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A Swedish Home That Will Sooth Your Soul!

Have you seen the 'calm app' which encourages you to stop what you're doing for 15 seconds and listen to the sound of rain drops? The aim is to make you feel relaxed through mindfulness (but apparently people are getting stressed out from all the ads they've been sharing, which does make me chuckle!). Either way, when I find apartments like this one I get my own little dose of mid week calm - do you find this too? I'm not sure if it's the soothing grey walls, the way the light falls or the soft, natural textures in the form of wood, rattan, leather and linen - but there's something beautiful about this space high up in the roof tops of Gothenburg. I'll leave you to enjoy the tour i lugn och ro (in peace and quiet)!

... and relax!

I love that it has a little balcony looking out over the inner garden. Communal gardens like these are really common in Swedish apartment blocks. They're usually divided into unofficial zones which includes  somewhere to store bikes, a barbecue spot and a children's play area. The apartment I lived in before also had a communal vegetable patch - so lovely!

Is there anything that stood out to you?

If you're looking to create a calm oasis in your home too - here's our guide to some of the pieces:


1. Marte Storage Cabinet
2. Object Blanc no 26 - Atelier CPH
3. Slit Table
4. Gubi Semi Pendant - Dia.60
5. Filton Coffee Table
6. CH23 Side Chair
7. Nicoline A. Milton - Adoray
8. STOCKHOLM 2017 Tray
9. Glo-Ball S1 Suspension Lamp
10. Cutter Bench 120

More Swedish homes in the archives include the wonderful home of a food blogger (check out the blue walls!),  the charming home of a designer and a vintage inspired home full of soul.

I'm just doing the final prep on my office make-over. It's been a surprising amount of work - gah - (partly due to how much rubbish I managed to accumulate) but it's nearly there now and I'm really hoping to share the results tomorrow. Fingers crossed!

Have a lovely evening!

Credits: Photographer Jonas Berg. Styling GreyDeco for Stadshem

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A Relaxed Beach Home in Neutral, Earthy Tones

Why hello there! Do you have countries which you haven't visited yet but just know when you get there you're never going to want to leave?! For me, it's Australia. Not only do the inhabitants enjoy a balmy subtropical climate, our Antipodean friends seem to lead a wonderful outdoorsy lifestyle (surfing, beach days and barbies...) and Australian interior design is having a bit of a moment too. Interior stylist, renovator and fellow Brit, Maddy of Hutchinson.House, made the move four years ago and lives in a beautiful, relaxed beach house with her husband Ben, 10 month old baby girl Florence and cat Pip. I couldn't resist asking Maddy a little more about their recently renovated home, her take on the latest Australian design trends and their life Down Under.

Three African Binga baskets create an interesting wall display and are in keeping with the beachy, natural vibe of the house.

How did you end up in Australia?
I met my husband in the Caribbean when we used to work on yachts. He is Australian and for us to be together, one would have to move... I chose to move to Australia, because well, it's Australia! And he's also a very keen surfer.

What do you love most about living Down Under?
I love the tropical weather and beach lifestyle. It feels like a permanent holiday!

I can well imagine! Your beach home is so lovely! How would you describe your style?
Originally from the UK, I will always have an English element within my style and I love a timeless colour scheme like blue and white. Having an overall neutral colour scheme with white walls, earthy materials and fresh greens reflects our informal beach lifestyle.

The Miami Dining Chair - Basket Weave is a fairly new addition to the beach house. Sadly it appears to be sold out - but this chair is similar. 

What do you like most about having a neutral colour scheme? 
Having a neutral palette is calming and consistent. It gives the flexibility to experiment with patterns and colours throughout the changing seasons and ever changing trends. But more importantly having a neutral palette is easy to strip back to and is timeless and classic.

The kitchen doors have been painted in a blue hue from Taubmans. Two cane  Eco barstools (love these!) provide a place to sit while the other is cooking.

What would you say are the key elements to consider when designing a beach house? 
The natural light, white walls and using raw materials are key. Using tropical plants and greenery is also a simple way to bring the outdoors in and make your space feel fresh and earthy.

 Loom and Field sells a lovely handpicked selection of Beni Ourain Rugs.

