5 Simple yet Impactful Ways to Add Interest to a Room, Swedish Style

Good morning! Yesterday was a big day, Sweden celebrated 500 years of independency - and the sun was shining for the occasion! I feel very honoured to have called this beautiful country my home for over nineteen years. To mark the occasion, I thought we could take a tour of a humble Swedish home - which combines form with function, in true Scandi fashion! 

This lovely apartment is located in a 20th century building in Gothenburg and measures 33m2 (355 ft2). The living room serves as somewhere to relax and sleep, while a separate dining area in the kitchen means you can dine in style (or al fresco!). There are five simple yet impactful decor factors I love about this apartment which bring interest to the rooms. Here's the low down: 

1. Checked tablecloth - going for checks rather than a simple linen table cloth adds a little pattern  to the kitchen and brings the look up to date. Source a similar one here*

2. Use size as a surprise! When it comes to lamps, it can be fun to play with dimensions. By going oversize or tiny you'll make a statement and add interest to a room. Not everything should be perfect, after all! 

3. Go natural: speaking of lamps, we've been seeing white paper ball lamps for a while now, but a new dimension has been doing the rounds lately - with 'natural' paper. I love this one from Imprint House (owned by Natalie Walton whose home I once featured here!). 

4. Throw in some stripes (or other bold patterns): after all, it's all about the element of surprise. You don't need to go all out, just one or two pieces like an armchair and cushion will do the trick. 

5. Bring the balcony inside: greenery has so many health benefits and is a great air purifier. If you live in an urban area, why not bring it one step nearer by placing plants on a shelf just inside the door for year-round plant-therapy! 

I hope you enjoyed my observations! Did you spot anything in particular? If so, please do leave a comment below, I'd love to hear about it! 

You can see a ton more small spaces in this archive - I love these small flats and cottages: 

Have a lovely, sunny day (even if its cloudy out!). 


Photography Jonas Berg, Styling: Livindeco for sale via Stadshem, found via Nordroom with thanks.

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A Danish Family Home with a Warm, Golden Touch

Good morning! How's life with you? In Sweden, it seems like the weather gods have been storing all the sunshine up for May and June and we're certainly not complaining! In fact, we're busy trying to make the most of it as you never quite know when it will disappear again! In Mie Borup's lovely Danish house, which she shares with her partner and their three young children Wilbert, Ingrid and Bille - the sunshine floods in through the windows, basking the living space in a wonderful golden light. 

Take a look through the rooms and you'll spot a blend of well-loved Danish design as well some must-have pieces of the moment! Let's take a closer look. 

Arguably the most popular lamp of the moment in Scandinavian homes is this one by Valerie Object. I think everyone is drawn to it as it comes in a variety of zesty hues so it's a great way to add a touch of colour. But actually, Mie is a real dab hand at DIY and made this look-alike lamp herself! If you're on instagram, check out her highlights for more information. 

Another popular piece right now: the humble glass wall cabinet! Have you noticed them a lot in Scandinavian homes lately too? I think they add so much to a wall, and you can vary the items for a constantly changing display. 

I don't think I've seen shelves like this before, have you? I have a feeling they are vintage - I'll do a little digging on that one and update the post if I can find out more! 

The mastered has been placed on a raised platform - note that the gaps in the slats mean that air can circulate under the mattress which is vitally important to prevent mould. 

Apart from the beams, which are of course beautiful, I also love the set of three pendant lamps and also the way a pretty top has been hung up for decoration. Easy art which can be changed according to your mood, the day of week or the season! 

The pond mirror from Ferm Living is a popular piece for obvious reasons: mirror and art in one! 

Rattan and vintage furniture ensure a lovely, relaxed look in the children's bedrooms. 

Another beautiful glass cabinet! They are great for storage since you can see everything inside and yet they keep the dust off. Keep a look out for glass cabinets at second-hand stores - and paint them to match your style!

I love the masks! You can pick up similar at Hay. Note the classic Peter Rabbit book. I used to love Beatrix Potter as a child, but my daughter burst into tears when I read out that Peter Rabbit had lost his button and had got himself into danger with Mr McGregor (spoiler alert!), so we had to wait a while longer before we read it again! 

On warm days, the family spills out into the garden and relaxes on rattan furniture or around a table under the boughs of a tree. 

Note what a difference an outdoor rug can do to create a room-like feel! 

