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Turn Your Outdoor Space Into a Cosy Haven This Autumn / Winter



Baby, it's cold outside. At least in Sweden! Usually, this would be a cue to move indoors, but there's nothing normal about 2020, right? This autumn it's all about catching up with close friends and family al fresco. Which means it's time to up the backyard / balcony ante! The good news is, the Scandinavians have been pros at this for years. Visit a café or restaurant in Sweden, Denmark and Norway, and you'll find every chair in the outdoor area has been prepped with a fleece blanket. And they don't stop there. Sheepskins, outdoors rugs, string lights, lanterns, candles and fire pits are all pre-requisites to a cosy evening al fresco - no matter the weather! I started to up my backyard game a few weeks back, but I've realised there's a whole lot more I can do. Are you also looking to turn your outdoor space into a cosy haven? Here's a little inspiration to get you started.


Early Autumn nights call for candles, lanterns, a beautiful set of string lights and maybe even the warmth of an open flame. All this, not only to illuminate your outdoor space but also to create a relaxing ambience and the kind of comfort we crave right now! 

















Lastly, round up some extra chunky blankets and put them within easy reach for you and your guests to grab. You can never have too many! 


Just add woolly jumpers, a hat and a steaming mug of glögg and you're all good to go! 

What are your plans for staying connected this Autumn (or Spring if you're in the southern hemisphere)? 

I'm thinking lots of Zoom calls, but we also might just fire up the barbecue this weekend for halloween!

Niki

Thank you so much to Ana Degenaar for helping to collateral the lovely pictures for this blog post! 

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A Cosy Little Oasis To Call Your Own

A one room bedsit conjures up all kinds of images - not always positive. For example, I spent my first year in London after uni in a dismal bedsit where the windows would rattle every time a double decker bus thundered passed! If only I'd seen this cosy oasis - I could have actually made something of it! This teeny Manhattan apartment belongs to Chloé Crane-Leroux, a food, interiors and lifestyle photographer from Montreal, Canada. In the photography world, Chloé's is known for her minimalist touch and carefully curated eye, and this transcends into her bedsit. Opting for an off-white tone throughout, Chloé has artfully balanced clean and minimalist with a cosy touch - no easy feat in such a small space! The result is a calm escape and a place to call her own in the heart of the buzzing metropolis! 




So cosy, don't you think?

I can just imagine how wonderful it would be to walk through the door and feel the hustle and bustle of the city fall away.

For a tiny space, this sure does work. I took a closer look to see why. Chloé has used three key styling tricks:

1. She's stuck to one colour theme throughout: a warm off-white
2. An array of different textures add interest and depth
3. A large mirror over the mantel piece helps to make the room feel larger and bounce the light around 

Somethings to think about if you live in a small space or looking to decorate a small room in your home. 

Fancy seeing a little more? Chloe's inspiring feed features snapshots of her life which she divides between Paris, Montreal and New York City (when the current situation allows!). 

Oh, and if you like the filters she's used on her photography, you'll be happy to hear Chloé also sells Lightroom presets

Other small spaces to feel inspired by today: 


Happy Tuesday friends!

Niki

Photographer: Chloé Crane-Leroux, shared with kind permission

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A Norwegian Home With A Cosy Autumn Vibe

Someone once described Norway to me as 'Scotland on steroids' - simply because the nature is so vast and awe-inspiring. And in my mind, the country really comes into its own in Autumn when the fjord lands put on a spectacular display of golden hues and fiery reds. I reached out to Astrid Marie, a Norwegian interior designer whose wonderful home in Western Norway is always a perfect reflection of the season - to hear her best tips on how to harness the beauty of the season. And best of all, most of them won't cost you a penny! 

"Go outside and look for pieces from nature that can be used to decorate your home. I love using branches with or without leaves alongside fallen pinecones"

"I love to take branches from my beech tree. They keep their brown leaves all winter before the fresh green leaves take over in the spring."

"I add pillows and blankets to create a cosy feel. I love to bring the colours of nature inside and choose pillows and blankets in brown, ochre and rust colours. Sheepskins are also nice at this time of year." 