Where do you buy items for your home?
There is a strong global influence throughout our home. Many pieces we own are unique and derive from places all over the world: from the Moroccan rugs I hand picked in the Atlas mountains to the African Mali mudcloth I chose in a European flea market.

"I love artwork, ornaments and textiles that tell a story."

What do you love most about your home? 
Our home is filled with natural light, plants and special pieces that we have collected over time. It reflects us and who we are. Each space in our home shares our story.

What are the key interior trends in Australia right now? 
I would say celebrating a neutral colour palette with a minimal boho beach aesthetic. It has become increasingly popular to fill homes with artisanal and bespoke handcrafted goods from around the world. Ethnic and tribal cultures in Africa and Morocco have had a huge influence lately.

Linen blanket with fringe, Bed headboard from The bedhead Co, blue and white cushion from Indie Bungalow (this batik indigo cushion is similar). African Binga basket (seen on the wall).

"Textiles and materials that are ethically sourced and produced are showing more popularity in Australia as we are becoming more sustainable in the way that we live."

What are your interior trend predictions in Australia for 2018? 
I sense that interiors will have a stronger European influence with a more dramatic use of colour and pattern. dark walls, wallpaper, burnt reds and terracotta tones will increase. I also feel that an element of Parisian style may make its way into the interior design trend this year.

 Vanity / bathroom cabinet painted in Benjamin Moore, tiles from Jatana Interiors

Florence's bedroom has a light dusty pink touch. The neutral scheme, basket pendant light and cushions help to tie the space in with the rest of the home.

Photography: © Maddy / Hutchinson.House

What a wonderful home? Thank you so much to Maddy for taking the time to show us your beach home and tell us more about your (incredibly enviable) life in Australia!  

You can see more shots of her lovely home here

Anyone else feeling like a gap year might be in order? 

These beautiful, relaxed beach homes might just be the push we all need: a super relaxed cottage,  a boho holiday home in Byron Bay (available to rent!), a holiday home in a former miner's cottage

If a holiday is more likely (they do 17 hour direct flights these days, after all!) - there's also The Bower (if you book it, can I come with you? I promise to be an excellent travel buddy!).

Happy Monday all!

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A Pretty Way to Store Sunglasses

News flash: the sun has arrived in Southern Sweden. And I'm not just talking glimpses behind the clouds, hat and scarves kinda sun, I'm talking proper, warm-on-the-skin stuff! The type that you could actually get a slight tan and a few freckles from. Hurrah! A warm sunny day is not something Scandinavians take lightly, after all, we've waited a long time for this. Walk down any street or through the local park and you'll see sleeves rolled up and faces angled towards the sun. Feeling inspired to join the fun, I decided to order a new pair of sunnies from Swedish brand TRIWA (who just happen to make sunglasses as well as uber cool watches). A few days later four pretty pairs arrived in the post. In fact they're so fabulous, I decided that rather than stash them on a shelf to collect dust (in between the sunny days!) they deserve their own home.

Feeling inspired, I ordered this glass box with brass edges (you can also buy a similar one here and here - do double check the measurements though first to check your sunglasses fit) - which is perfect for all four pairs (and no doubt two more - yes, that could well be a hint!).

I think it makes a nice little addition to my dressing table (in the form of an antique chest-of-drawers found in my Swedish father-in-laws attic), plus it'll keep them dust and hopefully free from little finger prints too!

A note on the sunnies: I have to admit picking out sunglasses is no easy feat for me - I happen to have the smallest head E.V.E.R (I get it from my Mum!). But I was thrilled with all four pairs - here's a little more info on each:

1. Smoke Miles
2. Turtle Bonnie
3. Pine Folk
4. Peach Nicki

I'd have found it tricky to choose just one (besides, is it me, or is it really hard to try on sunglasses by yourself?!) had it not been for a quick poll on IG Stories last week. It turns out Smoke Miles and Peach Nicki suit me the best - pretty pleased with that! Do you have your eye on a pair?

See the complete men and womens sunglasses collections over on TRIWA (ships worldwide!). 

Bring on the sunshine!

This post is brought to you in collaboration with TRIWA, however all words are my own and I only ever work with brands I love and think you will too. Thank you for supporting the wonderful brands that make MSHB possible!