I hope you enjoyed this tour of Mie's home! You can see more corners over on her instagram @mieborup

Mie also sells secondhand danish children's clothes at @small_reusers and adult clothes at @det.lille.gule.hus.salg

Would you like take the tour of a few other Danish homes today? Here are a few that are bound to inspire:

Right, I'm off to enjoy a little sunshine - work can wait. After all, as I mentioned, we're never quite sure how long it'll be around for! 


Photography courtesy of @mieborup, shared with kind permission. 

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This Tiny Swedish Cottage is a Perfect Summer Oasis!

I can never resist a tiny living space - especially when they are this pretty! This cottage is located in Slottsskogskolonien - Sweden's second oldest allotment! It is a mere 19 m2 (204 ft2) but has everything you might need for the weekends and holidays. In the entrance, simple hooks and shelves serve as a makeshift hallway and a dining space is bathed in daylight. Step into the main living room, and an open-plan kitchen and living room offer a place to chill. At night, it's time to climb the ladder to a cosy nest in the rooftop and snuggle up for the night! The owners also have shared access to an onsite communal bathroom. 

At these allotment cottages, the real magic happens outside though. After all, the purpose of them is to provide a garden in the city for those without. The plot provides a place to grow flowers, fruit and vegetables, as well as dine al fresco all summer long surrounded by the sweet scent of lilac! 

Ready to look around? Välkommen! 

High shelves above the windows provide extra storage space for books and other small treasures. 

Built-in seating helps to maximise space - and can also offer more storage underneath. 

Notice how the underside of the table has been painted Klein blue - this seems to be the theme this week (check out Wednesday's Danish home tour!). I love the idea of using paint to bring in the latest trends, it's a sustainable way of keeping your home upon to date! 

A traditional Swedish sofa and two simple wicker chairs ensure a social area in the main living room area, while a little spot under the roof serves as extra storage. 

A simple wooden ladder leads to the sleep loft. 

It took me several goes through these pictures before I noticed the door above! It conceals a storage cupboard. 

I love the use of two-toned wood panelling in the kitchen! Note how this panelling is beaded for a more traditional look. 

How lovely. I could sit in that spot in the garden all weekend, how about you? 

Here's an idea of the layout: 

Glossary: kök - kitchen, stuga - cabin, förråd - storage. 

Speaking of small spaces, Per is headed up to our little cabin this evening, while I travel to Karlshamn in Blekinge (it's a beautiful part of the world which I once covered in this travel guide) for my daughter Liv's swimming gala. Fingers crossed for her - I know she's a little nervous! 

I hope you have some fun plans too! 

In the meantime, I'll leave you with some of these beautiful tours from the small space archive

See you Monday!


Photography courtesy of Kvarteret Mäkleri - where it is currently for sale! 

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Prints, Splashes of colour and Playful Pattern in a Vibrant Danish Home

The country of Denmark is divided into three main land masses - the mainland (Jutlund), Zealand (the island on which Copenhagen is located) and then Funen - there island tucked in between. And everything is connected by spectacular bridges! I have had the pleasure of visiting Funen on several occasions - probably the most memorable of which was a filming session in the castle belonging to the owner of Carl Hansen & Søn. If I were to return to Funen, I'd love to stop by for a coffee with Ann-Sophie at her beautiful house in Ødense - I can see from the pictures, it would bring an instant smile to my face!

Ann-Sophie Ulka - founder and creative director of Fabrek a fabulous online design and interior shop - shares her home with her partner and their three boys. And in true Danish style, she has filled the house with splashes of colour, prints, pattern, Danish design and playful accessories all the while ensuring a calm feel (the balance is in their genes, I tell you!). The result is a vibrant home with a wonderful, relaxed feel. Let's take a tour! 

I love how Ann-Sophie has used a splash of Klein blue throughout her home - seen above on the table and below on the chairs. 

Striped velvet cushions from Fabrek can be seen in almost every room. 

Lamps and colourful vases catch the light on the windowsill and add a fun touch to the bedroom. 

An antique desk painted in vibrant pink livens up a corner in the master bedroom. 

A mid blue adds colour and a fresh touch to the bathroom. 

What a vibrant home! All the colour would really help to brighten up the greyest of days, don't you think?

Is there anything in particular that caught your eye? 

