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Before & After: A Swedish Kitchen Gets a DIY Makeover!


It's Friday friends, FRIDAY! Eeeeee! This weekend I'm planning a few home DIY projects to make our home as cosy as possible for the next coming weeks (we might even hang a mirror that's been lying about in our landing for two months - who knows?!). How about you? In case you're also looking for DIY inspiration, I thought I'd share this wonderful kitchen make-over by Swedish interior designer Johanna Bradford. Johanna and her husband Adam bought their former apartment in 2016. The kitchen was nice enough (see below) - but missing that extra 'mys' (cosy) factor.  Check out the changes the pair made using a DIY carpentry and a splash of paint to transform a basic, narrow kitchen into the cosy heart of the home!

Before

Formerly a maid's room with a separate entrance to the back stairwell, the previous owners moved the kitchen into this room in 2014. The kitchen units and fresh white cabinets ran along one side of the room and include double cabinets which extend the entire way up to the ceiling (perfect for maximising storage space! The stainless-steel worktop was beautifully fitted, and all the appliances were in good working order. The kitchen also featured a dark stained solid oak floor. 

Johanna and her partner wanted to leave the fully functional and perfectly planned kitchen intact but at the same time were keen to make their mark on it. 



The process

Prior to moving in, Johanna sanded down the oak floors and treated them with natural oil so that they would match the flooring in the rest of the apartment. 

They also wanted to make more of the right side of the kitchen - and make room for more people. Adam built a wall-to-wall bench using a long plank of wood mounted on solid brackets. He also added a wainscot using wood panels. And finally, he created a raised wood shelf. All of the equipment was bought from a local hardware store. 

Once the work was completed, the kitchens painted in calming Little Greene

After



Ta daaa! The work has made so much more of the right-hand side of the kitchen, and up until they sold the flat, they could accommodate up to 10 people for dinner! The update also helps give the illusion that the kitchen is wider than it is - and the wainscoting adds a really cosy touch. I also love the soft green shade, it's calm yet cosy and also adds a traditional touch to the space. Beautiful!



The table was custom made by Friends & Founders. A Flos light* hangs from the ceiling.  

What a great transformation! 

Perhaps you have a kitchen that needs a simple update (this is certainly proof that you don't need to do a lot to add your mark!), or looking for a project at home this weekend? If so, I hope this Swedish kitchen make-over has inspired you.  

Johanna frequently shares other DIY projects and news about her house renovation over on her wonderful blog here

If you love an awesome 'before and after' as much as I do put your feet up this weekend and take a look at these - so inspiring!!


So guys, that's all for me for the week. I hope My Scandinavian Home has provided just the bubble of respite you've needed this week and you've felt as inspired as I have!

Wishing you a lovely weekend - take care, stay home and relax (unless of course, you're planning an awesome DIY make-over!). 

Niki

PS I am not sure if you saw that Holly Becker of Decor8 and I started a #30dayhomelove challenge on instagram. It centres around providing a positive challenge each day for everyone at home. The daily themes include plats, shelves, coffee table etc. The hope is that it will help the home be an even brighter place to be. We're thrilled to see more than a thousand entries from all over the world. If you fancy participating, you can read more about it here. It's not to late to join in! 

Photography: Johanna Bradford 

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Irina's White, Light-Filled Family Home

I love to share all kinds of homes on My Scandinavian Home - from the more relaxed, bohemian style to the clean and minimalist look. And today is a fine example of the latter. Irina's home in Munich caught my eye for several reasons: it's light and airy (which feels important right now), it's void of clutter (which is extremely intriguing since she and her husband have a little four year old son at home, so I wanted to hear more about how she achieves this, and hopefully pick up some ideas for my own home - yep, forever hopeful!). And finally, there's one piece of furniture that I've never seen before - but absolutely love. Read on to find out more and feel inspired!  

What is your home decorating philosophy? 
I really do believe that less is more. I feel better when I'm surrounded with less things and only items which I like and find useful. My favourite quote is "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful."

How do you keep your home so neat and tidy with a small child around?
Of course, it requires a bit more effort to keep the home looking like this, when you have children. I need to clean up a little bit more often, but it's my choice. And I have a rule to never get mad at my husband and son if they leave things / toys in the wrong place."

I love your wooden screen! 
The oak screen is from Hubsch and I use it all over our home - sometimes to soften light, sometimes as a room divider. 








