a bit and focused on the interior design and making the house a home. The upper floor is gray from floor to ceiling and downstairs there are also shades of blue and turquoise.

– We wanted the opposite of bright and fresh, it should be cozy. Now that autumn is coming, it will be fun to decorate with more lamps, says Ann-Sofie.

The furniture is a mix of new and old, flea market and Ikea. The chairs are inherited while the two petrol-colored velvet sofas and the huge oriental rug were bought new.

Between the two floors is a rustic staircase of rough planks in dark glazed wood. The same material can be found in the kitchen island and the three meter long kitchen table. It is Martin himself who carpented everything, and that of old boards from Jokkfall where he grew up.

– It is not so easy to get charm in a house that is new, but this is an attempt at it, says Ann-Sofie. #


The family / Ann-Sofie Lund, communications and business development manager, 34, Martin Brännvall, carpenter / contractor, 36, Edvin, 2 years, Vincent, 6 months and golden retriever Sune, 7 years.
The house / A two-storey house of 200 square meters located at Bränslan in Boden.

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