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My Bedroom / Mini Break!

Hejsan! I'm just stopping by to say that it's sportslov (half term) this week in Southern Sweden and my family and I are taking a little holiday. I hope you have a wonderful week too!

See you next Monday!


PS I snapped this of my bedroom just before we left - if you're wondering where anything is from you can find all the details in this and this post. Or just leave a comment and I'll respond as soon as I get back.

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A Norwegian Bedroom Gets a Budget Make-over

Welcome to the second post in the before and after mini make-over series in association with Builders Bay (a builder's little black book for all things needed to renovate your home). In the first we looked at the fabulous transformation of a Miami penthouse (I'm still dreaming, are you?!).  But of course not all renovations need to be on this scale, sometimes you simply want to pep up a room without investing too much time and money, right? So today, I thought we'd go a little closer to home: and take a look at the beautiful bedroom of  blogger, photographer and visual storyteller Katerina Dima in Oslo, Norway. Katerina was looking to add warmth to a fresh white room and allow the history of the 1850 building to sing - all on a shoe string budget. I caught up with her to get the low down!

Who lives in your home?
Me (Katerina Dima), my husband and our cat Milo (who is largely undocumented on my social media because she sleeps and rests in the most ridiculous and unflattering positions. If I was running a comedy instagram account I think she would be a total hit.

Sounds to me like he could be a #CatsofInstagram star?! The  interiors you show in your blog are simply stunning, do you work in the world of interior design?
I am a trained architect with a masters in renovation and restoration, although now I work full time as a freelance photographer / visual storyteller for brands in association with my blog Only Deco Love and instagram

Ah, what great skills - do you find that you're constantly updating your home as a result?
We are renting but have carte blanche on any renovations. This was the reason I was allowed to completely change the look of the bedroom and skirting boards plus paint the windows.

I see you have great bones to work with?
If I am not mistaken, the building was built around 1850. It's a really funny story, one of the most convenient things is a small and remarkably beautiful storage room right by our stairs (our apartment is the only one on the floor), and I thought, I was really lucky to have it. It turns out that in the 19th century these buildings had no toilet (our floor was made up of many smaller apartments) and the 'storage under the stairs' was the common bathroom. There's no evidence now this was a bathroom but I have the most elegant storage ever - I really shoot in it but it is super cold!

What were you looking to achieve with your bedroom renovation?
When we moved in, the owner had painted the entire apartment white. It is a beautiful old apartment with ceiling rosettes, very high ceilings, big windows and original floors that were painted grey - and I guess white made perfect sense as a neutral palette. However, no matter how I tried to style the bedroom specifically, it always felt unfinished. Really tall ceilings can have that effect. I didn't want to overwhelm it with furniture and decorations in order to impart some life into it, I prefer my living space minimal and clean, yet welcoming and warm. The solutions was to create layers with paint and skirting boards.

How did you envisage the paint to make a difference to the space?
The layers of paint would provide interesting transitions that would fit the old apartment and define the space between the floors and ceiling, but without making it too heavy.

How did you choose the colour?
I knew I needed to offset the grey-blue floors with beige, this way the resulting tone would be warm (blue hues give cooler results and I'm not a fan of cold hues in the bedroom). I am a big fan of the Jotun Lady beige palette, especially the darker colours.

What other renovations did you need to carry out to create your vision?
I installed new skirting boards.  

Did you have any challenges with these?
I knew I would have to do everything on my own (with my husbands help), or else it would be too expensive, and our budget was in fact our biggest challenge. Buying the big pieces for the new skirting boards/panels I needed was not an option after all due to the enormous price, so instead we opted for DIY. In Oslo we don't have the equipment to create our own panels (another obstacle), and this is where the idea came to me to buy simple small and relatively cheap skirting boards, and create the panels I wanted by means of an illusion. I  added the small boards 30cm above the previous one, nailed them to the wall and painted the old skirting boards on the floor the new board and the wall in between the same color . This creates the illusion of a single but quite bigger panel which gives the room an added desired layer while it brings a palatial feel, exactly the result I wanted! And honestly you can barely tell even when looking at it up and close. We painted 5 times over and over again so the wall looked exactly like the wooden boards, and that was the only difficulty. We used a saw to cut the boards in the length we needed and a plastic guide that we found in the same hardware store in order to cut the corners of the boards in a 45 degree angle. 