See more of Ann-Sophie's home over at @fieulka and check out all the fabulous homeware items over at Fabrek - who ship worldwide from Denmark! 

Would you like to see a few more vibrant, colourful homes today? Check out: 

Have a fabulous day!


Top picture by Mia Mortensen, remaining by Ann-Sophie Ulka

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12 Simple Style Tips For a Serene Scandinavian Home

Sometimes, when confronted with a completely blank sheet, it can feel completely overwhelming to decorate a home. Where to begin? How do you make sure it creates that ideal Scandinavian balance where form meets function? And what about the final touches? This serene Swedish home follows some simple rules which makes decorating feel completely effortless - and many of the ideas are incredibly budget friendly to boot. Here are 12 simple style suggestions to learn: 

1. Keep to a simple colour palette: if you're getting bogged down with colour, why not start with a simple palette. In this home a serene green-grey colour has been used on the walls to add interest and calm, while still keeping the look light. To find the right tone, seek out an excellent paint shop in your area, where experts will help you top find samples to obtain the feel you're looking for. make sure you test it on every wall and observe it in different light - morning, afternoon, evening etc to check it works in the space you have. 

2. Storage is key: some homes are blessed with plenty of built-in storage, while in others you need to work that much harder to add your own. IKEA Ivar units (see above) are ideal for hiding more functional items for a calm look. Also, I love how you can paint them whichever colour you like - or add a subtle whitewash so that the wood grain still shows through. 

3. A wood floor: most Scandinavians have a wood floor in their home - at least in the main living spaces (although they might prefer tiles in the hallway, bathroom, kitchen etc). I know that some of my UK based friends panic about having wood floors as it can be be nicked or pocked. The key? Try to have the mindset that wood gets better with age and any imperfections simply add to the warmth of your home! The beauty of wood is that the grain adds instant interest and texture to a space. If you're not sure about the colour of an existing wood floor, a good quality one can be lightened, darkened or painted over completely. 

4. Hooks are your friend: simple hooks can be placed everywhere - on the wall, backs doors, on the side of units - and they are ideal for adhoc items that you use frequently. Not only that, but they also help to add a relaxed feel to a space. 

5. Mix and match: try placing a mixed bunch of chairs around a table - and don't be afraid to combine pieces in different styles and from different eras. It will help add a relaxed, more personal touch. 

6. Add plenty of plants: brining in greenery is a great way to draw nature indoors and instantly lifts a space. Here, a plant fills what would have otherwise been an empty corner / wall space and adds height to the room. 

7. Install a lot of lamps: light plays a central role in the Scandinavian home. This is why you'll often see sheer curtains rather than solid ones! After dark, multiple forms of lighting help to create a warm, yet functional space. Mix it up and add wall lamps, floor lamps, table lamps and overhead lighting to ensure a lovely vibe at night. When chosen well, lighting can also add a decorative touch by day too! 

8. Curated displays: Think about created small, curated displays of items you love on top of side tables, shelves and other surfaces. By playing around with what you have and constantly changing it up, you'll appreciate what you have more and less likely feel the need to invest in something new. 

9. Seamless shelving:  whether you choose to load your shelves with books or use them for a more curated display of the items you love and want to look at - wall mounted or floor shelves painted the same colour as the walls help to create a seamless, serene look. 

10. Mix and match textures: if you decide to go for a simple palette in your home, make sure you add plenty of different rich textures to add visual interest. Think natural materials such as clay, wood, linen, rattan etc. 

11. Invest in long-lasting design: the beauty of Scandinavian design is that it's simple and timeless, which means you will never tire of it. Plus, if it's extremely well made, it will also a lifetime and more too. The wishbone chair (see above) for example, can be refurbished as time goes on so you can enjoy it for years to come. 

12. Round it up: in smaller rooms, rounded furniture is best as it is more space efficient. It also helps to add a soft touch to a 'boxy' shaped room. 

I hope these tips have helped a little if you're in a decorating conundrum and don't know where to start! 

Right now, I'm looking to give the walls in our home a fresh update. Getting the tone right can do wonders towards setting exactly the right feel. I'll keep you posted on what I decide! Perhaps you have some colour suggestions which you found to be spot on? If so, please do let us know in the comment below. 

Looking for more inspiration today? Here are some drool-worthy Scandi home tours to kick off the week in the right way:

Have a great start to the week! 


Photography courtesy of Stadshem, with thanks 

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