Your home stood out to me in the 30 Day Home Love Challenge because of the way you play with shadow and light in your photography - is this conscious? 
Photos with beautiful light / shadow patterns are my favourites. Luckily, we have huge panoramic windows at home, so usually there is enough light to play with, but I sometimes think about adding some curtains to make the light softer. 

Do you have curtains in your bedroom?
We don't have curtains in our bedroom - but we do have electric blinds. If there's anything that wakes me up in the morning - it's my son! 

Children tend to have a lot of toys and other things, how do you keep your sons' room so neat?
I like to go by a less is more approach - buy less toys, but really good ones. We prefer classic toys and almost never buy on impulse. 

I see you focus on child-friendly home decor in your shop mysoulmateplace, how did this come about?
I started my shop in 2017 in Russia, while on maternity leave. I actually have a higher education in finance and worked as a marketing manager / specialist in various companies from the Forbes500 list, but always dreamed of working in the interior and product design sphere. When I first opened my studio, I was selling only my own designs and the shop quickly grew. After we relocated to Germany, I had to start all over. Now I focus on children-friendly home decor / decor you can play with. My goal is to help families keep their homes beautiful without worrying about decor pieces and child safety. All the pieces are very smooth, lightweight and made from natural wood. 

With everything going on right now, has your perception of 'being at home' changed?
It's a strange time now. Maybe it's time to slow down, rethink and be closer to family. Usually my husband has a lot of business trips and my son is at kindergarten, so I'm home alone (I work from home). And now, we are all together at home 24/7. It's a unique opportunity for us and we try to enjoy every minute, despite all our worries and concerns.  

Thank you so much for transporting us to your lovely, light filled home today Irina! 

If you'd like to see more snapshots of her lovely Munich living space, take a peek at her beautiful Instagram feed @mysoulmateplace. And don't forget to browse her online shop mysoulmatespace - so many beautiful things! 

Is there anything that stood out to you in particular about Irina's home? Do you also live by a 'less is more' philosophy? I'd love to hear your thoughts below! 

Niki

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A Beautiful Swedish Home With Touches of Sunny Yellow (& Soft Pinks and Browns)


Following on from yesterday's post about how to maximise your outdoor space - I thought this lovely Swedish home in Gothenburg might serve as perfect inspiration for how to bring the sunshine in - even on a rainy day! The colour: yellow! It might be obvious, but it's amazing what a lift the sunny yellow cushions and flowers give to the entire living space, don't you think? The golden tone works beautifully with earthy browns, pinks and cream too. So, why not pull up a chair, put your feet up and stay a while - there are lots more details to love too! 






Lovely!!

Do you have the colour yellow in your home? 

Thinking my home needs some daffodils! 

The tones in the bedroom look very like the ones I've used in mine! I'm thinking they've used the same wall colour (Blushing Peach by Jotun Lady) - one of my favourite tones of all time, it looks equally pretty morning, noon and night. 

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

By the way - I've got such a lovely home tour lined up for tomorrow's post - it's full of warm pools of sunlight, a cat would be in his element! Don't forget to pop back to take a peek! 

Sending sunshine and a stor kram (big hug) your way! 

Niki

Photography courtesy of Alvhem (found via Style Files with thanks). 

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10 Ways To Maximise Your Tiny Balcony / Outdoor Space!

The days are getting longer, and the sun is starting to flood our homes once again! Yay! With so many of us spending more (if not all) of our time at home right now, it's become even more important to maximise the outdoor space we have. Thankfully there's so much you can do with even the teeny tiniest of balconies - from creating an urban jungle, to watching the world go by from a deck chair. Here are ten inspiring ways you can make the most of your balcony and tap into nature's stress busting qualities, top up on Vitamin D and feel the wonderful warmth of the sun on your face. 

1. (above): Create an urban jungle by lining your balcony with pots at different levels. Balcony fences also make great 'climber' rigging!  

2. Line your balcony with cushions and blankets so you can enjoy your afternoon tea alfresco - and watch the world go by! 

3. Go boho and take your rattan and jute furniture and mats as well as cushions outside - proof that you don't need a garden to get that garden feel! Oh, and you'll keep your furry friends happy too! 

4. Live in a warm country? Shield yourself from the sun with a natural canopy and create a romantic outdoor space with a small round table and vintage chair. Forest bathing in the heart of the city! 