FYI - you can source different size skirting boards on Builders Bay here

 It looks beautiful! So calm! What colours did you use? 
I painted the skirting boards and the windows the same colour (Space 10678 from Jotun Lady in Supreme Finish Matt for wood panels) to give a sense of community, but also because darker windows appeal a lot to me lately. I painted the walls in a light beige / grey colour (Sommersne 1928 Jotun lady, super mat). The colour is described as not quite grey, it was exactly what i was looking for. I debated whether to paint the whole space the same colour along with windows and skirting boards but decided against it. I wanted to add layers and introduce interesting transitions. This is also why I didn't paint the wall all the way up to the ceiling, leaving a ribbon on the top in the previous color that matched the ceiling (white).

I love the effect of not painting the walls all the way up to the ceiling, can you tell us more?
Because the ceilings are so high I wanted to create layers so there would be interesting transitions making the room feel warmer.  I decided to create a bottom layer with the panels/skirting boards, a middle layer with the wall painted in a different colour, and finally an upper layer that stayed the same colour as the ceiling. This way there would be a natural transition from the white ceiling to the wall as there is no decorative ribbon, making the design feel deliberate rather than incidental.

 How long did the renovation take?
The whole room took us two days from start to finish after we had decided on the plan ( the boards took us about two hours to cut and nail to the wall, then filled any holes with a special white glue that gives a smooth finish ), and this was mostly waiting for the paint to dry. The costs were very minimal, and I feel if we did it, anyone can!

How would you describe the final look?
The style is very minimal and combines early century with contemporary Scandinavian accents. The building was built in the Neo classic era with modernist yet romanticism architectural influences, I wanted to keep the feel of it but also bring it into this century. I think the colours helped me achieve that, but also the details I chose to use in the form of art and furnishings.

And finally, do you have any tips for anyone looking to do the same?
If you want to lightly renovate a room on a budget, painting and creating “faux” panels is a great way (if it matches your spaces original architecture), and it can completely transform a room beyond your imagination. Come up with a plan and create a moodboard to help you out, but I would say my key learning  to be able to adapt your plan on the go while trying not to stray too far away from it. Also if I learned anything from this is that these things are much easier than they look , you will be surprised by how much you can achieve on your own and in a short time! So go for it :)

What a beautiful space. I love how the clean, calm look allows the period features of the building to stand out, how about you?

In case you're curious about any of Katerina's carefully curated pieces - here's a quick guide:

Get The Look

1. April 02 Poster
2. Skagerak - Georg Desk
3. Skagerak - Edge Pot
4. Mobil 100 pendant - Monika Mulder 2016
5. Spade Stool Black
6. Snowball Floor Lamp
7. Skagerak - Reflect Wall Hooks
8. FRAMA Adam Stools

Thank you so much for sharing your renovation with us Katerina!

You can follow all of Katerina's latest projects over on her beautiful blog Only Deco Love and instagram

Have a lovely day!

CREDITS: Photography and Styling: Katerina Dima / Only Deco Love

 * All words are my own, and I only ever work with brands and services I feel are of interest to my readers. Thank you for supporting the businesses that make My Scandinavian Home possible.

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All Hail the Beautiful Parquet Floor!

Ever since I moved to Sweden almost fourteen years ago (wow - that's crazy!) parquet wood flooring has been on my radar. This is because many older Swedish homes feature beautiful, original herringbone floors which have aged gracefully over time. In fact, you might even experience a squeak as you cross the room which all adds to the charm! So what is parquet flooring exactly? The word 'parquet' derives from the French "a small compartment' and the flooring is recognised by it's angular, geometric mosaic pattern in the form of squares, triangles, and lozenges.  Over the past five years, I've noticed a major revival across the design world with many people opting for parquet flooring with a modern twist. And what wonderful news, don't you think? I thought I'd pay homage to the classic feature today, here's a round-up of some of my favourites...

