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The Soothing Scandi-Inspired Home of An Interior Stylist

This is turning into a bit of a European week, isn't it? We kicked off with a Swedish home in earthy blues (loved reading all your comments!), swiftly followed by a pretty family home in Brussels on Tuesday and then we headed to Norway for a soothing bedroom tour, and yesterday we toured the 'slow living' home of Nina Plummer. Meanwhile I've been touring Scandinavia on a cruise ship, where I've been holding talks on Scandinavian design. I arrived home at 1.30am this morning. It's been one very crazy, whirlwind of a week, and I have to say - I'm exhausted, but I have felt so inspired all the same. I hope you've felt the same! I thought we'd round off the week with a tour of the delightfully calm, scandi-inspired home of Interior Stylist Donna Howell in Birmingham, England. Donna loves simplicity and light colours which she balances with personal details to add warmth. I caught up with Donna to find out a little more about her soothing oasis.

Portrait H*, Hay CPH Deux Table, sofa from Florrie + Bill, Ceramics by Catcooe

// affiliate links marked with *//

Who do you share your home with?
I live in the property with my husband Craig and our little boy Jonnie B, aged 8.

Tell us a little more about the property
Our home is a 3-bedroom Victorian property based in Birmingham which is in the middle of the UK.

What first attracted you to the house?
We bought the property because of its high ceilings, big windows and a wealth of original features such as fireplaces in every room, deep skirting boards and coving.

Can you tell us about the layout? The layout consists of an entrance hall, a living room, separate dining room, kitchen, pantry, 3 bedrooms one of which is an office and a family bathroom. We are lucky enough to have a large garden too which living in the city isn’t always available.

Have you carried out any major renovations?When we bought the house ten years ago it needed complete modernisation including a new kitchen and bathroom, re-wiring and of course the best bit re-decoration. It was never the plan to stay long term but along came our son 8 years ago and having a great school nearby it made sense to stay put until high school. As that is 3 years off we have decided to stay and kick on with some more renovations. We are currently planning a kitchen extension with side return with a friend whose an architect and we plan to knock the two reception rooms into one to make the downstairs living areas flow better.

Normann CPH Bell pendant* 

Sounds like a wonderful plan to me! How did you become an interior stylist?I have always been a ‘creative’ trapped in a corporate world and had a passion for all things interior, so I decided when my son was a baby I would re-train. I studied interior design at college and went on to become a freelance designer. During this time, we were asked to feature our home in a UK magazine called Ideal Home. It was here that I met a freelance interior stylist and realised my passion lay in ‘styling’ rather than ‘designing’. I have since worked as a stylist on editorial campaigns and content creation for many brands.

How would you describe your style?I would describe my style simple, uncluttered pared back design which is light and airy whilst providing the feel of comfort through the addition of personal touches. I like to add little personal touches that can’t necessarily be replicated. I don’t follow trends on mass but I find little elements of trends can easily be added to a simply designed room. I do like to mix in new, fresh modern design with some old pieces.

Your home has a lovely Scandinavian feel to it, have you always been into Nordic design?
I have always loved Scandinavian design. I love its simplicity and how things are made to last - it fits perfectly with my aesthetic. As a result, we like to visit Denmark and Sweden whenever possible.

Kartell Masters Chair*

Thank you so much Donna - your home is really inspiring and I feel a whole lot calmer now.

If you're a little sad the tour is over and would love to see more - take a peek at Donna's wonderful Instagram feed @dhowelldesigns for plenty more pics!

I hope this post has brought a breath of fresh air to your day too - and that you're feeling all ready for the weekend!

Have a fabulous couple of days and see you Monday!


PS If you're in need of luxury bedding (err, hello!), I'm holding a give-away with House Babylon over on Instagram until tomorrow! Hope on over here to enter!

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A Breathtaking Home That Celebrates Slow Living

Do you sometimes find that you walk (or click) into a shop and love absolutely everything you lay your eyes on? That's how I feel about INGREDIENTS LDN. Owned by Nina and Craig Plummer, the boutique interior and lifestyle store celebrates a slower pace of living. "It's about taking time to do things with care and intention," Nina says. "It’s a recognition of the importance that time and attention play in enabling us to savour the small moments that give everyday life meaning and value." The duo's incredible Georgian apartment in Edinburgh shares the same simple, calm and organic feel. I asked Nina to describe the renovation and décor in her own words.

"Last year we moved into an old Georgian apartment with beautiful proportions and large windows but with little else going for it. Pretty much every corner was in need of complete renovation. Several spaces had been subdivided during the 1960s which disrupted the carefully considered Georgian proportions."

"What is now the kitchen had actually been divided into three separate cramped, dark spaces. We set about renovating and restoring the entire apartment, including removing walls and moving bathrooms. We are only just approaching the end of the long renovation phase with some work still going on and much of the furniture and décor still to be added."

"Our home was renovated and decorated in line with the ethos of our store INGREDIENTS LDN. We used natural materials such as linen, wool, ceramics and bare wood. We also used materials that acquire a patina over time such as brass or copper and a neutral, calming colour palette."