"I love my fireplace, it makes our living room feel complete. It's especially cosy when it's cold outside. I like to listen to the crackle of the wood burning. The logs are a beautiful element in the interior even when the fire is not lit.  I also light a lot of candles during autumn and winter. I love scented candles!" 

"In summary, natural elements from nature are the ultimate decoration in autumn, and best of all, they're completely free!"



Such great tips! I don't know about you, but I'll be heading out to the woods beside my parents' house this week to see what I can find on the forest floor. I love that you don't have to spend a fortune to create a cosy Autumn feel at home - the Norwegian way!  

You can see more of Astrid Marie's lovely home here. And don't miss her instagram where she shares snapshots of her interior as well as latest Norwegian interior design projects. 

If I've got you in the mood for Norwegian style - there are a load more homes here - and there's a ton of Autumn ideas in this archive

Here's to a cosy start to the week! 

Niki

Photography: Astrid Marie

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Peek Inside Swedish Homes In My Home Viewing Exhibition

My Scandinavian Home Partnership*: One of the things I love the most about Swedish architecture and design is that it's made for the many - and designed to be used, day in day out, time and time again. When I first moved to this Scandinavian country many moons ago, I was mesmerised by people's homes - and as you very well know, I still am! Swedes take so much pride in creating a practical home that's also a feast for the eyes. In essence, every house and apartment in Sweden is like visiting a wonderful exhibition!

Photo: Mattias Vogel / Skeppsholmen Sotheby's

That's why I was really excited when the Swedish Design Museum invited me to curate The Home Viewing Exhibitions last year. The curation resulted in a series of public open home viewings in regular Swedish homes across the country. 

And now, we invite you to virtually discover the wide variety of handpicked homes - from country houses to city apartments - online. Head on over to the Home Viewing Exhibitions to take the tour and read about a Falu red summer cottage on its own island, a 'funkis' (functionalist) townhouse from the early 30s and a show stopping property packed with Swedish design classics - and many others!   

Oh, and there's more. 

Photo: Tim Bohman / Fastighetsbyrån


Add a touch of Swedish Design to your home:

This year it's all about video conference calls, and I'm sure I'm not the only one fussing over the background before each call (and selecting a great top to match my pyjama bottoms!). 

How about creating a Swedish design backdrop for your calls? Pick from one of three beautiful Swedish rooms and instantly transform your home into a light and airy living space, a villa overlooking the archipelago or a cosy log cabin - no tidying required! 

Background photo: Tina Stafrén / imagebank.sweden.se 
Background photo: Patrik Svedberg/ imagebank.sweden.se

Photo: Patrik Svedberg / imagebank.sweden.se


So fun! Loving the roaring fire! 

Here's how to create a virtual Swedish design background on Zoom:

1. Select your favourite room from this image bank and save it to your desktop 

2. Open your meeting in Zoom and click on the arrow beside the video icon. Select 'choose virtual background' from the drop-down menu. 

3. Click the plus icon and choose 'add image' from the drop-down menu

4. Select the image you would like to use for your backdrop. 

And that's it! 

I look forward to seeing you over at The Home Viewing Exhibitions at the Swedish Design Museum! 

Niki

*It was an honour to be curate this exhibition and promote it as part of a paid partnership with Visit Sweden. 

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A 19th Century Farmhouse on The Swedish Island of Gotland

How long ago was it that I featured a house on one of my favourite Swedish islands? Too long! So folks, here's a Gotland beauty for you. Located almost in the centre of the Baltic island, this wonderful 19th century farmhouse has been decorated using calm shades to compliment the original stone walls, exposed beams and beautiful old solid wood floors. True to Gotland style, the look is pared back and draws heavily on natural, raw materials to connect the living space with the surrounding countryside. Could this be my next home (I've always dreamed of spending a year on Gotland!)? If not, perhaps you can snap it up and we can all come and visit? Teamwork friends, teamwork! 










Imagine having bones like these to play with? Mesmerising! 

My mind has immediately wondered back to the days we spent on Gotland last summer. Have you ever visited this island? If not, it's definitely one to add to your future travel files! 

In the meantime, here are a few other houses on the island to feel inspired by: 


Have a lovely day friends!

Niki

Photography: Fantastic Frank

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site by Ana Degenaar

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