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DIY Christmas Advent Calendar

I got a little creative yesterday and made an advent calendar. I think this is first one I've ever completed before 1st December, let alone ten days in advance! It's certainly going to keep them enticed! The idea all started when I spotted the super cute white and gold Christmas Advent Calendar Bags from Danish brand Nordal. I wanted to create something modern, but with a rustic touch.  I loaded each bag with sweets for every member of the family. I have to confess I was one set short so one bag has potatoes in it - I can't tell you how much I laughed at the thought of them opening it. Finally I get to prank back. I do have a set of back-up sweets up my sleeve though! Just in case you'd like to create something similar - here's the low down.

What you need

Nordal Advent Calendar Bags* (the 24 stickers are included)
- A long, sturdy branch (this one is 110 cm)
- 120 cm white rope (for hanging)
- Tack / nail (for hanging)
- Brown string
- Presents / sweets (make sure they are not too heavy!)
- A few sprigs of fir

*The Nordal advent calendar kit is available in online shops across Europe (find your nearest retailer / online store here - I spotted some in Denmark here and the UK here). If you live outside Europe you could try 24 white or brown paper bags and use postage tags or stencils for the numbers). 

What to do
I wanted the advent calendar to have a rustic touch - and the answer came in the form of a stick which Allie brought back from the woods a few weeks ago (any stick will do as long as it's relatively long (this one is 110 cm) and strong enough to hold 24 bags).

I tied a length of nylon rope (you can pick up similar in all good hardware stores) to each end of the stick and then hung it from a tack in the wall - forming a triangle.

After filling each bag with goodies, I added the number stickers and then used simple brown string to hang each one from the stick. Instead of creating holes, I threaded the string under the fold of the bag before sealing it.

Rather than preparing them all in advance I found it easier to to cut the string as I went along so that I could check how low I wanted to hang each bag. They were then tied to the stick using a really simple knot (let's hope they hold - my sailor husband would be less than impressed if they're all on the floor tomorrow!).

And finally - I found a few sprigs of fir (which I picked up in a flower shop in town) and tied them to the centre of the branch for a festive touch!

And now, all we need to do is wait until 1st December!

If you've got any questions about the DIY just give me a shout in the comment section below and I'll be happy to help!

Do you make / buy an advent calendar each year? If so, I'd love to hear about it. One of husband's mates gets one from his wife each year with an IPA for each day (how's that for a great idea?!).


This post is brought to you in collaboration with Nordal. All words and creations are my own. Thank you for supporting the hand-picked brands that make My Scandinavian Home possible. 

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Annika Sahléns Cosy, Calm and Creative Swedish Home

Men, hejsan! I hope you had a fabulous weekend? It's 2pm on Monday and I'm still cranking into action. Not that I haven't done anything today (I've put together an entire advent calendar - to be revealed tomorrow!), it's just that I'm doing everything so slowly! - anyone else feel the same?! I'm in my office in Malmö today but where I'd much rather be is hanging out in the lovely Swedish home of interior designer / stylist Annika Sahlén. Annika has been passionate about interiors for as long as she can remember, and in 2015 she took the plunge and went back to school to re-train before starting her interior business Inreda Bevara. Annika's philosophy is that everyone should feel good at home; after all, it's where you 'umgås' (cosy up / hang out) with friends and family, re-charge your batteries and generally spend a great deal of time. Her own home is testimony to this. The space oozes comfort and calm and is awash with muted, earthy tones, natural textures and interesting works of art. Enjoy the tour!

Above: Lone house print, Söderhamn sofa

Love this magazine stash! Why doesn't mine ever look as neat as this?!

How great is this gallery wall? Annika may have stuck to similar tones but each and every piece is unique.  Annika's husband made the large piece directly over the bench (I love the idea of the bench too). In the back corner you can catch a glimpse of the IKEA PS 2014 corner chair - a limited edition piece which is now available on second hand sites.

The kitchen walls have been painted in Almond Beige by Jotun which contrast with a wooden floor painted in a fresh, matt white. Pick up a fab vintage kilim like this one here*

Annika has painted her bedroom wall in Fridhemsgatan by Alcro. A handy long row of hooks have been painted in the same colour. 

I think what strikes me the most about Annika's lovely home is the art - not just the paintings, illustrations and photography but also the sculptures! I do love a bust (ha! that could so easily get misconstrued!). I found the 'mango head' one in the sitting room right here, but sadly it looks like it's sold out. Annika found the clay one at a flea market.

Can anyone recommend a great place to buy sculptures like these? If so. I'd love to hear any tips in the comment section below.