 AVW Arquitectura / Whyte Lilja: Impremta Garden,

Alen Cordic
Karel Balas

Henrik Nero
Kalle Gustafsson
Brittany Ambridge
Courtesy of: Compass
Eve Campestrini
J Contemporary
Janne Olander
I mentioned the other day that my childhood home was built in the 60's and we had parquet flooring in a square formation . I spent so much time sitting on that floor as a toddler and I remember some of the pieces were loose and made perfect building bricks! I'm not sure how popular this was with my parents though!
Do you have any experience of parquet flooring? Would you consider it for your home?

Just in case you're tempted, here's a round-up of some of the beautiful patterns you can create:

Not ready to re-do your entire floor? You could always paint a beautiful pattern directly onto the wood in the meantime! I love this geometric formation below created by a local Malmö shop Byggfrabriken who sell the most beautiful classic Swedish items for the home. And don't miss the hallway floor in this lovely home tour!

 If you go for something similar make sure you add a link to the comment section below - we'd love to see it!

Have a lovely day!

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20 Instagrammable Places to Stay In Sweden

Are you planning to visit Sweden this summer? If so you're in for an amazing time, there's just so much to see and do! But where to stay? I get countless e-mails asking about beautiful holiday homes, bed & breakfasts and hotels - and I finally put pen to paper (well, er... keyboard to blog). So here it is, a comprehensive list of twenty places to stay in Sweden this summer for budgets big and small. Välkommen till Sverige! 

(I snapped the above picture in Fiskebäckskil - I dare you to try pronounce that - a few weeks ago. If you're visiting Sweden's West Coast this pretty village is a must!). 

Sweden's capital city is a perfect place to start your visit. Not only will you find all the flagship Swedish design stores (we like!), museums, galleries and beautiful architecture - the city is built across a series of islands so you're never far from water.

Ola Ericcson
Ett Hem. 
Hidden away on a quiet, leafy stree, the 12-room hotel was designed by owner Jeanette Mix and interior designer Ilse Crawford with a vision to create a home from home: hence the name 'ett hem' (a home'. In the winter, guests can enjoy plenty of sheepskins, a roaring fire and a soak in a tub. In the summer, the hotel is light and fresh (with a blend of mid-century and contemporary design). The perfect base from which to explore Sweden's capital city. Mind you, you might not want to leave!

Ash James
The Modern Apartment (sleeps 3)
Looking to live like a local? This modern apartment sleeps up to 3 guests and is on the residential island of Kungsholmen with great access to restaurants and bars (hey, I know what's important!) - as well as good transport links to the whole of Stockholm. And will you take a look at that kitchen?!

The Architects Apartment (sleeps 2)
This charming 1920's studio in Norrmälarstrand has been renovated by an architect (hence the fabulous decor!) and is nine minutes by Subway to the central station. It's also a short walk from beautiful parks and boardwalks. Loving this one!!


Any visit to Stockholm in the summer time warrants a boat ride out to the stunning archipelago. Think incredible nature, dips in the sea and relaxing on your very own island.

Henry Trygg
The Island Retreat (sleeps 4)
Calling all nature lovers  - this is your bag! Take over this modern retreat for a few days and your friends will do a double take when you get home (you'll look that relaxed!). Enjoy saunas, dips in the sea and day trips with your very own boat. Word of warning: The Grand Hotel it's not. It has a dry loo and an outdoor shower only - but hey, the seas on your doorstep and cod is on the menu for lunch!

Sweden's second largest city and the gateway to the magnificent west coast archipelagos, this city is not be missed. Design lovers: don't forget to visit Artilleriet and Grandpa (conveniently placed across from one another!).

