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Leanne Ford's Beautiful White Guest House Cottage


Trends come and go - and to be honest it can be hard to keep up. The good news is that the talk in the industry right now is very much about filling your home with things you love and that make you happy, no matter how eclectic. 

Personally, I find it hard to settle on just one looks - and I'm often pulled in different directions based on what I've seen and feel inspired by. As a result, I always admire people who have a distinct signature style. American interior designer and TV personality extraordinaire Leanne Ford has a penchant for milky tones - and even when the interior fashion pack are starting to sprinkle their home with colour, Leanne has stuck hard and fast to the look she loves. And she does it so well!  

Read on to take a tour of Leanne's guest house cottage in Pittsburgh (captured by Erin Kelly, styled by Hilary Robertson) and discover how she makes a white-base home sing! 

Patina: Leanne is passionate about vintage and antique pieces which show the markings of a past life. The rich patina is perfect for bringing texture and interest to a space. 

Imperfection: White can quickly become sterile if it is too rigid. Leanne's cottage is filled with second hand items, touches of nature and handmade pieces. Look closely and you'll notice the finish on the walls, beams etc are fairly rough too. The imperfection helps to add a relaxed, warm and inviting feel. 

Collections: while the overall look of the cottage is fairly pared back, you'll find collages of items that have been grouped together in a wonderful way. 

Tone on tone: the overall look might be 'white' but it's actually an array of tones ranging from white and cream to dark brown and even a hint of black. The subtle contrast helps to add interest and harmony to the space. 

Unusual pieces: take a close look at the dining area and sitting room and you'll find fascinating furniture with entirely unique forms. It takes time to find pieces like this - often requiring hours of scouring flea markets and second hand stores, but when you find those treasures, you're truly rewarded! 

Drawing nature indoors: Leanne's cottage is filled with natural materials including wood, paper and jute adding to the calm feel. It can be tricky to have real plants in a guest house since they require too much maintenance. Leanne has got round this with plenty of dried plants and flowers. 

Oversize: while the colour scheme might be neutral, the size scheme is not! A series of oversize linen pendant lamps (from Imprint House), combined with miniature pieces (like those chairs we saw hanging from a hook) help to add impact to a space. 

Play with texture and light: the light naturally accentuates the texture on the rough stone walls, 3D art and wood beams on the ceiling to add interest to every room in a subtle way. 

ooooh, so beautiful! 

This makes me want to go out and scour flea markets all weekend - how about you? 

If you're curious about the project and many of the fittings and items you see, there's a full write up about it in Domino magazine here

While Leanne was the mastermind of the look for this guest cottage, for the shoot, Erin Kelly worked with stylist Hilary Robertson who's books I absolutely love! Check them out here

If you've got time to pour another coffee and sit a while longer today, head on over to Leanne's website to see more of her projects. And don't miss: 


Ha det fint! 

Niki

Photography: Erin Kelly
Styling: Hilary Robertson 
Shared with kind permission

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A Light and Airy Open-Plan Swedish Loft with Angled Ceilings

Hej there! I hope you had an 'underbar' weekend! It dawned on me that I've shown quite a few bigger homes recently, yet homes come in all shapes and sizes. And in this case, angles! So if you've come here looking for loft spaces with low ceilings or compact open-space living ideas, this one's for you! 

In this top floor apartment in Gothenburg, the designer has decided to create one large open space rather than a series of smaller rooms to ensure the light gets into every last corner. Mirrors also help to accentuate the light, while an earthy, neutral colour scheme ensures a serene, cohesive look that's looks as cosy as it is comfortable! 

When you live on the top floor of an apartment block, nature can feel very far away. So, I also love how an array of simple branches have been brought in to connect the space with the great outdoors. Loft living at it's finest! Enjoy the tour! 






So lovely! The entire home looks so effortlessly decorated, don't you think?

I guess if I have one bug bear, it's the bed in the middle of the room without a headboard. I'd definitely need something to prevent my pillows falling off in the night! How about you? An easy fix though! Otherwise I think I could move right away and not change a single thing, how about you? 

Would you like to kick off the week with  a few other loft / attic spaces with angled ceilings? Check out: 


For storage, I recently kitted out my wardrobe and attic space, both of which had angled ceilings. 

Or perhaps you're after small one-room apartments? If so, look no further than this archive

Happy Monday friends!

Niki

Photography courtesy of Alvhem - found via Nordroom with thanks. 

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Dunmore Farm - a Peaceful Getaway Where Old Meets New

Journalists are often reaching out and asking for tips from Scandinavians on how to not only survive in winter but thrive. Indeed, I even included some tips in my Njuta book*. But there gets to a stage when you notice a small crack in the veneer of even the most hardy Vikings. And with several months of winter left to go, that's around now! So, forgive me while I dream of far away places in sunnier climes today! 

I'm taking us on a journey to Dunmore Farm - a charming rustic retreat on a 150-acre working farm nestled away in the heart of North east Victoria, Australia. Dunmore cottage was built in 1860 using red gum sourced on site - making it one of the oldest houses in the district! Owners Angus and Bec Macdougall, saw it's potential as a peaceful getaway and carried out a considered year-long restoration to seamlessly blend old world charm with modern amenities. 