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A Scandi-inspired Urban Oasis

Hallo (limited German ends there...)! I'm excited to be sharing a tour of the lovely home of Maria in North West Germany today. Maria was born in Sweden, and still feels inspired by Scandinavian style, evidence of which can be seen in her apartment which she shares with her husband and two Jack Russell terriers. Her home had me at the hallway - which is flooded with light from the double glass front door. Imagine coming home to this each day?! In the blog survey, many asked to see more 'real' homes, and Maria's struck me as this. There's something so personal and relaxed about it - and the entire space benefits from the most beautiful light. Enjoy the tour!

 Qatmer kilim rug, Button hooks from HK LivingFrench basket bag (so pretty!)

There's something about large, spacious hallways that make a great impact when you walk through the door.

I love Maria's mid-century bureau and it's ideal for narrow spaces too. The mirror above it is from IKEA (and ideal for leaving your lippy / keys etc on!). The accent wall has been painted in Farrow & Ball.

Hay Copenhague table, Kartell Masters Chair, About A Chair, Ripple Curves Pendant lights.

 Over-sized Hektar pendant from IKEA. 

Did you get a warm feel from this space too?

How I'd love to have this much light in my home (it's the one thing we're quite short of in ours and I do miss it - especially in the winter!).

Is there anything that stood out to you?

Check out more shots from Maria's home here

Get The Look

1. qatmer kilim "ser"
2. Copenhague Table CPH30
3. Ripples Curve Pendant Light
4. STOCKHOLM mirror
5. About A Chair
6. Kartell- Masters Chair
7.  French basket
8. HK Living hooks

Looking for a little more interior inspiration for the weekend? You might also like this mid-century inspired space in Berlin, a relaxed home with fabulous splashes of colour and snapshots from the dreamy house of a ceramicist.

Any fun plans for the weelend?! I've got a a bit of an office revamp going on at home which I'm looking to finish up (so wild these days...!). I hope it all works out so I can share the before and after next week (watch this space!). I might just have to treat myself to some drinks in the sun too... do you have any fun plans?

Have a great couple of days and see you Monday!

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'The Scandinavian Home' Book now in German and Italian / A Relaxed Artist's Home in Oslo

Since I'm at the Salones Del Mobile in Milan right now (picking up the latest design / trend news to share with you!) I thought it would be perfect timing to announce some news for my Italian and German friends: my book The Scandinavian Home is now available in Italian and German (yay! I definitely did a little dance when I received them in the post!). To celebrate, I thought it would be fun to share some snapshots from one of the lovely spaces in the book: the relaxed home of artist Maria Øverbye in Oslo. Located in a former school house, the building is blessed with high ceilings (11 foot / 3.5 metres high to be exact) and large spacious rooms and furnished almost entirely with second hand finds. The result is a unique home which is as quirky as it is charming. I'll never forget the day I spent at here chatting with Maria over a fika and sharing lots of laughs (as well as a busy day of shooting). I hope you enjoy the tour!

 Maria has shunned standard kitchen units, preferring to use individual items found over the years. A modern range oven sits next to a little wooden table picked up at a flea market over 20 years ago. 

"If you have one awkward piece it won't work, but lots of awkward pieces together create coherence."

 Maria and her friends like to swap artwork. In the sitting room, a vintage industrial lamp bought on eBay is used to light up a photo by Benedikte Ugland of an old lady from Gudbrandsdalen.

" Like many Norwegians, I want my home to have a clean, minimalist look. Having many textures in the same room makes it welcoming and interesting."

 "My children were able to play without worrying about damaging anything - and each nick and scratch bring back a memory."

"I like my home to feel unfinished. I love the patina of dry, soft grey plaster. it makes it a little rougher, which I think is beautiful."

Maria's bedroom is a personal haven and somewhere she can go to "be alone from the world." A dramatic photograph by Anja Niemi hangs over the bed. If she's feeling a little more sociable, there's a daybed linked to the kitchen too (seen below).

 Thank you for a wonderful day at your home Maria! 

If you'd like to see more, The Scandinavian Home is available in English, Italian and German  - and you can also order it through your local book shop and library.

Thank you all for your wonderful feedback so far - and also to Vogue for including it in their recent round-up of design books - it means so much!  

Ciao for now!

The Scandinavian Home by Niki Brantmark, published by CICO Books. Photography by James Gardiner © CICO Books.

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