"Our kitchen was made using sustainably harvested wood and natural marble that ages beautifully, with brass and copper finishes. Most of our furniture is vintage and the details and finishing touches are a combination of vintage items and the artisan-made items we offer in our store."

"The use of natural rather than synthetic materials is the central aspect that binds both the visual aesthetic of our store and our home together. Using this value as a guiding light helped us to achieve the calming space we were after, that could serve both as my studio and as a peaceful place for my husband and myself to retreat to."  
"Our home is still very much a work in progress but we want to let it evolve slowly and naturally with time and use. Our home is where we rest and recharge, but it also serves as my place of work and the backdrop for our business. The fact that we can fulfill the various needs of our business and our personal lives in one space is what I love most about it."

"All of the products we offer in our store pass through our hands, many of them are used by us on a daily basis so that we can truly understand their merits and unique qualities. As we continue to discover, test and add new unique products and artisan made goods to our range, I am sure our home too will continue to evolve in interesting ways."

Thank you so much for inviting us into your breathtaking Edinburgh home Nina!

Looking through the pictures I was immediately transported back to my days at  The University of Edinburgh - my flatmates and I lived in a few different Georgian apartments, but they didn't look quite like this (there were traffic cones in the hallway for starters....). If you've never been to this Scottish city it's definitely one for the travel list!

For more inspiration you can also read their online journal and follow along on instagram (I'm an avid follower of both!). And of course get the look by shopping away at INGREDIENTS LDN!

Is there anything that stood out to you in particular? 

Have a lovely day!


I've finished my design talks on the Scandinavian cruise and we're now Dover bound! So looking forward to giving my family a stor kram (big hug) back in Sweden!

Photography courtesy of INGREDIENTS LDN.

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A Delightfully Simple Norwegian Attic Bedroom

It's easy to spend months, even years scratching your head over a space - and the answer is often just to keep it simple! This beautiful bedroom in the attic of Katerina Dima's Norwegian summer cabin is a great example of this! The walls have been painted in a soft grey (Sommersne pure colour supermat from Jotun) creating a gentle contrast with the white wood panelling and the subtle black and brass accents add just enough detail to give the room a lived in touch. And of course, there's that linen!

White* and pale grey linen bedding* are designed to match the walls and ceiling behind. Also seen: Frama stool,  Pholc table lamp*, Aesop hand balm*

Katarina picked up the brass hooks from Lagerhaus. They are perfect since they don't require any drilling - and massively practical for hanging robes, bags and even a mirror!

Scandinavian simplicity at it's finest!

I hope this may have helped solved an interior conundrum you're facing or inspired you in some way!

Katerina is the master of grey and white bedrooms - this is her former boudoir in Oslo (also painted in Sommersne).

I seriously wouldn't mind a duvet day in either of these spaces right now, how about you?!

Tour more beautiful bedrooms here


Photography courtesy of Katerina Dima shared with kind permission.

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A Pretty Family Home in Brussels

Welcome to the Brussels home of Isabel - 'teacher by day, blogger by night', wife of Walter and Mother to two adorable children, seven year old Jules and five year old Jeanne. Despite a "dizzying pace of life" (we all know that that feels like!), Isabel takes the time to slow down and dabble in fashion (both for her and her children), travel and interiors - decorating their home in a simple, authentic, lovely way. Let's dive in!  

IKEA kitchen with Superfront doors, brass tap from Tapwell, table from Opsmuk

Marble and wood feature throughout the ground floor which feels both cool and warm in equal measure. Although I think we all agree the warmth triumphs in the end!

Isabel has installed an adult Kuatour desk and the very cute mouse table and chairs from Danish brand Nofred so that there's plenty of space for the family to work side by side!

The upstairs sitting room has been simply furnished using the Poetry sofa by Karup. The pretty rug pulls the entire space together.

The wall colour in the attic bedroom looks a little like the blushing peach hue I have in my bedroom. I love the shade, it's really cosy and constantly changes with the light. The little side table is from Woodchuck and the oak bed is from Ethnicraft.

The dolls house in Jeanne's room is from Things We Love (it's a little like the one we saw in Aurélie's home last week). And the bedding is GOTS from Danish brand Cam Cam. The wonderful rug is from Rozenkilim

What a pretty home! I love the children's rooms (and their clothes!) in particular and it's so fun to see them enjoying the various rooms!

It's also great to see so many pieces from small independent brands. I've tried to link where possible but if I've missed anything feel free to leave a note in the comment section. You can also find out more info and see a few more pics on 'Visual stories by Isabel' and Instagram.

It's been ages since I've featured a home from Belgium on here. In case you missed them, it's well worth checking out a vintage inspired rural home in Belgium and the relaxed Antwerp home of a creative duo. Oh and I've always fancied staying at the eclectic B&B owned by Bea Mombaers - how fabulous is that?!

Have a lovely day!


PS I'm in Skagen, Denmark right now - famous for it's light, artists and being the place where three seas meet! We're hopping back on board at 4.30pm - if I miss that I'm in trouble. Better run!

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