Is there anything you love in particular about Annika's home?

Check out more pics here and find out more about Annika's interior design and styling services at Inreda Bevara here.

Not quite done? Join the club! Why not dig around in the Swedish home archive - there must be over 500 home tours in there these days! Crazy! 

Happy Monday all!


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My Autumn Sitting Room Makeover (+ A Discount!)

I love this time of year. The yellow of the leaves, the darkness rolling in at 4pm, the chill in the air (trust me, this feeling only lasts until January!). So, when Bemz, who make design covers and legs for IKEA furniture, asked if I'd like to update my sitting room for the winter and make it extra cosy, I was already flicking through their fabric samples before we'd said hej då! As you know, I'm a big fan of Bemz (you only have to look at my bedroom and reading nook to see!) and it was a perfect opportunity to try something new and amp up the hygge! So, here it is, my new, updated sitting room with warm light wood, natural linen and touches of spice and sage brown. Oh and a candle or two!

I opted for the Bemz cover in Natural Brera Lino linen by Designers Guild for my Söderhamn sofa. Although I also love the Urban Loose Fit I had before - the regular fit gave the room an instant lift and the linen means the look still remains fairly relaxed, which I love.

I chose cushion covers in Spice Linara by Romo, Sage Brown and Unbleached Rosendal linen as a nod to the rich colours of the season (I talked about 'brown' being the 'it' linen right now in Wednesday's home tour and the warm tones are so perfect for this time of the year, don't you think?). 

I also swapped the original metal legs which the sofa came with for these pretty pins (namely the Terence legs that were designed in collaboration with Apartment Therapy). Aren't they fabulous?! These are a fairly new addition to the Bemz collection - see the full range here

All that's left to do is light a few candles! If you're looking for me this weekend, you'll find me right here!

In case you're curious about any of the items I picked, I've created a little 'get the look below.

Get the look 

Brera Lino Natural linen from Designers Guild, in a regular fit cover for my Söderhamn three-seat sofa and chaise longues
Terence, Chunky Wooden Furniture Leg 18cm/ 7"
Spice Linara by Romo
Sage Brown
Unbleached Rosendal linen

Funnily enough, a friend popped in for a cup of tea yesterday and said "wow, I love your new sofa!" She was so surprised to hear it was the same lady underneath!

If you have an IKEA sofa or armchair which needs a little TLC you'll be happy to hear the fab team at Bemz are offering an exclusive discount of 20% with code 20myscandihome this weekend! Don't own an IKEA piece? Try your local online second hand store, you could always pick one up for a song and give it a designer revamp!

More Bemz inspiration to be found in my bedroom and reading corner. I also still love the previous cover I had on my sofa which you can see here.

Do you have a favourite look?

I hope you have a wonderful weekend - vi ses på Måndag!


This post is brought to you in collaboration with Bemz, 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 hand-picked businesses that make My Scandinavian Home possible.

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A Jewel In The Suburbs of LA

Tjeeeeena! How's your week going? I haven't had a chance to say a big THANK YOU for responding to my survey last week! Such invaluable help. It looks like my new project might just hit the ground after all. Watch this space! Speaking of entrepreneurship, allow me introduce you to Jaimi Brooks. Jaimi is a California based marriage and family therapist who also regularly conducts Entrepreneurial Women's groups and special topic group sessions at her wonderful house in Tarzana, LA. The house is located at the top of the Santa Monica mountains against Mulholland Preserve (please see my note below about the wildfires). Inside, the space has been given an incredible overhaul by interior designer Sarah Sherman - think 25 foot high ceilings, arches, white washed walls and contemporary pieces. Love this!

What a great space! I wonder if my new project will require me to travel to LA for one of the Entrepreneurial Women's sessions? A girl can dream, right?!

Did you see the 'hand' chair? Seriously, what are the chances of spotting two 'hand' shaped chairs in the space of one week (the other one was in this home in case you missed it)? Are we allowed to call this a new micro trend? If so, you heard about it first on My Scandinavian Homet!

Is there anything that stood out to you about this home?

You can see more of Jaimi's home and keep up to date with the latest news from her private practice here and on instagram here. The house is also available to rent as a location for photo shoots etc (is it Ok to take your bikini on a shoot?!).


PS Important note: I'm sad to hear about the deadly wildfires in California right now which have displaced  hundreds of thousands of people and destroyed thousands of homes. If you would like to do something to help, there are some helpful tips in this article.
Thank Dianna for sending this link through.

Photography: TSLR Lifestyle & Daniela Rey

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