I could quite happily spend a week or two here luxuriating in a hot bath, cosying up by the fire or simply relaxing and looking out over the fields (word has it that there is some fresh seasonal produce to be sourced from growers all around the region if you love cooking!). Ready to dream? 







Sign me up! 

Could you imagine relaxing here for a few days too? 

You can find more information over on the Dunmore Farm website

I love the room with the bunkbed - it wouldn't look out of place in Sweden! I wonder if it is Scandi inspired? Is there anything that stood out to you? 

I have shared SO many wonderful stays and home tours in Australia over the years. You can check them all out here. one day, I might even make it there in person. Here's hoping! 

And in case you missed them, don't forget to look back on some of the posts from the past few weeks - including 3 airbnbs in Sweden that immerse you in nature (the floating house!), Imke's warm and inviting rental in Geneva, a fabulous airbnb in Copenhagen (now updated with colour references), and the inspiring Stockholm home of Saša Antic (the colours again!). 

This afternoon we're off to Odense, Denmark to do some research for a city guide I'm writing for a magazine - I've never been before so very excited! If you'd like to follow along virtually, I'll be sharing snippets on my instagram stories

Thank you for stopping by (I've so enjoyed reading your comments and mails!), have a fabulous weekend! 

Niki

Photography Nick Skinner, shared with kind permission from Dunmore Farm. 

*Ad for my own work

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3 Swedish Airbnbs That Bring You Close To Nature

Many people flock to Sweden in summertime. Some are looking for a city break, while many others come for the beautiful nature. It makes sense. Sweden has a population of 10 million and a land mass stretching 1572 km from North to South, which makes it easy to find a secluded spot. It's one of the things I love most about living here. 

If you're thinking of visiting, here are three very different Airbnbs which will immerse you in nature so you can switch off, relax, take a dip and generally recharge your batteries, Swedish style! 

Live an indoor-outdoor lifestyle at this cabin in Southwest Sweden, and wake up to the sound of bird song while looking out over the fields of Halmstad. 



You'll feel like you're living in a treehouse in this cabin in Gnesta. And it's just a short hop to a bathing spot too so you get the best of both worlds. Sign me up! 

This unique stay in Bengtsförs invites you to cut loose - literally, and tow your floating home wherever the mood takes you. I love the idea of  waking up to different scenery every morning! The house has a fully equipped kitchen and bathroom and sleeps four. 



All wonderful in their own way. Which would you choose? 

I have a hard time deciding, I must say, but since we have a sailing boat already - I might just be inclined to go for the forest cabin! 

Incidentally, I saw a question about screens and insects on the My Scandinavian Home facebook this week, and some of you might very well be wondering about this when you see these places! In my experience, it's quite rare to get mosquitoes and other pesky creepy crawlies south of Stockholm - although they can be a bit of a nuisance around sunset in the height of summer. That's why you'll rarely see screen doors and windows in these properties. However there can be quite a few mozzies in the North, where they are attracted by the many lakes. So, if you're visiting that part of Sweden you might need plenty of good repellent - depending on the year. 

Do you have a lot of bugs where you are? 

If you're planning a trip and would like to see more Scandinavian airbnbs, check out my holiday rental / airbnb archive - there are so many good ones in there! I have also written quite a few Scandinavian travel and city guides

Happy Wednesday!

Niki

PS I had promised to share a small Copenhagen home belonging to a single mother and her son, but unfortunately I've had to move the post to April. I apologise for this, but I promise it'll be worth the wait! 

Photography courtesy of Airbnb, with thanks. 

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Imke's Warm and inviting Rental Apartment in Geneva, Switzerland

Hej there! I hope you had a lovely weekend! It's the school half-term this week here, and although my family and I have stayed put in a very grey and dreary Malmö, my Facebook feed is flooded with scenes from the Alps as southern swedes share their holiday snaps (not jealous at all.... ahem)! It therefore made sense for me to pay a virtual visit today with this sunny apartment in Geneva, Switzerland. 

Owner Imke and her partner have worked hard to ensure their 72 m2 (785 ft2) rental apartment in a building dating back to 1909 is as cosy and unique as can be. While they have kept to a muted and earthy colour scheme, the furniture is an eclectic blend of styles which include French bistro style chairs, a Scandinavian design table, vintage treasures as well as the occasional high street find (you might be surprised to learn the  overhead lamp in the sitting room is from H&M Home - what a find!). 

I hope you enjoy the tour of Imke's warm and inviting Geneva home and it gives you plenty of ideas for your own home today. 






Such a charming space, don't you think? 

How I'd love to sit on that window seat and look out at the greenery. Has spring arrived where you are? Or perhaps Autumn for those of you in the southern hemisphere? No sign of it yet here. 

Imke has been great at tagging items in her instagram, so if you're curious to find out more about the items you see in these pictures, head on over to @sonnenetage to discover more. 

And as always, pleased do let us all know if anything stood out to you in particular, I love to hear your thoughts and observations. 

By the way, did you know there's an entire archive dedicated to homes outside of Scandinavia? You can find it here, and it includes beautiful homes such as: 

And many more! 

I'll be back on Wednesday with a very small, yet beautiful space belonging to a single mother and her son. It's really inspiring, so make sure you pop back to take a look! 

Have a great start to the week! 

Niki

Photography courtesy of @sonnenetage, shared with kind permission. 

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