Per Pixel Petersson
Airbnb Apartment (sleeps 4)
This lovely apartment in the rooftops of Delsjö is a short walk to the centre of town as well as supermarkets, restaurants and boutiques on your doorstep. Oh and there's a family friendly bathing spot and kayaking just nearby, so bring your sea legs and togs! 

If someone asked me for the best kept secret in Europe, I'd say the Gothenburg Archipelago. When the sun shines it's my favourite place on earth and represents everything that's wonderful about Sweden in the summertime. Made up of hundreds of islands and skerries, the waterways are laced with clusters of small fishing huts and pretty villages with restaurants selling fresh fish. Go anytime between midsummer and mid august when it's at it's peak and enjoy the atmosphere. Or pack a picnic and make your way out to your own little island for the day.

The pretty old village of Gullholmen snapped from our boat.

Gullmarsstrand Hotel, Fiskebackskil
Treat yourself to a stay at Gullmarsstrand and koppla av (unwind) with nature on your doorstep. Relax in the spa, take a dip in the sea (there's a family friendly beach a stone's throw away), play tennis, take a cliff walk or enjoy the village. The hotel also has Carpe Diem Beds so you're sleep like you're on a cloud! This little village is truly romantic (although I'm a little biased, as it played a major role in my husband and my holiday romance, back when it all started!).

Strandflickornas Havshotell ('The Beach Girl's Hotel)
If you're looking for something a little more cosy and traditional I can totally recommend this lovely hotel in Lysekil. Every room is different in a truly quirky way and the staff couldn't be friendlier. Oh and did I mention there's a sauna and hot tub on the water's edge too?!

A House with a View (sleeps 5)
Be king of the hill for a week (or three) in this modern house and enjoy vistas across Instön island and the sparkling waters beneath. I love that it's 200 metres from a secluded swimming bay and a short hop to the sailing capital of Marstrand (well worth a visit too - although prepare to glam up a little!).

Looking to wile away the summer and experience genuine island life? Located on Sweden's East coast - this lovely Baltic island is a perfect size to explore by bike. Visit wonderful galleries, enjoy local cuisine and wile away a day or two on the beach (word of warning, the Baltic is a little colder than the West coast!). Here are some beautiful Gotland home tours to wet your appetite!

Rodrigo Rivas
Fabriken Furillen, Boutique HotelCast your eye to the northeastern corner of Gotland and you'll discover this industrial-chic boutique hotel on the peninsula of Furillen. Formerly a gravel factory, this remote hotel offers two 'hermit cabins' for those who truly wish to get away from it all and enjoy the wild landscape, deserted beaches and wildlife. (Take a peek inside this house in Furillen for a little inspiration too!).

The Farmhouse (sleeps 4)
A beautiful newly built farmhouse that's perfect for a family of four, it has a cute garden for dining alfresco and is an easy walk to the medieval centre of Visby - and personally, I think it looks super boho and cosy!

Funkis House in Visby (sleeps 6)
A charming house built in the 1930's a mere five minutes walk from the main square in the island's capital of Visby. Think mid-century meets contemporary design (I spy a SINNERLIG daybed and bench designed by Ilse Crawford!).

A Little Cottage to Call home (sleeps 3)
This idyllic cottage is located a few hundred meters from the small fishing village of Herrvik, and the beautiful nature reserve of Grogarnsberget. Take in the great beaches, seafood smokehouses and local restaurants, but not before you've enjoyed a slow breakfast at the pretty kitchen table!

If you're looking for somewhere pretty to stop between Gothenburg and Malmö, Torekov's a great idea. I might be a little biased since my husband's family have a summer cottage there, but it really is a beautiful part of the world (and is said to get more hours of sunshine than anywhere else in Sweden - now you're sold?!). The pretty fishing village is buzzing with waterside restaurants (in the peak season you're bound to hear a live band or two), a wonderful beach and bathing platforms, golf, the beautiful old spa in the harbour Torekovs Warmbadhus (make sure you enjoy a seaweed bath in a classic lion claw tub!) and seal safaris on the island of Hallands Väderö (pictured above).

