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Before & After: My Scandinavian Home Office Make-Over

Do you work from home? I've been sitting at my little desk in the corner of my bedroom for just over two years now. There are many pluses and minuses of working from home, but one of the things I truly love is having total autonomy over how my work space looks - no LED strip lights in sight! So why hadn't I done anything to spice it up (I mean, really spice it up) for over six years?! The thing is, there's nothing wrong with my office (it even appeared on the front cover of a book once upon a time!) but it began to feel well, a bit tired and I had started migrating to the kitchen table or a nearby café instead (they do serve great chocolates muffins so it's kind of understandable!). A friend of mine from Greenland told me recently that if you're not using the space for the purpose it's set out for, you need to re-think it. Wise words indeed! It was time to make a change...


The Area

My home office occupies a corner in between the stairs and balcony at the far end of our bedroom on the very top floor of our house. The area I have to play with is pretty mini: approximately 3.4 metre square (36 square foot), which is open on one side. Here's a quick overview of the dimensions (as you can probably tell, I'm not a trained designer - the lines were drawn with the side of a magazine!) but I hope it gives you an idea of the area.

My Inspiration

Since changing my bedroom to warmer chestnut and blushing peach tones in the same open-plan room, I was keen to create more of a cohesive space (that's the problem with doing something new - it's exciting but has a total knock on effect - bah!). 

While I wanted the office space to blend in, I also wanted to create a distinct space where I could sit and work, store all my books and have all my bits and bobs to hand: in other words, a complete mini office where I can work on my billion dollar deals (if only!). This meant re-configuring the space and picking up some new pieces such as a smaller desk to fit the shorter side of the space and a row of shelving opposite. Here is the original moodboard (put together with the help of designer extraordinaire Genevieve Jorn who also worked with me on the design of my adjoining bedroom):

It has the warm brown, chestnut and netural tones which I love and felt earthy, calm and relaxed.  I ended up changing the artwork selection to make it more personal and swapped out the rug for a similar one I already had.  See further down the post for the final selection!

Paint sample:

I can't tell you how nervous I was about the Norwegian Wood paint colour (by Jotun) - it's quite possibly the boldest I've gone - eeeek! But I loved its warm, woody notes and was willing to give it a go! I tested a sample on the wall (it's always a good idea to observe the colour over a number of days to see how it looks in various lights) and was so thrilled with it!

To the paint the entire wall I stripped away the shelving to the right too. FYI I'm absolutely no painting and decorating pro  - but I'm learning paint splodge by paint splodge! After prepping the area with a damp cloth, tape and newspaper, I used a roller for the bigger areas (long strokes and a generous amount of paint is key) and a smaller paint brush to go around the edges and tighter corners.

Oh yes, and in order to create cohesiveness with the rest of the room I painted the entire wall below in the same Norwegian Wood colour. Of course, once I finished, I realised the back wall now looked a little yellow next to my lovely new accent wall - so this required a fresh lick of white - phew!


With the paint finally finished it was time for the fun part. To put the furniture and all my gear back in place! Here's how it's looking...

I was so happy to finally get around to putting up a moodboard of some of the items that inspire me right now. One challenge I still have though is the radiator. While it's going to be great for keeping my toes toasty in the winter, I'd much rather it was the same colour as the wall - next project?! 

Hanging the artwork!

I didn't want to mess up my new, sparkling white wall with trillions of unnecessary holes- so I used an interior design trick I learned from Gen a while back (you may have seen it in this post). It's a really safe way to avoid making mistakes!

Here's a step by step guide: 


1. Take a large roll of paper and draw around each of the pictures you intend to hang. Cut out the template.
2. Stick them on the wall with blu-tac - and play around with the templates until you have a composition you're happy with. Quick tip I learned: artwork looks best if it's around two thirds of the width of the furniture beneath it (of course rules are there to be broken and this is definitely not an instruction - more a guide if you're feeling stuck!).
3. Measure the distance of the hook on the back of the picture (both vertically and horizontally)
4. Mark out the same spot on your template on the wall.
5. Hammer a nail through the marked out spot
6. Tear away the template leaving the nail in place and you're ready to rock!

I hope you like the results! It was a fun project, but best of all I've got myself a shiny new work space (I'll have to do a take-out on those muffins instead!!

I've put together a quick guide on where a few of the items are from below. If I've missed anything just give me a shout in the comment section below!
Get The Look

1. Gurilla Portrait H
2. The MANTIS lamp
3. Desk w/drawers, oak, nature
4. EKET cabinet
5. Hubsch Metal black Table lamp
6. Norwegian Wood paint by Jotun
7. Washed white linen curtains
8. Carpet with fringes
9. Black Scissors
10. Desk organizer

If this has given you the incentive to update your workspace you might like to have a snoop around this archive (if this pops up first just hop over as always!).

Have a lovely day all!

Photography / styling : Niki Brantmark / My Scandinavian Home. Interior Design direction: Genevieve Jorn. This post contains some affiliated links.

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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. IKEA Stockholm 2017 cabinet  (where not sold, Marte Storage Cabinet
is a great alternative).
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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