5. Sadly, we can't all enjoy a view of the Eiffel Tower (isn't it magical?!) but we can pack our balcony with pretty flowers and taller plants to create privacy - and add a couple of deck chairs for a true summer oasis! 

6. Carry lightweight furniture such as benches, side tables and blankets outside as soon as the sun shows up (a blanket will keep you warm if the temperatures start to drop!). It's easy to chuck it all inside again once the clouds start to appear! 

FYI IKEA sells outdoor wood balcony tiles like these. 

7. Keep it simple and sophisticated like Nina of Stylizimo's black Norwegian balcony. Shades and sunhat optional! 

8. Go casual and low with a touch of the tropics like Victoria of SF Girl By Bay has done in her outdoor space (I know it's not a balcony, but it can totally be replicated in smaller spaces too). 

9. Use pillars and poles for climbers ( I love a wisteria and clematis) and make the most of your outdoor space to create a herb and vegetable patch. No access to a garden centre right now? Seeds, pips and stones from your kitchen can be super easy to harvest if you google how! 

And why not cosy up your hard outdoor furniture with fluffy sheepskins while you're at it! 

10. No balcony, no worries! Make the most of a wider windowsill to create a window seat - or rearrange furniture to place your comfiest chair by the window so you can enjoy sunny days to the full!  

I hope this round-up has given you a few ideas. Did you have a favourite? 

If you know of anyone that might benefit from these tips, please feel free to share! 

There's a load more beautiful outdoor space for every budget inspiration here: 


Bring on the spring sunshine! 

Niki

PS Feel free to add your own tips below!

Credits: 1. Gardenista / Home of script writer Diane Valsonne 2. Anon 3. 4. House & Garden 5. Clem Around The Corner 6. Anon 7. Nina Holst / Stylizimo 8. SF Girl By Bay 9. Anon 10. Alvhem

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Home tour: A Charming, Rustic House in the Genoa Hills

Why, hello there! Sorry for posting a little late today. I've been busy launching a 30 Day Home Love challenge on Instagram with Holly Becker this morning. We hope it will bring a little light to everyone's day and help to make our homes a brighter place! Please do come and join in if you fancy it! SO, on with today's tour. And I thought we could take a peek inside the beautiful rustic home of Sarah Tognetti in the hills of Genoa, Italy today. Sarah, who founded the magazine Slow Home Slow Living Living, husband Gigi and their two daughters Beatrice (15) and Mathilde (12) enjoy a slow pace of life nestled between the beautiful Ligurian mountains and the sea. Their country home is filled with natural touches, raw materials and earthy tones. Fresh in-season flowers and plants also help to bring nature indoors. Welcome to Sarah's cosy world! 

The family's pink residence is nestled amongst a cluster of pretty houses on the Genoa hillside. She and her family are the first to live in the house in over a century. In the past it has been a carpentry workshop, a tavern and a meeting place where people got together to dance during the war. 

"We love nature and our dream is to buy a house with lots of land and be able to cultivate it," Sarah tells me. 

The kitchen has a really Scandinavian feel to it, don't you think? I love the open wood shelving lined with jars of pasta, pulses and rice - they add a really cosy touch. 


A vintage dresser in the kitchen has been painted in a soft grey from Farrow & Ball and filled with bowls, baskets, tins, glasses, kitchen towels and other necessities! 

Look closely at this beautiful space and you'll spot exposed wood beams over the window (I missed these the first-time round), which add a lovely rustic touch to the room.

Pick up similar factory lighting here*.


Sarah shared this picture in the #30dayhomelove challenge on Instagram today as her favourite room. I can totally see why, it's somewhere cosy where everyone in the home can gather. There's also a great wood burning stove which can be fired into action on chillier days. So toasty! 


There's so much to love about the master bedroom - the whitewashed wood cladding, the linen curtains, the plants..... But also, if you have a sloped ceiling, putting in a dummy wall like this is a great way to optimise space. 


Look what we have here! My book The Scandinavian Home! What an honour that my interior book has been a source of inspiration for Sarah. And I see it's in great company too! 

Such a beautiful home, don't you think? 

Is there anything in particular that stood out to you? 

Sarah's instagram feed is really beautiful too - if you don't already follow her, it's a must! 

If you're in the mood for more mountain / hill home inspiration today, make yourself cosy and take a peek at these charming spaces: 


Sending lots of love and hugs to Italian readers and all today. 

Niki

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