Photograph: Niki Brantmark / My Scandinavian Home

Torekov Hotell and Spa
I've never stayed at this spa hotel but know many friends who have, and they came away well fed, rested and glowing! Plus if the sea is a little frigid for your liking, this joint has a pool!

Airbnb Guest House (sleeps 4)
Enjoy your own house set among farmland between Torekov and Båstard and make the most of what both towns have to offer (as well as all the nature in between!). 

My adopted home town of Malmö is Sweden's third largest city and totally worth a visit! From the cobbled Stortorget and Lilla Torg (big and little squares), museums, galleries and parks to the bathing platforms at Västra Hamnen and beach at ribbersborg - you'll never get bored. Plus Copenhagen is a quick train ride over the Öresund bridge (yes that's THE BRIDGE!). For more ideas you can check out my city guide here.

Duxiana hotel Malmö
'Bright lights, big city, great sleep' reads their slogan - looking at this bedroom and knowing the location in the heart of the city I can well believe it! Also, there's nothing like a hotel breakfast, right?!

The Malmö Apartment (sleeps 2)
Sometimes the best things come in small packages and this little studio between Triangeln and Möllevången (AKA the funky, boho side of town) is the perfect pad from which to explore. 

A house by the Sea (sleeps 5)
If you love beautiful interiors, architect and being by the sea, this is your pad! Once featured in Elle Decoration, this lovely space is a short cycle through the park to the centre of town and has the sparkling Öresund sea on it's doorstep!

 Intrigued? Take a little look behind the facade of more of Malmö's most beautiful homes here


If you're looking for a holiday that combines a city break with nature - Malmö and Österlen are a great combination! Situated in the Southeastern corner of Scania, Österlen is famous for its rolling hills, stunning coastline, small villages, apple orchards and farmland. It's also home to many artists who are inspired by the magnificent light.

Mellby Klockagård Bed & Breakfast, Kivik
This charming B&B is located in Kivik, one of my favourite villages along the Österlen coastline. Enjoy your charming bedroom (no two rooms are alike), relax in the beautiful garden, enjoy seasonal food or wonder down to the waters edge. You can't go wrong with this gem of a place! 

In case you're wondering about those artist's home - you can step inside some of Österlens most charming homes here - I have to confess, I dream of owning an old house in this area, with a pottery wheel and plenty of space for all my family to visit one day! A girl can dream, right?!

In a few weeks time I'll be checking out this hotel first hand and I can't wait!  Located in North Skåne and surrounded by a majestic beech forest, Wanås hotel and restaurant is nestled on a historic estate complete with a magnificent sculpture park Did I mention that the interior combines vintage furniture and contemporary art with natural materials; limestone floors and wooden details and there's a restaurant offering Nordic farm to table cuisine? Yep, my kind of place too! 

I've no doubt missed hundreds of incredible places to stay (not to mention great Swathes of Sweden crying out for a visit!), but I hope this guide helps as an initial first step! Please do let me know if you have any personal recommendations in the comment section below, we'd love to hear them (and of course, visit one day!). There'll no doubt be a follow up guide once the winter season begins. In the meantime, I'll continue to explore - and perhaps our paths will cross in the process?!

Have a wonderful stay!

(with lots of great help from Ana!)

PS Why not go the whole way and pick up a copy of Lagom, The Swedish Art of Living a Balanced, Happy life to read while you're there and The Scandinavian Home once you're back?! Yes, I know they're both my books, but still - I'm proud of them and think you'll find them inspiring! 

PPS Other useful Resources (where to stay, what to do and where to eat):

1.  Visit Sweden
2.  Stockholm
3. Stockholm Archipelago
4. Gothenburg
5. Gotland
6. Gotenburg Archipelago
7. Skåne County

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site by Ana Degenaar